Editors and Writers discussion

Affordable Editing!

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message 1: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments One thing that I’ve noticed in my writing journey is how rare it is to find an affordable editor! Most editors that I’ve found start at a rate of approximately $0.02/word and, while I am sure they would do a great job, I know that $1000 for a full-length novel (50,000 words) is a more than many of us can afford. Despite that, we still need quality editing to help ensure that our manuscripts are ready for the public.

I am now offering affordable editorial services with fair prices and quality work. One of my favorite things in the world is constructive criticism because I know that the only way a writer can improve is by knowing which parts of the story need fixed. You don’t need me to tell you that your book is good – you already know that or you wouldn’t be taking the next step toward publication.

I have an Associate’s Degree in both English and Communication from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and I am currently pursuing my B.S. in Communication from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve taken several creative writing courses, including a novel writing course that I am currently enrolled in. Beyond that, though, I have been an avid reader for, literally, as long as I can remember. I started writing my own short stories when I was in second grade (it was about finding a dinosaur egg at the beach and hatching it under my pillow – it was not good!). My whole life, I have loved words. Now I want to make words my life.

Still unsure? That’s okay! I will do a free sample of up to 1,000 words from any part of your manuscript to let you decide if I’m what you’re looking for. After all, this is YOUR work. If you do decide that I am an appropriate fit, my prices, which include copy editing as well as developmental editing, are:

Short Story (up to 7,500 words) – $60 flat rate
Novelette (7,500 to 17,499 words) – $0.005/word, up to $85
Novella (17,500 to 39,999 words) – $0.003/word, up to $110
Novel (40,000 to 59,999 words) – $0.003/word, up to $150
Long Novel (60,000+ words) – Individually priced starting at $180

Payments can be made through PayPal with 50% being due upfront and the rest due at the time of completion. Have questions? Feel free to ask!

Thank you!
Nina Roust

message 2: by George (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments You get what you pay for.
75% of my business is re-editing manuscripts that were edited by budget editors previously, then the author had to pay me to fix it which ends up costing more in the long run.
When a serious author searches for an editor, they are starting a relationship based on quality and experience, not saving a few dollars.
And by under pricing, you are not only devaluing editors, you also devalue yourself and encouraging authors to settle based on price, which also devalues your clients' hard work.

message 3: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments I totally understand that authors are looking for a relationship and need high quality work. But I also understand that not everyone can afford over $1000 to have editing work done. I've been struggling to find an editor for my own work because I just don't have that much money. It's unfortunate, but it is the reality. It is absolutely not my intention to devalue editors - the work that they do is invaluable. Those who are able to pay for a "real" editor, who have the means to hire someone at the $0.02+/word are not my target. It is those people, like me, who have sat their manuscript aside with absolutely no hope of publishing because they cannot afford to have their work edited. It is unfair to those authors to have their work ignored simply because they can't afford an editor.

message 4: by Marta (new)

Marta | 5 comments I have to agree with George. Someone who's admittedly not a "real" editor and is marketing editing services at below a professional rate sets up unrealistic expectations of what those services *should* cost, and if the work isn't of a high quality, people understandably feel ripped off. That tarnishes the reputation of those who do have professional standards.

Roughseasinthemed | 20 comments I'm in agreement with the other commenters on here. But, from what I understand, the OP is studying for a degree so 'editing' is pin money? There are many posts on GR forums from students offering beta reading, editing and proofreading services. All at cheap prices that no one could make a living from. Even working 24/7.

I work cheaply too. I also have thirty years plus experience in the publishing industry. And I still get people saying 'oh that's a bit expensive'.

Also, we need to look at the reputation indie books have for being poorly edited. I've just read a book that has been 'professionally' edited with more than a hundred errors. An editor may not always be a proofreader but they should be aware of basic rules.

message 6: by Joce (new)

Joce (writethroughthenight) | 6 comments I just wanted to weigh in to support the original poster. I offer editing and revising services at even lower than she does, but I don't think that that's in any way devaluing the editing process.

As a student myself, I don't have time to work full time on editing, and I never sell myself as a professional editor. I do the best I can to help out authors who cannot afford big shot editors with all the qualifications. My editing normally takes longer (since I need a real job and school too) but I still do just as good of a job.

In my experience, it isn't fair that only rich individuals can publish just because they're the only ones that can afford an editor. There's lots of amazing writers out there who are broke as hell and need a better option.

