Recommended rates

(Updated: March 2017)

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/developmental editing and fact-checking: €40+ per hour
Project management: €45+ per hour
Readers’ reports/manuscript assessments: €500 for 75k–100k words

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


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


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 €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.