How Much Will It Cost? Average Freelance Editing Rates

We’ve talked about freelance writing and editing rates several times before (see Related Posts below). I found (rather found again – as I used to have the page bookmarked but lost it somewhere along the line) a simple, but excellent, chart of average rates.

The Editorial Freelancers Association, “the professional resource for editorial specialists and those who hire them,” publishes a chart of Common Rates for Editorial Services.

The chart gives an estimated pace and range of fees for various tasks.

Although the fees seem to be on the low side, the chart demonstrates the differences in time required between different levels of editing and the range of time required for different projects. The pace for developmental editing is 1-5 ms pages per hour while the pace for proofreading is 3-10 ms pages per hour. There are several levels of editing between these two extremes. The rates also reflect the degree of difficulty of the project – the low end of developmental editing is only a little more than the top rate for proofreading.

Clients don’t always recognize the differences. My rate sometimes shocks prospective clients: “So-and-so charges less than half that!” they say. But when I tell them what I intend to do for their manuscript, they have no idea if the editor offering a lower price will do the same. I have done proofreading only a couple of times … and I don’t like it. I get too wrapped up in how the story or article could be made better. I love developmental editing, and I love working with authors who need lots of help. But that doesn’t mean I won’t love working with you if you’re an excellent writer who needs just a little help. 🙂

I think you’ll find this chart helpful whether you’re charging for editing or paying for it.

Related Posts:
Self-Publishing Primer: Part 11 – How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost?
What are your prices for writing and editing services … and how much value do you give?
Working with a Professional Editor: Part 1 – Finding the Right Editor
Working with a Professional Editor: Part 2 – How It Works

[tags]freelance editing rates[/tags]

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