Estimating Editing Time

Estimating Manuscript Editing Time

(Quoted and paraphrased from The Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition, the ultimate reference and last word for Writers, Editors, and Publishers).

Margaret Langstaff, Proferssional EditorA 100,000-word book manuscript, edited by an experienced editor, might take 75 to 100 hours of work before being sent to the author, plus 10 to 20 additional hours after the author’s review. This estimate may need to be adjusted upward, depending on the state or quality of the manuscript submitted for editing . . . and any complexities in the text or documentation.

Stages of Editing: Editors usually go through a manuscript three times—once to do the initial editing (easily the longest stage), a second time to review, refine, and sometimes correct the editing; and a third time after the author’s review.

Indices, charts, graphs, tables, glossaries, footnotes, bibliographies, and such can add many hours to the above estimate.

Serious works will not be taken “seriously” without a thorough, professional edit. Its value cannot be overstated!

Manuscript Evaluation Expert