I’m not trying to ferret out any trade secrets here (okay, maybe I am, but nothing I wouldn’t share myself), but how fast do you work when editing documents? Of course, we need to establish some parameters - let’s say that the difficulty level is equivalent to the “before” paragraph below and that 1 page = 250 words. You are not responsible for formatting, but you are responsible for not just editing, but all copyediting/proofreading, including making sure that footnotes, references and bibliographies conform to a particular format suggested in the CMS. This means you’ll need to untangle a fair number of messy, inconsistent footnotes and do some fact-checking on Google (for example, in the example below, you’d have to make sure Banfield was a man before you edited as I did – or find an alternative way of putting it).
The level of improvement you are looking for is equivalent to the “after” quote - in other words, retain as much of the original author’s voice as you can, just make the meaning clearer.
Please don’t low-ball this and tell me your very fastest, best speed – I’m more interested in your average rate over time. And I do expect the phone to ring or you to go to the bathroom once in a while.
I know what is a reasonable rate to charge per hour (and if anyone would like me to share that info for my field, PM me and I’ll tell you) but I want to make sure I’m not screwing clients because I’m slow.
I’m not trying to be coy, but I won’t give my estimate of how long 250 words of that stuff would take until I hear from a few of you – I don’t want to influence the responses.