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How much editing is too much?

Fellow writers, a question on editing. I have written probably a thousand pieces through Fiverr and only occasionally encountered editors. These editors changed a few things, maybe suggested better wording or fixed a typo.

I got a revision request today asking to make changes the client’s editor made. This editor added entire paragraphs (Could be fine, but one had racially offensive elements that I do NOT want connected to my name) and several places where she wanted me to clarify things (For example, state that I am a white woman from the suburbs and that is why I thought a specific city can be dangerous, which I found totally inappropriate; describe the location of something more specifically; several other changes that were actually fine but I didn’t see why they were necessary). She also completely changed the wording of a few sentences, which I haven’t seen an editor do before, but I suppose it could be normal.

She also misspelled my name and added at least two commas that I am 98% sure don’t belong, which is why I am questioning this whole thing.

Is this typical? Do you see edits like this? I don’t really know what to think about it.

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I probably re-edit around 20% of the work I do, and then it’s typically fairly minor work that takes around 5 - 10 minutes, at most.

Regarding the extra content that has been added (putting aside the offensive content which I will get to in a minute) I would charge for any additional words above the word count you originally provided. Tell the client that as it is not part of the original order it is not included in your revisions, but if they want to pay to have you edit it, you can do so.

Regarding the fact the content is offensive, I would drop a note to customer support and ask their advice on that. There are rules on Fiverr about offensive content, and CS will need to decide if this applies.

Hope this helps.


This really all depends on the context. Many top travel guides devote whole chapters to how safe X place is for X gender, X ethnicity, or X religion. My advice would be to state clearly that you do not want to be credited as the author. Either this or if you feel very strongly, cancel the order on personal grounds.

Regarding editing, if this is a longer piece of work, you might not be able to see your own mistakes/room for improvement. With books, I am often furious (or used to be) with my editor. In fact, I used to publish having re-inserted errors which she had corrected. It is simply a case that longer material often needs time to ‘rest’ before going back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Of course, your buyer may have hired a bad editor. (Happens to me occasionally.) - Or they might have a particular style/tone which they think you have missed the mark on.

I would simply edit as the client has requested. It’s their work. That said, if you do feel uncomfortable, you may want to let the buyer know. At least this way, you might be able to clarify the context, tone, and style they are looking for.