Freelance Editor Invoice Template

A freelance editor invoice is a billing document that enables editors who work on a contract-by-contract basis to request and collect payment from the magazines, newspapers, authors, and companies that employ them. Editors often use one of two (2) pricing methods to charge for their work: by the hour ($/hr) or on a per-page basis ($/page).

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How to Create a Professional Freelance Editor Invoice

A freelance editor invoice is a document that a freelance editor sends to a client after completing work on a project. The client should receive the invoice within a reasonable time frame after the work is completed. Both the editor and the client should keep records of the transaction in case of future disputes.

What Does a Freelance Editor Do?

The type of work freelance editors do is ever-changing and can be considerably different from one project to the next. Their work can range from proofreading a piece in order to catch and correct grammatical errors to guiding writers on a book or article’s storyline, subject, or theme. In short, editors can often wear many hats due to their expertise in writing and acute attention to detail. Overall, freelance (and full-time) editors can find themselves performing the following types of editing:

  • Developmental Editing – The most in-depth type of editing. It can include making suggestions/alterations to the structure, layout, plot, and consistency of a piece of writing.
  • Copyediting – Looks for repetitive content, grammar mistakes, and inaccuracies.
  • Proofreading – A mild form of copy editing that focuses purely on correcting grammatical errors within a piece (missings periods, incorrect capitalization, run-on sentences, etc.).

Becoming a Freelance Editor

Editors generally have a college degree in journalism, communications, or a related field or experience editing all manner of documents. It’s essential for freelance editors to be able to work independently and meet deadlines. The editor must also be able to take constructive criticism and make changes as needed. There is no one answer to this question as there are many freelance editors out there with different backgrounds and experience levels. However, in general, a freelance editor is someone who provides editing services to clients on a freelance basis. This means that they are not employed by a specific publication or company, but rather work independently to provide their editing services to whoever needs them. Freelance editors typically have a strong background in editing and often have worked as editors at some point in their careers.

Freelance Editor Salary & Hourly Rate ($/hr)

The following is the mean hourly and yearly pay for freelance editors located in the United States:

  • Salary: $76,400/yr (source: BLS)
  • Hourly Rate: $36.73/hr (source: BLS)

Charging for Editing

The rate an editor should charge for their work depends on the depth of the work done and the editor’s experience. For simple proofreading, charging anywhere from $3 to $5 per page is standard. For copy or developmental editing, rates as high as $8 per page are not uncommon. Editors with significant experience and a strong resume can charge as high as $10 per page for highly involved editing. In terms of hourly rates, the editor’s experience is the most significant factor in determining the appropriate rate. For novices, around $20/hr is not unreasonable for developmental and copy editing. For purely proofreading work (by a beginner), $12 to $15/hr is more reasonable. However, those with significant experience can (and should) charge higher rates – as high as $85/hr can be justified for high-level substantive work and upwards of $30/hr for proofreading. For editors who like to take their time and ensure each page is perfect, charging on an hourly basis is commonly preferred. On the other hand, charging by the page rewards efficiency and productivity. The faster an editor can complete their work, the more their time is worth. There is no one answer to this question as rates for freelance editors can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the editor’s experience, the type of editing required, the length of the document, the deadline, and more. However, there are a few general tips that can help you get started in your search for information on freelance editor rates.

Where to Find Work as a Freelance Editor

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best place to find a freelance editor near you will vary depending on your specific needs and location. However, it’s usually a good idea to check online directories. There are a number of online directories that list freelance editors, such as the Editorial Freelancers Association. You can also list your services on job sites such as Upwork or promote yourself on social media.  Another effective option is to create a website, learn how to optimize it for search engines such as Google, and publish content that will rank your website toward the top of any search result for a freelance editor in your area.

What to Include on a Freelance Editor Invoice

Every freelance editor invoice should include the following features:

  • Name and contact information (e.g. phone number, address, etc.) for freelancer
  • Name and contact information for company or individual contracting the work
  • Description of service rendered
  • Hours worked
  • Date
  • Total amount due
  • Payment terms
  • Payment methods accepted (e.g. cash, credit card, app-based payments, etc.)

Common Invoicing Mistakes Freelance Editors Make

  • Not including a detailed description of the work performed
  • Not including the date the work was performed
  • Not including the name and contact information for the client
  • Not including the total amount owed for the work performed
  • Not including a breakdown of the charges for the work performed
  • Not including a payment due date
  • Not including information on late payment fees