Also, there are lots of free betas and editors out there. I used to be one of them, until I was really broke and needed money. Yeah, I'm being paid about $1 an hour for my work, but it's better than nothing, and since I'm mostly doing it because I enjoy it and enjoy helping out authors, it's worth it.

By complaining about people who offer low priced editing, you are telling an entire group of aspiring authors that they don't deserve to be published just because they don't have the money. That's discrimination, and even though by saying it you are only looking out for your own livelihoods, it's the truth.

Also, people who complain about low priced editors not being as good are hurting my legitimate business. I need to edit for spending money, but when you say "REAL EDITORS CHARGE MORE", authors are afraid to hire me. And that's hurting both of us.

Roughseasinthemed | 20 comments @ Joce

Your 'legitimate business'? Tax registered etc? Not my issue, but for a student who isn't qualified or experienced in editing, and who doesn't work full-time, merely for spending money (your words), 'legitimate business' is a bit of a tall claim.

By telling authors they can get their 100,000 word novel edited for $40 you are telling professional editors they charge too much for doing a good job. It cuts both ways.

It's not discrimination to charge a reasonable, if not the going rate, which is around thirty bucks an hour. When you leave college are you still planning on working for a dollar an hour or will you be looking out for your own livelihood?

We edit to make a living. Not for spending money. Big difference.

Finally. How do you know you 'do just as good of a job'?

Low-priced is a compound adjective and should be hyphenated. For your information.

message 8: by Joce (new)

Joce (writethroughthenight) | 6 comments Bashing my "editing skills" in a post which I wrote as a quick response (I don't edit my forum replies) in order to prove a point isn't going to work.

Legitimate business was probably a poor choice of words. What I meant to say is that I have a right to work for whatever price I choose, and that just because I choose to edit primarily for enjoyment and some spending money doesn't mean that I'm any worse (or deserve fewer clients) than someone who charges more and does it as a job.

I'm not telling anyone that they charge too much. That's their right, and I have never once claimed to be a professional editor. I am certainly not, since I take more time, am younger, etc. I just think that "high price" editors and "cheap" editors should be able to coexist, since we primarily serve to far different markets. Professionals shouldn't complain about what we charge, and we shouldn't complain about what you charge.

It's not discrimination for you to charge what you want (and if you're doing it for a living I understand perfectly), that only comes into play when you bash cheaper editors for their work and say that they shouldn't be able to charge that much. I have a right to charge what I want, or make my services free if I so choose.

I shouldn't have said that I do "just as good of a job" without knowing how well you do. However, the point I was trying to make is that if I up my prices to $300, $1000, or drop it to $5, that would not change the quality of my work. Obviously, editors with more qualifications would likely be better, and if I had a degree I'd feel comfortable charging more. Quality of work should be based on qualifications, not price. Ideally, price increases would match, but it doesn't have to.

For your information.

message 9: by George (last edited May 30, 2017 11:21AM) (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments @ Joce
Go get a job at Starbucks, they pay better than $1 an hour.
Or maybe you should advertise yourself as a dentist, or lawyer that works for $1 (hell, I'd even let you go up to $5, in case you like food and electricity 😉)
You could be a discount car mechanic, or maybe even the CEO of a tech company. I mean, really, with your ability to do "just as good of a job" the world is your oyster.
You have no idea what you are talking about, but feel free to give your clients my contact info so I can fix your "just as good of a job". I suggest a better business model IMHO

message 10: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Harris | 3 comments Nina,
I am looking for someone to help me with editing my manuscript. Please email me @ terriharris45@yahoo.com. I would truly appreciate your help.

Teresa Kennedy Harris

message 11: by Joce (new)

Joce (writethroughthenight) | 6 comments @George

wow I never expected to have a bunch of people get so mad at me for posting that.

I respect the work paid editors do, and said in my last comment that people with more QUALIFICATIONS/DEGREES do a better job. I just said that how much I charge should not be an indication of my quality. I would do just as good of a job charging $1 as $400.

Also, you must have missed the part where I said EDITING IS FUN AND I DO IT TO HELP PEOPLE. I only charge to make a little spending cash, not as a job to support myself.

message 12: by GreenFairy (new)

GreenFairy (greenfairy429) | 12 comments Is it any wonder that the writing world is in such shambles?

The amount of money an editor charges is NOT indicative of the quality of work they can do. An education is NOT indicative of the quality of work they can do.

