If you create content in any capacity, you’d benefit from working with an editor. Books and journalism, corporate and nonprofit communications, academic or government publications, blogs and social media content—written words always benefit from having another pair of trained eyes on them.
Types of Editing
Guild members offer many different services, including these basic types of editing. Some of our members are skilled in several types, while others specialize in one or two.
Working with an Editor
The key to a good working relationship with an editor is knowing what to expect.
Searching for an editor
It’s best to begin your search well in advance of your desired start date; experienced independent editors are often booked two to six weeks in advance.
Be sure to look for an editor who is experienced in the specific type of editing that you need.
How Much Will it Cost?
A client’s first question when contacting an editor is often “How much do you charge?” or “How much will it cost?”
It’s rarely possible for an editor to give an immediate answer other than “It depends,” because it does depend—on a number of factors:
- The complexity of the material to be edited (a technical report, a novel, an article for an academic journal, a museum exhibition catalog, and a poster for children all differ)
- The type of editing to be done (e.g., developmental editing versus copyediting)
- The level of edit needed (light, medium, or heavy)
- The tightness of the deadline
Some editors charge by the hour, others by the page or by the word. Some charge a flat project fee or ask you your budget.
Most editors will ask to see a sample of the manuscript before setting a fee. This is to assess how much work the manuscript requires and how long the editing is likely to take.
Editors are educated professionals, and their services merit compensation commensurate with their skills and experience. We’ve put together this editorial rate chart based on average hourly rates charged by our members as reported in a survey in 2018, for the purpose of information and discussion, but the rates charged by individual editors for their work will vary. Other editing organizations likewise present the results of rate surveys, and the Guild encourages clients and members to consult those as well.
Once you and your editor agree on a fee, many editors will ask you for a deposit before beginning, with the rest paid upon completion.