Why Should You Hire a Book Editor

The editing process is crucial in ensuring that your entire manuscript or first draft is ready for submission or publishing. But what do professional book editors exactly do? Will they only correct typos, or will they conduct a thorough novel revision? 

This article will help you learn more about book editors, what they do and why you should hire one.

What Exactly Does a Book Editor Do?

A book editor reads your manuscript and makes the necessary edits and grammar corrections. The scope of their revision depends on the availed professional editing services. 

For instance, in a manuscript assessment, an editor will critique your novel and provide recommendations on what you should change. On the other hand, copyediting involves correcting your draft’s grammar, typos, and punctuation. 

Once you make the necessary edits, you can publish your work without worry.

Why Hire an Editor for Your Book?

Although it is not technically required for you to hire book editors, there are many advantages to doing so. Here are some compelling reasons you should hire one. 

  • Get an unbiased and professional review of your work. 
  • Prepares your manuscript so you can proceed to the next step of publishing your book. 
  • Ensure characters have depth and there are no loopholes and inconsistencies in the storyline. 
  • They double-check if line delivery, word choices, structure, word count, and writing style matches your target book genre. 

Types of Book Editing Services

Whether you are writing romance, horror, science fiction, or nonfiction books like a memoir or a biography, you should always hire a book editor based on what your manuscript really needs. Here are the different types of editing services you will come across. 

Type of book editScope of workAve. price rangeWho is it for
Developmental editingOverall structure of the manuscript.$0.022-$ 0.028 per word / $45-$60 per hour.For new writers who need guidance on good writing techniques and more confidence in their plot.
Editorial assessmentEvaluates what type of editing is needed. $0.01-$0.012 per word / $30-$33 per hourFor writers who want to know what kind of editing their manuscript will benefit from.
Content editingPoints out incomplete arguments and logical and flaw inconsistencies and suggests organizational changes$0.022-$ 0.028 per word / $45-$60 per hour.For writers who are working in the early stages of their manuscripts.
Copy editingFine-tunes the technical aspects (grammar, typos, and inconsistencies) of your manuscript$0.03-$0.039 per word / $46-$50 per hourFor aspiring writers with a solid story but are not confident with their writing skills.
Line editingSimilar to copy editing but more in-depth. As its name suggests, edits are done “line by line”$0.05-$0.29 per word / $30-$36 per hourFor writers who need assurance that the delivery of the story is impactful.
ProofreadingCheck commas, words, page numbers, spacing, scene breaks, and periods.$0.05 to $ 0.29 per word or $ 30 – $ 36 perFor writers who want to publish their manuscripts without any typos.

Note: Book editors may charge you per word, hour, page, or project. The fees indicated in the table are just estimates. The cost will vary based on factors:

  • The length of your book
  • Book genre
  • Editor’s level of expertise and experience
  • Expected deadline
  • Type of editing you need
  • Amount of feedback the editor provides
  • How many read-throughs are performed

Developmental Editing

With developmental or structural editing, a book editor pays more attention to your manuscript’s plot, character development, central argument, and overall theme. Depending on the book you are writing, your editor may tell you to cut unnecessary characters, change the order of your chapters and argument flow or add new subplots. 

These services are crucial for new writers who need guidance on good writing techniques and more confidence in their plot, clarity of the story, and character development.

The price range of a developmental book editor is between $ 0.022 – $ 0.028 and $45 – $60 per hour.

Editorial Assessment

Need help determining what editing service your book actually needs? An editorial assessment can give you professional insight. 

During an editorial assessment, the editor will evaluate your manuscript and suggest what type of editing is best for your manuscript. For instance, if the structure of your books is perfect, but you have some grammar issues, your editorial editor will recommend copy editing or line editing.

Alternatively, your editor will suggest structural or developmental edits if your grammar is perfect but has loopholes in your story. 

Editorial Assessment editors charge between $ 0.01 to $0.012 per word and $ 30- $ 33 per hour for their editorial assessment services.

Content Editing

Content editing is a fusion of other editing types. It covers grammar, sentence structure, word usage, and readability that will improve character development and overall plotline. 

