Figuring out how much to charge for our services isn’t easy for two reasons. One is that we offer both writing and editing services, the specific nature of which will vary with the assignment.

The other is that it’s, honestly, very difficult to estimate precisely how much time will be needed to complete a given task. Sometimes complex tasks go quickly, while seemingly simple assignments become more complicated than expected. A lot depends upon interaction with the client who may, in the course of our working together, ask for changes that affect the nature and duration of the services we provide.

In general, we price our services on an hourly basis, with a tendency to give our clients significantly more for their money than they expected. We do that on purpose because we’re obsessed with getting our work right, where “right” is defined by the level of client satistfaction. And we do it because it encourages repeat and referral business.

If we had a rate schedule, this would be it…

1. $50/hour for copy editing services. This is when we edit client documents, but without significant re-writing.  That’s for 2 editors, one checking the other one’s work, and detailed comments.  Assume that we can edit 5 to 10 pages per hour, depending upon line spacing (words per page) and the quality of the original.  ,..Keep in mind that the “editing” we do isn’t just “proofreading,” although that’s part of it.  What we do includes specific, highly constructive changes and notes that improve the flow and effectiveness of what you’ve written.

2. $75/hour for editing/writing services. As you can imagine, sometimes the editing our clients want and need is so extensive, it involves our re-writing significant portions of their draft materials.

3. $100/hour for writing services. These are assignments when we’re writing something from scratch and/or that entail significant research.

4. Per project and “subscription” pricing. This is something we do when the assignment is unique in some respect, or long-term, when hourly pricing just doesn’t make good sense or is too hard to estimate. “Project pricing” can be a lump-sum, regardless of the time invested, or you can “subscribe” to our services for a fixed monthly charge that we’ll negotiate.  Hiring us on a subscription basis – as if we were part-time employees working a certain number of hours every month – is often the least expensive way to purchase the services we offer.

We do our best to estimate accurately and we’re not the least bit reluctant to come in under budget, in which case you may actually owe us less than originally anticipated. On the other hand, we do reserve the right to charge you up to 10% more than we had estimated when an assignment takes more time to complete than we could have reasonably foreseen. We also reserve the right to charge you more if you change the definition or scope of an assignment while it’s underway, the way a contractor would charge you more if you decided to add an additional room to a house that was already under construction.

There is, of course, nothing more important to minimizing the cost of our services and maximizing your level of customer satisfaction than making sure we know what you want us to do for you.  Please, in the emails you send us and conversations we may have, be as specific, as detailed as you can when you describe your objectives.  Tell us about your audience.  Who’s going to see the final product?  What tone do you want to convey?  Most importantly, tells us what you want to say, not just in general, but right down to specific points we should be sure to include.  The more you tell us, the less time it’s going to take us get it right, the less the job is going to cost and the more you’re going to like it.

Keep in mind also that larger, more expensive jobs may require one or more interim payments based on work-in-progress milestones that we’ve accomplished for you.  Unless we tell you otherwise, payment for smaller jobs is not required until after we deliver your final product.

As always, if you have a problem with how we price or with the terms of any formal or informal Engagement Memo we may give you, speak up. Let’s talk about it.

Oh, one other thing…  We know that spending first-time money for services like writing and editing is problematic.  After all, if you’ve never worked with us before, how do you know we’re any good?  And that we’re an ethical company that means and does what it says?  We are all that, but, first time out, it’s understandable that you might be hesitant.  The solution?  It’s simple, but you’ll have to click here to read about it in a separate article.

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