Stage 1: manuscript evaluation letter plus followup phone call. This is the big picture work, noticing patterns and looking for the poetry of the enterprise. My work ends when the author knows how to proceed. This will take me about a month. $800 flat fee.
Stage 2: hourly work to realize the plan agreed on in stage 1. This is where I literally write on the manuscript (using Track Changes in Word). Very generally speaking, an academic chapter will take me 6-8 hours to edit. To customize this, I can work on a revised chapter for a couple of hours so that an author and I can both see how much work I do per hour, and then extrapolate from there. In estimating the overall cost of editing a manuscript, it is also important to know if I will see chapters more than once. $80 per hour.
Some other guidelines:
- Introductions and conclusions usually need more work, including more rounds of revision.
- Earlier chapters usually take me more time to edit than later chapters, in part because authors figure out a lot about what they are doing as they go and in part because I can point to issues instead of explaining them in detail.
- I welcome feedback! Especially at the beginning, it is actually very helpful for authors to ask me to intervene less (or more), to spend 2 hours on something, to save my time for the conclusion, to focus only on transitions, etc. I am accustomed to working within budgets of time or money.
Project development and coaching. In a sense all of what I do falls under this rubric, so the hourly price is the same. But it is useful to have a separate category for working with authors to discern the shape of their work (might these articles be a book?) or to address issues in their writing process (setting deadlines or regular calls). This work usually starts with me reading something fairly short, then proceeds through phone and email conversations geared to helping an author write new maps and chapters, which I can then edit or not as the author desires. $80 per hour.
Rush fee: if an author needs an unusually quick turnaround that is not already part of the plan.$160 flat fee.