So, you’ve realized that you really should be hiring an editor for your project, whether it be a blog post, marketing materials, web content, or a manuscript. You even have an idea of what kind of editing you need. At this point you must be starting to wonder what, exactly, it will cost you to hire an editor (or a writer) for your work.
This is the point at which you make sure that the editor you hire has some substance behind them. It really is a case of “you get what you pay for,” and your work—big or small—deserves the best. Hiring a trained editor ensures that you are getting the most bang for your buck; there is so much more to professional editing than being good at spelling or grammar!
Look for an editor who has taken courses or training in the areas of editing they offer. Most editors will continue their professional development through extra courses, studying and reading, and participation in conferences and workshops.
A few other things to look for when hiring an editor are:
- Membership in a professional association such as Editors Canada or the Editorial Freelancers Association.
- A professional website (or at least a Facebook page), which can give you a clearer picture of who they are and what they can offer.
- Testimonials from previous clients.
The cost of editing and writing often depends on the needs of your particular project. To get an idea of what it might cost to have your work edited, your prospective editor will usually need some information about your project. You will likely be asked about the type of material you need edited, the type of editing you need, and the word count of your piece. Many editors will also ask for a sample of the work, especially if it’s a longer piece, in order for them to give you an accurate estimate of the final cost.
Some editors charge by the hour, some charge by the word, some by the page, and some will charge a flat rate which is determined per project. An editor with some experience or training will have a good idea how long it should take them to edit a piece, and there are also some handy guidelines out there that can give them (and you) a reasonable estimate of the time it may take. The time and work involved can vary wildly between projects, since editing is far from one-size-fits-all—every new project is a new adventure!
For a quick idea of what you might expect when looking at rates for editing and writing, check out the Editing Freelancers Association’s chart on editorial rates. While this chart is a good guideline, the rates offered by your editor or writer may differ, depending on a few factors, such as the amount of training or experience they have, or the geographical area in which they work.