When you hire an editor, how do you know when the edits are done and what you’ve left on the page? Here’s a look at what an editor costs, how an editor gets paid, and if it pays to get that editing done.
How Much Is an Editor Worth? An editor is worth more than you might think. The amount an editor gets paid varies based on the volume of work she performs and his/her skill. In other words, a great editor could cost more than a great author, and vice versa.
For example, let’s say an editor’s workload ranges between a few hours and more than 10 hours a week. Let’s also say she’s not paid a flat rate, or that she pays herself as an assistant editor. In other words, you could pay her $1,000 (1-hour-an-apprentice editor’s rate, $1,000 + $5), plus $200 for time spent editing (2 hours), and $400 for time spent actually editing (4 hours).
An editor’s overall cost might range from about $700 to over $3,200 per hour. That doesn’t mean her hourly rate is a flat rate, rather, it depends on the scope of the project. A well-established publisher might pay a less-than-maximizing editor $1,200, while a self-publishing author could lose money if his editor is just too busy to finish the novel as planned.
For example, let’s say you have a 15,000-word novel under the management of a small independent professional. In this case, you might use an independent editing firm to do the bulk of the work. (You may also prefer to use a professional, who can also handle all the other editing duties.) To determine your total cost to hire an editor, see if you can find an independent website with a link to reviews and/or blogs, and whether those sites are independent of the big publishers. You should also check to see if the website lists an editor’s hourly rate, in increments of $600.
In most states, however, the editor’s hourly rate ranges from $3,500 to $6,100. In many states, this is a flat rate, which is the price a professional editing firm will start to charge once an author has hired an editor. As you can see, the more editing you do for a book, the smaller the hourly rate will be.
Should You Call an Editor