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ASK US WEDNESDAY: “How to quote for a regular publication as a freelancer?”

by Rachel Smith
06 February 2019

I’ve been asked to tender a quote for a regular publication. The work will require planning each publication, interviews and writing those up, sourcing photos and sometimes taking photos, sourcing input from others, ghostwriting others columns, sub-editing submitted work, liaising with advertisers about timelines and liaising with graphic designer over layout. What are the types of questions I should be asking of myself and the publisher? Should I quote this as a per hour rate or a project rate or a page rate; and for either of these, why? Anon

Hi Anon. You could do this a number of ways, depending on how the publisher wants to structure the deal. You could also see if you can chat to the former editor of the project to see if there are any discrepancies with how many hours the publisher has quoted (ie, if it usually works out as a lot more that’s useful info to have in your negotiations). Here are three ways you could quote:

  1. Project fee per issue. If you have different rates for the items mentioned, estimate how much time each task might take, apply the rate for each one and create an overall project fee for each quarterly issue. You can supply the breakdown if the client wants it or just create a list of the tasks required and your estimate per issue.
  2. The same hourly rate for everything. The easier way might be to set an hourly rate you’re happy with for doing any of the below tasks, multiply it by 100 hours and make that your project fee per quarterly issue.
  3. A retainer. If you can get them to commit to a six-month (or longer) retainer you could offer a slight discount, but have contracts etc in place and ensure the client knows if the tasks go over the 100 hours they will be charged $X rates for the overflow hours.

Hope that helps and good luck with landing the job!

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Rachel Smith
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Rachel Smith

As a kid, Rachel used to carry around a little suitcase of pens and paper so she could stop and write stories whenever inspiration struck. These days, she writes for a living, in between running the show at Rachel's List. Some of you may actually believe she looks like a megaphone in real life, but it's not the case. Honest.
Rachel Smith
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