It’s no industry secret that having editors review your manuscript will make for a better-finished product, but can you get by using free editing services? You might assume that paying for an editor will always be best if you can afford it, but most writers would benefit significantly from utilizing some of the free editing services out there. Of course, there is a time and a place for professional editing, but identifying when that is will help you immensely and save you money for when that time comes. In the meantime, free editing services or an online editing community can sharpen your skills and move your work along much faster than if you were doing it yourself.
What Stage of Writing Are You In?
Eventually, hiring an editor is a good idea, but most writers will assume their writing is at that stage far before it is. This is because many writers view professional editing as getting their writing to the publishing stage. It’s like a gateway. Instead, we should be viewing professional editing like the final sharpening of your work that will help you present your writing in its best light. Of course, there are situations where you will work with various editing professionals throughout the process, but new writers aren’t likely in situations like this.
If your work is genuinely close to finished, it may be time to look toward professional editing, but you should take some time to make sure you’re really at that point. Let friends and family read your work. If you have an experienced writing mentor in the industry, seek counsel on hiring an editor. In the meantime, looking into free editing services might help move your work further along the way.
What Are the Average Rates of Paid Editing Services?
Professional editing is quite expensive. For major books with professional contracts, you may be utilizing developmental editing services, which can average around $.08 per word. For most personal projects, this won’t be a service that you’ll invest in. You’ll most likely be better off waiting until your writing is ready for copy editing or proofreading, which average around $.018 per word or $.0113 per word, respectively. The prices only go up when you pay for editing services in more specific mediums such as screenwriting.
The costs can quickly add up. At those rates, a 70,000-word book will cost you $1,260 for copyediting or $791 for proofreading. These are sizable sums, but you shouldn’t skip the editing when getting your work ready for publication. This is why it is prudent for many writers to hold off on paying for editing services until they need that final sharpen.
Are Free Editing Services Worth It?
Free editing services are precisely what they sound like, but many writers approach them in the wrong way. Free editing isn’t something people just give away without a catch. Remember those days when you would sit in school, swap papers with a partner, and edit each others’ work? That’s more like what free editing services are like.
You have to participate on a platform to receive edits on your work in most cases. There are many online editing communities, and participating in them will pay dividends over time. The key is understanding what joining these communities will do. You get to connect with new people, get inspired by other writers, and so much more. Instead of hiring multiple lower-quality editors to move your writing along the way, projecting your work over time with many like-minded writers will often improve your writing much more. You’ll also be able to save for a quality editor when the time comes.
An additional and unexpected benefit you’ll receive is that editing will make you a much better writer. If you write in a medium that requires careful formatting and style, like scriptwriting, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with industry standards. Seeing others’ work at various stages along the way will give you a great idea of where your work is, how to improve your style and formatting, and you’ll continue to improve your writing while helping someone else out.
You usually get out what you put into free editing services or communities. When you invest time, participate often, and interact with others, you’ll reap the rewards of joining a service. If you check in once to have a piece edited and then leave, you won’t benefit as much from it.
Use ScriptMother as Your Free Editing Service
ScriptMother is an interactive writing community for both screenwriters and authors alike. You can set up an account for free, and you’ll be able to interact with two different communities, one for screenwriters and another for authors.
Using our unique format, you’ll submit your work, then begin editing the work of other users. The more you edit, the higher your rank will go and the more edits you’ll receive on your work. You’ll then be able to submit other drafts in the future as you improve your piece.
One of the unique features in our editing system is our “Script Notes” feature. For many free editing services, you’ll receive feedback separate from your draft. This feature gives you an extra step of finding the exact place that needs editing. In addition, script notes allow you to make notes on the writing itself, quickly see where suggestions are made, and make changes accordingly.
Using ScriptMother, you’ll be able to contribute to a lively editing community and take advantage of one of the best online free editing services available. You’ll also benefit from reading the work of others, honing your editing skills, and receiving quality feedback from other writers. In addition, ScriptMother runs monthly contests that you can enter just by participating on the platform. If you win, you’ll also benefit from receiving free feedback from real industry professionals who review written work as their day job.
Create an account with ScriptMother today and make this year the year you take your writing to a whole new level!