1. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Editing Every hobby costs somthing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by nippy818, May 4, 2015.

    So recently I was talking with a friend of mine (she's an editor with a local paper and has a master's in english) about the cost of having my novel edited professionaly. I understand the risk of losing my investment by paying for editing my first book, but as a hobby I am willing to spend the money, just as I buy ammunition or car parts. My question here is, does 1.10 a page sound within the ballpark? I havn't personally been able to find stats online and thought I would ask.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes, it sounds in the ballpark for professional editing, but there are less expensive and more expensive editors.

    If your book is published, they typically pay for editing and cover at.
     
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  3. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    to me it sounds cheep, that you are getting mates rate, for a comparison see http://goo.gl/hFmIHw
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that the rate sounds a bit low for professional editing.

    But I'm not really sure that's what you'd be getting, here. It sounds like your friend would be mostly qualified to do proofreading, rather than full editing, since it doesn't sound like she has experience in fiction?

    If you're looking at this as a one-time expense (like, you'll pay for it for your first book but not for later books) it might make sense to spend a little more money and find someone who's going to have real expertise to share. Someone who has experience with plotting, characterization, pacing, the expectations of publishers, etc. Not that proofreading isn't important, but probably you can do most of that yourself?
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm of the impression that an 80k novel might cost about £1000-2000? Could be wrong though.

    However it also depends on what kind of editing you're looking for. Proofreading or line-by-line or book summary all costs different amounts. And then there's also how experienced the editor is - better to pay a large amount for someone truly and experienced, rather than be a cheapstake and pay a lower amount for someone who doesn't know what he's doing (speaking from experience here). Because you might have paid a lower amount for the useless editor - but that's still a hefty chunk of cash for useless work. Rather pay for what the work is worth. If you can't afford a good one, then don't hire one at all and save up till you can afford a good one.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just a heads-up - editing is one of those jobs a lot of people think they can do, but actually can't. Really watch out for that. What qualifies your friend to edit for you? At £1.10 per page (just assuming pounds cus you didn't specify) and assuming say, 250 A4 ages - you're still talking £275. Yes it's very cheap for editing - but it's still a chunk of money if it's for low quality work. I could fly between Prague and England twice for that amount.
     
  7. rincewind31
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    rincewind31 Member

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    Offer a percentage of any profit. That way you already have someone else willing to help advertise ;)
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I feel like I should say this: writers should be able to edit their own work. Hiring an editor is a waste of money because there's a good chance you'll never earn that money back from sales. My advice is to learn to polish your own work the best you can and save yourself the money. Besides, if you submit to a publisher, they have their own team of editors that will work with you on your manuscript.

    I know you see this as an "investment," but to me that's not a very good way of looking at it. You're essentially paying for car parts without knowing if you'll ever get to actually drive the car.
     
  9. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    >writers should be able to edit their own work

    Not always good enough. Even if a potential publisher would provide editing services, you want your submission to be as good as possible. Slush pile readers use any excuse to discard a manuscript.

    Our writers group has people who can tell a good story but need help with the finer details of punctuation and are confused by homophones, so need a copy editor. With feedback they slowly learn, but will probably never get to the point of being qualified to edit their own work.

    Other people are great at grammar and punctuation but can't see their continuity errors or don't always show what the reader needs to see. They need a content editor, or at least beta readers, to point out the problems.

    There are different kinds of editors and we don't know which is being priced here.
     
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  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keep in mind that an author doesn't necessarily make a ton of money. If the goal is purely to be accepted and published, that may not matter, but if the goal includes netting any money at all, paying an editor may be incompatible with that goal.
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    That's no reason to hire an editor. Again, part of being a writer is being able to edit your own work. This means being able to correct any spelling and grammar errors. If you're bad at these things, learn them. Too often newer writers take shortcuts, and this particular one is very costly.
     
  12. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    I never heard of this. I always imagined improving your things happened in accordance with your presence, yes, with the involvement of someone engaged to contribute, a compensation is reasonable, but anyone you trust to edit your work should be okay with it if you only pay a marginal amount prior to sales. I'd consider it if I were you and needed assistance, but I think that you're going to have to double check every step your editor takes and think about if that version is what you'd want to achieve to publish.

    But In general, you'd be willing to take your hobby a step further by going ''professional'' and I think not taking the step of publishing after that would be weird. You could also pay for your hobby by buying pens and paper or a web domain.
     
  13. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    I am hiring an editor to find grammatical errors, punctuation, small details and fine tuning. As for plot holes, story and all that I have a writing group of six people where we exchange chapters weekly, critique and discuss. As for the writers should be able to edit piece, everyone that drives a car can't tune their car, but they pay someone to do it. Just because I am capable of plotting a story and creating characters doesn't mean I am qualified to edit lol. As for the money part, I make more than enough money as a mechanic that the book is for fun.
     
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  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you make more than enough money, then why don't you get a professional editor to actually edit for plot holes, structure, pacing and characterisation? Those are the hard parts for amateurs to spot, even with a writer's group critiquing. That's the kinda stuff you actually need a professional for. Whereas fine-tuning of grammar and punctuation - anyone from your writing group could do that for you for free or a small fee.

