Saturday, July 21, 2018

Why I'm an Editor

I got an email last month from BookBaby (a self-publishing company) whose subject line read "Get pro editing at a fair price." I clicked on it not because I needed an editor but because I am an editor. It's nice to know what one is up against. And I gotta tell ya, it was crazy.

The email led me to BookBaby's editing services page. This is what I found. *cue dramatic music*

Tiny, I know. But remember their headline as we zoom in:

images were screenshot from BookBaby and are not my own
I'm not gonna lie. Even though I had to dig these images out of my inbox trash, that turnaround time is pretty great! But do you see that price?!?! *faints* The fine print reads "Based on a 60,000-words, non-fiction book." I ... don't think that's any of us.

Please understand that I'm not in any way bashing BookBaby. I've never used them and I've even heard good things. In fact, they're just one example of big companies who charge a human soul for a single book service. Some of the others they compare to in that chart.

Well, if you're croaking over that price, don't feel bad. "Working class" price or not, I'm croaking too.

When I first started the journey of self-publication, prices like that are what I kept running into. And it was a little discouraging. But instead of shelling out money I didn't have (the real reason I didn't cave), I kept looking. And looking.

Now that I have more of a group here with people doing similar things, I realize that 50% (I made that up) of writers I know also offers editing, web design, cover design--or some other common feature--for a pretty great price.

So, why did I decide to be an editor?

  1. Frankly, even the cheap are still pricey. I mean, that's mostly just the way it goes because a quality job deserves fair compensation. But I'm still the cheapest "professional" I know by far.
  2. I wanted to help people in my position. Most of my online friends (you guys) are non-millionaire, self-publishing peeps. I can't even articulate how incredible it is to help similar people achieve similar dreams.
  3. I chose editing specifically because I truly enjoy it. I'm that super annoying grammar nerd. I have to refrain from correcting printed typos with a red pen. Plus ... editing is basically getting paid to read books before they're even published. It's a win-win.
  4. I want self-publishing to be higher quality. It's got a bad rap exactly because we plebian writers can't afford to pay $3,000 to publish a book. So ... some don't pay anything. The books suffer as a result! And I die a little bit every time I watch that happen.
I hope that gives you a little bit of a feel for my "mission statement" as an editor. Editing is something I decided I wanted to do in my senior year of high school. I can't tell you all how grateful I am that I landed here doing freelance editing for friends instead of in college with no time to actually write or edit. Although I probably would have gone if they'd had a degree in editing. ;)

So to level the playing field between me and BookBaby, I'm over half as good for less than half the price.

I'm always updating how I do things, so the best place to find out more about my services is my editing page. But the most I've ever charged is $3 for every 1,000 words. Still something to save up for perhaps, but I do think everyone should pay for editing as well as other services for each book. I can be inexpensive because I'm not the most experienced person out there, but what I don't know I learn, and this is not my sole income. And yet we seem to be doing just fine. 

The good news is there are options. That's what self-publishing is all about, and that's why I'm an editor.
For those of you still exploring the options, hang in there. Don't pressure yourself into doing it all of paying for something you're not happy with. For those of you providing options, you're awesome. Feel free to promote yourself in the comments. ;) For those of you who have chosen me from among the options, wow. I'm so glad we've come this far.

DON'T LEAVE YET! Please ;) Since Andora's Folly is about to have a birthday, you can grab the e-book on SALE today and tomorrow (Sat + Sun). Thanks!


  1. YES I definitely agree everyone should have their books edited professionally at least once. But I had no clue it was that expensive!! Your prices are great (even if they end up getting higher as you get more experience - they should). I would honestly feel more comfortable having a writer/editor like you edit, because you have a personable blog and wouldn't simply give grammar corrections :)

    1. IT'S INSANE!! I don't know anyone who pays quite that much. Ha, thanks. I probably will end up raising my prices more over time, but still ... I'm sure you know how all of that goes with your photography. Aw thank you! That's good to hear <3

  2. YES! I love your mission statement, especially the part about improving self-publishing chances. Self-publishing is such a gift for many writers and I want them to make sure they give their books the best face. Seeing as they won't have a publishing house editor go over their work, it's important that they find someone else to see that their work is polished to perfection! So it's totally awesome that you offer them an opportunity to get that without breaking the bank.

  3. WHAT THE HECK. Those prices... oh no no.

    Well it's definitely a good thing you're an editor then.

    Also, I'm curious. Would you accept requests to do international editing? As I live in Ireland? I don't have a book I wanna publish yet but I'm wondering just in case...


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