Conversations with an Editor — What’s Your Rate?

I had a peculiar email interaction with an author a few weeks ago. She was super upbeat and had a fantastic sense of humor when contacting me. And when someone is excited, I get excited. Hear me bounce across the globe.

After discussing her editing needs and reading an excerpt of her manuscript and giving her my editing rate per word—she gave me the green light to do a sample edit for her.

She LOVED the sample edit.

And then things got itchy. She asked again about the rate and seemed completely caught off guard by the cost.

This is where I'm boogie dancing down the sidewalk and I choke on absolutely nothing but air.

It goes without saying that authors need to do what’s right for them and their book, and their budget. Period.

But it occurred to me—like a stomach ache from too much cake—that the author saw my editing rate in the beginning and never applied it to her word count. But why? My brain was out of answers. And still itchy.

In the end, despite loving me and my work, she passed.

It happens once in a weird moon.

But here's the deal:

When we see an editor's rate online or we're requesting that rate, we need to make sure we understand the info we're getting—and how to use it. An editor won't bother doing a sample edit in the first place if their rate is too high for an author. No one likes their time wasted.

So, this is how to break it down:

If the rate is $0.008 per word and a manuscript is 70,000 words: 0.008 x 70,000 = $560.

Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. And definitely ask an editor for more info or additional clarity about something if you need to. We like talking details and connecting well with authors. They're a rare breed of awesome.

Aaaaaand on to the next project.


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