After I wrote recently about why self-publishers need to use professional editors, a number of folks emailed and commented, asking just how much such an endeavor would cost. It was a tough question to answer — I know what I would charge for many services, but it’s difficult to say what the market cost might be, especially for services that I myself don’t regularly provide. Understandably, some correspondents were anxious, wondering if they should jump in, not knowing what the whole process might cost.
This week on PBS.org, Miral Sattar, CEO of the publishing-services marketplace site BiblioCrunch, posted what I found to be a quite thorough rundown of what it might cost to put a self-published book through as professional as possible a publishing process.
She posited a fairly typical book, weighing in at around 70,000 words. She made no further stipulations — fiction vs. non-fiction, for example, or thoroughly workshopped, researched, and rewritten (I was obsessed about the need to rewrite my essay as a student, still remember) vs. hastely pulled together. The style, genre, and initial quality of the prose do make a huge difference in terms of the kind and amount of editorial work that needs to be done, obviously. Ms. Sattar was trying to explore a median case.
She based her standards and pricing on the Editorial Freelancers Association’s posted rate sheet, which is as close to an industry standard as exists.
Here in brief is Sattar’s rundown (each entry has a low and a high end estimate):