Wednesday, 18 April 2007

I’m so glad

Apparently, average earnings have grown like crazy in the past three years. Since I haven’t been able to increase my freelance rates for four years... grrr!

Hasn’t the cost of living gone up for me too in the meantime?


  1. *sigh* The rich get richer...and of course the freelancer gets poorer.

  2. It's extraordinary, isn't it? People go on strike whenever they don't get their regular pay rise and all I hear is, 'Oh, sorry, the rate still has to be xx.' :-(

  3. My rates have either stayed steady or dropped since I started up in the mid-90s. Makes me sick.

  4. Eh. I just worked out my earnings for the last year, and they were pitiful.

    The other day a publisher I hadn't worked for before asked me my rates, so I checked on the Society for Freelance Editors and Proof Readers' page (whatever it's called) and quoted the minimum that they suggested.

    Of course, the publisher offered £5 an hour less.

  5. GSE, I'm not surprised. Freelance earnings haven't kept up with inflation, etc. at all.

    B, potential employers are aware that freelancers can't afford to say 'no' to anything except the most preposterous offers so they always win. I assume you are doing that piece of work. Yes? If you're not someone else surely is.

  6. Oh of course I'm doing it. I want to work for that company, it's a great book and it's the first thing they've offered me.
    Sometimes I do hold out for more, but that's when the circumstances are ludicrous. Can't say more without outing myself, but...

    Freelancing = constant need to be winsome.

  7. I'm glad you're enjoying it, at least. We've all worked for peanuts and through gritted teeth on awful stuff, haven't we?

    Yep! Grrr!

  8. I've been charging the same hourly rate for 4 years. In fact my main employer tries to put it down sneakily, by adding it up as a project fee and then reducing the time they decide the project will take. Why should something that took 5 weeks two years ago take 4 weeks now. Have I got cleverer in the meantime?

    But there is always someone out there willing to do it for less and undercut you.

  9. I regularly say no to low rates. My view is that it's cutting into time that could be spent getting better paid work (or that's the theory - of course I don't do any selling so that never happens). I just don't enjoy what I do enough to do it at a loss.

    Bowleserised - is it possible that your client was aware of those minimum and maximum rates, and seeing that you picked the minimum, deduced that you were sufficiently 'keen' to get the work that you could be bullied into a lower rate?

    One thing I did very early on was to work out my outgoings, divide it by the average number of days a year I could expect to work (approx 33 percent of available days) and take my corporate rate from that. Of course, journalism pays a LOT less than that... but even there, I won't take on ridiculously low paying jobs.

  10. GSE – maybe, but this is book publishing. And I know they have next-to-no budget for editing... It's hard to haggle.

  11. L, I wish we did get cleverer as time went by and were able to do the work in half the time. Wouldn't that be grand? LOL!

    Yes, and it's usually incompetent people who lower the standard and create unreasonable expectations in employers' minds. 'So and so said they could do it in two hours!' 'Erm, have you seen how bad their work is?'

    GSE, I admire your resolve and wish I was in your situation - moneywise, anyway, but I can't afford to turn down work so it's either doing it at a loss - not always, thank god - or not being able to pay the bills.


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