So, I received a quote from an editor and could use some advice from seasoned writers. Is $1400 too much for an editor or is this the going rate? She is a professional and says she will do developmental editing, copyediting, general notes, style guide and revision. Does this seem resonable or should I keep looking?
Here's a little something I want you to consider. Most editors make a super big deal about proper grammar. If that was the most important aspect of writing then English grammar teachers would write the best books. From the immortal words of a modern genius who helped to reinvent literature, Jack Kerouac, his writer's "Essentials" number 13; Remove literary, grammatical, and syntactical inhibition.
Furthermore, in the words of the immortal genius of Gary Provost, "Make Your Words Work", no story is ever truly finished. So after you publish and find a few small mistakes or think you could have said it better, don't stress about it. To address your initial question, "is $1,400 too much for an editor?" Yes. Oops! Let me quantify that. Hell yes, it's way too much! If you've got all that spare change to throw around buy some of my books, or for that matter the other books on Amazon. Don't forget what the church mouse said, "Feed your head!"
Thank you sargeking! I really don't want to sink that kind of money into my book and no I do not have that kind of money lying around, but after that bad review the other day I felt I had to do something. She even said she loved my book but complained about the spelling, grammar and said I used words that do not exist. I used spellcheck and edited it myself so many times I almost went crosseyed.
I've seen rates from .01 cent per work to over .02 cent per word. Word of caution, editing doesn't always mean "error free" when it goes to publication. I've had a horrible time finding decent editors and spent well over a thousand dollars on two different books. The first editor missed many typos, the second did no better. Even after you accept the changes, you must read through it yourself with a fine eye. I learned the hard way that editing doesn't necessary mean error free.
I think I will try Grammarly and Autocrit. I would much rather learn to do it myself and do it right than pay someone to do it for me. I think my main issues are comma usage and someone said I did the (he said) in the sentences all wrong. I read all of the time and took English in college but am by far NOT an English major. Thank you so much everyone for the help!
I can see that you're a serious writer so I'll expand upon my thesis. As you may easily surmise, I perform the majority of my own editing. In startling fashion borne from hard learned experience this became more than a fundamental financial move. When I caught my own well paid editor making the same "fundamental" mistakes in grammar and then laughing about it, I had the last laugh and fired him!
If you really want to grow in success exponential to your writing efforts you would be wise to avail yourself of the Gary Provost writer's workshop, "Make Your Words Work!" If you can't attend the in-person workshop you can buy his book. The writing exercises are fantastic. His expert advice is incredible. If you only read his book, you'll come away a much better writer.
For now I refer to Jack Kerouac's writer's "Essentials", number 29; You're a Genius all the time, and also number 28; Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, the crazier the better. On my professional level I write with a hard boiled edge such as listening to a preamble from old Walter Winchell ("The Untouchables" TV series), but I strive to emulate Hunter S. Thompson ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:).
As a writer you'll also need to develop a thick skin. The irony is that if you ever do write a mega best seller, you'll get a load of great reviews and a smattering of bad ones regardless. Of course at that juncture the bad reviews won't hold their former sting because then you can cry all the way to bank! One of the most wonderful aspects of being a creative writer is that you have assured your immortal legacy. That's in the box with you when they pull over the dirt blanket, and no one can ever take it away.
See what I mean about Hunter S. Thompson? Edited by Sargeking (as usual).
If your book sells, you will get the cost of a good editor back every week or even every day. It is of no matter. What does matter is how many copies you sell. Whatever you can do to increase sales, is what should be done. Keep in mind that no matter how many editors you hire to go over your manuscript, there will be a few reviewers who claim to have found problems with your book. I have had reviewers claim my story was about a fantasy between an older man and a young woman when there was ZERO romance in the novel. Some have claimed to have found misspelled words that were not in the story and criticized my choice of a character's name when no such name is used in the story, and on and on. You have to realize reviewers are often wrong and often contradict each other, even themselves. Your dialogue will be praised by one reviewer and the next reviewer will put down your dialogue. I had one reviewer criticize my writing and then finish by saying I am a gifted writer. After a while, you realize there is little to be learned from all the contradictions. The thing about hiring an accredited editor that has worked for the big publishers is you know you have done all you can and that allows you to move on to the next book.
Too bad we can't pay them per error they find. But then, they would probably rewrite the whole thing. What I wouldn't want is a ghostwriter. Some editors get all crazy like that and I don't want anyone messing with my style. Write or wrong, it is mine.
I guess there is no easy way to find a good one, but through recommendations from others.
It depends on the length of the book, the scope of the edit and quite, frankly, how bad it is to begin with (not to mention how easy you are to work with). Hopefully you'll get a sample from her first (about 3-5 pages should do) to judge what they'll be doing and if you mesh.
That may not be an unreasonable amount. She's going to be doing a lot of work for you. The question becomes is that a good amount for you to invest in your book. How many sales will it take to earn that back? Can you get something pretty much as good for half? Probably, but it may take more work to find that.
So, I received a quote from an editor and could use
some advice from seasoned writers. Is $1400 too much
for an editor or is this the going rate? She is a
professional and says she will do developmental
editing, copyediting, general notes, style guide and
revision. Does this seem resonable or should I keep
Hold on, everyone. My understanding is that the $.01/word figure is for intensive line-editing, followed by proofreading.
Heather says this quote includes developmental editing. That's when the editor works with you on large-scale issues like characterization, plot, and so forth across several revisions of the novel. That's very time-consuming for the editor and thus very expensive for the writer. Many of us can't afford it. (In fact, I'm surprised Heather's editor will do all she lists for $1400.)
Heather, maybe what you should do is decide exactly what services you really need from an editor and price those out specifically, rather than going with someone who automatically offers the entire package. If you need developmental help -- and many writers find it very useful, I think -- perhaps you could join or form a critique group with some experienced writers. That way you'd get that help at no charge other than the time you'll put into reading and critiquing others' work (an activity that can be helpful to your own work).
I actually went through critique circle before I published. That's why I was really surprised at the negative review I received. I knew I would have some mistakes but she called my writing atrocious, then said she loved my book in the same review. I'm pretty sure most of my mistakes are simple, so maybe I can do some research and correct most of them myself. Thank you!
Try downloading FreeNaturalReader. Then paste in a chapter or a page or whatever you can concentrate on at a time and let the droning, automated voice read it to you. I find mistakes that way in passages I've proofed dozens of times. One thing it won't help with is write/right or their/they're types of errors so be careful with those.