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Minimum charge for proofreading?

Active Member
A K N Member Since: Oct 5, 2017
1 of 10

I have a fairly short essay I need proofread (around 1,000 words, introduction to an art book.) My research shows that many proofreaders charge around $10-$20 per 1,000 words, but I assume that is for longer documents. 

 

What's your minimum for proofreading? Is $50 sufficient for most? Assuming the work isn't riddled with errors, and I'm asking for either an errata or tracked changes, I expect it's about an hour's work (hopefully less.)

 

I'm interested in first-hand facts from a variety of freelancers who've recently completed proofreading contracts.

 

On a side note, I don't see a description of each forum section. Should I be posting this under "clients" since that's what I am, or should I post it under "freelancers" since that's whom I'm addressing.

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
2 of 10

The best way is to find out is by posting the job.

Then proofreaders will come to you and tell you their minimum fees.

The trick is, post is as an hourly job but ask for a fixed price/per word quote in the description or as a question to the job post.

 

Then, you'll get freelancers respond to you PRIVATELY on how much compensation they expect for their work.

Here on the forum, you won't get accurate responses because of lack of privacy.

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 10

Lack of privacy?

 

Why would freelancers keep their rates secret, let alone their knowledge of industry norms for certain types of work?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 10

Tiffany S wrote:

Lack of privacy?

 

Why would freelancers keep their rates secret, let alone their knowledge of industry norms for certain types of work?


It is just as ludicrous as the "clever" suggestion to post a fixed-rate contract as an hourly one and the idea that when posting a job freelancer will "bid their minimum fees" rather than their standard rate.

 

I mostly proofread on an hourly basis. A "per word" rate is difficult without knowing the document well and understanding whether it truly needs proofreading (as opposed to editing or rewriting completely.)

 

People mix up editing and proofreading all the time. Essentially editing is step two (step one is writing) and proofreading is step 3.

 

Too many people skip step 2 and expect the proofreader to do both.

 

This (from yesterday) is NOT what the tracked changes for a 1600 word document should look like when proofreading... But because the contract is hourly it did not worry me that it took 2 hours to fix.

 

proofreading.jpg

 

 

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
5 of 10

Petra R wrote:

Tiffany S wrote:

Lack of privacy?

 

Why would freelancers keep their rates secret, let alone their knowledge of industry norms for certain types of work?


It is just as ludicrous as the "clever" suggestion to post a fixed-rate contract as an hourly one and the idea that when posting a job freelancer will "bid their minimum fees" rather than their standard rate.

 

I mostly proofread on an hourly basis. A "per word" rate is difficult without knowing the document well and understanding whether it truly needs proofreading (as opposed to editing or rewriting completely.)

 

People mix up editing and proofreading all the time. Essentially editing is step two (step one is writing) and proofreading is step 3.

 

Too many people skip step 2 and expect the proofreader to do both.

 

This (from yesterday) is NOT what the tracked changes for a 1600 word document should look like when proofreading... But because the contract is hourly it did not worry me that it took 2 hours to fix.

 

proofreading.jpg

 

 


Yes, if her project description is sufficiently detailed for freelancers, she can indeed ask freelancers to provide a fixed price quote on a project posted as hourly. She can do just that, to great success. The Upwork system is not cast in stone.

 

You also succeded in avoiding the OP's question.

Even if you don't have a minimum fee, many freelancer's do indeed have minimum fees they charge no matter how small the job. Think of it as a fixed cost the client must cover.

 

It's what the OP wanted to know.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
6 of 10

Abinadab A wrote:


Yes, if her project description is sufficiently detailed for freelancers, she can indeed ask freelancers to provide a fixed price quote on a project posted as hourly. She can do just that, to great success.


I'm not following you. If a client wants a fixed price, what do they have to gain by posting an hourly project?

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 10

Christine A wrote:

Abinadab A wrote:


Yes, if her project description is sufficiently detailed for freelancers, she can indeed ask freelancers to provide a fixed price quote on a project posted as hourly. She can do just that, to great success.


I'm not following you. If a client wants a fixed price, what do they have to gain by posting an hourly project?

