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Thread: Editing job

  1. #1
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Editing job

    Hello -- I have an opportunity to edit someone's work (grammar, punctuation, nothing too intense) and would like to know what would be a reasonable fee for the service. The draft is a biographical piece on Thomas Jefferson, if that makes a difference, but is about all I know at this point.

    Any ideas? Thanks!
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should



  2. #2
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    Tough question, since the answer depends on the quality of the writing you'll have to work with. My suggestion is, estimate the number of minutes you would spend on each page, multiply that by the number of pages, and come up with an estimate of the hours you'll spend. Pick an hourly rate you'd be satisfied with ($10? $20?...$50?!), and multiply it out. If you plan on reporting this as income on your tax return, multiply the total by about 15% to cover self-employment tax, and there's your number.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Tough question, since the answer depends on the quality of the writing you'll have to work with
    I agree. There's stuff out there I wouldn't edit for any amount of money.

  4. #4
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I did scan the piece a little before posting, and it's in pretty good shape overall. Just needs a little proper punctuation polishing. (Say that three times fast.)

    Last question: I found a website from a "professional" editor that charged per page for basic proofreading, a higher fee for copy editing, etc. Since I'm not technically a professional, would that be a route I might want to take, in your opinion? Or, would an hourly fee be more reasonable under the circumstances?
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  5. #5
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    Assuming you know the number of pages to start with, a "per page" rate is the same as a fixed charge. The advantage to your client is, she knows what the job will cost no matter what. Your risk is, the job could take way more time than you thought.

    Charging an hourly fee means the total cost to the client could vary. This is not a good selling point, but you're protected (unless the client catches you playing Angry Birds on her nickel).

    If you're confident in your assessment of the time it will take you, then offer a page rate/fixed sum. You might consider offering a rebate if it goes faster than you anticipated. (Or not).

    Your call.

  6. #6
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! This has been very helpful, and I think we can come to an agreement on the fee without problem. I really do appreciate your input.
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  7. #7
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    C Bets,

    I agree with Jayce.

    Yeah, it's a crap shoot. I do a bit of gratis editing/beta reading. Early this year a close friend asked if I would read a novel for an acquaintance of his. I agreed to read twenty pages. It was obvious the writer had a clear agenda he was pushing. Something to do with metaphysics and how it effects the world, or something like that. I read the pages, offering copious comments. (That's code for the writing needed a lot of work.) He wasn't interested in becoming a writer, just wanted to get his agenda published in novel format. I think he hoped to take the world by storm.

    This takes me full circle to Jena's comment. I figured if I was going to give it the time it needed, I needed, in return, to get paid. I e-mailed the writer and tell him I'd give it detailed review for ten bucks a page. He declined. Saved him some money. I didn't make a dime, but it saved me hours of grief.

    Since you've seen a bit of the material, it sounds like you can arrive at something agreeable to you and the writer.

    Cur
    Last edited by Smiling Curmudgeon; 08-21-2011 at 07:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Thanks, Cur. Will let you all know if my bid was too low when, and if, I get the job and start to work. LOL Whatever the outcome, it will certainly be a learning experience for me as this is a first-time PAYING gig. Wish me luck!
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  9. #9
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    You might want to check the "common rates" chart provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association: http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

  10. #10
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Nice, Gary! Will certainly keep that on hand for future reference. Thank you!
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

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