What to Charge For Book Editing in 2023 [Definitive Guide]


Deciding what to charge for book editing can sometimes be daunting as there are so many fluctuations in the market.

It’s hard to decide what your book editing charge rate is and figuring out what’s best for you.

When you write your gigs mention, “I will charge this much for Book editing. This much for Proofreading. This much for so and so services.”

But those gigs may not apply for every customer and hence you don’t get the gig or you are limiting your customer base.

Maybe some clients have other requirements than what you already mentioned, or maybe they have some expectations which you may never have seen before.

The market average rate is $3 per page for Proofreading, $4 per page for copy editing and $7-8 for content editing. But the book editing rates should be set according to the customer and the needs of that customer. 

What to charge for book editing

Book Editing Cost 

The editing cost set by Editorial Freelancers Association in 2008:

1. Copy Editing

On average, copy editing costs $4 per page. 

  • Basic copyediting: $25 to $40 per hour

Pace: 5 to 10 pages an hour

  • Heavy copyediting: $35 to $50 per hour

Pace: 2 to 5 pages an hour

  • Substantive editing (also called line editing): $40 to $65 per hour

Pace: 1 to 6 pages per hour

  • Developmental editing: $50 to $80 per hour Pace: 2 to 5 pages per hour

2. Proofreading is $3 per page.

3. Copy editing costs an average of $4 per page.

4. Content Editing costs $50-$85 per hour. 

5. Line Editing costs between $.03 and $.07 per word.

Before deciding upon the price for editing any books there are few things that need to be considered. Then only you can decide what to charge for book editing.

Things to consider first before deciding book editing cost

There are a few criteria that you have to check first. These are:

1. What Type of Book it is? 

You should make sure to take only those type of books for editing which you have experience in editing.

If you edit a lot of love stories or romance novels and you took a project to edit a Scientific Book, you may not do well.

You may lack experience on some words and those scientific terms may mean “mumbo-jumbo” to you.

And when your client is not happy, you will not get the desired money for your service.

Though many people will say that they will take an advance first before even starting the work. Which means they are paid before they start.

Though this means you may get the money but you will not have any recurring clients if your work is not quality.

So, it’s better to take only those books for editing where you can give amazing results.

Even if you are taking some genre which you have little to no experience, try to reduce your price from the market price. 

Editing is not just correcting Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation, or just Proofreading it. It is a different ANIMAL altogether.Click To Tweet

2. Is He/She is your old Client

If you are getting back with an old client then you are on the right track.

For such clients, you can always negotiate the editing price.

You can always offer some more gigs along with the gigs they have asked for.

This literally means upselling your service.

Let me be clear this with example

If the client asks for only editing grammar for $2 per page, which is a low value service compared to your other gigs or services.

But as this is an old client you don’t want to say no.

You can always pitch your extra gigs. Like in this case, pitch for Proofreading also.

And in 90% of the cases, the client accepts.

3. Make sure to Finish the Editing on Time

Be ready to submit your work by the deadline given by the client for book editing.

And don’t take projects for book editing if there is less time provided than required, or you can’t complete it within the set duration.

And if your client demands urgent book editing then you should charge them higher.

Note: Don’t just take urgent editing work just for the sake of money. Be prepared to deliver what you have promised.

Proofreading Reading Cost

Proofreading is the easiest type of editing and requires less effort.

Just with basic knowledge, you can do the proofreading.

Proofreading means getting rid of Cosmetic Errors. 

This means you can also take books for editing on which you lack proper knowledge.

According to The Writer’s Market, the average for proofreading is $3 per page. 

And there are some experienced proof readers who even charge $25-$35 per hour.

For basic manuscript proofreading per word is $0.005 and 0.015.

Copy editing cost

Copy editing involves improving styles, accuracy, and the flow of a manuscript, along with checking for grammatical errors.

On average, copy editing costs $4 per page. 

This is not the final rate as some books you may get for editing will be filled with errors on each and every single line.

So, in that case, you may reject such book for editing or increase the price as you will need more time.

Content Editing 

Content Editing involves intensive work.

This is because you might need to add new content while editing, write the left-out, or rewrite the whole content.

It is the next level of copy editing and requires deep knowledge of the subject.

As it requires a professional editor, the cost of content editing is much higher.

Content Editing costs $50-$85 per hour. 

So if are required to do content editing of any book, make sure that you have proper knowledge and experience of the same subject.

Depending upon your experience you can change more or less…

Line Editing Cost

It is one of the forms of copy editing service but costs a little higher.

Depending upon the talent and experience cost varies as line editing requires creative feedback on the project.

Line editing rates for your manuscript usually cost between $.03 and $.07 per word.

Some copy editors charge by the manuscript page, in the range of $5 to $15 per page.

Revision Cost

Basically, for the revision, you should be charging half of the original price.

And this should be applied only if you know the work of your client or did some editing for them.

Full cost should be taken if proofreading or copy editing has been completed by others as it requires the same time re-reading and doing it again.

And it may have new typos and errors.

Book Editing Hourly Rate and Flat Fee

So you now have two options.

Either you can charge for book editing on hourly basis or you can have a flat rate.

Frankly, I don’t have any particular preferences.

Sometimes I choose the hourly rate and sometimes flat rate irrespective of the book I need to edit.

What many editors charge is $299 flat rate for novels with 600 pages or less.

And some even do it for $500.

But these are the flat rates and there is less burden.

And hourly rate varies depending on the type of editor, years of experience, fluency, etc.

A college graduate may charge $25 and a seasoned professional may charge $250 per hour for Editing a book thoroughly.

My Suggestion on What to charge for book editing. 

You should not be limited to the cost of book editing I provided you.

Rather you should be playing around with your editing service cost.

Some tier 2 and tier 3 countries may have a lower rate. This does not mean that you should not target those countries.

And if they like your work you may get a recurring client.

Always aim for some recurring clients. This way you will spend more time earning money than looking for new clients.

Try to upsell your products to your existing customers. They are more likely to buy your services again if they are satisfied with your previous work.

Do you live in a different country?? Tell me in the comment section what’s the book editing charge in your country.

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