I was talking with a longtime freelance associate yesterday about two pricing issues she’s having. First, she’s trying to find a way to charge a premium for her services when the client wants to buy extensive rights vs. one-time, one-purpose rights. Second, she’s got a potential ghostwriting job and is attempting to calculate an appropriate rate that won’t price her out of the market. [Read more…]
Dear Dr. Freelance: Recently, an entrepreneur starting a new firm contacted me for a freelance website job. I agreed to a price well below my normal rates – with an additional 35% courtesy referral discount because: 1) his funds were limited; 2) I liked him and wanted to help him; 3) becoming a resource for him could potentially yield work for me from his clients and business partners; and 4) it was a referral from a former colleague.
He loved what I did and paid the agreed-upon amount. We got along well and made plans to meet for lunch to discuss future freelance jobs. The week before the lunch appointment, he asked me to “do some retooling” of my original copy. It was a 5-6 hour job at least; this time, I sent an estimate at my standard freelance rate. [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: I have been working with a private partner/funder on a writing and research project for the past year in which I accepted a low rate in exchange for the lion’s share of credit and 50% of royalties. He has now referred me to a friend of his, and I’m realizing I should probably charge about 60% more. (That’s how deeply I discounted myself.) With that said, what’s your thought on raising rates that much for a friend of a current client? It’s not a project that I’m especially passionate about, nor do I expect there to even be a book, so I hesitate to use royalties as part of my negotiation. More generally, is $40 a reasonable rate for someone who is relatively new to the game? — Ready4Raise [Read more…]
If you don’t already subscribe to Peter Shankman (creator of Help A Reporter Out, aka HARO), you should. His blog post yesterday, “How to get paid what you’re worth,” is a must-read for all freelancers, as are the comments.
Pricing and estimating are among the trickiest aspects of the freelance game, as for any service business. Shankman puts a fine point on what I was getting at yesterday — you can always come down in price, but you can never go up — as well as offering some other excellent insights on how you can price your services properly.
Dr. Freelance: What would you say are reasonable freelance ghostwriting rates for a non-fiction book for a leading authority on a topic, based on his research and data? (He’s a Ph.D. and the president of a large university.) When negotiating a contract, should the ghostwriter ask for payment during the writing stage, plus a percentage of the book royalties? The author has also offered to share credit. — Could Be Casper
Casper: How appropriate that a ghost would write in just before Halloween! Honestly, there are a 101 ways for a freelancer to skin that black cat. For starters, this “How Much Should I Charge?” pdf from The Writers Market says this about ghostwriting rates (without royalty or credit): $70 an hour, with a per project low of $5000, high of $100,000, and average of $36,000. The per word costs are 50 cents low, $3 high, and average $1.65. Yeah, that’s a pretty wide range! [Read more…]