Step 4. Edit Your Book

4. Edit Your Book

One of the most important things you can do for your book is to have it edited. This is one of the most common negative comment made in the Amazon review area for self-published books. The poor editing or none at all.

There is copy editing, line editing, proof reading, and sometimes development editing.

• Copy editing corrects for spelling, punctuation and typos.

• Line editing goes into the structure and flow of your book as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation.

• Proof reading is usually done at the end after everything is laid out and almost ready to publish. It catches all those last minute errors and inconsistencies.

• Development editing; most self-publishers don’t do this but you can. Development editing helps you begin the book and structure the content.

You have basically finished your manuscript and you are now ready for it to be edited.

How much does an editor cost?

That is a pretty open ended question. It depends on the kind of book, how many words, what state the manuscript is in. It is really hard to put a general figure on this, but somewhere between $500-$1,200 give or take a bunch. Many editors are in the $35-40/hour range at 8 pages per hour. Proofreading is in the $25-35/hour at 10 pages per hour. Some charge by the word or by the page. And are you doing line, copy editing or proof reading. If you can find a local English teacher or reporter who is working freelance on the side it might be on the lower side. If you are going with a professional editor it will be much higher. Either way it is worth it to have a better book.

Many of the print-on-demand sites sell editing packages and these look like pretty good places to start for information about what an editor does.

How do I find someone to edit my book?

Ideally you want someone you can work with and is familiar with your type of project. Are you doing a novel or a business book or self-help book? Cookbook, then you might want someone who knows cooking. If you have the budget, then look for someone who will understand your type of project. Locally you might find an English teacher or local reporter that is picking up some extra cash. This might give you just a general person who can do an overall edit of your book.

You can also look at the freelance sites like and Understand though that the person might be outside the country and also doesn’t have a full grasp of your language or style. If you use the freelance site Fiverr, test your prospects. Send some sample copy to five different editors and see which one does the kind of job you are looking for.

Here are some great tips from Joanna Penn of the on how to find an editor.