What are your prices for writing and editing services … and how much value do you give?

Yvonne at Grow Your Writing Business has an excellent post on the distinction between value and price.

Although I commented on her post, I decided to carry the conversation back here to my readers.

There are huge differences in what writers charge, and the writers who earn the higher rates have to give more value to clients in exchange for the higher price.

Writer’s Market has a helpful guide on what to charge for various kinds of writing and editing.

For example, in the Internet category, Web page writing has this range:

  • Low: $30/hr, $100/project, or .35/word
  • Average: $83/hr, $1,251/project, or .86/word
  • High: $150/hr, $7,000/project, or 1.25/word

In book publishing, Content Editing (trade) has these ranges:

  • Low: $19/hr, $1,000/project, or $3.75/page
  • Average: $49/hr, $7,988/project, or $7.50/page
  • High: $125/hr, $20,000/project, or $40/page

I usually charge by the hour since most of the book projects I work on require a LOT of editing, and it’s difficult to determine how long it will take. Most of my book-editing clients are excellent storytellers … with less-than-excellent writing skills.

When I do agree to a project price, I usually end up underestimating the time required and make less than my desired hourly rate, which is a little higher than the Writer’s Market average but a lot less than the high 🙂 .

Obviously, a writer has to decide whether to charge prices at the low, average, or high level based on experience, desired income, skill, and market factors. My hourly rate has always been above average, but it took several years before I reached the point where I have all the work I can handle and a waiting list of clients with books to edit.

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