“I’d like you to edit my book…”

editor
Not a message that you want to get from your editor!

I am receiving emails like this on an increasingly regular basis.

And I get it. Publishing your work has never been easier and it’s relatively cheap – if not free – to do so, especially if one goes down the eBook path. Amazon allows you to create your own eBook and distribute it. All you need is your text, a decent cover graphic and you are good to go. Blurb allows you to publish your own book and have it sitting right there on your coffee table for all to see…

And why wouldn’t you? Content is king. We love our eReaders, tablets and smart phones, and we are all hungry for content. And if you are an author, you can bypass those pesky publishers with their hurtful rejection letters (and who hasn’t had one of THOSE ?). That’s assuming you even GET a letter… (and who hasn’t been ignored by a publisher?)!

Even this blog is a testament to the joys of self-publishing. I write, therefore I am.

But.

I don’t know about you, I want my content to be quality. I want to read GOOD stuff. I want to know someone has so much pride in their work they care that their writing makes sense and it flows, is logical, obeys grammatical rules and is spelling error and typo free. Not everyone has skills in these areas. Hell, I have these skills, and I am my own worst editor! I cringe at the number of errors I spot after I’ve hit the publish button on this blog. I am forced to scramble quickly to correct them and hope to God no one notices…!

So it pains me that the first thing people ask about when they contact me is price. They don’t ask what VALUE I can add to their work, or how I can make it better and make them look totally awesome. No. Most don’t even have a budget. Most don’t even know what the editing process involves, or have researched (in general terms) what the likely cost is (often charged on a per hour basis, at 10 pages per hour at 350 words per page, depending on the standard of the original text – it’s not that hard to work out). Most are completely taken aback when I tell them the price… (but no one balks about paying a doctor, lawyer, IT specialist, mechanic… well, maybe the mechanic – but you get the picture…).

Oh, they say. Thought it would be much cheaper than that.

So from now on, if people send me emails asking how much it will cost for me to edit their book, I am simply going to say: If you have to ask, you can’t afford me, and if you can’t afford an editor, you definitely shouldn’t be thinking that you are a serious writer and send them the link to this post.

Call me snippy, but quality comes at a price.

0 thoughts on ““I’d like you to edit my book…”

  1. It’s especially more aggravating when the pricing details are listed there on the site, and all they need to know how much the editing would cost is a simple calculation. And even then they tell you that they expected less.

    What I don’t like is when the writer doesn’t comment on the edits; it makes me feel like they just took the edits, accepted them without question and sent off their manuscript for publishing. That’s not how it works! =[

    1. I hear you! Editing is not something that should be “done to” someone. Writers will get so more out of the process – and improve their writing – if they interact with their editor.

  2. I don’t think being snippy will change anything. People who have no understanding of the business have no understanding of the mechanics of the business. I quote them my hourly rate ($150-200 U.S.), and they happily pay it without argument or they go away. No point getting fussed about it.

    1. I like your approach, Caitlin! I must start doing that instead instead of explaining how/why I have charged what I have. I guess it’s a case of once a teacher, always a teacher! πŸ˜‰

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