Re: Hourly Rates for Contract Writers

Subject: Re: Hourly Rates for Contract Writers
From: QMS Account <Robert -dot- Morrisette -at- EBAY -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 10:14:43 +0800

On Thu, 20 Apr 1995, Brennan, Walt wrote:

> I need data on average rates for consulting
> techwhirlers.

This seems like a good time to bring up the subject of how consulting
techwhirlers set their rates. Guidelines anyone?

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu
I'm not sure what a techwhirler is - I am discussing tech writer

One of the main things I learned in business school was that
selling price is not based on cost. Selling price is based on
how much you can get for the product. A consultant's expenses
have nothing to do with rate. You should base your rate on how
much the client will pay. If you are hungry, you will take less
than if you have several clients bidding for your services.

In Silicon Valley for the past several years, tech writers have
been in heavy demand. A good writer with a track record can work
continuously and receive a good rate. If times get tough and
there are fewer contracts, the demand for writers will go down
along with rates. Almost all firms hire writers through agents
here because of the IRS, so we don't have to spend time marketing
ourselves. The agent usually knows how much a given client will pay.

After six months on a long contract, I ask my agent to request
a 10% raise. So far, I've always received at least 5%.
You may be tempted to accept a lower rate for a long contract.
Don't do it. A client can cancel the contract at any time.
If you are worth $40 per hour, you are worth $40 for one week
or six months.

Bob Morrisette
CONTROL -at- QMS -dot- EBay -dot- Sun -dot- COM

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