How much is that grammar in the window?
So, for those who don't know, I recently started up a professional editing service. I had thought about doing it for years, but was too busy writing/publishing my own books and didn't have the time or gusto before now. Plus, I was worried I wouldn't have the time to write. It's still a balancing act, but... after a couple of months and some great clients, I can honestly say I'm loving this job! It's the best. I get to read stories and help my fellow indie authors make their books the best they can be. It's a win-win!
There's only one dilemma I've had since the get go: pricing. From the beginning, I wanted to keep my prices on the affordable side, so that EVERY indie can succeed. (I want to be like their word warrior and fight for them all the way!) I know all too well how expensive a lot of editors out there are, and I wanted to be accessible and professional, giving them a real option amidst my often over-priced competitors.
After checking out my competion, I decided on flat rates that I felt were affordable, yet appropriate for the work.
Confident of my rates and my ability, I've been gaining momentum and clients. It's been great! And yet... I saw a couple of posts on Facebook recently that had me scratching my head. Basically, it mentioned how much we Indies usually spend on editing costs, and it listed prices averaging from $2,000-$5,000 USD! I immediately mentioned that I'd personally never charge that much; it's against my principles. But I was met with mixed reactions. Someone even told me that those kinds of rates were perfectly reasonable. I was agog. How many of us can afford that amount? I mean, you could buy a used car with that kind of money! Lol
("You owe us a nickel!" 50 awesome sauce points for anyone who gets the reference.)
Honestly, I don't care if I'm under-selling or going against the norm, I refuse to price that high. I may raise my rates a bit in the future, but never EVER enough where you could go buy a car instead. 😉
Yes, the job isn't easy, and it sometimes takes the iron will of an Avenger to get through a long or mistake-ridden manuscript, but is it fair to charge so much? Is it even possible for an indie in this economy? We all know a pro editor is necessary to publish a book readers will love, but can it be done if they cost so much to hire?
What do you think? If you're an indie author or editor, what's your take on "reasonable" prices for professional editing? How much are you willing to pay?
As for me, I'm here for my fellow authors, and I may not be raking in the big bucks, but at least I can sleep at night... Or morning... Or whenever I finally catch sleep in between all the editing. 😉