 


For some reason he thinks that will prompt freelancers to bid with their lowest rate.

 

Of course that ignores the fact that hourly contracts are meant to be posted as hourly job posts and fixed rate ones as fixed rate. He also somehow assumes that freelancers will add a different (fixed) rate to an hourly proposal than a fixed rate one.

 

Plus the fact that this would filter out all the (many) freelancers who don't bid or even look at hourly job-posts.

 

Personally I'd never bid fixed rate without having seen the material, because 1500 words of proofreading can take less than an hour or several hours. I base my fixed rates on my hourly rate, so need to know how many hours it would likely take me. That will then decide what per-word charge I bid with.

 

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
8 of 10

Christine A wrote:

Abinadab A wrote:


Yes, if her project description is sufficiently detailed for freelancers, she can indeed ask freelancers to provide a fixed price quote on a project posted as hourly. She can do just that, to great success.


I'm not following you. If a client wants a fixed price, what do they have to gain by posting an hourly project?

 


To avoid the "placeholder effect".™® If she uses fixed price and enters $10 or $5 as placeholder, that will scare away the most qualified freelancers who would think she's just looking for the lowest rates and using that placeholder to push the rates down.

If she enters $1,000,000 as placeholder (crazy, but I've seen that before), in general freelancers will take it that she ain't serious. She could also feel that whatever bid she receives (no matter how low), is inflated because of the crazy placeholder.

 

That's why I said if she can create a sufficiently detailed project description (incl. samples, file attached, etc.), she can indeed make it an hourly posting but ask for fixed price/per word quotes.

This way, the freelancers will be in no doubt what they are quoting a fixed price for.

 

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
9 of 10

AKN,

 

If in fact you, "expect it's about an hour's work (hopefully less.)", then perhaps you may want to devote an hour (or hopefully less) of your own time to DIY!

 

In addition to saving your entire budget you might also gain a greater appreciation for the value of the work you're offering.

 

Best of luck to you,

wb

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

There is definitely nothing wrong with posting small jobs, including jobs that may take an hour or less in time. There are many freelancers who focus on doing quick, short jobs.

 

Many freelances look for longer engagements, but there are plenty who are the opposite. Personally, depending on my schedule, sometimes when I am waiting for the next step in a large project... Sometimes I personally look for project that will take me only an hour or two to work on.

 

Also, many clients like to post small jobs and use those to find freelancers who they will work with on larger projects. As a freelancer, I have earned thousands of dollars working for clients who originally posted a job that was small, maybe only an hour or so of work involved.

 

Abinidab's advice may seem peculiar, but he is genuinely trying to think of ways to grapple with the often awkward requirement that fixed-price job postings specify a dollar amount. That is a requirement that many here, including Rene prominently, have campaigned to change.

 

Regardless of what one thinks about the precise details of Abinidab's advice, clients I encounter really do practice this basic concept. I am often asked to provide fixed-price estimates by clients who post hourly contract jobs. I don't think these clients are following anybody's advice. I think they are simply posting job postings without much concern for which contract model is used. And once some discussion is underway about how long work will take, they often wonder if I can provide a fixed-price quote in addition to an estimate of the number of hours a project will take.

 

I do not want clients to post hourly job posts if they will NOT hire using hourly contracts. But if the client is flexible, it makes sense to ask about a fixed-price quote if thst is something that the client wants to know about.

 

Clients ask me and sometimes they decide to scrap the hourly job posting and offer me a fixed-price. Other times they stay with the hourly.

 

For A K N's main question: although it maybe frustrating not to have precise numbers before posting a job, Abinidab's advice to post jobs in order to find out what freelancers will charge is the most practical advice you can receive.

 

Any other numbers you might be told are only theoretical.

 

When you post a job, you will encounter real freelancers with real rates. Don't fret too much about knowing numbers beforehand. Posting a job only starts a conversation. It does not commit you to anything. If nothing works for you, you don't need to hire anybody. I think if you do hire a few people, you will see set the process is easier than you may and expected, and you can indeed save a lot of time by working with Upwork freelancers to do all sorts of things on your projects.

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