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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Book Editor? A Financial Breakdown of UK Book Editing Services

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Editor for a Book?

Qualified book editor in the UK gives a financial breakdown of how much professional book editing services cost in 2021!

One of the main hurdles that stops writers from hiring a book editor for their manuscript is the cost, with many deciding to save their money while publishing a novel riddled with plot holes, errors and inconsistencies. However, investing in a professional book editor doesn't need to be scary if you have a general idea of how much money they will likely charge you.

Let me be straight with you - there have been a fair few writers who never emailed me back after learning how much they would need to pay me to edit their novel, and that's even with my previous (lower) rates. They were onboard until that point, so it's clear that a book editor's prices may come as a surprise to some people, and will sometimes put them off.

So, I'd like to just enlighten you on how much you'll likely be charged by a book editor if you're hoping to hire one in the future.

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! :)

On average, you'll be charged between £400 and £1,000, but that's assuming your manuscript is between 40,000 and 100,000 words. You may be charged less or more if you have a higher or lower word count. Plus, the rates differ depending on the editor, so you will probably find (if you shop around) that one editor may charge £600 for 60,000 words, but another may charge £750 so there's no set fee.

At Stand Corrected Editing, I currently charge the following:

  • £0.024 per word for developmental editing

  • £0.021 per word for line editing.

  • £0.017 per word for copy editing.

  • £0.012 per word for proofreading.

So, how do you use those rates to calculate an overall price?

Well, let's say your manuscript is 84,742 words long and you need a line edit. You simply multiply your word count by the price. So, 84,742 x 0.021 = £1,779.58

Or, if you need a developmental edit and a copy edit for a manuscript that's 26,853 words long, I charge you the full price for the developmental edit, but only half the price for the copy edit!


26,853 x 0.024 = £644.47 (developmental)

26,853 x 0.017 = £456.50 (copy)

£456.50 (copy) ÷ 2 = £228.25

£644.47 + £228.25 = £872.72

As a result, the total price for a developmental and copy edit combined would be £872.72 rather than £1,100.97.

Bargain, right? :)

Well, you may not like or agree with their/my rates, but that's what it costs to have your novel professionally edited properly, and I'd kindly suggest that don't haggle or complain over an email. You wouldn't do it in a shop, so please don't do it to an editor. If their prices are too high for your budget, politely decline and move on or save up.

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Once you've found an editor you feel comfortable with after browsing around online, you'll likely find that they have different prices for each service, which can surprise some people if they're not familiar with the different types of editing packages available. It's easy to think that editing is editing, but it's not - each service offers something completely different.

Without going into too much detail about the different services, developmental and line editing are often the most expensive, because they are the most detailed, so it makes sense for writers to pay the editor more money for more work. Copy editing is usually a little cheaper than developmental and line editing, and proofreading is cheaper again, but it's best that you leave proofreading until your manuscript is 90% ready for querying or publishing.

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Too many writers choose to have their novels proofread BECAUSE it's the cheapest service, but proofreading does nothing to actually polish your copy or content. Proofreading is the service carried out before publication to catch the final errors (spelling mistakes, punctuation misplacement, grammatical errors & typos), so don't choose proofreading thinking you're getting your book polished just because you don't want to pay, because you'll only be wasting your money.

So, if you're not sure which editing service your manuscript needs, I would highly recommend getting a developmental or a line edit, or both in one package, as they're the most detailed compared to copy editing & proofreading, so you'll receive more for your money. It's much better to go for the most detailed service than to miss out and find that there are still errors in your work later, so always bear that in mind!

If you're ready to have your manuscript professionally edited, I offer all four editing services (developmental, line, copy, proofreading) at Stand Corrected Editing, so please get in touch if you'd like to work with me! 😊

- Chelsea x



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my editorial business in the UK. If you need professional book editing services and are currently looking for a manuscript editor, please get in touch and we can get started today!

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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