Why You Should Get Your Work Professionally Edited

Updated on May 25, 2020
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Professional editing can make your work truly stand out.
Professional editing can make your work truly stand out. | Source

One of the worst trends I’m seeing in writing and publishing is the lack of editing, specifically professional editing. It is very easy to see which books haven’t done this, and they suffer for it.

If you are smart, make sure your writing is professionally edited.

What It Means to Be Professional

What makes a professional editor? Well, it is someone who has the background and knowledge to edit your work well. In a strict sense, they own an editing business or they have the certification as an editor. I stress that this is only in the strict sense. To me, a professional editor is one who knows the grammar and punctuation rules and can edit content and fact as well.

In other words, just because Aunt Gertrude reads a lot and finds many mistakes in books doesn’t mean she is a professional editor and should be editing your book. I made that mistake once with a relative. They might have found issues in a book, but they had no clue to what grammar rules were still in place nor did they understand how commas really worked. They also could not find holes in the plot or point out where a character was weak or the dialogue needed to be redone. Bad mistake on my part.

A professional editor knows the rules and has the background to back it up. A professional editor understands what it takes to get a book edited.


A professional editor is not cheap nor free. Yes, you might know someone who will do it for you for free, but the average author doesn’t have that connection. Editing is very hard work. Asking it to be done for free is cheating the author.

Most professional editors cost around $2000 for a novel of 75,000 words. If you find anything less than that, make sure you get a good reference. I’ve seen some charge only a hundred dollars and couldn’t even detect a run on sentence. You get what you pay for and if you can get a good editor for less than a grand, count yourself lucky.

Personally, I charge a much more reasonable fee because most authors cannot afford $2000, but I will not edit someone's book who isn't willing to work on it from their end. Editing is time consuming which is why so many editors charge a few thousand dollars.


How much time does it take to edit your manuscript? More than you think it does, and more than you’d like. If your edits with a full novel take only a week, it’s not being edited. If it takes over a month with few comments, it’s not getting edited. Expect a full novel to take one to four months to be completely edited. I give such a wide range because there are ways to speed up the process and not lose out on quality.

Typically, editing takes multiple rounds to get done. There will be fewer edits if the author has done multiple self-editing before submitting to the editor. That will eliminate the need to fix basic issues that should be addressed before content editing. I’ve had to focus on spelling and sentence structure before I’ve done content editing because the author didn’t do his job before submitting. I have to be able to read the story before I can truly edit it. All authors should have spelling, basic capitalization, and basic punctuation done before submitting to an editor.

When an author does a lot of clean up before editing, it should only take a month or two of up to three rounds of edits to finalize a book. No work done ahead of time….Expect up to six months or more.

Finding an Editor

So, how do you find an editor? You can go online and look. Typically, you’ll find the very experienced and very expensive. If you can afford it, please check them out and read their reviews. If you can’t afford it, check out what other authors have done. Read the author’s work and see how well the editing was done. If it is good, ask who their editor is. Word of mouth can be great when the author knows what makes a good editor.

There are directories for editors, but most of them I have found are very expensive and very selective. Look around and don’t settle for just anyone no matter what the cost.

If editing is under a grand, ask around about them. They might be like me and just want to help others, but they might also not have the background to do a good job. I had one editor trying to get business on Facebook by bragging about her low costs. Posting an example of her edited work, I realized that she didn't know how to edit.

Pay attention and be smart, but always get your book edited.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)