Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

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Brian
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Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby Brian » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:16 am


Brian
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Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby Brian » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:16 am

In every issue in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a thought-provoking question related to the writing life. In the December issue, Art Spiko discusses the perks of billing flat fees instead of an hourly rate for writing copy:
http://www.writersdigest.com/article/fl ... rly-rates/

How have you billed for your freelance writing services? What happened, and what methods would you recommend?

To be part of our monthly Conversation, post your response here by hitting the "reply" button. A few responses may be selected to run in a future "WD" e-newsletter.

Jamesaritchie
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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:59 am

I'm a naturally fast writer, so flat rates work wonderfully well for me. They also work well for clients because there are no surprises. We agree on teh fee upfront, and that's that. A flat rate brings business to the writer, and this is what it's all about.

kredmonds
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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby kredmonds » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:04 pm

I have used both methods -- usually billing by the hour the first time I work with a new client (a person, not just a corporate entity). This way I can see how organized they are, how reasonable they are, whether they tend to make unexpected changes or new demands during the project (the bane of my existence), etc. I prefer setting a flat fee, especially for larger project (like a book) because I receive 1/3 up front, 1/3 after the first draft, and 1/3 at delivery of manuscript, and can plan my own finances around that.

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mammamaia
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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby mammamaia » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:46 pm

i did both, back when i had my writing consultant business up and running... flat fees i found far preferable to hourly billing, from my pov and most of my clients were happier knowing just what it would cost them up front, instead of having to wait to find out what the bite would be...

for ghosting a book, i can't imagine anyone wanting to work on an hourly rate... same goes for editing...

i did have a set rate of $75/hr [back in the 80s that was a lotta loot!] with a minimum of 2 hrs that i billed for some new work, but if the client became a regular, i'd go to a flat fee for later projects...

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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby Tango » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:32 pm

Flat fees eliminate any unpleasant surprises for the client, and also make me more realistic in estimating a project's time. If I wind up with a surprise that the project took longer than I'd anticipated then it's chalked up to experience, and, hopefully, I won't make the same mistake again.

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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby RhysHairNo! » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:20 am

I never use hourly rates. I don't think my clients would go for them. I'm often working for people who make far less an hour than my fee works out to, and I'm afraid they'd balk at that. Also, they'd still want an estimate of how long it'd take so I'd be pretty much giving a flat fee anyway. I assess the project, decide what I'm willing to work for on this job and offer them that. Early on, it worked out to a pitiful amount per hour; now of course it's significantly more. The trick was to learn how to estimate jobs correctly. I was useless at this at first but every job I charged too little or too much for taught me a lesson and now I'm pretty good at it most of the time.

klumka
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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby klumka » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:10 pm

I just started my freelance writing business. I charged my first client by-the-hour. After reading this article, I am strongly considering charging future clients a flat fee. Knowing what to charge is the tricky part for me.

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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby donroger » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:39 pm

I like hourly rates my self........Oh wait your talking about writing ..... I guess I will move on to another thread.

Don;)


JavaScripter19
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Re: Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates

Postby JavaScripter19 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:40 pm

I just got my first freelance job and they've asked me how much I charge. How in the world do I figure out where to begin? I don't want to be unreasonable, but I also think I should be paid fairly for my work. How do I begin to figure out what to charge?

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