Suggested minimum rates

What price should editors and proofreaders charge?

This is a question often asked by clients buying editorial services and also by providers new to the editing profession, and the answer has to be it depends. Ultimately price is a business negotiation between the parties. Each job is different and the price is influenced by various factors, such as what needs to be done with the text, how quickly, the subject, format and publishing sector, and how experienced the editor is.

To help with negotiation of a fair price, here are our suggested minimum rates for services provided by an editorial professional with training in the core skills and some experience. Some people charge more than these rates, and some charge less.

Suggested minimum rates from 1 March 2023

Type of work Suggested minimum hourly rate
Proofreading £28.65
Copyediting £33.30
Substantial editing, rewriting, development editing £38.30
Project management £41.40
Indexing £29.75

Society of Indexers' suggested minimum from 1 January 2023

What the rates include

The rates assume freelance professionals running their own business and therefore include a factor to allow for costs that an employee does not have to pay but are paid for by their employer, such as holidays and sickness absence, National Insurance, pension provision, continuing professional development (CPD), office space and utility bills, software and subscriptions, and business equipment and supplies. The freelance hourly rates are therefore not directly comparable with hourly employee rates.

You can view the historical suggested minimum rates to see how these rates have changed over the years.

For details of suggested minimum rates in other areas of freelance work related to publishing, the online NUJ freelance fees guide is recommended.