Always tell clients that you don’t know how much a long-term project will cost. Tell them it will almost certainly cost more than they expect. This article takes the anxiety out of pricing for you and the client as you can grow your memoir writing-based company.
While clients will want to know how much they can expect a project to cost, and that is reasonable on their part, the fact is they don’t know the scope of the project they wish you to assist them with. Below are suggestions for charging for your writing services.
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Grow a Memoir Or Writing-Based Company – Don’t Set a Fixed Price
1. Since you do not know how much a project will cost, always bill by the hour.
Do develop price guidelines, however, to share with clients. Share how much a similar completed project cost another client. (For instance, I usually tell clients that 100 pages of co-authoring will probably run them $8,000-$12,000 per hundred pages. Editing costs about $100 per 12-22 pages. Photo prep will run them to $22-$28 per photo, etc.)
2. Build in times when a client can reassess the cost of the project and opt out with some finished product.
Every life has points where a story could end and still be satisfactory to the reader. These are opt-out points. We tell clients that, when they get to a financial discomfort zone, they need to let us know. We can wrap a project up and make it a childhood memoir rather than an autobiography.
3. Do not enter into the client angst about costs.
Costs are their problem, not yours. When they agonize over surpassing their “budget,” have a frank discussion about how important this project is to them and their families. Most clients are buying value and will tell us to proceed in turning out the best product we are capable of. But, some will opt out and you have to be ready for that.
4. Never set up a price for a total package.
Over time the project almost always grows. When you always bill weekly by the number of hours you have actually put in, the client has a handle on the almost-inevitable wish to expand the memoir more and more. S/he can see the direct cost of adding more material. For some clients, this is prohibitive and for others, it is of no consequence.
Good luck growing your memoir company!