#SaystheEditor Mid-Week Ethical Dilemma

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Author: Susan Helene Gottfried

Yep, summer’s approaching. Clients are starting to pepper my inbox on a daily basis. I’m surprised I still have dates left for June, July, and August, so if you’re thinking you need an edit, better jump. I know I’ve said this before, but June’s around the corner. What are you waiting for?

This week, I am working on a fabulous literary-leaning (but not quite literary) proofread for an author whose last novel I worked on (actually, the first of our relationship) was great until I got to the end… and then it knocked my socks off. I’m having a ball with this new one, even if parts of it hit close to home. Friends and family have remarked that I’m a bit down this week, a bit edgy. Blame the power of the written word for that one!

But something else interesting happened last weekend. A client contacted me and asked if I could do a rush job for her. Even if she wasn’t one of the few I know in real life, I’d have said of course. I even figured out Dropbox and Word on my iPad so I can work in a more portable setting and get extra time in and yet not be trapped in my office for days on end. (I do like it in here, although I’ve decided it needs a paint job ’cause the stark white walls I am currently facing give off too much glare.)

The question I’m playing with, though, is this: because I’m putting an awful lot on hold for this rush job — I’m a single mom, remember, so a lot of what’s getting put on hold is time with my kids — do I start charging a separate fee for a client in a rush? I don’t want to charge for everything including the sneeze while writing the book, and I do what I do because I simply adore it, not because it’s going to make me a millionaire. Sadly. I have no objections to being the one who pays child support. Yeah, I know: I’m a long ways from testing that theory. Check in when faced with that reality!

Tell me what you guys think. Do you favor a Rush Job Fee? Why or why not? I’m truly debating this one…

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Comments

  • India Drummond -

    Yes, absolutely. I’d expect to pay an extra fee for a rush job and I think it’s only fair that you charge for that kind of inconvenience. A fee also encourages people to plan better in the future. ;)

  • I think that rush jobs should come with a premium price tag. Perhaps a small (10%-15%) fee increase? I know that I wouldn’t hesitate to pay that for super-quick emergency turn-around.

  • Deena Rae (@eBookBuilders) -

    Doesn’t by it’s definition ‘rush job’ imply that it gets priority? I think it’s completely acceptable to state there is a rush fee in many instances. It’s only fair….failure to plan on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine. Just saying :/

  • Ann (bunnygirl) -

    Our own federal government charges a rush fee for rapid turnaround on visa processing, and they’ve got far more help than you do. You would certainly have nothing to be ashamed of if you did the same.