Recommended rates

(Updated: 2 February 2013)

Please note: These rates are exclusive of VAT. Not all freelance editors, proofreaders or indexers charge VAT. Please clarify this with the individual freelancer when you obtain a quotation.

Recommended minimum rates for proofreading and editing

Proofreading or light copy-editing: €25–€35 per hour
Standard copy-editing: €40 per hour
Substantive editing and fact-checking: €40+ per hour
Readers’ reports: €200 for 300–400 pages

Rates will be higher for specialist editing services in areas requiring professional knowledge of technical concepts, terminology or methodologies. See the FAQs for information on the distinction between proofreading, copy-editing, substantive editing, etc.

Although speeds vary, the following guidelines may be useful:


Complex: 800 words per hour
Simple: 1,600 words per hour


Complex: 2,000 words per hour
Simple: 4,000 words per hour

A standard manuscript page (A4) is considered to be about 250 words.


Recommended minimum rates for indexing:

With indexing, it is more usual to refer to a rate per page.

Complex: from €4.50 or more per page
Basic: from €2 to €3 per page

Costing an index involves consideration of a number of factors: nature of text, number of pages, level and depth of index needed, any special requirements such as multiple indexes, cumulative indexes, etc.

Clients buying indexing services should ask for an initial estimate based on a representative sample chapter.