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Proofreading rates

by: Garry Pierrepont (16 August 2011)

Whether or not you're a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), you can access their page about proofreading rates entitled "SfEP suggested minimum freelance rates".

As at 1 April 2011, the minimum suggested proofreading rate was 20.25. (This does beg a secondary question of: How many words can you proofread in an hour? See my article Calculating proofreading rates).

This is, of course, an average. Some freelancers will get more per hour and many will get less.

What proofreading rate you can actually achieve will depend more on these points than your skill:

  • The nature of your client - a big company will pay more than an individual client;
  • The location of your client - a client in London will pay more than in a provincial location;
  • Your ability to negotiate (for this purpose you must consider yourself as a salesperson, but don't simply bid high as you may lose out to cheaper competition;
  • How many proofreaders are bidding for the work - if you're on a bidding site, be prepared to accept a lot less; if you have been recommended to a new client by an old one, you may well be the only proofreader in the frame and, coming as a recommendation, you can probably go in with a higher rate.

Good luck in your negotiations!

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