I am an independent professional editor who charges a lot less than most do. Not because my quality is less. But because I would rather charge less and still provide top service to authors who don't have money to throw around. I have re-edited books that were done by editors who charge at least $1000. Editors who have fancy degrees.

And the fact that rather than everyone here supporting everyone some are bashing others about their comments. That is very immature of those of you.

Authors who choose their editors based off what the editors charge is missing a whole group of same quality editors that do it FOR THE LOVE OF THE JOB.

Editing is my career. But I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't enjoy it.

Joce, you said absolutely nothing wrong. You may not have worded it correctly but that's different. I am considerably lower cost than most. And I have 3 authors that won't go to anyone else because of my quality of work.

message 13: by Teresa (last edited May 31, 2017 02:53PM) (new)

Teresa Harris | 3 comments To Nina, Joce and GreenFairy,

I would rather give my money to someone who loves their job and who does it for the love of it, than someone who belittles someone on a public forum. You people do understand paying customers are reading your comments? You do understand that right? You come off condescending and demeaning, would you want to work with someone like that? I would gladly give my money to you three than anyone who thought just because they charged more that they were superior. I am SMH at this thread. I just finished my book, it is #2, I have number 1 that I have to go back and rewrite so this editor that I choose I hope to have an ongoing relationship with. Its like the scene from Pretty Woman,
Big Mistake, Big, Huge....I have to go shopping now!

message 14: by George (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments I never expected an "editor" to spew such untrue and ridiculous ideas.
Please tell your clients you are an editor as a hobby, for full transparency, and go to a different thread for nonprofessionals.

message 15: by George (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments I have a joke...

One discount editor says to another
"You may not have worded correctly..."

message 16: by GreenFairy (new)

GreenFairy (greenfairy429) | 12 comments George wrote: "I have a joke...

One discount editor says to another
"You may not have worded correctly..."

If you are going to quote someone, you might want to quote them correctly.

message 17: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 2 comments Hi Nina,

I am looking for an editor. My email is ruthegriffin@outlook.com. I'm happy to send you details.

Ruth Griffin

message 18: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments Wow, this is not the direction I expected this thread to go! To those of you speaking rudely - well, quite frankly, I have very little to say to you. I made my post, I stand by what I said, and I don't feel that I am in any way negatively impacting those of you who charge more for your services or who have professional training. I neither stated nor implied that I had any training or qualifications that I do not. I did not call myself a professional editor. I specifically said that I chose to do this for those authors who cannot afford to pay the more expensive editing fees - we do not deserve to be silenced simply because we don't have thousands of dollars lying around to get started.

To those of you defending me in my absence - thank you! Seriously, I love that there is still good in the world, that there are people who will step in to defend a complete stranger. That is the community I thought I was joining.

To those thinking that I'm going to be churning books out too quickly to be efficient in order to make money with my lower rates - that's simply not the case. Any money that I make from this will be to supplement my husband's income. I am currently a student with two kids that I stay home with. I considered getting a part time job but realized that I would be spending more in childcare than I would be making. I chose to do this as a way to help ease the burden on my husband and to help authors who would otherwise never be able to publish. Because I don't desperately need the money, I can afford to give each and every manuscript the time and attention that it deserves. If I ever felt that I didn't have the time necessary for any particular manuscript, I would not hesitate to tell the author that.

Thanks for all the comments and keeping this post bumped to the top, though! ;)

message 19: by George (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments GreenFairy wrote: "George wrote: "I have a joke...

One discount editor says to another
"You may not have worded correctly..."

If you are going to quote someone, you might want to quote them correctly."

Sorry, I only paid 1¢ for someone to edit it, they sucked, but they really really love editing, so I was cool with it.

And for the record, my first post did not attack anyone, it was Joce who got so offended and started telling those that disagreed with her/him/it that they were mean etc. and started messaging directly @ people. If you are going to @ me, then you probably should expect a response.

message 20: by Julie (last edited Jun 01, 2017 08:09AM) (new)

Julie Gray (juliegray) | 6 comments Nina wrote: "Wow, this is not the direction I expected this thread to go! To those of you speaking rudely - well, quite frankly, I have very little to say to you. I made my post, I stand by what I said, and I d..."
Wow, people will argue about anything these days, lol. You do you, Nina. It's really about a good match of personalities, I find, when working with a writer. I've been editing for a very long time and you have to really click with each other and with the story. The cost should not be the determining factor, but rather, the fit. Best to you,


message 21: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments @ Julie
Haha, yes they will! It's a sad world we live in when trying to do something mutually beneficial to an under-served demographic can cause such an uproar. It is what it is, though.

