Hourly Wage or Flat Editing Rate – What to Avoid


Now that you’ve finished your book or other document, you might have some ideas in mind for your editor, and that’s great! But, before choosing your editor, do you know what to avoid? Naturally, you know what you do want. And that’s a consummate professional, one who is highly skilled, respects your work, and will offer you a fair price. Now let’s look at some of the things you might want to avoid.

Price is probably one of the major factors in choosing your book or document editor. So, one of the issues you will want to consider is whether the editing company charges by the hour or by the project. As an editor, I can tell you that there are some problems I run into when charging by the hour, and how it benefits you as a writer to avoid this method and choose flat-rate editing.

Every single time I leave my desk to take a break, I have to jot down my start and stop time. This “time list” is very long by the end of the day. I have to calculate the actual time spent editing your book while wondering if I might have forgotten a break or two. Or if I’m using the stopwatch on my smartphone, I start and stop each time I get up but oops, I accidentally pressed the reset button, and now I have to give a best guess. Charging by the project relieves me of this concern. Also, suppose you pay by the hour, and the editor ends up explaining that it took five hours more than she first calculated? That can add up money-wise.

Hourly Wage or Flat Editing Rate – What to Avoid

What if the editor has an emergency and cannot finish the job? Does he hand it off to someone else, who now has to start from the beginning of your 60,000-word manuscript? Do you now have to pay two editors for their time? Herein lies avoidance number two. It is usually in your best interest to hire an editorial services company rather than an individual editor. At FirstEditing.com, for example, I am one of many professional editors. If for any reason I cannot finish a job, someone else will take over, and the flat rate will remain the same.

Suppose you choose an editor you are not happy with? Most individual editors (and many professional editing companies) will not offer you a free sample of their work. FirstEditing.com does. We evaluate your manuscript and make a recommendation for a particular editing level. Not based on price, but on what the book or document needs. You might need nothing more than copy editing services. Or you might benefit from rewrites or profound commentary on plot and characters. Ultimately, the choice is always yours, regardless of our recommendation.

Hopefully, this will encourage you to get a flat and secure editing rate. Use a professional editorial services company with qualified and experienced editors, and always get a free sample. We do all this and more, including offering a satisfaction guarantee, at FirstEditing.com.

Originally posted 9/8/2010 and happily updated 10/29/2017. Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

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Projects less than 50 pages are completed in just 2-3 business days. Longer documents (manuscripts, dissertations, etc.) require 7-10 business days depending on their length. If you order multiple documents totaling 50+ pages, they can all still be completed in the standard 3 day timeframe since each document may be assigned to a different editing team simultaneously. Additionally, 1-2 day rush services are also available. See our order form for more details.
Professional editors of successfully published books, journals, articles, and more are working around the clock to ensure your editing is letter-perfect and delivered according to your deadline. Each editor has a minimum of TEN years worth of professional writing & editing experience. Show us some of YOUR writing and we’ll send YOU a FREE editing sample!
First Editing is one of the very few online editing services that GUARANTEES client satisfaction! If there is ANYTHING about our work with which you are not 100% satisfied, we will correct it at no additional charge. First Editing is also the ONLY service of its kind to GUARANTEE on-time completion. We NEVER miss a deadline…EVER!! Read more about our Editing Satisfaction Guarantee.
Our basic rates vary from just 1 U.S. cent per word to just over 3 U.S. cents per word. Most basic copy editing that does not require rush delivery costs between $0.0097 and $0.013 USD per word (approximately one cent per word). Larger orders often cost even less. Factors influencing your total price are document type, length of manuscript, turnaround time required, & level of editing required. For a free, no-obligation price quote, CLICK HERE.

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