The Really Real Cost of Editing a Book

I’ve always said that Curiouser Editing edits two kinds of books: unpublished ones and previously published ones with bad reviews.

So today, I’m going to tell you the real cost of copyediting a book. Now, there are two different kinds of costs, so I’m going to explain them below step-by-step and you can choose which one best fits your budget.

Here’s the project:

90,000-word dystopian novel — heavy copyedit — 4-week turnaround

Here's what you need to do:

Research professional editors
Find out a case of caviar is cheaper than a professional editor

Wave goodbye to quality and settle for mediocrity, because it’s way cheaper
Pay a college English major/that person online who edited that thing one time/your mother with no book-editing experience to edit your novel (editing does not include use of a stylebook, but rather implementing the spellcheck option on Microsoft Word)

Total: $300

Set up your book on CreateSpace
Order 100 print copies: $5.89/book
Publish on Amazon

Total: $589

Read your latest Amazon book reviews
Cringe

Hyperventilate
Throw up in a nearby trash can

Total: Free

Email that one amazing editor to explain what happened
Set up a complimentary call to ease your worries
Sign the contract
Be grateful for the payment plan the editor offered
Pay for copyediting (meticulously edited according to 1,000-page stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, for grammar, spelling, and punctuation; inconsistencies and plot holes removed; properly formatted; stilted characters made more realistic; crafted stronger dialogue; and finalized for publishing)

Total: $3,000

Repeat CreateSpace setup
Order 100 print copies (again, because there’s no way on earth you can sell those original copies with the 6,000 errors)

Total: $589

Final Total: $4,478


Here’s your second option:

Email that one amazing editor for a free quote
Set up a complimentary call to ease your worries
Sign the contract
Be grateful for the payment plan the editor offered
Pay for copyediting  (meticulously edited according to 1,000-page stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, for grammar, spelling, and punctuation; inconsistencies and plot holes removed; properly formatted; stilted characters made more realistic; crafted stronger dialogue; and finalized for publishing)

Total: $3,000

Set up your book on CreateSpace
Order 100 print copies
Publish on Amazon

Total: $589

Final Total: $3,589

Which one works best for your budget and reputation?