Book on blanket with rose - editing and proofreading prices

What are the UK’s editing and proofreading prices? Get the correct and average prices here.

I get this question quite a lot. Authors don’t want to be ripped off, but at the same time, they want to pay someone good for excellent work. This doesn’t usually come cheap.

When you Google what you should be paying for an editor, you come across a whole range of answers. But which one is right? I’ll be basing the prices in this article on rates from the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Society for Proofreaders and Editors, and my own personal experience.


Below is listed the average prices per hour, as listed by the above two societies:



Proofreader                             £23.35

Copy-editor                             £27.15

Substantive editor                   £31.30



Proofreader                             $30 (£23)

Copy-editor                             $40 (£30.65)

Substantive editor                   $50 (£38.32)


I am going on the premise that it will take around 40 hours to edit a 50,000 word manuscript.


The total prices for the above then, is


Proofreader                              £934 ($1218)

Copy-editor                              £1,086 ($1416)

Substantive editor                    £1,252 ($1633)



Proofreader                              £920 ($1,200)

Copy-editor                              £1,226 ($1,599)

Substantive editor                    £1,532 ($1,998)


This will obviously go up or down based on the length of your novel and the standard of writing (more errors takes more time).

I have always said that I want people to tell me their budget before I start work. So you have £400 for me to work with? I can do a light proofread. You won’t get my full ‘potential’ and I might miss some errors, but that’s what you will get for your budget.

Or you could find someone cheaper, which isn’t a problem. But will they give you the same standard of editing for the cheaper price? If yes, then no problem! Go with them. But if they’re cheaper and promise to have the manuscript back in 3 days, run a mile. Most ‘good’ editors will charge extra if you want it back in less than 7 days.

I will also accept a lower budget if I have a longer deadline. So I quote you £900, which is way out of your budget. Return to me, and ask if you can reduce the cost by adding 4 weeks to the deadline. This gives me more time to fit in the task around my schedule, and you will get a cheaper rate.

View my services and my rates.




Editing and Proofreading Prices: What Should You Pay?

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