This isn't an issue I'm dealing with right now, just something I think about from time to time when other writers talk about their revision policies on fixed price jobs.
I usually include one round of revisions in a fixed-price contract, though most clients don't take advantage of that opportunity. But, the scope of a revision isn't spelled out--for me, it's a kind of "know it when I see it" analysis that could potentially conflict with the client's idea of what should be included.
Do you have a definition of "revision" in your head? Do you spell out where the lines are in a contract, if you include one or more revisions in your fixed price?
I've only once encountered a request that was clearly over the line for me: an agency client who represented a furniture chain asked for an article on furnishing an apartment on a budget, but when it was done came back and said the client had decided to focus on commercial customers and wanted me to "revise" to be about offices. I declined that one and sold the original draft to Apartments.com.
For fixed price contracts, it's ONE copy-edit per milestone. No adding to the word count. Copy-edits are only for syntax/grammar, adding links/citations if needed. I don't mind cutting down the word count under a copy-edit definition. But, fixed rates include a stringent per word rate.
Revision is different in my mind. It might include rewriting or re-ordering sections and adding to the content (which often means a bump in word count; I generally see this as a line/substantive edit). Admittedly, I've had some negative experiences with scope creep for fixed rate contracts. So, if they want revisions, then it's hourly.
I don't budge on that.
I budget 1 hour for a revision with flat rate, so I guess technically if it's 500 words and they shred my stuff I could rewrite it without losing time but I'd probably not do something like that.
Revision to me is minor changes. I often just delete whole paragraphs if they don't like the paragraph, which I know pisses off some people.
I just did something for a new client and I'm sweating it out a bit. He is new to Upwork and that comes with some good things but sometimes bad things like not understanding a full rewrite ain't happening. This happens with every new client I get. I sweat out if they like it because sometimes you're just not the right person.
It's true that it's rare anyone actually takes advantage of a revision, because I think for the most part it's faster and more efficient for the client to just rewrite what they want if they don't like something. If they don't like a sentence or even a paragraph, to me it makes sense just to rewrite to what you want and call it a day rather than drag it on.
Since I add an hour to flat rate, I'll put up with almost anything as long as it's not like 2000 words and they want a full rewrite.
My contracts read 'edits'; and spell out that any change in direction will be considered a new job and subject to a new quote.
Perhaps because I stress the need to openly communicate via Skype and email - esp. when the tone and style of writing is being formulated - I've never had an issue.
I offer unlimited revisions to all clients without any extra charge. 99% never ask for any and the ones that do specifically mention what would they like revisied, e.g. "this paragraph sounds too salesly, please revise it to be of a more informational nature" etc stuff like that.
I'm dealing with my first re-write ever for a client. (BTW, it was a pretty good dang article if you ask me! ) I put a lot of effort into it as I do with all my work. The whole thing has been a bit depressing and has me sweating a little, but "oh, well." Something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. You can't please everybody, of course.
Anyway, I'm still new on how I should properly deal with revisions. So far, I've decided to re-write the article without charging any sort of fee. I'm doing this because I don't want to upset the client in any way so they don't take it out on my JSS. I'm not saying this is the best course of action, it's just the path I've chosen to take at the moment. That darn JSS has got me by the you-know-where. Lol.
If after I finish the re-write Monday and they're still not satisfied, I'll just have to cut my losses and absorb the hit to my rating. It's just not going to be worth my time. (But hoping for a positive outcome)
After this experience, I'll have to come up with a workable solution for revisions. While rare, I'm sure I'll run into this situation again....and just like now, it's gonna suck!
In this context, a revision of an editing job is correction of any errors or oversights on my part and resolution of author responses to queries.
For writing: Again, correction of any errors or oversights on my part and resolution of client responses to queries, given consistency with the original brief. No rewrites. My most generous interpretation of accommodating client input on a first draft was when a third party entered the conversation to answer some of my client queries. The work involved was substantial; it considerably strengthened the final product; and I could fold it in and still net near $100/hour.
For both editing and writing, I offer a single revision as covered by the agreed-upon fixed price. It's hardly ever invoked.
The road to Hell is paved with unlimited revisions.
My fee includes one round of reasonable revision requests. That does not mean scrapping the whole thing and starting over, though. Requests are rare, and usually it is just 1 -- 3 specific requests such as changing a word, rearranging or deleting a sentence. If they feel the need to come back with more change requests or a near total re-do, that means their instructions were not clear enough from the beginning, and that is THEIR problem. So far this has not happened. "Knock on wood."
In my proposal I tell them I include 1 round of revision at no extra charge. Further revisions are at my hourly rate.
I rarely get a request for revisions unless it is something like "oh blah blah is really important to Mr. %(#&, so could you move that up just a little earlier?"
Had a client ask me to do a job once, had complete clear direction on tone he wanted to strike. Once he got it he decided he wanted to take a completely different approach. We agreed that what he wanted was not what he described so he paid me for both. This was a long form sales letter. He thought he wanted something strong, agressive and selling through fear..but once he saw it he decided he wanted a very soft sell approach. He had no problem paying for both because he could always A/B test the letters to see which performed best.
I find that if you get them to be clear up front, you won't get requests for revisions.
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