How much do I charge as a writing consultant?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM   Subscribe

How much do writing consultants charge?

I've been offered a gig by a non-profit to teach a series of seminars on effective writing. There will be about 10-15 people attending each seminar. The CEO asked how much I would charge per seminar (which should last about two hours). I said about $150.00. She was shocked and said that was too low. I have no idea what is an appropriate amount to charge for this type of work -- I've only been paid by the semester before!

So how much do writing consultants charge? I'm in the Southwest, if that figures into things. And I'll be team teaching with someone who has a Ph.D. and is a professional editor. I am almost finished with my Ph.D.
posted by Ylajali to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can't help for sure: but don't forget about prep time. You are a specialist consultant, with a skill set and experience that has worth (presumably). If you figure that is worth $75 per hour, then fine, run with that.

But I bet your prep time per seminar is a lot more than zero hours.

Also, this kind of thing may depend on the payment model and where the money goes. Are these people paying $175 per person for these sessions? Or are they free? Is this meant to fundraise for the non-profit? Don't be afraid to ask them about this stuff, and factor your rate accordingly. I do similar work, and if it is a fundraising effort, a gift-in-kind relationship sometimes works best. If it's a profit-driven exercise, you should get your cut.
posted by hamandcheese at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2011

A big part of my job is consulting/editing/fixing writing for other people. I charge $125 an hour, which is about the middle price wise from other people I know that do similar work.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 1:14 PM on February 10, 2011

Go back and say your fee is $150.00... a person.
posted by kindall at 1:25 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree with Kindall. The company stands to gain a lot from the service you provide and will be happy to pay for it.
posted by Dragonness at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2011

I've conducted similar seminars in corporate settings; my going rate was $150 an hour.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:36 PM on February 10, 2011

In general, a rule of thumb when calculating fees is that you will need twice as much time to prepare for any given seminar as the length of the seminar. So a two-hour seminar needs four hours prep.

It's too late now, because you gave a quote, but in future you should charge accordingly. An hourly rate of $100 to $200 is the norm, but I can understand why you discounted yourself because you're still in school--that's not necessary, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2011

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