The services are also necessary when you require multiple types of editing, and content editors charge $ 0.022 – $ 0.028 and $45 – $60 per hour.

Copy Editing

Copy editing involves making sure that your story has the proper mechanics. During copy edits, editors ensure that your manuscript is free from grammar errors, typos, and story inconsistencies. Basically, they make sure that your book meets publishing standards. 

Copy editing services cost between $.03–$.039 per word and $41–$45 per hour.

Line Editing

Line editors are laser-focused on editing each line of your book. This is why other people use stylistic editing to describe the type of editing. Line editors look at your tense, prose, description, flow, and stylistic features that make or break an exciting reading experience. 

The best time to get line editors is when you need clarification on the stylistic choices you make in your initial writing. The line editors you hire will charge you between $0.03 – $0.039 per word and $46 – $ 50 per hour.

Proofreading

In most cases, proofreading comes last in the editing process. This type of editing is mainly concerned with ensuring that no mistakes remain unnoticed before you publish your book. 

Proofreaders are similar to copy editors because they focus on the small details in your book. These include commas, words, page numbers, spacing, scene breaks, and periods. 

Proofreaders also highlight the inconsistent use of italics, footnotes, formatting errors, and captions. Proofreading services cost between $0.05 to $ 0.29 per word or $ 30 – $ 36 per hour.

Where to Find Editors for Your Book

Once you’ve decided what type of book editing you need, it’s time to find a book editor. Although you can find an editor on freelancer platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, we suggest checking the following websites first. 

Reedsy

This marketplace contains a list of vetted, qualified, experienced editors who can handle editing jobs of different genres and levels. All the editors here have been screened, ensuring they have the best editors to offer you the needed services.

Editorial Freelancers Association

This is among the most prominent firms consisting of professionals specializing in different areas such as freelance editing, writing, proofreading, and indexing, among other editorial services. The firm provides a list of editors, including their charges and contact details. 

Ebook Launch

Anytime you need an ebook editor, this is the best place for you to look for the right editor. Ebook Launch has an excellent team of professional editors who can make the necessary edits at an affordable price. You can even choose to give them a sample to edit so that you can decide whether they are fit for the job. This team also offers book cover designs and formatting services.

Cambridge Proofreading & Editing

This is an editing agency in Chicago with more than 300 editors specializing in different genres. The agency has American and British editors making it easy for them to offer services to both US and UK English writers. They charge their clients depending on the editing level and how fast one needs their work done.

BookBaby 

This company focuses on the editing needs of self-published writers. Bookbaby helps these writers with everything, including manuscript editing, designing the book covers, and getting the book printed. Editors charge their clients depending on the help they need and always provide their assistance to writers at any time.

How to Find the Right Book Editor

Now that you know where are the best places to find book editing services, the next question now is how to find the right book editor. Here are some tips: 

Identify What Kind of Editing You Need

Again, there are different kinds of services editors offer to their clients. If you are on a budget or need more value for your money, always be sure what editing service you need. 

Research Reputable Editors Within Your Genre

Hiring a romance editor when your book is horror is a recipe for disaster. There is a high probability that the pacing, word choices, structure, and other stylistic choices will be set to the standards of a romance novel. 

To put it in perspective, let’s say you have two chefs – one is a pastry chef, and the other is a poissonier (fish cook). And you need to have a cake made. Who will you hire? 

Of course, you should also know how to evaluate these editors to determine which ones are reputable. When looking for reputable editors, there are several things that you need to look for in the editors you find. They include:

  • The level of experience and expertise
  • The track record of the editor
  • The editor’s portfolio
  • Communication skills
  • Fees and pricing policy
  • How long they take to finish a project

Shortlist Possible Candidates 

Never hire the first book editor you’ll find. Shortlist at least ten possible candidates and set a meeting (online or in-person). Ask about their experience, expertise, current workload, and so on. The idea of doing this interview is you hire an editor that meets your needs, requirements, expected delivery date, and budget. 

Final Thoughts

Although not a requirement, hiring a book editor is crucial, especially when you want your first book to be perfect. Remember that you should hire the right editor for your needs. 


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