FAQ- Editors

FAQ- each week I’m going to pic a frequently asked question and answer it here. You will be able to find the entire FAQ on a page soon.

This weeks question:

“I finished my novel, and now I need an editor. Is it normal to get an editor lined up, and for them to take weeks, or months, to get back to me?” (paraphrased)

No, that isn’t normal. An editor should get back to you within the week unless they tell you they are going on hiatus for a while. But perhaps you are too swift to choose your editor.

Every editor I’ve worked with I’ve asked them to do a sample edit. They usually get 2000 words, go through it, and see what it’s like. That way they know if they want to work with you, and you know if you like the way they work/edit. That includes how fast they answer emails, how they respond to your work, etc.

Not every editor is going to fit your work. Some are terrible at it, but claim they are editors anyway. Others won’t like your style or subject matter. Some will just be over booked and unable to give you any help, but may not want to brush you off right away.

My advice… go find a few editors. There are several places you can look. Elance, Predators and Editors, or just Google “editor service”. Even amazon has a relatively cheep editing service for .012 cents a word through Createspace.

Do some homework on the editor you are trying to get, and **get a sample**. Most will not charge much, if anything, to do the sample. Check them out on Facebook, G+, and Twitter to see if they get any good/bad reviews through social media.

Most will ask for half up front, the rest when finished. If they ask for all of it up front then RUN! Price, in my research, has been 2 cents a word, so for 79k words that’s about $1500.

It may also be helpful to get a few people to read your manuscript before sending it to an editor. Beta-readers help you iron out the roughest bits before an actual editor gets a hold of it. Always a good idea.

Good luck.


2 thoughts on “FAQ- Editors

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out a new price point to charge for editing. I recently did a dragon book where the book was 95% there before I got my hands on it. I felt like I was overcharging, so I reduced my price. Then I got another book that was just a mess, so I felt like I should charge more—but I didn’t, because that’s a much more difficult conversation to have.

    Hourly seems to be a good option, and I see many editors doing this. But I can’t figure out a good hourly rate.

    • The going hourly rate seems to be $30-40. If you’re thinking that’s too much you might say $20, or you could say sample first, and if it’s not that good you’re going to charge more.

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