I'm currently a copy editor for a local magazine, which pays me $15 an hour for my freelance (not technically on staff) copy editing each month. The magazine's editor recommended me to a friend of hers who's writing her dissertation and needs a skilled copy editor to put it through the wringer. If this works out, the friend is going to recommend me to her other Ph.D.-candidate friends as well.
It sounds very promising, and I'm looking forward to the work. I love copy editing. But since I'm just starting out with this, I'm really not sure what hourly rate I should charge. Here are my current thoughts:
-I get the sense that the price the magazine is paying me is a steal, but since it's my first professional copy editing gig and I have a day job, I'm okay with that. It's worth it to me to gain the experience. What I'd like to know is this: what's the industry standard hourly rate for copy editing? (Or yearly salary, broken down.)
-Should I give this woman a discount from my current "corporate" hourly rate, so to speak, because she's an individual (and a friend of my editor, who knows how much they're paying me at the magazine and might call foul if I charge this woman more)? Or should I charge her the same?
-A factor: I don't yet know how long the dissertation is, nor how dense it is, nor how tight the writing is, so it's tough to estimate how many hours this will take. This site
says the rate is much higher for academic copy editors for exactly these reasons. This mediabistro thread
talks about going rates, as well—$30 seems to be about average for book
copy editing, but that's not academic copy editing. Should these references be a factor in my decision?
-Would it be better to charge a flat fee, plus a slightly lower hourly rate? That seems more complicated, but it could be an option.
Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this!