Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 4 weeks ago

How much should I charge for a book proposal?

I was hired by someone to write a book proposal but now after looking up the position, I'm worried I am being ripped off. She wants it to be about 17 pages at a minimum wage of $12 an hour. She estimates it will be about 15 hours of work. However, after researching, people are saying they charge much more. I've never written a book proposal before, but I'm aware of what is required to write one. Is the price of 12/hr reasonable or am I being duped? I'm a college student looking to make money during the summer with writing jobs, but I am not sure if the price we are at is worth the work involved in a book proposal. 

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  • Speed
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Duped, big time. Unless you've signed a contract, I would not work on this until you've worked out a better deal.

    She's offering 15 hours of work at $12 per hour, or $180.

    Look up the rates for various jobs at the Editorial Freelancers Association. Writing for hire has several categories, including Grants/Proposals/Sales/PR . They indicate prices of $50–60/hour or 30¢–95¢/word.

    Say she's right and it takes you exactly 15 hours. A pro would charge a minimum of $750 (15 hours x $50). Say as a non-professional, you charge half that rate, or $375. That's more than double what she's offering.

    I don't see how she can estimate the hours it will take to write, to be honest, which is why I'd urge you to go for a payment by the word. There are a lot of variations, but if a page is single spaced with one inch margins all around, you're going to have a minimum of 500 words to the page on the average, possibly as much as 650 or 700.

    (I write fiction, with dialogue that results in lots of lines that aren't full, and I just checked four pages of my open document. All were over 600 words in Times New Roman 12, single spaced, which is what I write and edit in.)

    But say your pages are a mere 500 words x 17 pages x 0.30 lowest pro rate = $2550. Cut that in half and you're still at $1275, vastly more than she's offering.

    Twelve bucks an hour is at best about a fourth of professional rate. Even if this is your first job, in any kind of specialized writing you should be charging about twice what you are.

    I also have grave doubts about someone who believes she can write the book she's proposing but cannot write the proposal itself. I strongly urge you to refuse to accept any advance or royalties as any portion of your payment, and to have your contract include pages completed and handed over in exchange for partial payment at the halfway point.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If you've never written one before, you can't expect to be paid nearly as much as an expert.

    And surely this is a useful lesson - luckily one learned in early life - in how not to agree to do something without first finding out what's actually involved ... !

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  • martin
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    These writing jobs are similar to the way attorneys bill people.  They really bill only about 1/3 to 2/3 of their actual work hours.  Figure you can use this experience, since you like writing.  Work for exactly what is offered to be paid, and say you spent exactly 15 hours, even if you spent more.

    • Shayna4 weeks agoReport

      Thank you for your answer. She is paying me hourly and I would like to be paid for the hours I work so if I spend more hours on it, I think I will be able to get paid for those hours. 

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Score some good speed and write out the 17 pages in an hour. Problem solved.

    • Shayna4 weeks agoReport

      hahah good plan!

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