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I plan to self publish a book (non fiction). Currently I have 150.000 characters, but when it's done I will end up with around 250.000. I am not a native english speaker but write the book in english, so I want to pay somebody to edit my book. Although my target audience are software developers, it is an "pretty easy" read for everybody. It is basically non-technical, more explaining "how to" work instead of "how to solve technical problems".

I have learned you can have an editor in two ways:

  1. Editors for proof reading, grammar correction etc only
  2. Editors who does 1) plus giving tipps on improving the readability, caring on logical errors etc

I have already learned how I might find a native speaking editor. I would like to calculate the expenses for my book but do not know how much an Editor takes for such a job and how long it would take to complete it. Some raw estimations from your experience would be great.

UPDATE:

Because comments to this question explained me that nobody calculates in Characters (except me :-)), I counted words:

The current document has around 30.000 words, but I expect around 50.000 when it is ready. When I copy the text into Word for Mac, it shows me 49 pages. I tend to think they will become around 90 when I am done.

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150,000 characters or words? –  John Smithers Oct 8 '12 at 9:20
    
@Johne Smithers: Characters only, including spaces, not words –  Christian Oct 8 '12 at 9:33
    
@Christian A page count or word count will give you a better idea. I've never heard of an editor who works by characters. –  Lauren Ipsum Oct 8 '12 at 10:01
    
Than you @LaurenIpsum, didn't know that and updated my question with word and page count. –  Christian Oct 8 '12 at 10:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your best bet is to get some quotes.

I realize that sounds like I'm dodging the question, but I'm not. My method, for example, is to work on a manuscript for one hour and use that as gauge to estimate the rest of the work. For some writers, that's 15 pages an hour; for others it's 30. So my quote for the "15 pages an hour" person is twice as much as the other one.

Some editors have flat rates: $50 an hour, 50 cents a page. Some will charge you by the project: $800 no matter how long it takes.

You won't know unless you start asking for estimates from actual editors who might work with you. I couldn't give you an estimate for your non-fiction ESL work without looking at it.

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1  
Well, i upvoted and accepted this even when I have no clue about the price ranges :-| I have expected more of "something between $500 and $1000" or maybe "up to $5000". Anyway, it already helped me to learn that there is so much difference in the rates and I know now that I need to ask for many quotes. Thanks! –  Christian Oct 10 '12 at 17:34

If you're particularly price sensitive don't forget that using an online editor upfront can save you money. These automated editing programs are generally free/cheap compared to a human editor and can pick up a lot of the stuff that an editor would. They leave the editor to concentrate their time on stylist issues rather than grammar, word usage, and structure. Take a look at (in no particular order): http://autocrit.com http://prowritingaid.com http://masteredit.net Good luck!

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Great websites, thank you for sharing them. I will definitely go with one as it will also help me with blogging, where a "in person" editor is not possible. –  Christian Oct 24 '12 at 14:08

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