Working with a Freelance Editor to Boost Your Writing Career
Let’s face it, the book publishing world is different than it was 10 years ago. In 2017, roughly half of US print book sales came from Amazon. 7 out of the top 100 selling eBook authors in the US were indies. While publishing with a traditional publisher is still a common way authors get their books in the world, it’s also much more common these days for authors to publish their own books.
What does this mean for traditional publishers? It means they’re taking fewer risks on new authors and instead focusing on more established authors, or books that are more “commercial.” Agents and publishers are looking for authors with the whole package: a complete, edited manuscript with commercial potential, a detailed marketing plan, comp titles that show an awareness of the market, and the start of a promising online audience.
And indie publishing is tough too — the increase in popularity of indie books means there’s more competition for authors to put out a stellar product.
If you’re a new writer, you’re probably reading this with a bit of fear and anxiety. I’ll never be that good. I don’t know where to start with marketing. How can I build an audience if I haven’t even finished revising my book? And do I really have to spend money on an editor in order to get published?
Let’s demystify some of the myths around freelance editors and the impact they can have on your career:
Hiring an editor is expensive. The truth is, there are a lot of different types of people in the editing field, and many of their rates will vary widely. As a freelance editor, I base my rates off of the Editorial Freelancer’s Association guidelines. This means that depending on the project, my rates can be as high as thousands of dollars. But I’ve got five years of experience and limited time, which means I have to charge more to fit in new clients. But for a less experienced editor, prices might be less. And I often discount my rates for new writers and writers from marginalized backgrounds. I give discounts to repeat customers and have a rapid turnaround. It’s important to price out different editors and see where their rates land.