Blue Handle Publishing
How much does book editing cost?
This is a topic near and dear to Charles D’Amico (The founder of Blue Handle Publishing and the Book Puma Services Platform). The easy answer is anywhere from $150 to $2,500 (minimum) if you self-publish and really look for deals and lower-end services. The truth is that this cost can easily exceed $10,000 and there are even services out there that will cost you $50,000. The editing industry has a range of costs from the discount bin to the penthouse in downtown Manhattan.
Like many other writers, Charles struggled to find his way, get the right answers and feel like someone was working with him versus against him. Fortunately, as a business owner and entrepreneur, Charles had the resources to make more mistakes (costly ones too) than many authors starting out. It’s because of these mistakes that he decided it was time to change the industry, from the proprietary way Blue Handle works with editors, to the traditional and cutting-edge editing services offered.
Let’s take a quick moment to break down the basic editing costs across the three primary publishing avenues. Remember, the three most popular book publishing avenues are doing it yourself (self-publishing), paying someone to help for a higher royalty and/or fee (hybrid/vanity publishing) and traditional publishing (getting signed with a traditional publisher with a royalty advance).
Self-publishing has a wide array of costs because it’s dependent on the budget of the author. If you have access to funds that are not the average person, you can find premium services that can make your manuscript shine (but remember all editors are human, and most computer programs can’t agree on sentence structure and are coded with rules). This means you can spend as little as a thousand dollars across all aspects (or less), using freelance workers or friends, but also could spend over fifteen-thousand.
Why do we point this out? It’s because there are talented editors all over the place who don’t charge crazy prices. The problem is finding them, trusting them and understanding the industry. It can be difficult to trust a bunch of strangers to tell you what is wrong with your hard work. Becoming an author isn’t just the challenge to get noticed, but also the challenge of growing and the ability to take criticism.
What about the cost of Hybrid-Publishers?
The cost of Hybrid Publishers depends on which one you work with, and the editing cost is baked into the price (included), which means they are charging you a package fee. They will work on your book, help you get it ready and market it. This means you as an author are fronting a large portion of the cost. Costs in hybrid publishing range anywhere from $5K to $20K. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher. We are a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.
What about traditional publishers?
Technically, working with a traditional publisher costs nothing up front to the author, (therefore no editing fees), but it can cost in the life of the book. With traditional publishing, the author is given an advance of an agreed upon amount, and the author makes nothing in addition to that advance until it is paid off through book sales. This is why the agreed upon advance amount is so important to both author and publisher. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.