How to Charge for Proofreading Services

Written by steve brachmann
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Individuals with a great capacity for writing need to have a good grasp of both grammar and spelling. Even so, writers completing a piece of work for publication often benefit from an extra pair of eyes looking over their work. Although it may be difficult to advertise your services as a proofreader, you can earn decent part-time wages through proofreading and editing services. Proofreaders charge in a variety of ways and often have to take the degree of difficulty into account when devising rates. The most important thing is to quote a price you can live with.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Keep a clearly defined list of the projects which you are willing to accept for proofreading. Proofreaders can work with a wide variety of printed material, including resumes, manuscripts and essays, and each of these has its own style. Different types of projects will often require different pricing schemes. Have a clear understanding of your strengths as you can charge more for those projects.

  2. 2

    Ask your client to provide a copy of the material to be proofread before quoting a price. Skim the material to get an idea of how many errors there are and how long it will take to proofread. Many professional proofreading services charge by the hour or increase rates for material with more errors.

  3. 3

    Compare the benefits of charging your client by the hour or per word. Charging per word is a good policy for manuscripts, essays and other works with simple formatting that primarily require grammatical fixes. Hourly pricing is an ideal choice for works that will require a heavy amount of fact-checking and research, such as translations or legal documents.

    Whenever possible, charge by the word, as this can cut down on disputes over the amount of time spent on a piece. For documents that may require more formatting edits, such as resumes, you may benefit more from charging by the page.

  4. 4

    Create a price quote to submit to your client. Negotiate any disputes before accepting the project. When charging by the word, typical prices range from 1 cent to 5 cents per word depending on the proofreader's expertise and the level of editing required. If charging by the page, proofreading services typically charge anywhere from £2.20 to £4 per page.

    When charging by the hour, make an estimate of the time you'll spend on proofreading and try to create a price quote based on a schedule you can stick to. There's no reason why you shouldn't ask for more money if you spend more time on a project, but a client will appreciate a professional who knows his own ability to complete work.

  5. 5

    Agree with your client on a form of payment. PayPal and other electronic forms of payment are good choices for work sent electronically and completed at long distances. If you are proofreading material for local clients, you could accept cash or may still want to complete an electronic payment for record keeping.

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