Should you hire an editor? How much should you pay them?

Most students do not hire editors — but if you have the budget for one, I would generally recommend paying at least 5 cents per word — but no more than 10.

There are a few types of editors, and I recommend either not hiring one at all, or only hiring a "developmental editor." The types are:

  • Proofreader: someone who finds and corrects small grammatical/spelling errors
  • Line Editor: someone who helps you rewrite sentences to be clearer, more concise, and flow better
  • Developmental Editor: someone who helps rework your entire manuscript, at a high/strategic/structural/writing quality level -- as well as specific details like line editing
My advice on editors is to either do it yourself, or to pay someone you get along with really well and trust deeply. Usually, a person like this will be on the higher end, cost-wise.

If you can afford the higher price, I would definitely recommend it. If you can’t, I would recommend proceeding with self-editing and my recommendations in the course on “crowdsourced” editing (getting your readers to help you with editing).

The best place to find editors is the Reedsy Marketplace. Search for someone who has experience writing a books in your category/genre/niche.

If you specifically need help with wordiness, try an app like Hemingway (https://hemingwayapp.com/). If you’re struggling after that and my self-editing lessons, I would at that point recommend considering an editor.


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