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Estimate of Costs

SFeditor.com Price List

  • Submission appraisal: $150 per manuscript
    Initial manuscript appraisal includes review of first 30 pages of manuscript plus review of a one to three page synopsis. Client receives one- to two-page objective appraisal of the manuscript/synopsis indicating whether the manuscript is publishable, and an estimate of developmental or copyediting required to bring the manuscript up to a publishable standard.

    (This generally works out to a 75% discount on regular hourly rate. The appraisal fee is set low because it is payable in advance and non-refundable. It represents your opportunity to access the benefits of development/copy editing from SFeditor.ca on a trial basis without making a significant investment.)

  • Developmental editing: $50/hr
    A development editor is someone who works with an author to develop his/her manuscript to the point where it is ready for publication. They generally provide feedback and advice on 'the big issues': plot, character, pacing, setting, description, internal logic, writing quality, and so on. Of course, specifics of the feedback provided will vary depending on the needs of the manuscript under review, but the purpose is to assist the writer in achieving the manuscript's full potential.

    Developmental editing can sometimes include additional forms of mentoring—help with writer's block, motivation, self-doubt, and so on—such that the editor becomes a writing coach. A good writing coach can save a writer considerable time, energy and angst by focusing one's energies productively, but the client needs to understand that such services also represent billable hours.

  • Copy editing: $45/hr
    Copy editors check for spelling, grammar, formatting (e.g., correct bibliographic style), and accuracy (e.g., issues like ensuring the hair color of a minor character remains consistent across several chapters). Copyediting does not involve making or suggesting substantive changes to the text. At SFeditor.ca, copyediting is usually included in developmental editing (I can't help correcting mistakes I happen to notice in passing), but copy editing will stop if significant problems requiring developmental editing appear. There is no (ethically appropriate) point in charging a client to fix the spelling, if the plot/characters/themes are not of publishable quality.
  • proofreading: N/A
    Proofreaders check galleys against the original manuscript to ensure that errors have not been added in the production process. Proofreading is not available from SFeditor.ca.

Note that it takes eight to ten minutes to read a page carefully enough to edit; making comments obviously takes much longer, so the more changes required, the longer editing takes. Even a perfectly clean manuscript requiring almost no changes will still take time to read and therefore cost the client a minimum of around $4-5/page. A more accurate estimate of the cost for your particular manuscript will be calculated based on the sample pages and synopsis submitted. Once an initial estimate has been provided, should unanticipated problems with the manuscript start to push costs up, the client will be informed of the new estimate before additional work is undertaken.

Comparison Shopping

$45/hr may seem like a lot of money, but if you want professional editing, you have to pay professional rates. To examine standard professional rates for editors based in Canada, see "What to Pay a Writer" on the www.writers.ca site. (Editing is about a third of the way down the right hand column). The site is maintained by the Periodical Writers Association of Canada. To find other available editors, search through the Find a Writer function with "type of writing" set to "editing". Of course, most of these will have little experience editing fiction, and probably none editing SF. Alternatively, type "freelance fiction editor" into Google or into Wikipedia. A list of recommended Canadian SF editors is also available on the "Links" page of this site.

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Last updated December, 2016.