Developmental Editing

Edit: I decided not to get my story edited. Thank you for all the comments.

I asked a professional editor how much he would charge me for 22,071 words and the amount felt a little expensive-- 880 dollars, to be specific. Is that a normal amount to ask for? I don’t know anything about this so I’m not sure.

Thank you for the answer. I was really worried for a bit there. :sweat_smile:

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0.018 per word? From the research I have done, most copyeditors ask between 0.8 and 1ct per word.

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Lol, I’d go to the story help category and ask for someone to edit your book for you.They may ask for comments/reads in return, but there are some very good editors on this site and what you have to pay them is very small compared to the real money you’d have to fork over. Also there’s also the chance that the editor you’re paying won’t do a good job at least if that’s the case on Wattpad you’re only wasting time and not money. That and there is a lot of editors here, so sooner or later you’ll find a good one to help catch all those grammatical errors and story plot holes:) You might still want to hire an actual editor but look around and see what works best for you, there are many editors out there!


'Ere. And these seem reasonable.

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Heads up: no one should be getting their work edited for free by someone on Wattpad. Not if you’re going for actual publishing (self or traditional). Just… no.

Also, developmental editing is the most expensive editing you can get, and it usually runs a couple thousand dollars for a full-length novel. I don’t think that you were quoted too bad of a price.


For developmental editing? I wouldn’t say so. Developmental editing is a LOT of work and a LOT of time.

That said, it’s worth shopping around.

(If you meant copy editing or line editing, then yes.)


The cost of the book editing also varies by what genre it is.

I don’t think that’s expensive for a Development Editor. But you better check out the editor’s credentials. A good Development Editor can make your novel better. A bad Development Editor can ruin it.

We’re not talking about fixing typos or grammar. We’re talking about plot and characters and flow and voice.

But I have to ask. Why hire a Development Editor for a 22K word story? That’s too short to publish as a novel.

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I’m thinking of publishing it as a novella. And since it’s very fast-paced it’s possible that it could stretch into novel length. I’m just not sure how to do it by myself.

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I’m sorry I was only talking about editing such as grammar lol.

Developmental editing is several times as expensive as copyediting, as it takes a lot more time

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It’s a much higher skill level.

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The one novella I have for sale is over 40K words.
22K seems short.

I once took a wattpad 5-page short story and expanded it to an 84K word novel.

For example, in the short story the protagonist’s father was falsely convicted of a crime. At least the son believed he was innocent. I never even mentioned what the crime was. It’s purpose was to have the townspeople and his girlfriend’s parents turn against him.

When I expanded it to a novel, I not only mentioned what the crime was, but I had several chapters of the trial. It was important information and the introduction of some critical characters in the novel version. The novel turned out to be him proving his father’s innocence in additional to the Romeo and Juliet type love story which is what the short story is.

So I expanded what was in the short story, added sub-plots, and added characters. You’ll be surprised how quickly the word count grows.

Thanks lol, I’m sorry for mixing them up.

For a developmental edit, that’s about right.

However, I’d say you should look into finding a Beta Reader first. Get the novel as polished as possible, so when you give it to a developmental, they are editing the closest to the final draft of the novel (which means you will get more bang for your buck instead of needing to hire one again)


I disagree. Not for a developmental editor. They’re looking at plot and character arcs, pacing, CRAFT. Their suggestions can result in SIGNIFICANT rewrites. It’s a waste of time to polish. In fact, if I were of a mind to bring in a developmental editor, I’d likely do it after the first or second draft.

Now a copy editor, YES. Definitely! The less they have to do, likely the lower the charge.

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I guess in my head I was imagining the latest draft of one of my stories. If I had submitted the first draft, it would have been a waste of money, as I have completely re-written it. Beta readers have helped point out obvious errors that made a ton of light bulbs go off for me, and now I have re-drafted the outline, and am now working on the next edition of it right now. It’s something I got for free wthout having to pay anyone for.

I am glad I had beta readers read my story first before paying anyone to look it over. This newer draft feels much more like the polished, finished draft. I look forward to a developmental editor with this new draft and helping polish it further.

I guess what I mean is - I recommend to get some beta readers to read one’s draft, address the obvious issues that anyone could see, and then let a developmental editor see all of the other errors. I only say that because of money. If money wasn’t an issue, then a developmental editor would be my first, second, and third go-to option, as they can do wonders for a story. But since they are a bit expensive, you might as well give the story to beta readers first. I’m not quite sure how it’s helpful not to.

I’m still super happy I had beta readers first before paying anyone. I believe I saved some money by doing so, but then again, I got lucky and had some excellent readers.

I’ve never used an Alpha reader, but that sounds like an Alpha reader. @MichaelJSullivan once mentioned that his wife was his Alpha reader.

I find this on the higher end if it’s just developmental edits, however, if it’s also includes a second round line edits, it’s about right. My editor charges $0.025 per work for developmental and the same for line edits, but you get a discount if you book both together.

But as @Blayde and others pointed out, it’s a very short book to go through the effort (and commercially risky if it’s your first and only book). I have two novellas published (one with about 45K works, the other around 20K), but I usually give them away free as incentive to sign up for my newsletter. They are also available for sale for $0.99 but I only sell very few copies.

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