The average hourly fee for proofreading is $63 CAD* for those with 5–14 years’ experience. It’s only $57 CAD for those with over 14 years’ experience. Does that mean that our fresher counterparts are better at asserting their worth? Ok, let’s not call it worth, but are they better at asking for higher fees?†
In a busy office environment, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break. You can go make a coffee and chat with whomever is nearby. You can take a brisk walk through the building to clear your mind. People stop by your desk, office, or cubicle to share stories, and you do the same.
When you work alone and from home, you suddenly realize how much the online free solitaire games have become your friend. Oops!
I don’t know how other industries survive. All the politics, back-biting, and in-fighting can make it hard to go to your colleague with a question or request. In some industries, colleagues just aren’t supportive of one another.
Not so with editors.
Maybe it’s because even when we work on large staffs (are there any left?), we work alone. Maybe it’s the temperament common among editors, one that leans toward helpfulness rather than hindrance. Maybe it’s just because language has humbled us. After all, who hasn’t wrestled at least once with a sentence or paragraph and lost?
Recently, our own Katharine O’Moore-Klopf recommended that editors resolve to build a better network this year. If you’ve taken on the challenge, one of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck is to attend a conference. Not only will you be able to network with colleagues and potential clients and employers, you’ll also learn a lot in the sessions themselves.
You love editing. You love your freelance work and your freelance life. That’s all lovely, but let’s face it: until you get paid, it’s a hobby, not a business.
So let’s talk turkey about dollars—and how to make them.
One of the most difficult aspects of freelancing is the money issue. Most of us went into this because we love the work and the freedom—not because we love being businesspeople. But when you freelance, you’re the whole show: management, invoicing, collections—everything.
It’s time to think about where you want to establish your freelance editing business. Your decision will be affected most by your financial reality: generally we work where we can best afford to, which for many of us means our homes. But even if finances dictate where you’ll be sitting, it’s good to understand how you work best, which will bring along with it where you work best.