Short Saturday: Yes, Editing Is Expensive

I’m an editor, and, yes, I am well aware I’ve given you a quote that probably made you stop breathing for a moment. (Or, usually, just not respond.) So I was delighted when I found this pair of articles from an editor I don’t know but really appreciate.

In “Why are book editors so expensive?” and “The other reason book editors are so expensive,” Belinda Pollard says there are two key misunderstandings about freelance editing:

1. Editing a book takes longer than people think.

2. The fee isn’t an editor’s salary.

Yes, it takes a long time to edit a book well. (Which is the only way I intend to do it. In my opinion, there are no shortcuts.) I read a manuscript twice before I start to write the notes. By the time I’ve finished the notes (this often takes me a week), I’ve usually read the manuscript a third time, and some parts of it many more than that.

Regarding the second point, I don’t generally like to discuss this, since it sounds like a complaint (and I don’t intend it to be)—but yes, for example, the entity who is paying my employer’s withholding taxes is, you know, me. The entity who contributes matching funds to my 401K retirement fund is me. The entity who provides my business equipment is, again, me. If you have a corporate job, your employer pays for these things.

Read these articles. Think about it. I’ll save my rant for another time. :)

Tweet: Why yes! Yes, editing IS expensive! What are time and expertise worth?
Tweet: What is your time worth? It takes a long time to edit a book well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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6 Comments

  1. And, in my experience working with editors, it is well worth the price! I hold a special place in my heart for editors.

  2. Jamie Clark Chavez is worth every penny!

  3. Thanks for sharing my posts, Jamie. And yes, I love to read a manuscript that many times to do a good job on the edit, but so often today, budgets and schedules don’t allow it, even when I’m editing for a publisher. Makes me a little crazy…

  4. […] Editing is absolutely not cheap. It would be easy to take advantage of the hunger some folks have to write, edit, and publish a book—and there are at least two well-known people I know right here in Middle Tennessee who are doing it (another blog post for another time)—but I don’t have it in me to do that. Editing is not a miracle cure, and no editor can guarantee you a best seller. […]

One Trackback

  1. By No Snake Oil* For Sale Here on 21 March, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    […] Editing is absolutely not cheap. It would be easy to take advantage of the hunger some folks have to write, edit, and publish a book—and there are at least two well-known people I know right here in Middle Tennessee who are doing it (another blog post for another time)—but I don’t have it in me to do that. Editing is not a miracle cure, and no editor can guarantee you a best seller. […]

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