Reply To: Reasonable Price for Developmental Editor

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T. A. Rodgers
Senior Moderator

Developmental editing is a big move to consider. With line/copy editing you can find thousands that do it and the price is anywhere from $x – $1,000. Being that it’s mainly used to catch grammar and spelling issues it’s a relatively low cost. When it comes to developmental editing you get what you pay for. Using online sources where the editor says they’ll do it for $1,000 or less is again, you get what you paid for. Be careful when going this route. A great editor never changes voice. There’s no guarantee of the results no matter who you choose, but unless they are well-known in the business I fear you will be wasting your money. I know several developmental editors and they are not cheap, but they come with real credentials from real publishing houses. Their projects are published by the top 5 and everyone below. So if I could give one piece of advice it’s think about where you want to go with the novel you are writing before you make the decision.

Now what’s interesting in this business is that most think that once you find an agent and they sell the novel to an editor that you no longer need any other help. This is actually not true. Again I know several best-selling and mid-list authors that after they finish their novel and before they send it to their agent, they have an editor that they know and trust go through it. Their explanation is once you find a formula that works, why change it? Good luck.

Also, please examine the layout of your novel. 109 pages for almost 50k words is way short. You should have: 1 inch margins, double space, 12 font in times new roman, indents (no tabs), and start each chapter about half way down the page. On average this will get you close to 200 pages for 50k words.