What do other writers charge for a rush order?

By Katharine Swan On Friday, October 26, 2007 At 9:43 AM

I've been very busy the last couple of days. Aside from a follow-up vet visit for Panama's injury last weekend and a rather time-consuming experiment with commuting to the stables via public transportation, I had two of my regular clients contact me with rush jobs on Wednesday.

One of the jobs wasn't a bad rush — four or five days. The other job was one of those where the client wants it "as soon as possible" — and leaves me to figure out what that means. I said I could have it by today.

Unfortunately, working on this project in between vet visits and RTD commutes has set me back on a couple of other things. It's a bigger pain in the butt than it deserves to be, basically. I am considering instituting a rush order fee from now on, but I'm not sure how much to charge.

My thought is that a rush order charge ought to be a percentage of the job's normal rate. That way, bigger jobs (and bigger pains in the butts) command larger fees. However, I don't know what is a typical amount for a rush order fee.

What do you charge clients for a rush order?

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

I just responded to your comment on my blog. Generally, my rush percentage is based on how big the rush is and whether I'll have to work the weekend (or give up other very important free time). I think as low as 10% and as high as 50% is a fair range, depending on the circumstances. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's thoughts on this issue because I'm considering re-evaluating my own position.

 
 
Blogger Jessica Says:  

I haven't been too strict with this mostly because most of my clients don't give me a FIRM deadline so I provide it ASAP just for my own sake. However, when it's a bulk project, I give them an estimate. However, if I do get a rush job, I informed them that I have a PROJECT MINIMUM for rush jobs whether it's one article or 10 --- I just had to charge a semi-regular client extra because he emailed me last night wanting 4 - 100 word content pages ----- however I wasn't working for the day. I believe I charged him 2.5 times more... I really need to figure something out as well, much like the rest of you.

 
 
Anonymous Amy Derby Says:  

I've recently raised mine to 50% -- probably not industry standard -- for three very aggravating clients who don't define "emergency" the same way I do. Two have backed off the rush train; the other wasn't phased.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Thanks to all three of you for responding to my query. I think I'm getting a good idea now of how I want to handle rush orders. I'll post on it again in a couple of days -- perhaps someone else will comment in the meantime, either here or on Deb's blog, and give us a little more to think about. :o)

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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