Questions frequently asked of a fiction editor

Pricing: why is the cost of copyediting not fixed?

fiction editor

Not all fiction editors make a distinction between copyediting and line editing. I do, but in order to streamline the editorial process, I provide both services under the banner of ‘copyediting’. Very simply, copyediting will tackle errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Low-level stuff. Line editing gets into syntax and flow. With a line edit it may be necessary to remove whole sentences, even paragraphs, of your text, in order to improve flow and readability. This is a tricky procedure, and requires several rereads to ensure textual integrity. As a result, the cost of copyediting will vary depending on the level of work required.

So, how much?

Professional copyediting

OK, an example. Let’s take a novel of 70,000 words. At a very basic level, the price of copyediting will be £350. If your novel requires more in-depth work at line level, the price can be somewhere between £500 and £700. All of this will be decided on the basis of a sample edit.

All non-fiction work is priced at an hourly rate. Contact me for an estimate.

My friend knows a cheaper fiction editor...

fiction editor

I have no doubt they do. There is always someone cheaper. But the same goes for copyediting as with anything else – you get what you pay for. The price of copyediting is generally reflective of the service you receive. I’m not saying I’m the right editor for you, by all means shop around. But make your decision based on a measured judgement of the work. Cheaper does not necessarily mean ‘good’, or even ‘adequate’. Get a few samples done, then make an informed decision.

Questions on copyediting services

Do you do proofreading?

fiction editor

I take on proofreading jobs occasionally, but only for nonfiction. Often, clients ask me to proofread texts that clearly need copyediting, so provide me with a sample of your work and I’ll give you an analysis of the job required. However, my skills are better suited to copyediting, and so for the most part that is what I stick to.  

What is the turnaround time?

fiction editor

For works of fiction up to 80,000 words, I aim to have the manuscript back to you in three to four weeks.  With nonfiction, however, it depends on the word count and the level of editing required. A line edit on a 2,000 word promotional piece, for instance, may take longer than an edit on a 5,000 word blog story. I can copyedit nonfiction work on an urgent basis, but the hourly rate will be necessarily higher. It should go without saying, though, that copyediting cannot be rushed. I cannot meet impossible deadlines.  

professional copyediting