Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A FreeLance Editor? by Diana Flegal
What exactly does a Freelance Editor offer an Author? Diana explains in today’s blog.
Diana previously shared this information in Christian Fiction Online Magazine, http://christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/ and thought she would re post it here for the Blog reader.
One of the many changes we have seen take place in the publishing industry since the economic downturn has been the need for authors to provide 'camera ready' manuscripts. The editorial burden of tightening up a manuscript used to fall on the publishing house. In the past, an editor would have been assigned to the writer, even providing such personalized service as to travel to the authors local and stay for extended periods of time to do a 're write' before going to press. With the recent layoffs and downsizing, publishers no longer offer this once routine service. Many authors are now finding the necessity of hiring an editor to help them prepare their manuscript for submission. I thought it might be good to elaborate a little on the types of services that are available to authors, and what costs you might expect to pay for such services. Keep in mind that rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page, however, is a firm 250 words.
Terms and definitions:
Freelance Editor: Freelance practice varies greatly. Some require clients to sign written contracts while others may perform work based on verbal agreements, perhaps enforceable through the very nature of the work. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients. They help getting words and information ready for publication, offering temporary help, occasional assistance, or long-term commitment. A freelance editor can help you with planning, outlining / organizing, enriching, ghostwriting / collaborating.
Copy Editor: the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy (but not content) of a manuscript. This work is done before the work of proofreading.
Proofreading: consists of reviewing any text, either hard copy on paper or electronic copy on a computer and checking for typos and formatting errors. This may be done either against an original document or "blind" (without checking against any other source). Many modern proofreaders are also required to take on some light copy-editing duties, such as checking for grammar and consistency issues.
Ghost Writer: A professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person. Celebrities, executives, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, magazine articles, or other written material.
When an author submits a manuscript to the publisher, that manuscript may contain material from outside sources. Photographs, text quotes, cartoons, full article reprints, charts, line drawings, graphs, maps, screen shots of websites or software--all sorts of things--may have been found during the course of research and may be added to the manuscript by the author. Someone must (1) evaluate whether permission is required for each of those "found items" to be printed in the book and, where permissions are required, someone must (2) obtain written permission before each item can be reprinted.
September 2008 the Editorial Freelancers Association posted these fees on their site as a rough guideline for common editorial rates. (EFA is a national not-for-profit —501(c)6— organization, headquartered in New York City, run almost entirely by volunteers.)
Copyediting, basic 5–10 ms pgs/hr $25–40/hr –
Copyediting, heavy 2–5 ms pgs/hr $35–50/hr
Substantive | line editing 1–6 ms pgs/hr $40–65/hr
Developmental editing 1–5 pgs/hr $50–80/hr
Proofreading 5–10 ms pgs/hr $25–35/hr Researching NA $25-50/hr
Writing 1–3 ms pgs/hr $50–100/hr $1–$2/wd
NOTE ms = manuscript, prn = printed, pg = page, hr = hour, wd = word
I found another individual editor willing to offer the following rates:
Word Rate$0.008 per word (0.8 cents per word) Transcription Rate$80 per hour of dictation/interview Ghostwriting Rate$40 per hour
Your particular agent should be able to provide a list of editors they respect and feel will offer you a quality service. I recommend you interview each editor, asking what their fees are, a realistic estimate of when they can complete the project and what their fees are. Be sure to choose an editor not only based on expertise but also on whether you feel that you can work well with them.
I hope you found this helpful. Here is hoping you have a glorious Spring Day in your part of the country and around the globe.
From my heart to yours,