On my page Full Manuscripts: Pricing and Getting Started, I outline a process whereby my fee for a large project is negotiated. For those new to hiring a freelance editor, this may sound complicated or unnecessarily vague. The reasons for negotiating and then revising a price, however, are completely rational.
Some of these reasons are listed in “Five fee-setting strategies for freelancers” (an excerpt from the book The Freelancer’s Bible), worth taking a look at if you’re a freelancer or considering working with one. In particular, this point explains why I am flexible when setting a price for my services:
2. Avoid feast or famine pricing and know your rock bottom — Find the zone that reflects your value, but leaves room to negotiate. This means doing market research and getting a sense of job scope and, if possible, budget from the client before you crunch numbers. Going too low or too high causes stress and costs time. “When I’ve undercharged, I feel taken advantage of, even though I know it’s my fault.” Or: “I once spent days pricing out a project. When I laid it out on the phone to the prospect, there was dead silence. Then he said, ‘Wow. We’re way far apart.’ The call ended fast, with disappointment on both sides.”
Also know your lowest number — the one you won’t go below, no matter how great the gig is.
All of this being said, a recent client came to me through word of mouth. In his email, he offered me a flat price for copy-editing a novel and I accepted the price. No quotes, no negotiation, no free sample of my work first. Here’s why: My respect for the third party who recommended my services led me to believe the manuscript would be a pleasure to work on (it was) and the price offered was reasonable.
However, if a potential client approaches me and we don’t know each other, my Pricing method will kick in: initial quote, firm quote, final quote.
Featured photo by OfDoom via morgueFile