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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’ Literary 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aware that it may occasionally be necessary to withhold permission – this applies particularly to the use of previously unpublished material.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

Authors may wish to base their fee, for either single visits or longer residencies, pro rata, on the annual salary they would expect to earn. See Andrew Bibby’s reckoner, which shows daily rates to equate with different salaries. Authors delivering schools events may be interested that the NASUWT 2013 salaries for Leading Practitioners (excluding London and the Fringe)  are between £37,836 - £57,520.

We surveyed our Children's Writers and Illustrator Group (CWIG) members at the end of  2013. The results can be found in our Author Fees Advice for School and Library Visits.  Members reported a very wide range of fees, from £350-1000 for a full day to £150-800 for a half-day plus travel and expenses; or single fee of £150-250 plus travel for a single session (not exceeding an hour) when the author or illustrator is visiting a local school/library or carrying out a number of separate visits in the same area.

The Scottish Book Trust  offers Live Literature Funding for selected schools and library events in Scotland. Since 2005 they have part-funded a fee of £150 plus travel and subsistence expenses per one hour event. Under this system a writer would receive £450 plus expenses for 3 events during a working day. Authors are free to set their own fees for events not funded by this scheme. Indeed, authors may charge more even within the scheme, if the school/library agrees to cover the difference.

If you have any queries about what to consider when setting your fee email Jo McCrum.

For general advice on delivering talks, see our Guides & Articles. Children's authors can see the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group page

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.

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. In the Society's experience of reviewing contracts, we have found that UK publishers are prepared to pay in the region of £90 per 1,000 words. For further advice on payment, members should contact Catherine Fuller.

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.

Codes of Practice

The following are codes of practice which are endorsed by the SoA:

The Publishers Association Code of Practice on Author Contracts

Publishing Scotland's Codes of Practice

The Association of Authors' Agents Code of Practice



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