English copyediting rates in the EU
August 26, 2012 7:46 AM   Subscribe

What is the going rate for freelance English copyediting in the EU (specifically the Netherlands)?

I've been contracted to edit a business plan written in decent (but far from perfect) English. It is rather technical and scientific in nature and is a complex endeavor because of the competing ideas involved. Accordingly, I'm charging by the hour.

The trouble is, when I try to find a standard rate online, I see most businesses charge by word, not by hour.

Does anyone there know of an hourly rate? Ideally something provided by an editor's association or something semi-official online so I can charge correctly. In the US, the editor freelancing association charges $35-45 per hour, but as I'm in Europe I think the rate should be higher.
posted by mateuslee to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I can't give you anything even semi-official, but I can tell you that a recent client of mine reckoned that €50 an hour was reasonable for proof-reading / copy editing.

And then of course there's the question of how many other people your potential client has contacted and how keen they are to engage you - specifically you - for this job. Those factors will influence how tough you can be in your negotiations.

I'm an Amsterdam-based freelance copywriter, by the way.
posted by ZipRibbons at 9:19 AM on August 26, 2012

(Background: I live and work in France, where I was a freelance translator and copyeditor for eight years.)

It's relatively easy to convert per-word to per-hour. Take how many words you edit per day on average (don't bother with exceptions as any will be covered by the per-hour figure you end up with), multiply it by your per-word rate, and then divide that by how ever many hours you work per day.

I did 8000 words/day on average for 8-hour days, for instance, and agencies here are pretty set on .02 or .03 per word, which works out to 20 or 30/hour. You can charge a bit more for non-agency (private) clients; 45-50 is common.

You could also check Proz.com, there are pretty active discussions there and many providers list their rates by word and by hour.
posted by fraula at 10:27 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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