People are usually surprised at how much professional book editing costs. A lot of time goes into any book edit, but the time and cost are greatly reduced when the writing is polished. When authors take the time to make their manuscript the best they can make it before sending it off for editing, that shortens the hours the editor must spend—and reduces the money the author has to pay.
I once had a client ask me to edit a book which I refused just because I got worn out reading the first chapter. It was a hodgepodge of misused hundred-dollar words, posturing, meandering, and verbosity. He told me proudly that he had not done any revisions— the draft he sent me was entirely the fruit of his spontaneity. And it read like it!
Spontaneity is essential in writing, and there’s nothing wrong with a messy first draft. Even my own first drafts are usually a mess, and I’m a professional writer and editor. The thing is to recognize that our responsibility to our writing does not end with getting the thoughts down on paper. A first draft is only the beginning. Revision is crucial.
Make your writing the best representation of your ideas that you possibly can make it, before you hand it off to a professional editor—or, if you don’t have the time for that, be prepared to pay several times what you would have for the service.
Jessi Rita Hoffman … book editing by an industry professional