what it costs
Helping you express your message beautifully, authentically, and professionally to your audience is what I do. Editing, like teaching yoga, is a demanding and skilled task that requires complete attention and in-depth training. There are no shortcuts. An investment in editing your work is a one-time cost, well returned. The cost for editing a teacher training manual is likely far less than you would charge a single student for a 200-hour training and will serve you for years to come.
Because I understand you and what you do for a living, I can be highly efficient in the work. I charge by the hour so the less editing you need, the less you pay. The rate is $95/hour, with no time minimum. I have edited pieces that took less than fifteen minutes and, conversely, have also worked for months or years with other clients on getting their books just where they want them.
The initial estimate is designed to be the final cost. However, as we all know, things happen. We may discover a chapter that needs more work than anticipated, or you may have a sudden brainstorm that means you add 50 pages to your original document. Whatever the case, I do my best to stay within the original estimate. I honor your time and money. If I find that the job is taking more (or less!) time than anticipated, I will let you know before I continue.
To get an idea of what this means in real-life, here are a few examples:
1. Proofreading a website for typos, missed words, or mistakes such as its/it’s takes about 5-10 minutes per 250 word page. For a simple website with about 10 pages of text, the cost to make it error-free would be between $79 and $158.
2. A 100-page teacher training manual (assuming 250 words/page) that needs only very basic editing (grammar and punctuation check; minor word or sentence structure changes) will generally take us between 3-5 hours to edit and complete the final proofreading. The cost for this will therefore be between $285 and $475.
3. A 100-page teacher training manual (assuming 250 words/page) that needs substantial editing (rewriting, reorganizing, and clarifying ideas, in addition to grammar, spelling, etc.) will generally take us between 9-20 hours to edit and complete the final proofreading. This will cost between $855 and $1,900.
4. Fliers, brochures, web pages, and other short writings will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 5 hours each, depending on the level of editing needed. This translates to about $24 to $475 per item. Of course, the final cost depends on how complex each item is and how much substantial editing is desired.
5. Writing something for you from scratch is a longer process. When we are editing a project, it’s much easier to catch the tone and style of your project immediately because you’ve given us something from which we can begin. If we are writing from scratch, even after we’ve talked to you on the phone and perhaps even read some samples of things you like, it usually takes a few tries to hit the tone and style just right. But once we do, the rest of the work together goes far more quickly.
We invoice either every two weeks or at the end of the job, depending on what makes the most sense for the project. For some jobs, we may request a deposit. And remember: if we need to exceed the estimated time for any reason, we will contact you immediately and explain the situation. We will not proceed without your approval. If you request any additional changes or revisions outside the scope of the original estimate, these will be billed at the hourly rate. We accept checks, money orders, Spanish doubloons, first-born children, and credit cards through PayPal…um, wait. Actually, we don’t want the first-born children. But Spanish doubloons are great!
And — in case you are wondering — we are worth it.
A NOTE ON EDITING
The process of editing is similar to working with an artist to design a logo. You meet with her so she can get an idea of your vision, your voice, and your business. She designs her first version of the logo based on your communication. This first version is a final, usable version, but you may decide to request revisions or changes. Each time you request revisions or changes, the designer bills for her time.
It’s much the same with us. If you wish to add new writing or request another revision, we will work with you until you are satisfied. Please just be aware that this will be outside the original estimate and require additional payment.
Whether you keep the first edited version of your work or decide to go further, each and every version you receive from us will be usable without requiring any more work from you — yippee! (Unless, of course, you have requested otherwise. Some book clients prefer to just get an editorial letter, which outlines big-picture suggestions on organization, style, tone, etc. In this case, you as the writer do all the follow-up writing.)