In this video, I’m going to show you what flaws jump out at me on the first couple pages of an unpublished manuscript. You’ll get a glimpse of how editors will evaluate your writing and why it’s so important to your wallet that your submission is polished. I haven’t read these pages— these are just observations that caught my attention as I glanced over them.
Agents and acquisitions editors can tell a lot about your novel in the first two pages. Your opening pages can entice them to keep reading or elicit an instant rejection.
What if you’re hiring a freelance editor to help you get the book ready for indie publishing or for submitting to agents? Giving you editorial feedback and/or making corrections is their job, right?
Yes, for a price. And that price is most likely hundreds of dollars per editing pass. It may even be over a thousand dollars: FOR ONE ROUND OF EDITING. Most beginner and intermediate writers need multiple rounds of editing.
Some freelance editors charge by the hour. According to the Editorial Freelancers Assocation, the average cost of hiring a developmental editor is $45-$55 an hour, which is for about 1-5 pages per hour.
Many editors will ask for a sample and give you a price or an estimate. They often charge more for a less experienced writer as the edit will take more time.
Did you know they can assess your writing and editing skills in just a couple pages? They’ll probably skim through more just to make sure, but editors don’t need to read many pages to determine your skills and come up with a price.
Learn how to self-edit your work so that you can make your manuscript as strong as possible BEFORE investing in a freelance editor or submitting to agents and publishers. It will save you money and you will look much more professional.
Watch how I assess two pages in this video. This is an example of the issues that I see in many clients’ manuscripts. Then check out my free self-editing course Line Editing Made Simple: 5 Days to More Polished Pages. Sign up here.
If you want to really learn how to think like an editor to save time and money, check out my online course Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable. This course demystifies the editing process, giving you a practical, step-by-step blueprint for evaluating, rewriting, and polishing your manuscript. Find out more here.
Stacy Juba, the founder of Shortcuts for Writers, is a freelance editor and online course creator who teaches authors how to simplify the self-editing process and fit their writing goals into a busy life. Her books include the Storybook Valley chick lit series and the Hockey Rivals young adult sports novels.
Sign up for her free, on-demand masterclass, How to Create Your Editing Game Plan and Fast-Track Your Book: 3 Costly Mistakes to Avoid.