How Much does it Cost to Edit a Book?


How Much does it Cost to Edit a Book?

If you are writing a book, you will need to have it edited by a professional at some point. There are times where people have chosen not to hire a professional editor to polish their writing, and quite honestly, it usually never ends well. 

The editing process is essential to the end result, as it helps improve grammar, the flow of the book, the structure, and more. Having a book edited by a pro is not inexpensive, although most would agree that it is worth the investment. 

A book editing service, such as AutoCrit, might help you save a few dollars. If you were to use a professional book editor, how much would you end up paying? Let’s look at the factors that influence book editing costs and how much you can expect to pay.

Factors that Affect Book Editing Costs

Some factors will work toward determining how much it will cost to have your book edited. Let’s take a look.

The Type of Editing

There are different types or levels of editing, with three specific levels to keep in mind. Each level or type of editing is going to cost a bit more than the last. First, there’s basic proofreading, which entails looking for consistency, the format, and the layout. 

There’s copyediting, which entails some micro editing, grammar editing, structure, and flow editing. 

Finally, you have the most intense kind of editing, developmental editing, which involves macro, or ‘big picture’ editing, as well as content editing. 

The Word Count

Although this might seem obvious, it is essential to note that the longer the book is, the more it will cost to have it edited. The number of words or how many pages the book has will determine the cost of having it edited. 

The Complexity of the Book

The next factor is how complicated the subject matter is. For instance, a simple children’s or fantasy book will cost much less to edit than a complex academic book. One of the most significant considerations is whether the book has endnotes, footnotes, or citations. A book with citations is going to cost more than one without. 

Your Experience Level

Next, something you need to consider here is your own level of writing, or in other words, how skilled you are. The more inexperienced you are, the more mistakes you are likely to make, the more help you will need, and you will pay more. If you are an experienced writer, your book probably won’t need all that much editing, leading to a reduced cost. 

The Editor’s Experience Level

The other factor is the editor’s experience level. A beginning editor who has only worked on a couple of books is likely to charge less than an editor who has been in the business for a decade. As with any other industry, you pay for professional experience, and the more experience an editor has, the more they will be able to charge you. 

Your Deadline

As is the case with almost everything, the faster you need something done, the more it will cost. For this reason, we recommend not procrastinating. You want to give your editor as much time as possible to work through your book; this way, they cannot charge you extra for a swift turnaround time. 

So, How Much Can You Expect to Pay?

We will provide you with the industry-standard cost for the three editing types we discussed above. However, keep in mind that all the factors discussed here can influence that average cost. 

Let’s take a 100,000-word book as an example. 

  • For proofreading, you can expect to pay an average of $.0113 per word for a total cost of $1,130
  • For basic copy editing, you can expect to pay an average of $0.018 per word for a total cost of $1,800
  • For development editing, expect to pay an average of $0.08 per word, for a total of $8,000.


While we have provided you with estimates based on the industry average for editing costs, keep in mind that the factors we talked about can significantly influence this. You really won’t know your final price until you get a quote from the editor you approach.

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