To Pay, or Not to Pay? That is the Question …to the editor I mean.

I’ve been thinking a lot about editing lately.  I can’t judge how good my own writing is, I’m too close to it and have read it so many times I can’t evaluate it objectively.  I also want to know where the glaring problems are so that I can fix them.  Thankfully I have a writing partner, but even after that process I might want to have a “Real” editor take a whack at it (no offense meant Stacy).  Looking at the average cost for a novel of 500 pages or 120,000ish words it runs around $1500.  It can vary up and down from that several hundred dollars, but let’s use that as a baseline figure.  In order to recoup that cost I have to sell books.  If I put it up on Amazon for $3.99 I get to keep 70% of that or $2.79.  That would require me to sell 536 books to hit the break even point and that is not even counting the cost of getting it published.  If I choose to sell it at $2.99, I get  $2.09 and have to sell 718 copies.  If I choose the $.99 price point many new authors are using I get $.35 a copy and that requires 4286 books to sell to hit the break even point.

Honestly, I’m sure having a real editor give my book a good going over is really worthwhile, but it’s a real leap of faith to make that investment on something that may only sell to my family and friends out of kindness.  I think anyone that is self-publishing should have their book edited by a professional.  The other option is to try to get it as good as I can and get a publishing company to buy the rights and do all that stuff on their nickel 


I’m really curious how many of you are using an editing service and if you think it’s worth it.