Re: QUESTION: How much to charge for "feature" writing

Subject: Re: QUESTION: How much to charge for "feature" writing
From: Keith Arnett <Keith_Arnett -at- RESTON -dot- OMD -dot- STERLING -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 16:19:52 EST

1. You can consult the latest Writer's Guide (should be available at
the library if you don't have it) for general guidance.

2. Unless you are fairly experienced in estimating jobs (always a
hazardous activity), I would advise you to charge strictly by the

3. You may decide to have different hourly rates for writing and

4. To take a stab at coming up with an hourly rate, here's a rough
guideline (this applies to the US):

a. Determine your desired net annual income

b. Divide by by 0.6 to determine your required gross income (assumes
40% of gross for taxes, insurance and other expenses)

c. Determine how many billable hours you think you can work in one
week and multiply by 50.

e. Divide the result of (b) by the result of (c); this is your hourly


Desired net income: $40,000
Required gross income: $66,666
Billable hours per week: 30
Annual billable hours: 1500
Hourly rate: $44.44

You can also work this procedure backwards, beginning with a hourly

Hourly Rate offered: $25.00
Times 1500 Billable hours: $37,500 gross income
Less 40% for taxes and expenses: - $15,000
Resulting net annual income: $22,500

To compare this with a staff job, you can add estimated payroll taxes,
FICA and the cost of insurance or any other benefits to determine an
equivalent annual salary level.


Keith Arnett
Technical Writer/Reston Labs
Sterling Software, Inc./Operations Managment Division
Reston VA USA

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: QUESTION: How much to charge for "feature" writing
Author: "V. A. Leslie" <ag862 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA> at ~sydressmtp
Date: 2/2/98 3:45 PM

Hello Techwhirlers,

I'm coming out of lurkdom to see if anyone can either tell me a formula for
caluculating how much to charge for a possible project, or direct me
somewhere that can. Yes I've checked the archives, and yes I've searched
on the web, but cannot find what I'm looking for.

Here is the scenario. I have been contacted to do some writing about how
an institution has obtained the items in its collection.

How much should I charge if I have to do the research and write the "stories"?

How much less should I charge if the institution supplies the research and
I just have to write the "stories"?

How much of a premium should I add if it ends up being a rush job?

I have never done this type of writing and so have no idea about time
involved, money, etc. The contact at the institution is as much in the
dark as I am about this whole thing too.

Please respond via e-mail to the address below.

Many thanks for your help.
Victoria A. Leslie
ag862 -at- freenet -dot- carleton -dot- ca

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