How I calculate a rate for book reviewing or editing

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(Shared with a group discussion at Linkedin on 3/28/13)

I usually tell the client that I must see the whole ms first, to figure out what they really want and expect. Then when I quote on the job, I quote a total fee, not by the hour (at least to them). But I also explain to them, kindly, that my work will help them complete sections “x” and “y” in the full process, and that if later they need help with other elements we can discuss that then.

Incidentally, I almost always include the formatting too, or at least getting their scribbling and add-ons into some basic format they can quickly modify later.

Finally, since much of what I do is helping prep their work for release through open publishers (like Kindle, Nook, and/or CreateSpace), I usually suggest that we lay out a full plan, time lines, ms work, and final submission to the publishers, even if the work is partially done. Then a total fee. (I send them elsewhere or they handle, gulp, the front cover, but we factor in a final due date.)

I didn’t mention that if the person is just beginning or is still at the composition stages of a book, I have a fairly new book in print called How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days that goes through each of the writing steps in detail, then tells how they can submit the book themselves, almost free. (At $10-15, it’s a lot less expensive than private help.) Then if they need specific assistance, it’s easier to define and costs much less.)

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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