rates and guidelines

Rates and guidelines

Competition law prevents us recommending rates. The rates below have been reported to us by members or are used by other organisations or by our Estates department.

Anthology and quotation rates

The Society of Authors’ Estates department applies a set scale of charges and guidelines for internal purposes but these do not constitute recommended rates and all copyright owners are entitled to levy permission fees at their discretion.

The Society encourages the estates it represents to be as permissive as possible about the granting of print permissions, but applicants must be aware that it may occasionally be necessary to withhold permission – this applies particularly to the use of previously unpublished material.

Rates for author appearances at schools, libraries, colleges and festivals  

  • £150 per event, plus expenses 

For longer engagements, such as a residency for a week or a month, authors may wish to base their fee, pro rata, on the annual salary they would expect to earn. For general advice on fees and guidelines, the following are available:

  • Guide to Author Appearances
  • Guidelines for Authors Talking in Universities
  • Guidelines for Organisers of Literary Festivals Commissioning Writers
  • Guidelines for Schools Organising an Author Visit

Click here to view and download these Guidelines and to view our full list of Guides and articles.

Freelance writing, editing and proofreading rates

The National Union of Journalists issues a Freelance Fees Guide and its London Freelance Branch also collects rates actually being paid, and publishes these in the Freelance newsletter, which can be accessed by clicking here.  These rates are reported by freelances, with those individuals’ assessment of adequacy; but standards of adequacy vary and include both highly experienced and less-experienced writers.

Although the negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual freelance and client to resolve, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) does suggest minimum hourly rates as a starting point for negotiations.

These suggested minimum hourly rates (including an extra element of 7.7% as holiday pay) are:

  • Proofreading, simple indexing – £19.25
  • Copy-editing, creative indexing (paper) – £20.75
  • On-screen copy-editing – £22.50
  • Substantial editing and rewriting – £26.00
  • Project management – £28.00

If you are a member of the SfEP it is also worthwhile checking the rate for the job in its members’ area. Here you’ll find the rates actually paid for copy-editing and proofreading by various companies, submitted anonymously by SfEP members and associates. This has been modelled on the NUJ rate for the job, which can be checked for other types of editorial work.

Translation rates

The negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual translator and client to resolve. However, the Translators Association of the Society of Authors, after reviewing current rates, suggests a minimum rate of remuneration for the translation of poetry and prose. This is:

  • £85 per 1,000 words for prose
  • £0.85 per line for poetry

For further information about the Translators Association click here.

Broadcasting rates

The Society’s Broadcasting Group assists members working in radio, television, film and other such broadcasting media within the UK and, where possible, abroad. For further information about the Group, please click here

For further broadcasting rates see the Writers Guild of Great Britain rates page.

Indexing rates

The Society of Indexers recommends that indexing rates start from:

  • £20.50 an hour or approximately £2.30 a page
  • £5.25 per thousand words for an index to a straightforward text

It is recommended that these figures be used as a basis for estimating the total cost of an index. It should be noted that experienced indexers working on specialized texts will normally charge well above the minimum rates quoted above, which are applicable to non-specialist texts and less experienced indexers.

In negotiating fees, whether based on hourly or page rates, indexers should consider the complexity of the text and other factors as listed on the Society of Indexers website. For a subject-searchable directory of indexers, click here.

Arts Council England – How to pay artists

Arts Council England is committed to ensuring proper and fair payment to artists in recognition of their professional status, skills and experience. The Arts Council website has an information sheet, How to pay artists, which provides general information about daily rates and contact details of lead bodies that may be able to provide further information.