    Seems to me you're investing backwards. In essence, using your car tuning analogy - you're hiring a mechanic to wash your car, and then letting your car enthusiast friends to fix the engine. You should probably do it the other way around.
     
  15. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with @Mckk. There's a pretty strong bias in a lot of writing communities against paying for editors unless you're planning to self-publish. Yog's Law and all that.

    I think this bias is mostly because there are a lot (a LOT) of scams out there, a lot of ways for aspiring writers to spend a lot of money and get none of it back.

    Personally, though, I think it could definitely make sense to hire a professional editor. I've learned a lot from people who've edited my books, and I can't see why it would be less educational to be edited by someone you pay for as opposed to someone your publisher pays for, as long as you have a way to find someone qualified and honest to do the work.

    Hiring a friend takes care of the honesty requirement, but it doesn't do much for the "qualified". Picking out spelling and grammar issues is probably the least valuable thing a pro editor does, so I'm not sure it makes sense to choose an editor who's only qualified, at best, to do that.
     
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  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I just noticed the typo in the thread title. That's one good reason an editor can be useful. :p

    I'm spending 4 years writing my novel. I will likely get a professional editor to at least check for errors before submitting it to a publisher. The idea it's worth all that time but not worth a few hundred or even a thousand dollars makes no sense to me.
     
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  17. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Well, that's then just your opinion. Have fun.
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The reason why I'm against hiring an editor is because money should always flow toward the writer. Also, I've said this before, but it needs to be repeated: a writer needs to know how to edit his/her own work. That's part of the job description. If you can't do something as simple as edit your own work, then maybe writing isn't for you. Yes, that's harsh, but it's the truth.

    But at the end of the day it's your money. I can't stop you (or anyone else) from hiring an editor. Good luck.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There are a few flaws with that @thirdwind. Of course it is to each her own, so don't look at this as argumentative, rather it's just how I see it.

    Have you printed any pages out? That cost doesn't go to the writer. The cost of your computer, software one is using be it Word or Scrivener or something else, lost opportunity costs when you seek out critiques, there are many costs one incurs writing a book.

    As for a professional editor, one advantage is they see the typos you looked at a dozen times and still missed. You can be an excellent writer and still miss those.

    The other kind of professional editor, the type @BayView is referring to will depend, but publishers generally want to have an editor look at the book before they publish it. Why would most every traditional publisher have professional editors on staff?
     
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  20. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    It may seem lazy but I see it less as hiring a mechanic to wash the car, and more like letting him do the tedious tune up and matienance and allowing my enthusiast friends help with the performance upgrades and modifications. If it means doing an engine it means doing an engine. The writing group I am apart of is a group of enthusiasts with a nack for ripping open plot holes and getting annoyed if things pace to fast or too slow, but by all means, grammaticaly they are far from experts. I want a clean, typo free manuscript before I shop it around, no use getting rejected over using the wrong there or wrong piece of punctuation.
     
  21. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But WHY?

    Why should money always flow toward the writer? I know, it's a common expression, but... why? What's the rationale behind that statement?

    And, really, even if we CAN find a rationale for it, why is it applied so selectively? People who study writing at post-secondary level are generally paying tuition, but we don't generally get all "money should flow toward the writer" with them. People pay for conferences, writing software (try to pry Scrivener from the cold, dead hands of its proponents), paper and ink, postage, internet access, etc. etc. And nobody quotes Yog's Law at those expenses. So what's so special about editing?

    And I think writers will benefit from learning to edit, but I don't think that writers who aren't good at editing from the start should just give up! They should learn, and one of the ways for them to learn may be to have a pro do some work for them. No?
     
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  22. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Like an apprentice learning a trade. Well said man well said.
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There are minor, and necessary, costs. It is also possible to find cheaper alternatives to Word. Consider that some editors charge thousands of dollars to edit a manuscript.

    Editors at publishing houses aren't there to check for grammar errors or anything like that. In fact, if you submit a manuscript with SPaG errors, you'll be rejected. Editors at publishing houses deal with things like style and clarity (e.g., copy editors, most of whom are freelancers), not SPaG issues.

    A professional writer is judged by his/her paying credits. Besides, don't you want to earn a living as a writer? You can't do that if you're losing money.

    I'm talking about people who aren't students. Whether or not MFA programs are worth it is a separate issue. Just as an aside, I'll mention that all of the good MFA programs are free. Tuition is completely paid for. On top of that, students receive a monthly stipend, so they're actually being paid to write and earn their degree!

    See my reply above.

    I agree that they should learn, but they should learn by brushing up on the rules of grammar and punctuation. Having someone else solve the problem for you isn't going to challenge you and make you a better writer.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're not driving the metaphorical car, you're building it. The ability to draw a pretty concept sketch isn't equivalent to the ability to build a car. The ability to come up with a plot and characters isn't equivalent to the ability to write a book. A book requires writing. Words and sentences and paragraph.

    To use another analogy, a person who says, "...a dark-haired woman in front of a landscape wearing a mysterious smile..." can't hand off the painting part and take credit for the Mona Lisa.

    Ideas are nice. You also need to be able to do the execution.
     
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  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Returning to say: I'm not absolutely opposed to ever hiring a editor. But I think that you'd do it for the education, and as part of the process of becoming capable of editing your own work. In the end, I think that you must become capable of editing your own work.
     

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