Having an unprofessional manuscript could cost you much more than the fees of a professional editing service. Give your work the best possible chance of getting published by having it edited professionally.

In today’s competitive publishing market, it’s essential to have your manuscript spotless and free from error before submitting it to publishers. Many publishers receive dozens of submissions a day.

Therefore, as a writer, it’s in your best interest to have a polished manuscript to improve your chances. No matter how great your story might be, if your paper is filled with grammar errors or is written with poor sentence structure, it will usually receive an automatic rejection. That is a huge cost of not editing.

Getting published is a challenging and competitive process. Therefore, it’s always best to send in thoroughly edited work.

Most manuscripts need at least some basic proofreading. In addition to using the basic spelling and grammar check tools yourself, having an editor look over your writing is also a good idea, since spell-check programs might not always be accurate.

Furthermore, a professional editor can offer valuable feedback regarding content, structure, aesthetics, plot, and characters. That would be beyond what a basic spell-check or thesaurus could provide.

For your basic grammar needs, there are several online resources to help you with some ground rules. The Purdue website is usually an excellent resource: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section

Furthermore, if English is not your native language, then it is certainly worth considering having your manuscript edited by a native speaker. Mistakes that may seem trivial, such as the wrong use of articles, could still have a significant impact on the quality of your writing.

Hiring a professional editor usually costs no more than a few pennies per word, and the result could be well worth the price. The cost of editing is nothing compared to the cost of not editing.

Not editing could significantly decrease your chances of improving your writing and seeing it published. Excellent, professional, and experienced fiction editors can improve the quality of your manuscript. They also have a thorough knowledge of the publishing industry and provide you with solid tips.

Again, the costs of editing are far less than not editing. Therefore, it’s recommended to have a professional pair of eyes read your book before submitting it to a publisher.

How much does editing cost?

No one sits down to write something without a purpose attached. A payoff.

Even if it’s deep-felt memoirs, written from the heart only for friends and family to read, the writer wants a payoff. Someone to read it. Someone to hear what the writer has to say.

And with a book meant for publication, an academic paper, a business plan, and website content, the stakes get higher.

But to get that payoff, there’s a cost. How much are you, as a writer, willing to pay to get your message across?

The Cost of Editing

The first cost is your hard work, because even the most talented writer must work hard to express his or her message as clearly as possible.

The next cost is copyediting. You may wonder what benefit to you there is to have someone copyedit your work. After all, you have spell-check and grammar check; throw in a few commas and you’re all set, right? And in this world of texting and e-mail, does anyone care about the nitpicky copyediting stuff?

But think about it. The more clearly you express yourself, the more open your message is to the reader and the bigger the payoff for you.

The point of punctuation, grammar rules, style rules, and everything else that goes into a copy edit is to make writing as clear as possible. Those are all things a professional copy editor is trained to find.

What you get for your money is a professional who knows how to make your message as accessible as it can be to your target audience. Therefore, editing helps you achieve the maximum payoff.

What is a Copy Editor?

Copyediting is a skilled profession. Professional editors are trained to copyedit thoroughly and efficiently. They see what you don’t.

They see beyond the misspelled words and missing commas. Whether you use spell-check and grammar check or not, you WILL have errors. However, editors also see the poor transitional phrasing and faulty subject/pronoun agreement, as well as a host of other things that a writer doesn’t even consider when he or she reaches the copyedit phase.

So how much are you willing to pay to make sure your book or paper is professional? How much will it cost you if it is not professionally copyedited? Not just in money, but in whatever payoff you want from your writing.

The services of a professional copy editor are the cost of having the best possible written work that you can have. And that cost is nothing compared to what it would cost you to not have it done. Not only in lost “payback” but in time and effort.

How much is it worth to you to get that document published? To have that business plan succeed? How much is it worth to have an agent or publisher pick up your book? Or to have your target audience admire and appreciate what you’ve written?

Just pennies per word and you can be confident!

Originally posted 1/9/2011 and happily updated 11/15/2017. Thanks for reading!

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