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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Here's a tip for finding a "bargain" editor for your book

If you get a deal from a traditional publisher, the company will provide and pay for editing.

If you decide to self-publish, it's up to you to find and pay for one or more editors. The worst sin of self-publishing authors is to publish unedited crap -- and there is LOTS of unedited crap being published. Some of it might not be crap if it was properly edited.

While writers' magazines and directories have lists and ads for professional editors, there is another potential source of high-quality editing that may be available for less money, and the editors may be available to do your work much sooner.


Check with some journalism departments and college newspapers -- perhaps where you went to school -- and chances are you'll be able to find several bright and eager candidates. Read some samples of their work. Maybe submit a sample chapter for editing. Ask a faculty member for opinions. Then make the deal.

Skill levels will vary, of course, and so will needs and costs. You can pay per hour or per project. Expect to pay more if you need major rewriting than just copyediting.

A student who has a part-time job making minimum wage flipping burgers will probably be thrilled to earn $20 per hour, or $300 - $500 for a project. As a comparison, one publishing company that caters to self-publishing authors recently charged $50 per hour or 1.4 cents per word.

If the job goes well, be sure to put your editor's name in the book, and send a note to her or his faculty adviser.

As long as you're investigating colleges, consider hiring a professor, not just a student. If you're writing in a specialized field, it could be worthwhile to hire a faculty member to check your facts, and pay someone else to polish your prose.

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