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Should I Charge? What Should I Charge?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 6 Replies

While I am currently a SAHM, I worked for years in the publishing industry and still take on some free lance work a couple times a year.  Generally I work out a contract, either hourly ($50.00/hour) or cost of completed project.

A couple of years ago I compiled a book for my parents.  The book contained photos and written text, detailing a trip we took to Europe.  My parents are in an extended care facility and have shown the book to many of their friends, one of whom asked me to do a book of his deceased wife's recipes to share with his children.  I did it, of course, at no charge but it did take me about 100 hours of work.

I now have requests from 6 more people who want something similar and are willing to pay me.  Thousands of dollars for such a project is way too much to ask but I don't know what would be fair, especially as many of these people are on limited income.  DH thinks we should write it off as a charitable contribution but that would require my telling the clients what their job was "worth" and I feel uncomfortable about doing that.  

I have the time right now and I have let people know that if I get another free lance job I will have to put their projects on the back burner but frankly, I think some are really desperate to have this legacy for their children completed before they pass.

What to do?

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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poohbearkfc
by Gold Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:38 AM
I think if you are ok with doing it at no cost then you tell the people to give you what they feel is fair. If they say no you tell me, then I would do between 2-3 dollars for each hour you spent on it. But that's just me.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:19 AM


That is what I was thinking.  I am worried that some books, at that rate, would be $100-$200 but others could be as high as $300+.  I don't think that a lay-person would necessarily see the difference in the finished product.

Quoting poohbearkfc:

I think if you are ok with doing it at no cost then you tell the people to give you what they feel is fair. If they say no you tell me, then I would do between 2-3 dollars for each hour you spent on it. But that's just me.



KrissyKC
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:31 AM

Charge a flat rate... plus so much over a certain number of pages per page.

Like $250 for the job, plus $4.00 per page over X number of pages...  Not sure exactly what that would entail for you, so you'd have to decide how many pages you would cap it off at.   I'd also give a maximum of like two copies, and each copy over that would be like $10-25 more (remember this is for a "book", not just a page or two, right?)

Or charge $200 for the original pages, and they can take them to some office store to have them duplicated and bound (spirally maybe?)... so they can pass out as many as they like.  Offer a $25.00 discount for an electronic copy only if you want.



Of course you aren't going to make $50 hourly on these types of projects... but a flat rate that is worth your time would be nice.



Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:40 AM


That sounds great to me!  The nice thing about the book I create is that they are done online so the purchaser/client can view the completed book and then purchase as many copies as they wish.  They can also share the book with family members who can view and purchase.  I don't like being stuck in the middle ordering and reshipping copies.  The ability to see the finished product also means that the client doesn't have any surprises as to what they are getting:)

Quoting KrissyKC:

Charge a flat rate... plus so much over a certain number of pages per page.

Like $250 for the job, plus $4.00 per page over X number of pages...  Not sure exactly what that would entail for you, so you'd have to decide how many pages you would cap it off at.   I'd also give a maximum of like two copies, and each copy over that would be like $10-25 more (remember this is for a "book", not just a page or two, right?)

Or charge $200 for the original pages, and they can take them to some office store to have them duplicated and bound (spirally maybe?)... so they can pass out as many as they like.  Offer a $25.00 discount for an electronic copy only if you want.



Of course you aren't going to make $50 hourly on these types of projects... but a flat rate that is worth your time would be nice.





ThatSkinnyGirl
by FAT on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:44 AM
How big of a project is this? In general, I realize it will be different for each one... But is it typically like a 10 page scrapbook or are we talking about something bigger?

I kind of agree with your husbands idea of doing it as a charitable contribution. You could even be honest with the "client" and tell them what you are doing, you are saying you would be able to write it off taxes as charity right? Just tell them so, and they will understand you don't have to feel weird about putting a value on that. They will get the reward two-fold (ad sk will you) of a nice memento of their family, and the fact that they are helping you financially without having it come out if their own pocket.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:58 AM


It's a big project, at least the one I have done so far.  I received a box of about 400 recipe cards as well as a disc with over 200 family photos to incorporate into the book.  Deciphering the handwriting and organizing the recipes into categories in itself was a big job.  The finished product was a hard-bound book, 425 pages.

I think it would be difficult for someone to understand a $1000+ price tag on the project so don't want to come across as if we are fleecing the client or cheating on our taxes but you are right, fiscally it makes more sense to do it as a charitable work.

Quoting ThatSkinnyGirl:

How big of a project is this? In general, I realize it will be different for each one... But is it typically like a 10 page scrapbook or are we talking about something bigger?

I kind of agree with your husbands idea of doing it as a charitable contribution. You could even be honest with the "client" and tell them what you are doing, you are saying you would be able to write it off taxes as charity right? Just tell them so, and they will understand you don't have to feel weird about putting a value on that. They will get the reward two-fold (ad sk will you) of a nice memento of their family, and the fact that they are helping you financially without having it come out if their own pocket.



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