Re: What does $3 a page mean to you?

Subject: Re: What does $3 a page mean to you?
From: "Steve Schwarzman" <steve -at- writersbookmall -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 22:46:33 -0400

Bonnie writes:
>The publisher for whom I just edited a book quoted "$3 a page" as the
>rate, and I assumed it was per manuscript page.

It's been years since I did freelance editing, and that was in a faraway
place, but I would assume the same thing you did. It seems to me that the
length of the unedited manuscript is the only knowable quantity to both
parties when the project starts, and therefore makes a more sensible basis
if the fee is per page instead of per hour. While I expect editing makes
texts shorter more often than it makes them longer, both are possible.

If you get a consensus on the list to this effect, then I think you could
reasonably say to your client that industry norms are behind your position.
If they agree, all is well; if they don't, I'm not sure I would go the court
route unless you are sure you don't want to work with them again or with
anyone they might have contact with. Suing a client, even one who is
unreasonable, is something that to me would be a real last resort,
especially since you say this one is local in your community. I understand
that $600 isn't a small amount, but weigh it carefully against the time and
stress costs to yourself. It may be that you would come out ahead by
investing that time in finding new business.

Good luck!

Steve Schwarzman
Books for Writers -


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