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editing a novel-how much to charge?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

how much is reasonable to ask? my offer was $2.50 a page (about $600 total) with 25% down payment and the author hemmed and hawed a bit but has accepted, still waiting for the deposit though.

it's a tough sell for a novel and needs a lot of work. so far i'm up to chapter four and nothing has happened, the dialog is weak, and the plot is going nowhere.

post #2 of 6
I'm editing a book of memoirs right now and charging 15$/hour, not a per page price. I'm not a professional writer, but I do hold an advanced degree. When I did translation work, my rate was 4$/page and that was REALLY really low for the profession. It worked out to about minimum wage...sometimes lower.

I think you are undercharging...unless you really fly through the pages. Do you have any idea how many pages you do per hour?
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

I'm editing a book of memoirs right now and charging 15$/hour, not a per page price. I'm not a professional writer, but I do hold an advanced degree. When I did translation work, my rate was 4$/page and that was REALLY really low for the profession. It worked out to about minimum wage...sometimes lower.

I think you are undercharging...unless you really fly through the pages. Do you have any idea how many pages you do per hour?


That's the question. I was making $17 an hour just for proofreading--20 years ago. The market is certainly different now, but the going freelance rate I've seen this year from actual small publishers (as opposed to the likes of Demand Media) with pretty limited expectations has basically been $25 per hour.

 

[ETA.--Speaking of Demand Media....]


Edited by Otto - 11/19/10 at 4:53pm
post #4 of 6

Check out the Editorial Freelance Association (EFA) website for a current list of industry prices. It's specific to the US Northeast, but that should give you a starting point.

post #5 of 6

Wow, I need to find someone new.  An english teacher at my kids school helps me and she charges $70/hour.

post #6 of 6

Did you get the job through a freelance site like Elance? Because there are a lot of freelancers on those sites in places like Malaysia who bid for pennies and drive down the rates. (Though often their work is quite shoddy and you get what you pay for.) I ghostwrite, so I can't speak to specific rates, but you should be making at least $25/hour, I would say. 

 

But I responded (as a novelist) to say: be honest about the shortcomings. If nothing is happening by chapter four, it sounds like it's not even at the editing stage. It may need a major revision before it's ready to be edited. Is it a first time writer? Sometimes they jump to the editing stage well before they're ready. It might be the kindest thing to stop now and give them some big picture feedback, gently suggesting a major revision before the book is ready to be edited.

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