What is a sample edit?

bryony leah, affordable book editor, freelance editor, sample edit, affordable book editing services, freelance proofreader, romance editor, romance proofreader, book editor, amazon editor, ebook editor, kindle editor, proofreading services

What is a sample edit?

Just like those end-of-aisle sample tables in the grocery store, a sample edit allows you, the author, a bite-sized taste of a freelance editor’s work before you decide to buy.

Sample edits vary in size, but editors typically offer samples of around 1,000 words. You will need to contact each freelance editor individually to find out their process, but many will request that you provide an excerpt from somewhere in the middle of your manuscript, not the opening pages.

Proofreading and copy editing sample edits are the most common. You will need to specify which service you are interested in when you arrange a sample edit.

Developmental sample edits are less common due to the nature of developmental editing and manuscript critiques. It’s difficult to for an editor offer a useful opinion on the structure of a novel having only read 1,000 words.

Should I edit my excerpt before sending it for a sample edit?

No! You should not edit a sample excerpt before sending it to a freelance editor for a sample edit.

Why not?

A sample edit not only serves the purpose of allowing you to get a feel for an editor's style, but it also allows the editor to get a feel for your writing in order to determine how much time and work will need to go into the full manuscript should you decide to work together.

The sample excerpt should be reflective of the quality of writing found in your full manuscript—so, unless you're going to pay the same attention to the rest of your manuscript before sending it to the editor, please don't edit your sample excerpt.

A good freelance editor will be measuring the amount of time taken to complete the sample as well as editing the finer details for you, all in aid of providing an accurate estimated fee for the full book. Delivering a polished sample excerpt will only cause difficulties later along the line if your freelance editor decides they need to revise their initial fee for the project.

Do I have to pay for a sample edit?

Many freelance editors will offer sample edits for free to authors interested in their editing services (that includes me! You can learn more about my affordable book editing services by clicking here).

However, there are some freelance editors who will charge a fee to cover the time taken to complete a sample edit.

So, it should go without saying that if you receive a free sample edit, you should take the time to thank the freelance editor for completing your sample—even if you decide not to work with them!

Are you searching for a freelance editor?

I offer affordable book editing services to self-publishing authors and I'm actively building my clients list. Please click here to learn more about my freelance editing services, read what my past clients have to say, or view my freelance editing rates.

Why not get in touch with me today by using the contact form on my website or emailing me directly at bryony@bryonyleah.com to arrange a free sample edit for your book? (Serious enquiries only, please!)


I am a freelance editor and published writer offering friendly, affordable book editing services. From my base at home in the UK, or while over in the USA, I work with authors and publishers internationally. I'm a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.


Bryony Leah, freelance editor, freelance writer, affordable book editor, affordable book editing services, ebook editor, romance editor, fiction editor
Bryony Leah, freelance editor, freelance writer, affordable book editor, affordable book editing services, ebook editor, romance editor, fiction editor
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