Ashburn, VA 20149
Editors on Thumbtack cost
$250 - $400
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24 Editors found near you!
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Price curve graph
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Sample projects:

Professional freelance editors review manuscripts, web content, academic work, technical documents, business plans and more. Most editors specialize in one or more editing style manuals, including Associated Press (AP), Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago and others. Some editors coordinate projects entirely online, and others meet with clients in person to kick off projects. Editors can help people who are self-publishing a book, completing a dissertation or building a business website to ensure that copy is polished and effective.

Editors assist with many stages of the writing process. Substantive—or developmental—editing focuses on the structure of an entire project to ensure cohesion and organization throughout. Copy editing ensures grammatical correctness, accurate spelling, proper language usage, clarity, and overall consistency in style. Several factors affect the cost of professional editing services.

Hourly rate

Some editors charge an hourly rate for their time. Todd Larson of Accurate Editing & Typing in Watertown, Massachusetts, consults with clients on their desired outcomes for editing, then provides an estimate based on the number of expected hours the job will take. Clients pay a 25 percent deposit of the total, with the remainder due upon project completion. Larson’s hourly rate is $45 for editing and rewriting.

Per word

Some freelance editors charge by the word. On average, one double-spaced page has 250–300 words. Here’s how Pavita Singh of Pavedita in Palo Alto, California, breaks down costs for editing services based on word count and type of editing:

  • Copy editing or line editing per 100 words: 75 cents to $1

    • Copy editing focuses on grammar and spelling, and line editing focuses on paragraph structure, flow, word choice, voice and readability.

    • Copy editing and line editing are two distinct services.

Tiered editing

Depending on the level of editing desired, the per-word or per-page price can be higher or lower. In general, substantive (developmental) editing requires big-picture thinking and potentially more work for an editor than copy editing. Copy editing verifies that a document adheres to the chosen style guide and grammatically accurate and free of spelling errors. Developmental editing considers the content overall and edits are made to the flow of the work to better convey the message or story. Here are cost examples of two tiers of editing from Edit911 in Oviedo, Florida:

Tier 1: Proofreading, improvements to diction, sentence structure, flow and clarity. This tier is for well-written texts that require minor editing.

  • Up to 2,000 words: $100 flat rate

  • 2,000–3,999 words: $125 flat rate

  • 4,000–5,999 words: $150 flat rate

  • 6,000–39,999 words: $25 per 1,000 words

  • 40,000–59,999 words: $24 per 1,000 words

  • 60,000–79,999 words: $23 per 1,000 words

  • 80,000–150,000 words: $22 per 1,000 words

  • Any amount greater than 150,000 words is $21 per 1,000 words

Tier 2: Line editing, copy editing, in-depth improvements to language usage, organization, phrasing, scholarly tone (in the case of academic texts), style formatting (AP, Chicago or MLA) and feedback on content. For fiction, this tier includes a critique of plot development and characterization. For nonfiction and academic works, feedback identifies any unsupported or underdeveloped points or arguments.

  • Up to 2,000 words: $100 flat rate

  • 2,000–3,999 words: $125 flat rate

  • 4,000–5,999 words: $150 flat rate

  • 6,000–39,999 words: $28 per 1,000 words

  • 40,000–59,999 words: $27 per 1,000 words

  • 60,000–79,999 words: $26 per 1,000 words

  • 80,000–150,000 words: $25 per 1,000 words

  • Any amount greater than 150,000 words: $24 per 1,000 words

Minimum fee

Some editors charge a minimum fee for their services to cover the cost of their time and energy spent on a particular project in lieu of other work. Many editors also work in academics or hold advanced degrees, and this fee reflects the value of their time and their expertise. All the editors at Edit911 hold doctorate degrees and charge a minimum service fee of $100, which includes editing for up to 2,000 words.

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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.