The short answer is – No. The thinking here is that an editor will be able to spot mistakes you did not see so that you can turn in the absolute best manuscript possible, and this is absolutely true. An editor can help you clean up any mistakes and spot glaring errors, but this does not guarantee you acceptance by any agent or traditional publisher. If they do not like your story or your concept, you are still screwed, and if you paid money to have it edited, you are also out that money. Keep in mind the listed rejection rate for editors and publishers is 97 percent. ​The other thing to remember is that if you are accepted by an editor/agent, they will suggest changes and edits to your manuscript, and the edits could be extensive, undoing everything your paid-for editor just did.  You will also be edited again by the publisher's editor, if you are lucky enough to get accepted by a publishing house.  All of this editing could result in between 50 to 75 percent of your book being completely rewritten.

​Is There Ever a Reason You’d Want to Hire a Freelance Editor?

Yes. When you’ve stopped submitting to agents and decided to self-publish. This is when you should hire an editor. Once you’ve decided to go it alone, go ahead and hire that editor. You really want to make sure that your novel is cleaned-up and ready to go before you self-publish. This is when you start throwing your own money into the project. Per sale, you are going to earn more as a self-published author than a traditionally published author, so you will be more likely to make up that money. However, on average, self-published authors sell fewer books.  The good news is that you can publish as fast as you can write, so you'll be able to write and publish more books in a shorter period of time.

​How Much Should You Pay for an Editor?

The price of editing depends on the type of editing.  Developmental edits tend to be the most expensive which prices reaching as high as $5,600.  Proofreading tends to be the least expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.  Line editing tends to fall in the middle.  Of course, you have to think about the fnancial aspects.  Most authors don't like thinking about the business side of the book industry.  Unfortunately, as a self-published author, you have to be both the creative side and the buisness owner.  This means that you will have to think very hard about whether or not to hire an editor.  If you can't afford it, there are plenty of self-editing books available to help you polish your novel and get it ready for publication.

Also remember that anything you spend goes against your bottom line, and you are starting at $0.00. If you spend $2,000 on editing, you are now -$2,000 before you earn a profit. If your book earns you $3 per sale, you will need to sell 667 books before you break even. Do you know 667 people that want to buy your book?

​Can I Just Do My Own Editing?

Yes. This is the most affordable option. It is also the most time consuming. If you are going to do your own editing, put your manuscript away for three or four days and clear your mind. If you’ve gone through the manuscript several times over the last month, put it away for a week or two. You need to forget what you wrote and give your brain a break.

Once you’ve forgotten what you’ve written, pull that bad boy out of the drawer or boot it up on your computer and read it like you are a reader. Anything that catches or is off or doesn’t feel right, mark it, but don’t change it. The highlight feature works well for this. Once you are finished reading it, go back and make the changes.
The bottom line is that it is entirely up to you to determine if you need to hire a professional editor, if you have the money to hire the editor and whether or not you can skip the editor and do all the editing, polishing and formatting yourself.

Read More on Editing

  1. What Is Over-Editing, and What Can You Do About It? ...
  2. 6 Tips for Performing Your Final Book Edit Before Formatting and Publication
  4. Should I Hire an Editor for My Novel Before Submitting It to an Agent?
  5.  8 Tips on How to Quickly Self-Edit a Novel
  6. Extreme Fiction Manuscript Editing ...



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