So, you've decided you need a professional editor. But now you've got yourself a problem, who do you go with? Obviously, you need a big name, top quality editor, right? Someone who's name will immediately grab the attention of agents and book publisher's alike. We're talking the Tom Cruise of editors, someone who'll take your book and elevate you to the rank of superstar! There's just one problem.
That kind of editor doesn't exist.
Sure, you can find one of the editing offices the big five traditional book publishers use... but it's gonna cost you. A lot. Typically these firms won't actually take clients that aren't recommended to them by agents or publishers they trust. And if you're not already world renowned... you're in for a bad time.
You could also go for a YouTube editor. You've seen their videos, you've heard their advice. It makes sense that you'd want to have your book edited by them. And that's also fair. If you can, you should. Go with people you trust. But a YouTube editor often has a lot of clients. If they don't charge a ton upfront, you're going to be in for a wait.
So maybe you don't need a big, big editor. Just someone who's got a good reputation. You're on a better path with this mindset. But this path has it's own set of potholes.
The question becomes one of cost. How much should you really be paying for an editor? If you've come this far, you've dabbled your toes into self-editing. You have a decent idea of what kind of work is involved. And, because you're looking for an editor, you also know exactly how priceless their work is for you. How do you know what is a fair price to edit your book?
Editors online will usually charge one of two basic ways: By the hour, or by the word. (If you've seen our packages, you'll notice we don't do either. I'll be covering that in a minute.)
Being charged by the hour comes with all sorts of risks. The most obvious of which is, how do you know your time is being spent wisely? And the short answer is, you don't. And you're not alone in this regard. Many authors and editors worry about this problem all the time. I personally have yet to see an editor that purposefully gypped their clients on time, but that doesn't mean it's not going to happen occasionally. And when editors often charge $20.00 usd per hour... that's... not an insignificant investment to be worried about.
As a rule of thumb it'll take about two and a half hours to edit one chapter. That adds up to $40, for one, or $90 for two. You can already see this price-tag is rising higher and higher. Strictly speaking, an editor who charges by the hour is an editor who's focused on making sure they have a stable income and are charged appropriately for their time.
When paying an editor by the hour, you want to find an editor charging between $15.00 to $25.00 usd per hour. Any more and they are price gouging. Any less, and it's likely they're not very good or reliable. The only exceptions to this rule is if they don't live in america and they are charging by their own currency's standard. That said, I don't recommend using editors outside your country because language, culture, currency, and international by-laws tend to make these waters a little bit murky.
How about finding an editor who charges by the word? On one hand, it'll be a lot easier to calculate exactly how much your manuscript will cost. On the other hand, you'll know exactly how much your manuscript will cost.
If you've checked our packages, you'll know that we at ShadowQuillsInk categorize your stories as Short (less than 20,000 words) Medium (20,000 to 100,000 words) or Long (more than 100,000 words) Projects. This division is more or less the general standard for judging story length and word count. It should also be worth noting that this measure is counted before any editing takes place. (A mark of a good editor is one who can decrease (or increase, if you're an underwriter) your word count effectively.)
Even editors who charge as little as 0.03 cents per word will still give you a total peaking up into $300.00 usd for a measly 10,000 word project.
That's simply the reality of hiring an editor. It gets expensive.
But... if I may play Devil's Advocate for just a paragraph; it has to be this way. Editors get work sporadically, and both the length and difficulty of their job varies from client to client. They need to charge a big price just to make ends meet. Otherwise, they wouldn't have a job that can support their families. They need to make money in this economy too.
And that is why we built ShadowQuillsInk. Because we're authors who realize that the publishing cycle is one that is outright predatory to young writers. We believe that young authors deserve to have a place where they can get their works edited by a professional without having to sacrifice both kidneys and their firstborn child.
To do that, we're transforming the entire editing process.
We have the Beta Review. Most traditional editors don't bother giving any kind of review before they start editing, they just flat out reject works that don't meet their professional standards. So we set up our Beta Reviews to act as a basic filter, but still help us get paid for our service. The focus isn't on "pay us to edit," the focus is on "this is how you improve."
We charge by the phase, not by the effort. Most editors have their packages, and if you pay for a basic proofreading, that's literally all they'll do. We at SQI think that's just damn sloppy. We insist on the Beta Review first because it gives us a chance to read your project. Then, we recommend which package you'd need next so you're not paying for a service you don't need, or the reverse: paying for a Line Edit when you still have scenes that need reworked. We're putting in all the same work as other editors, but we're taking you through it step-by-step so you can develop your skills as a writer AND stagger that cost out so you're not paying $300 dollars or more all at once.
We drastically cut our prices, but offer a larger list of services. Out of the three hundred editors I searched for online, I only found ONE that offered the ability to convert their RTF files into a PDF, Word doc, or an EBook Compatible file.
One out of three hundred. Now, I'm sure that number will start changing quickly as more and more people are getting into writing, but it hasn't started at the time of me writing this. All the editors online these days are only hyper-focused on one specific aspect of their jobs.
Well, not anymore. We at SQI worked hard to expand our available services to the utmost limit of our capabilities. We found several small tasks and priced them accordingly. We start at an earlier phase of the editing process, we stick around the whole effort, and we even provide contacts in our ShadoWings list to help you find anything else you may need to get published for yourself.
Now that we've gotten the shameless self-plug out of the way, how about I leave a link or two for other popular editing services? You don't have to take our word for it. And if these links don't help, I also recommend searching google for editors. You'll be amazed how quickly that will turn up some good results.
Editorial Freelancers Association (https://www.the-efa.org/)