For this, I asked around and did some research. Quite a few indie authors were kind enough to give me exact numbers. So, a big thank you to everyone. I also took note of others’ research (esp. the Editorial Freelancers' Association) - I will include a relevant link in comments below.
Once I collected all the reliable information, I gave the numbers to Erica and she did her math/stats magic, and came up with the graph/bell curve below.
We had over a dozen price points - a small sample but reliable, and mostly from indie fantasy writers.
Here’s Erica’s breakdown: “For math nuts, the SD was 6.5, meaning about 70% of prices were from USD$ 2.50-$15.50 per 1K words. As we had to estimate word count for some of our stats, there’s probably a $1 +/- per 1K margin of error on numbers.”
So, a quote will depend on the length of your manuscript. But USD$9 per 1K words seems to be the average price point for a developmental or a line edit quoted to indie writers for a novel-length manuscript from 100K up in the fantasy genre.
I won’t pretend to know what standard deviation means. It’s a bit late in the day for me to understand such things, but Erica will be happy to answer any questions you may have in comments below. I will also link to her post about her experience working on this, and I would highly recommend that you read it, esp. If you are a budding editor. Everyone deserves a living wage, and if you’re really good at what you do, you deserve more than that.
Personally, I think there should be transparency in such things. I don’t like to hear of newbies being scammed. Knowledge is power and should be shared. Fairness is important, and I would hope that, as a community, we value those who do a good job for us.
Whose side am I on, writers or editors? This is easy. I’m on the side of those who care about Craft, meaning all those writers who understand that writing is a lifelong learning process, that we can all keep improving, and all the editors who help us along our journey.
Do you see now that we need to be on the same side? Because what benefits one should benefit all.