Seriously, though, some editors will charge you an hourly rate. Then your next question will be, How many hours will it take?
I resist quoting an hourly rate. It’s not fair to you if I am a slow worker. It’s not fair to me if I work fast.
What I would rather do is to look at what you have written, ask you what you want done to it, and give you a price for the whole job.
To facilitate communication, I like to use terms we can both understand. I am a member of the Bay Area Editors Forum, and their website includes useful working definitions of what editors do. Feel free to visit their site, and don't forget to come back here!
From their list, I’m your guy for:
In addition, I write technical manuals and operating procedures.
I also do ghost writing, if you have the story but not the words. For this type of work, I have no choice but to charge by the hour. As my grandma used to say, Everything is negotiable!
Q. How much work do I have to do after the editor gets through? A.A lot. I describe the process here.
Q. I’ve just written a non-fiction book, and you don’t list indexing among your qualifications. Where do I go for that?
A. I would visit the American Society for Indexing and I would do it NOW. There aren’t enough indexers to go around, and they usually work on tight schedules. As soon as you know your book is going to be published, start interviewing indexers.
Q. This sounds like a long process. How do I eat while this is going on?
Do everything you can do to stay out of debt. For practical help, visit Dave Ramsey. Not to put words in his mouth, but I bet he would say not to give up your day job until you get an advance from a publisher—and probably not even then.
Q. What caused the current recession, and how long will it last?