Are you a writer? If so, you probably find yourself getting copyediting jobs from time to time, right?
Copyediting can be a great service to provide along with your writing. How do you set a price for copyediting?
I charge the same hourly rate as I do for copywriting. I figure that my time is worth a dollar amount, no matter what task I’m performing. Why? Because I could be doing project X instead of project Y during that time, so it makes sense to me to place a value on my time, rather than the project.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few tips for making copyediting jobs go smoothly.
Before agreeing to the project, spend some time correcting a portion of the document. You’ll get an idea of how bad the writing is, how much time it will take you to edit it, and whether to take the job at all.
When estimating your time, allow for a reading of the material before making any corrections. Copyediting is easier when you’ve had a chance to read the whole piece first.
During the initial reading, jot down trends you notice in the writing: Common punctuation problems, spaces after periods, capitalization patterns, spelling of proper names, serial commas (or lack of), and things like that. In other words, you’re creating a style sheet as you go.
When you begin to make corrections, keep adding to the style sheet. This helps you stay consistent throughout the document. It also helps you justify your changes to the author, and makes it easier for another editor to proofread the document.
As you build your copyediting portfolio, pay attention to your likes and dislikes. I’m finding that I don’t prefer editing long pieces like books. I tend to get bored halfway through, but I have to keep chugging along.
Can you think of anymore hints? Let me know.