You have finally done it. You have written your novel. You know that you will stand out in the slush pile or in the crowd of self-published authors if you get your novel professionally edited. However, editing is more expensive than you thought it would be (see Why Does Editing Cost So Much?). How on Earth do you pay for editing?
Four Nontraditional Ways to Pay for Editing
In this post, I take a look at several nontraditional ways to pay for editing. I assume here that you don’t have the cash in the bank and that you don’t want to use credit. Remember, these are just some possibilities. Pick the one that works for you!
1. Save: If you just started writing your novel, start saving. Maybe you don’t consider this nontraditional, but in this day and age, there is a lot of “I want that, and I must have it now!” Take a step back to yesteryear and remember that all that hard work and hard saving can pay off. Novels can take anywhere from weeks to years to write. Estimate now what editing will cost, divide that amount by the number of months that you think it will take to finish your novel, and save that much per month. Emily Nickerson at the muse has some great tips on budgeting for big expenses.
2. Work Out a Payment Plan: See if your editor is willing to work out a payment plan with you. If you are a repeat (a.k.a. dependable) client, this is much more likely. Alternately, perhaps the editor would be willing to work with you on one chapter at a time as you can pay (say, monthly) or on a shorter section of your book. A developmental edit of just a few chapters will contain valuable information that you can extrapolate to your entire novel.
3. Barter: Consider bartering for services. I am not suggesting you bombard editors’ websites asking them to barter. This plan works better if you know your editor personally or run in the same circles and know what you can offer each other. A group of editors that I know who are also writers exchange services so that they can edit each other’s work instead of their own.
4. Crowdsource: Finally, we come to everyone’s favorite fundraiser: crowdfunding! Do your friends and family know that you are chasing your dream of becoming a published novelist? Use a site like Kickstarter to let them help you. You might even find complete strangers climbing aboard to help you fund your dream as well. The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great article listing “Top Tips on Crowdfunding for Authors.”
However you decide to fund your editing services, it will be a worthwhile investment in the future of both your book and your writing career.