Rates for indexing services vary and are dependent upon the nature, scope, and content of the project in combination with the projected deadlines of the project.
There are four standard methods used to calculate indexing rates. Please note that the following rate calculations are examples only and rates quoted to clients for specific projects will, of necessity, vary from the following example rates:
- The per entry method calculates the price based on a fixed amount for each index entry (ranging from $0.75 to $1.75 per entry). The entry count includes all main heading, all sub-heading , and all cross reference entries. For example: an average 500-page non-fiction non-medical book averages 5 entries per page, for a total of 2,500 entries; 2,500 multiplied by $0.80 (an average per entry rate) yields a price of $2000.00.
- The per indexable page method calculates the price based on a fixed amount (ranging from $2.50 to $8.50 per indexable page). Indexable pages include all those pages containing content substantive or important enough to warrant inclusion in the index and often exclude most pages of front matter, notes (unless substantive), bibliographies, etc. For example: an 500-page nonfiction book contains an average of 485 indexable pages; 485 multiplied by $4.25 (an average per indexable page rate) yields a price of $2061.25
- The per hour method calculates the price based on a fixed amount per hour (ranging from $20.00 to $75.00 per hour). This method is often used to calculate the price for embedded indexing projects. For example: an average 500-page nonfiction book can be indexed in 65 hours; 65 multiplied by $35.00 (an average per hour rate) yields a price of $2275.00.
- The per project method sets a straight fee to be charged for the completed index (although the fee is often derived from one or a combination of the other three methods listed above). For example: the fee for an average 500-page nonfiction non-medical book is $2100.00 (note: this price could have been based on any one of the methods listed above).
Factors Impacting Rate Ranges
A variety of factors impact the rate range for indexing, editing, or proofreading projects, including:
- The experience/expertise level of the freelancer. Experienced freelancers with knowledge in specialized or specific content areas command higher rates.
- The content and level of the material. Works with technical, mathematical, scientific, medical, engineering, programming content, etc. command higher rates.
- The level and type of edit required. Developmental and substantive editing projects command higher rates.
- The deadline. Rush projects with short deadlines command higher rates.
- Embedded indexing project. For index projects, the necessity to embed the index in a word processing or publishing software document commands a higher rate.
Additional fees may also be charged, depending on the individual needs of the project, including:
- A kill fee or cancellation fee (one-half the quoted project fee) will be charged to cease work on a project, if the client opts to cancel the project once work has already begun on the project.
- In the event a short deadline is required for a project, a flat rush/expedite fee will be charged. The amount of the fee is dependent on the size of the project, the scope and content of the project, and the projected deadline. Rush/expedite fees are negotiated on a project-by-project basis.
- A printing fee (approx. $35.00/500 pgs.) may be charged when a more than average amount of hard copy (more than 25 pages) must be printed to complete a project.
- A return shipping/handling fee (cost of shipping plus packaging materials) for any materials that must be returned. This is billed on a cost-recovery basis only.
- A late (re-billing) fee ($150/month) for late payments. All work is billed on a NET 30 basis (that is, payment due in the freelancer's hand within 30 days).
- A per hour consult fee (ranging from $35.00-$75.00 per hour) for all extended/excessive time required (more than 2 hours) to plan the project with the client.
- For indexing projects, a re-indexing fee (index revision fee) of $75.00 per hour for any revisions made to a completed/delivered index beyond minor typographical error correction.