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How Much Does a Book Editor Cost (Full Breakdown)

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  • January 16, 2024
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  • 5 min read



Are you in the process of writing a book but wondering about the book editor cost? Hiring a book editor is important in preparing your manuscript for publication.

Whether your book is the next big novel, a self-help guide, or a historical account, having it edited professionally can make a difference. In this blog, we will break down book editing costs to give you a clear picture.

The Different Types of Editing

Firstly, let’s establish that there are several types of editing, each with different purposes and associated book editor costs.

Developmental Editing:

This is the most intensive form of editing, focusing on the structure and content of the book. A developmental editor helps with the book’s overall flow, character development, and plot. They can guide you in enhancing your manuscript’s appeal to your target audience.

Copy Editing:

A copy editor does a thorough line-by-line review to catch grammar, typos, and punctuation errors. They also address inconsistencies in usage and verify that stylistic choices, such as cursive writing, are maintained throughout the book.


The final check before a book goes to print, proofreading is about catching any lingering errors. Proofreaders look for misspellings, grammatical mistakes, and layout issues.

Factors Influencing the Cost

Various factors can influence the book editor cost:

Manuscript Length:

Generally, the longer your book is, the more it will cost to edit. Most editors charge by word count or by page.

Editor Experience:

More experienced editors will typically charge more for their services because they bring a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record.

Type of Editing Required:

Developmental editing is the most expensive, followed by copy editing and proofreading.

Manuscript Complexity:

If your book is on a complex topic or is heavily technical, it may require more expertise, resulting in a higher cost.

Turnaround Time:

If you need your book edited quickly, you may have to pay extra for a fast turnaround.

The Book Editor Cost Breakdown

Remember, the figures provided here are broad estimates and can vary significantly depending on the abovementioned factors.

Developmental Editing:

For developmental editing, you can expect to pay anywhere from 7 to 12 cents per word for a new editor, while seasoned editors may charge between 13 to 20 cents per word or more.

Copy Editing:

The cost for copy editing ranges from 2 to 5 cents per word for a fresh editor and can go up to 6 to 10 cents per word for someone with more experience.


Newer editors may charge around 1 to 2 cents per word, while experienced proofreaders could charge 3 to 5 cents per word.

To give you a practical example, let’s say you have a 60,000-word manuscript that you want to be developmentally edited. If the editor charges 10 cents per word, you’re looking at a total cost of $6,000. However, if you only need proofreading and the editor charges 2 cents per word, the cost would be $1,200.

Finding the Right Editor for Your Budget

The book editor cost can be substantial, but remember, it’s an investment in your book’s success. To find a good Professional Editing Services provider within your budget:

Shop Around:

Request quotes from several editors to understand price ranges.

Check References:

Ask for and follow up on references. Cheaper does not always mean better.

Understand What You Need:

Be clear on the type of editing you want. This will help you avoid paying for services you don’t need.

Consider the Cost-Benefit Ratio:

An editor with a strong track record of helping authors succeed might be worth the extra cost.

Additional book editor cost Considerations

Sample Edits:

Some editors offer a free sample edit of a few pages. This is a great way to judge an editor’s skills, but expect to pay a fee for anything more substantial.

Additional Rounds of Editing:

The prices quoted above are usually for one round of editing. If your manuscript requires additional rounds, it will cost more.

Specialized Editing: If your book is in a specialized field requiring expert knowledge, you will need to find someone with the necessary background, which will likely cost you more.


Editing is a crucial stage that makes your book appear its best version before it sees shelves (or any webpage). An effective editor will refine your voice, smooth over errors, and even enhance the tales that you tell.

Even though hiring an editor is another cost in your publishing adventure, it’s a payment that usually will return you the quality of its result. It can create an interesting book that transforms how you view the world.

Budgeting the book editing involves considering all the factors that dictate its pricing and the kinds of editors’ election. Do your homework, and don’t hesitate to negotiate to get the best deal that satisfies all requirements without sacrificing quality.

Ultimately, when your book is published and praised for its professionalism, you will rightly feel that spending money on editing was a good decision.

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