Thanks for the encouragement! Have a wonderful day! :)

message 22: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (Cath666) | 1 comments Hi Nina,
I would love to have you edit my work if you have time. I have an 80000 page erotic romance novel. PLease message me if you have spaces available. Cathy

message 23: by Paula (last edited Jun 02, 2017 01:35AM) (new)

Paula Beaton (wordnerdediting) | 9 comments Nina wrote: "One thing that I’ve noticed in my writing journey is how rare it is to find an affordable editor! Most editors that I’ve found start at a rate of approximately $0.02/word and, while I am sure they ..."

I feel like maybe it would be good to point out in your post that editing is a hobby/something you do on the side. Listing your qualifications and experience makes it sound as if this is your full-time profession. I also think that starting your post with a comment about "how rare it is to find an affordable editor" furthermore implies that all editors should be charging "affordable" rates, like you.

There is a reason most editors you know start their rates at around $0.02/word. It's because it's the industry standard rate, and it is what we need to earn in order to make a living. Pointing that out and criticising it in your post isn't doing you any favours. If I posted an advert for my editing services, I certainly wouldn't mention low-quality, low-charging editors with rates of under $200 for a manuscript. I would simply focus on what I was bringing to the table, rather than placing the focus on criticising and undercutting others.

Here in the U.K., the minimum recommended rates are £27-30 an hour, for an entry-level editor. Whilst you can set your rates as you wish, taking into account industry standard rates will always be beneficial, for you and for other editors working in the industry.

If I was an author I would then wonder why everybody else's rates were so much higher when you're charging $180.

Whether you think that charging low rates devalues the work other editors do or not is irrelevant. You just have to look at sites like Upwork to see what people willing to work for low rates have done to the editing and copywriting industry. If I had a pound for everytime a client said to me "But I can get that other person to do X amount of work for a much lower rate" then I would be the next Richard Branson. Marketing yourself as a professional whilst charging rock bottom rates affects the industry. Period .

Great that you can afford to do so - some of us need to eat and put a roof over our heads with our editing work. If I was marketing myself as somebody who was editing on the side/for a hobby, I would make that clear in my post, just saying.

By the way this isn't intended to be rude or to suggest that your work is sub-standard - I get that this is just a part-time thing for you, and yes, technically you are free to charge whatever you like. However you also have to recognise that by charging suchlow rates you are opening yourself up to comment and criticism from people who refuse to drop their rates lower than industry set rates, because they need to make a living. I don't think anybody should be posting rude or nasty comments to you and I hope you won't take this as such - it's just my opinion.

message 24: by George (new)

George Verongos (georgeverongos) | 28 comments Hey fellow-editors, ironically, I have overflow work that I need help with.
I have a client who needs help turning their decade-old journal about their divorce and the surrounding circumstances into a memoir. She needs a ghostwriter/editor. Not a technical term but you know what I mean, she has the journal entries in order, she just needs word-smithing because she doesn't want to relive the trauma through her own words. She is an attorney in Australia so knowledge of Australian English would be needed.
Send me an email at LitServEditor@gmail.com and I can send you an excerpt and her contact info.

message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Gray (juliegray) | 6 comments Paul makes (and reiterates) a good point about the industry standards set by professional editing organizations which are meant to help those of us for whom editing is our profession make a fair living. That said, it is a free market world, and I really think the relationship between the writer and the editor is crucial. So if someone really connects with Nina and she really connects with them, and the budget fits - that'sa the life, it seems to me.

How qualified an editor is, or whether their income is their living or just extra money is really hard to define. Nina offers a budget alternative for those who are between a rock and a hard place. I have no doubt that if a writer had more resources, of course they'd order the filet mignon. But that's not always possible.

The more experience you have as an editor, the more likely you are a member of a professional editing association, which means you base your fees on industry standards and have adopted other editor/client norms, including receipts, turn around, contracts, etc.

There is always somebody, somewhere, who comes out with a lower rate and it is hard for the others who have invested years in the profession but I really don't think Nina is deliberately undercutting. And hey - maybe she's a GREAT editor, in which case, more power to her! I say give the kid a break and get back to work! :)

message 26: by Paula (new)

Paula Beaton (wordnerdediting) | 9 comments Julie wrote: "Paul makes (and reiterates) a good point about the industry standards set by professional editing organizations which are meant to help those of us for whom editing is our profession make a fair li..."

