Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
# 9:45:00 AM:

How fast does an editor go?

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When I talk to prospective editing clients, they often ask how fast I edit—how many pages or words per hour can I process? The answer depends on the state of the document, what I need to do to it, and how my client wants to receive the results.

Sometimes, I can go as fast as 8-10 pages per hour (at roughly 250 words per page), but that is not typical unless all I do is proofreading and light copyediting. And I'm reasonably quick.

So, 8-10 pages per hour is a decent way to make an estimate for marking up a printed paper manuscript with a red pen, when the work needs no reorganization or other substantive or structural editing, and no serious rewriting. I can make a printed manuscript a sea of little red marks at that rate—if it is generally well written but contains simple typos, spelling mistakes, and usage and punctuation problems—but if it requires onscreen editing in Word, or any more substantial changes, the page rate slows down drastically.

I find that good way to make a more accurate estimate is to acquire a portion of the manuscript and run through it for half an hour or a few pages (as you prefer), to see how quickly I go.

In a separate matter, those of you desperate for the return of The Neurotics Web site can now rejoice. Our server problems there are over for now.


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