How To Save Editing Money!

As you may have noticed in other posts on this site, I encourage editing clients to learn from my sample edit and go through their manuscript draft, making the changes I have explained. This is great for my clients, as it really helps them improve their writing skills–and it also can save them considerable amounts of editing dollars. Here is an actual letter I sent to a client after I did the sample edit, with the estimate I provided (she wasn’t quite finished the manuscript at that point, so gave me two estimates, one low, one high for the total number of words). At the end, you’ll find out what it actually ended up costing. This client really took my advice on self-editing to heart–and ended up cutting her estimated cost by … well, read on and find out!


Attached is the sample edit I did–it took 50 minutes at 1303 words–so that would be about 1564 words in an hour.

With a maximum total number of words of 22,000 that would work out to (at most) 14 hours (14 h x $xx/h = $xx) With a minimum total number of words of 18,000 that would work out to (at most) 11.5 hr (11.5 x $xx/hr = $xx)

However, if you go carefully through the comments I made in the sample edit, and then use them in the rest of the document before sending it to me, you could likely save yourself some $$ by making those kinds of corrections and improvements first.

Please look through the sample edit and think about what you want to do next–for example, just have me edit the rest as is–or self-edit, based on the sample edit comments, before having me edit. Let me know how you’d like to proceed. Then I can set up a contract for you to check over, and we can get started.


How much did this client save? Her final word count was about 20,000 words–half-way between her estimated low and high word counts, and she did a lot of self-editing (based on my sample edit comments and explanations) before having me actually edit. Believe it or not, her final number of editing hours worked out to just 4.5 hours (instead of the middle estimate of 12.75 hours)–and she saved 65% of my estimated dollar cost for 20,000 words!

Yes, this is a bit exceptional, but the majority of my clients who first self-edit based on my sample edit suggestions, save at least 25 to 35%–and sometimes much more! And their writing skills improve greatly, too.

(I have not given the exact $$/hr charge above, as I do charge different amounts for different kinds of editing–for example, I may charge less for a final proofread than I do for a full line edit; I also would charge a different rate for a highly technical edit with many tables and charts and/or a lot of fact-checking than I would for a straight prose edit).


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