What are the likely costs?

Deeply impressed – you’ve done a lot in a short time … thank you for an extraordinary effort.

Every job is different, writing is subjective, and line-by-line editing is labour intensive. The best solution to this mix is to charge by the hour, using solid project estimates based on the depth of service you need and your budget. I like to be transparent about the time your project might take and the potential costs to you. This way, we can proceed with clear expectations.

Standard: $120 per hour

  • Applies broadly to corporate writing and editing.
  • As a rough guide, budget about 60 minutes per 1000 words for complex editing. That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 10 hours.
  • Budget 120+ minutes per 1000 words for writing. Researching and writing new content takes time, and every project is different. If your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 20 hours.

Project: $105 per hour

  • Economies of scale might apply for project or ongoing work.

Not-for-profit and education sector: $90 per hour

  • Applies broadly to academic editing and proofreading.
  • For proofreading, budget a minimum of 30 minutes per 1000 words. That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 5 hours.
  • Remember that proofreading means finding the final few mistakes. If I’m doing anything beyond detecting mistakes (which is almost always the case), then I’m editing (which is more time-consuming).

Students and authors: $60 per hour (50% off the standard rate)

  • Applies to thesis/essay editing, as well as some self-publishing authors.
  • For proofreading a standard thesis, budget a minimum of 20 minutes per 1000 words. That is, if your thesis is 100,000 words, expect a quote of around 35 hours. See the students page for more information.
  • For copyediting a manuscript, budget a minimum of 30 minutes per 1000 words. That is, for a 60,000-word manuscript, expect a quote of around 30 hours. See the authors page for more information.

What’s involved in a quote?

  • Quoting considers depth of service x number of words. It also considers how much project management time (that is, non-editing time) might be required.
  • If you need a quick quote, email me some files and I’ll assess them.
  • If your budget is limited or fixed, we can adjust the depth of service to suit. However, we can’t escape the word count: more words = more time.
  • I may quote a higher or lower rate based on your job’s size, complexity and deadline, the expertise required, and which sector you’re in.
  • I usually quote on a range of outcomes, because I can only assess your project so much in a quote. Once I’ve done a few hours work, I’ll have a more accurate picture. So I usually quote a likely project outcome, a fast outcome and a slow outcome. The final result is invariably somewhere near the likely outcome.
  • If your budget requires it, I can provide a fixed quote. If I get the work done inside the time, I still only charge for the time worked.
  • If a project turns out to be substantially different (i.e. some elements are out of scope), we’ll mutually revise our expectations, and I’ll do what I can in the time quoted.
  • I only bill the hours I work. Billed hours include non-editing time like project scoping and management.

Why these rates?

  • Unless you’re ready to hire me for every hour in the year, then $90 is the baseline I need when you hire me for only some hours.
  • My rates factor in the overheads you’d otherwise have, and the convenience of not employing a full-time staff member. Research shows that full-time employees spend about half their time on non-core work activities as well as nonwork activities.
  • $60 is slightly less than the average hourly rate for editorial work in Australia.
  • $90 per hour is above the average hourly rate for editors in Australia, and factors in my qualifications, experience, accreditation and the pace at which I work.
  • $105 per hour is below the retainer rate for a senior agency copywriter or government editor.
  • $120 per hour is below the rate card rate for a senior agency copywriter, and slightly below the rate for a senior government editor.
  • To appreciate these figures, consider this:
    – 1000 billed hours per year (20 billed hours x 50 weeks) @ $105 per hour = $105,000
    – Less overheads = $90,000
    – Adjust for superannuation = $80,000
    This is roughly the average full-time wage in Australia. Experienced and accredited editors are highly skilled and generally either underemployed (i.e. we don’t bill 1000 hours every year) or undervalued (i.e. we don’t make $105 per hour for every hour).