Well said, Julie :)

message 27: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments @Paula - I'm going to edit my post in order be more transparent in why I feel I'm qualified. You gave me a lot to consider in my post and I will definitely be using your input. Thank you. More importantly, thank you for being kind even though I don't think you necessarily agree with my post. Instead of berating me and others within the thread, you gave me advise and your opinion without resorting to attacking anyone despite the negative turn this thread took.

@Julie - Again, thank you! I've taken your advise from our messages for my own manuscript and I think I've figured out quite a bit!

message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie Gray (juliegray) | 6 comments Nina wrote: "@Paula - I'm going to edit my post in order be more transparent in why I feel I'm qualified. You gave me a lot to consider in my post and I will definitely be using your input. Thank you. More impo..."

*MWAH* :)

message 29: by Paula (new)

Paula Beaton (wordnerdediting) | 9 comments Nina wrote: "@Paula - I'm going to edit my post in order be more transparent in why I feel I'm qualified. You gave me a lot to consider in my post and I will definitely be using your input. Thank you. More impo..."

You're welcome and thank you for your kind comments :) I hope the editing is going well!

message 30: by Nina (new)

Nina Roust (ninaroust) | 6 comments .... I just realized I used "advise" instead of "advice". I'll go hide in the corner now.

message 31: by Lin (new)

Lin | 75 comments Mod
Interesting discussions. I think writers need to understand the difference between hobby editors and professional editors. A professional editor has more experience of the field, and more experience of editing a wide range of manuscripts, and probably a load of training under their belt. Can a hobby editor really compete against that?
Editing is time-consuming. Consider the time that a manuscript is likely to take, and work out the minimum rate cost and recommended rate cost for that amount of time. Can an editor maintain a business at the rate they're charging? Or are they likely to either skimp on the time and effort or simply not understand what should be involved?
If a writer can't afford an editor, then there's an alternative: find a publisher willing to invest in your story. If you can't afford an editor, and you can't find a publisher willing to invest, then maybe you need to find a way of improving your writing before trying again. Find a writing group, or a critique group. Scribophile is a great way to workshop a novel and improve your skills. Write short stories and articles, and save up that way.
But please, think carefully about paying a hobby editor to work on your manuscript. Make sure you can tell the difference between someone who thinks they can edit and someone who really can.
I'm not saying all cheap editors are incapable. I'm sure there are a few people out there who really know what they're doing and are willing to do it for silly money. But there are far more who underestimate the amount of skill involved, or who are just out for the money (I've heard horror stories of people who will put a manuscript through a spell check and grammar check and claim they've edited it).
Editing is a difficult, complex job. The more you study it, the more you appreciate that.

message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie Gray (juliegray) | 6 comments Lin wrote: "Interesting discussions. I think writers need to understand the difference between hobby editors and professional editors. A professional editor has more experience of the field, and more experienc..."
A to the MEN! I've been thinking a lot about this whole thread. I'm a professional editor. Is it just so easy as doing a quick copy correction or making comments? Oh gosh, no. Being a professional editor means so much more than that. There are so many skills that go into it and most of it really ONLY comes from years of experience. Ask me how I know. I've been doing this for 15 years.

Editing is an art. It's not just correcting things, or making suggestions, it's knowing story so intimately, in so many genres that you know where dramatic beats belong and where they don't. It's knowing whether a set up is engaging enough, or an ending contains the emotional punch readers crave. It's being able to suss out the relevant themes in the material and being critical of how those themes fit for the genre, market and zeitgeist in general.

Mostly, it's knowing how to work with those very rare and unusual creatures - writers. How to get and keep your client delivering his or her very best writing, knowing how to spot their weaknesses and help strengthen them, knowing how to spot their trademarks and quirks and to magnify them. It's knowing exactly HOW to express a suggestion or comment so that the writer is empowered and emboldened, not discouraged or - perhaps worse - falsely flattered.

It's about a lot of boring but really, really crucial stuff like version control (OY!), contracts, client lists, payments, workload balance and activity tracking.

All of that said, if a hobbyist can offer a good rate and they enjoy their work and make a difference in a manuscript, good for them! I would warn them to be very careful about the business aspect, though, as the way one learns to be very careful about those matters is by making a mistake and BOY is that a painful lesson to learn! Who knows, maybe some hobbyists here will become full time editors down the road!

Alternatively, there might be some here who would make GREAT beta readers that an editor such as myself might refer people to! It's all good in the neighborhood!

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