It is important to spend time and money to ensure that your résumé, letter of interest, etc., is error-free and gives a professional presentation. The price of not investing your time and money in your documents may make the difference between getting or not getting opportunities. Are you willing to risk it? To gauge the cost of your time and use of a professional service, we will look at how much editing services charge, then weigh that against losing out on a job that pays $75,000 per year.

If you have an important document that must be compelling, error-free, and has attractive formatting, the first step is to use all of the resources you have to make the best attempt at finishing your editing project. You must provide the best impression. First, use the computer tools that you have (e.g., spell and grammar check) and Internet resources to create a final draft. This step is important and a time-saver. If your document is well-written and organized when you submit it to a professional editor, the editor will spend more time on improving the written language to meet the purpose of the project rather than fixing large amounts of incorrect spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary that could have been corrected using available resources. Also, professional editors may charge more for projects requiring higher levels of editing.

Second, it is important to investigate several professional editing services and compare costs and guarantees for the work completed. Choose an editing service that provides a free sample edit. This sample will help you judge the quality of their services and allow you to gather information on price, levels of editing, turn-around time, and a bid for your project. Start with FirstEditing.com because they provide timely editing samples with feedback about your writing. Find out how the editing service charges for different levels of editing, and how much certain additional services cost, such as proofreading, business and technical editing, line editing for content; plus optional formatting, adding an automated table of contents, pagination, manuscript synopsis, letter of inquiry, or book jacket cover text.

Professional Editing Services are Cost-Effective

You now have a document that is in its final draft form. How much will it cost to edit?  Professional editing services may charge by the word, the page (double-spaced, 12 pt type and one-inch margin), or the project. The costs can vary depending on the level of editing. For example, a manuscript (fiction) will cost less than an academic paper that requires a particular style for citations and references and footnotes. If the client expects content editing or business or technical editing, the costs could be higher. I have seen word costs range from $.0375 to $.11 cents per word.  A book manuscript would cost about $18.75 for 500 words. A page (about 250 words) costs about $10/page (or $9.40 based on $.0375 per word). Hourly rates typically range from about $20 – $35 per hour.

Let’s look at the cost of a 1,000-word essay for your medical school application. It would cost between $37.50 and $50.00. Is it worth it to ensure that your essay meets the requirements set by the faculty of medicine? You are competing with hundreds of students who have the same test scores, GPAs, and volunteer experience. So, how important is the essay?

Or, you are applying for a new position and competing with a hundred other applicants. If you have a typographical error in your application, résumé, or letter of interest, what are your chances of making it through to the top few applicants or receiving an offer? An editor can help instill creativity and innovation in your letter, setting you apart from other candidates.  You may lose out on your dream job because you were not willing to invest under $100 for professional proofreading and editing of your materials.

How much Editing Services Charge

Full manuscripts and academic papers are more costly because of the length and special editing needs. A 50,000-word manuscript (fiction) could cost about $1,875. A thesis that includes citations, references, and footnotes may cost over $2,000. Put these costs in perspective with the potential for having your manuscript published as a best-seller or completing your doctorate and receiving an offer of a faculty position.

A publisher may not continue to read your script if the first few pages contain many errors. Hiring an editor is an investment in yourself and your career. Investigating editing services and requesting a sample and a bid for your project should not cost you anything when working with professional editors. Prepare a sample that represents your best writing and editing skills and submit it to see how a professional editor can improve your project.

Originally posted 9/23/2010 and happily updated 10/26/2017. Thanks for reading!

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