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How Much do Copy Editors Charge in the UK? - Book Editor Explains Copy Editing Service Rates

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Copy Editing Services UK

Professional book editor in the UK details the standard editorial rates & prices for copy editing services in the UK!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through the products and services I recommend. I only recommend things that I truly love and use, so I hope I can recommend something to you that you can love too! :)

Copy editing services are usually in the mid price range compared to developmental editing, line editing, and proofreading, but the cost can still be vague and uncertain to many aspiring authors.

Truthfully, it's impossible to give you an EXACT price for copy editing services, because each book editor operates differently, and there are multiple factors that determine the overall price.

The most common factor that determines the cost of copy editing services in the UK is the length of your manuscript. Generally, the longer your novel, the higher the price - as many copy editors charge by word count.

Other copy editors charge by the hour, which is the second factor that may also determine the cost, regardless of your word count. If you and another writer have manuscripts of 63,000 words but your novel isn't as polished as the other, you could end up spending more because the copy editor has to spend more time on it. So, if you're going to hire a copy editor who charges by the hour, try to self-edit your novel as much as possible beforehand - you'd be surprised at how much money you could save!

The third factor that could dictate your price is the actual copy editor you hire. Like hairdressers, supermarkets, and properties , copy editors have individual rates & prices, so the amount you pay may be less or more depending on the copy editor you choose.

However, if you want to know the standard industry rates to learn the average copy editing service prices, and to keep yourself safe from the 'copy editors' charging more than these recommended costs, check out the image below:

Editorial Freelancers Association Rates

This screenshot above is taken from the Editorial Freelancers Association, the most established organisation for editors who provide independent services.

Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading Suggested Rates

Above is another screenshot but from the Chartered Institute of Editing & Proofreading, where many professional book editors train to do what they do!

As the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Chartered Institute of Editing & Proofreading are so established, they're incredibly trusted in the editing world, so many copy editors use their recommended rates as a guideline to pricing their own copy editing services.

Some copy editors in the UK do charge a lot lower than these prices, especially if they're new and trying to build a portfolio, or only work part time to supplement their main income, but most professional copy editors stick to the rates suggested by the EFA and CIEP.

Unfortunately, many writers accuse copy editors of being overpriced and avoid hiring them out of bitterness, but the majority of copy editors don't pluck their rates from nowhere or purposely request a healthy amount of money for no reason. Like I said above, most genuine professional copy editors use the trusted EFA and CIEP to price their copy editing services to guarantee that they get paid fairly for their expertise.

If copy editors under-priced their services to please aspiring authors who need a professional editor, they'd likely end up homeless as new clients aren't always guaranteed, so they need to make sure they can survive even through the dry months.

Book Editing Services UK

A £2,000 copy editing service for 118,000 words may look like a lot of money - and it is - but that's the equivalent to two month's pay for the average person on minimum wage, and some people get even less than that in two months. Plus, as some copy editors only request a 50% deposit upfront, or even offer monthly payment plans, they often don't get the full £2,000 in one go, meaning that they have to find other clients to fill the gap, or budget like hell so they don't end up in their overdraft.

To give you a detailed breakdown a self-employed copy editor's expenses & needs each month, take at the figures below:

Rent: £600 a month

Council Tax: £120 a month

Water, Gas, Electric: £500 a month

Business Expenses: £100 a month

Car Insurance: £150 a month

Food: £150 a month

Savings: £100 a month

Total: £1,720

These are just a few of the possible expenses someone may have to live in the UK, but as you can see, these costs add up to £1,720 a month, meaning that £2,000 only just covers it, leaving them with £280 to use for anything else they need.

While a lot of people live on the bare minimum, this wouldn't be possible for a copy editor with these expenses - they would need to get clients who can meet their financial needs per month, just like anyone else in any other profession.

So, before pointing your nose up at a copy editor who's charging what you consider a lot, take the time to check whether they're pricing their services at the standard editorial rate suggested by the EFA and CIEP. If they're expecting more money, run a mile, but if they're charging the same or a little less, they're probably respecting themselves enough to accept the income they need and deserve for their profession, and you should too!

At Stand Corrected Editing, I charge below the standard industry rate suggested by the Editorial Freelancer's Association and the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, so my copy editing services are a little more affordable.

For my copy editing services, I charge £0.017 per word, so if you had a manuscript of 72,000 words for example, it would cost you £1,224.

Although this looks like a lot, I never expect my clients to pay the full amount up front, just a 50% deposit at the beginning.

Plus, new clients get 15% off their first book editing service at Stand Corrected Editing, which is a nice chunk off the total price!

If you have a manuscript that's ready to be edited by a professional book editor, get in touch with me here and you can get started today with a 15% discount on any editing service of your choice!

Speak soon,

Chelsea x



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!

With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!


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