technical writing, technical articles, technical writers

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Rates and Policies

The policies outlined below have evolved over the years as we have learned what it takes to keep projects from floundering and to ensure that the end product is something that is not only effective, but a project both we and the company can be proud of. If any of the terms herein are unacceptable, please feel free to discuss them with us!

Rates: Our overall fee is $500 plus $1 a word.  Thus a 750-word article would cost you $1250, a 2000-word article would be $2500, and so on.  Do contact us for a quote on your particular project since we may be able to charge you less for very short or less technical pieces. White papers are quoted on a project by project basis because they tend to vary greatly in the amount of work involved.  If you do the article in-house but want us to polish it up for publication, expect the cost to be about half what it would cost you to have us write the article. 

Half the fee is due at the start of the project, which we should have in hand within ten working days of the day we are contracted. We are quite willing to start work on the project before we receive the advance, but will not deliver a draft until the advance money is in hand. The balance is due on completion and acceptance by the client. Please note that terms on the final invoice are net 20 days from submission of invoice, so be sure your accounts payable dept. is aware of this.

What you get: For this fee we normally supply a draft and one rewrite. The draft we send you will be much more ‘finished’ than you may be accustomed to getting, which is why we usually don’t need to do more than one rewrite. For this reason please be careful to make all the necessary changes during your first review. We reserve the right to charge extra for additional rewrites unless they become necessary as a result of our own errors, misinterpretations, or omissions.

This fee does not include development of an abstract (proposal) or outline for articles. However, if you do the abstract yourself, we will be happy to review your draft(s) and/or offer guidelines and suggestions without charge. If you want us to write the abstract/outline we charge an extra fee, usually $500, depending on how much time it takes, in addition to the basic fee.

Turnaround: We normally need at least 40 working days (60 working days is better) from the date of the first sourcing session—not from the date we are contracted—to the date the draft is due to you—not your deadline at the publication—to assure that the article is of the highest possible quality. If it were not for delays at the company end we could turn around an article in much less time, but that is almost never the case. The distinction between the date we are contracted and the date we have first sourcing session is important because sometimes we are hired, the stretched-thin source people are almost impossible to pin down for an interview, two weeks go by, and we end up with only two weeks to do the article. Also, remember that yours is not the only project we will be working on.

Rush fees: If we have less than 20 working days from date of first sourcing session to the date the draft is due to you, we may charge a rush premium, the amount depending on how short the time is, how much other work we have scheduled, and whether we have to work weekends and/or evenings to make the deadline. If we can accomplish the project without working evenings and/or weekends we don’t charge the premium regardless of how short the time is. Fair enough?

Sourcing: The company and/or the agency is fully responsible for providing us with the core content of the article by means of interviews and source materials. Also, if we are not contracted to write the abstract, the client needs to provide us with an abstract that defines the premise of the article and the main topics to be covered—sometimes the abstract you develop with the editor of the targeted magazine is fine, but often these are minimal and/or vague and need to be expanded to be useful to the writer.

The other thing essential thing we need is at least one interview with a well-qualified source person. When the article is highly technical, at least one of the source people at the company must be someone who can provide all the necessary "deep tech" details on the technology to be covered—usually an engineer, FAE or CTO who has personally worked on the technology we are writing about.

In addition to materials that are direct sources of article content, we appreciate being provided with any background materials that will contribute to our general understanding of the technology or that will give us a broader perspective on the topic.

Commitment: We do not reserve time or promise availability until the first sourcing session is scheduled and confirmed, since many factors can cause a company to change its mind about going ahead with a project.

Editing: For editing/rewriting an article or white paper, we have a minimum fee of $1000. We can’t give an exact quote until we see the material we are going to edit because these projects vary so greatly in how much work has to be done. Fees tend to range from $1000 to $2000 for papers and articles of up to 2500 words. For longer documents of course the fee is commensurately higher.

Editorial packages

In addition to developing and writing technical articles and white papers, we offer a full range of editorial services including:

Management of editorial projects — we will help your engineers develop and write documents, and help place them in appropriate venues. $75 an hour.

When you hire us to write the articles or white papers, we can help place the articles and coordinate development with targeted publications. $75 per hour, in addition to the basic fee for writing the documents.

Publication strategies — we will evaluate article possibilities based on analysis of your marketing position, the technologies you offer, and our knowledge of upcoming editorial opportunities at technical and consumer magazines. Because of our strong editorial backgrounds, we are adept at spotting opportunities that companies and PR agencies sometimes miss. A minimum fee of $750 for up to 10 hours of our time. Additional hours billed at $75 an hour.

Online Web site content management and presentation -- $75 an hour.

We are available to provide a full range of editorial services on a monthly retainer basis, with the rate depending on the number and kinds of services required.