I can’t decide if I’m doing something wrong or doing something right. I find pricing to be one of the most difficult parts of freelancing. Mostly this is because when I look at the EFA rates chart (god bless its little charty soul), I become profoundly depressed and realize that I could be making more money.
On the one hand, my rock-bottom rates get me clients. On the other hand, I’d make more money painting houses. For my professional clients (i.e., publishers), I get resentful if I feel underpaid. I don’t slave all night to get the work done because they aren’t paying me enough for me to lose sleep. I’m a little more generous with my individual clients. They are real people who can’t afford that much. I like to go the extra mile for them, but I still have to draw lines. Yes, I’ll look this over quickly. No, I won’t have a two-hour conversation with you about it.
One of my recent gigs comes with a learning curve, and so my low price is made lower by the amount of time it is taking me to complete the task. But it’s also giving me new professional experience, which I appreciate. So I’m not bitter, because I like learning new things.
However I am sorely tempted to call a professional client and say I refused a job a few weeks ago because the pay was too little. But what would that gain? I could express my frustration, but then I might not get more gigs from this client and sometimes I need them, money or no. Would it actually change anything? What I really want is for someone to go up to the people in charge and say “We can’t keep good copyeditors because of our rates are so low,” but no one in charge respects the copyediting process anyway, so what good will it do? Fucking A.
How do you price your services?