Are You UNDERcharging Your Clients to be “Nice?” Don’t Sell Yourself Short! by Angela Hoy

Are You UNDERcharging Your Clients to be “Nice?” Don’t Sell Yourself Short! by Angela Hoy

NOTE: If was very difficult to keep this article gender-free and, thus, not give away this person’s identity. So, please forgive the chunky wording. 😉

At and, I work with several writers and contractors on a daily basis. One in particular, who I’ll call Awesome Contractor (A.C. for short), always, ALWAYS charges less than we expect. We agree on an estimate for the service and we are very happy to pay A.C. for that service. Furthermore, we have already quoted that price to OUR customer (an author) and that individual has not only agreed to the price, but has pre-paid for A.C.’s services.

I always pay our contractors on receipt of their invoices. Those “Net 30 Days” terms just mean I have to look at that invoice for 30 days when I’d really prefer to get it OFF my virtual desk. Since we have already collected the money from our client, why not pay the contractor immediately, too?

A.C. is highly educated, very skilled, and has years of experience and the projects always arrive looking beyond amazing. Our customers (authors) are thrilled with A.C.’s work!

Then, A.C. sends us the invoice. Without fail, the amount is far below the original estimate. I noticed the
trend over a period of time, and started comparing the original estimate to the actual work done, and then to the invoice. Sure enough, A.C. was performing all of the quoted services, but not charging for some of them.

On occasion, I have asked A.C. to perform a rush job for me, unrelated to one of our customers’ jobs. After several years of devoted service to us and other publishers, I trust A.C. implicitly. So, I simply send
A.C. an urgent email, asking for a rush job with something along the lines of, “Can you pretty please drop
everything, and get this to me within the next two days? Charge me whatever you think is fair. I’ll pay it!”

(Yeah, I know. I’m a dream client!)

After a few of these emails, and receipt of A.C.’s subsequent invoices over a period of time, I noticed
that A.C. was NOT charging me for those special projects AT ALL! A.C. was apparently so intent on keeping me happy (so steady work would keep coming in) that A.C. was working for me for free. And, that made me feel very bad.

So, I did what any professional client would do. I sent A.C. a personal letter, pointing out the fact that
the work being doing was far above industry standard, and priced far below industry standard. I also let
A.C. know that work would keep coming in if the quality remained as it was. Then, I let A.C. know that
invoices that didn’t include charges for ALL work performed would be rejected and that a new invoice LISTING ALL CHARGES would be required before payment would be made. I knew THAT would get A.C.’s attention! 😉

A.C. clearly did not value the services he/she was providing as much as we did. And, A.C. feared losing me as a client. But, the work is excellent and always on time so that is never going to happen.

If you are providing freelance services to any individual or business, and if there is a firm estimate up
front, do NOT sell yourself short! They agreed upon the amount, and expect to pay it. You perform your excellent service. You deliver a top-notch project. And, you bill according to the estimate. Otherwise, you might make yourself appear meek and, to be completely honest, unprofessional.

If you do give a client a discount, or a free service, be sure to mention it so they’ll know! They might pay
you for it anyway. At the very least, they’ll be aware of your gift and they’ll appreciate you even more for
it. Don’t expect a client who’s paying numerous invoices on a daily basis to “notice” your kindness. That’s not likely to happen. I’m a busy person. I admit I don’t look at every single detail of every single invoice
submitted by contractors I trust – the amazing people I’ve been working with for years.

Lucky for A.C., I noticed and now A.C. is earning what he/she deserves.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors. - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE


33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters

I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.

I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.

Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.

~Stephanie Green



Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!

Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!

Angela Hoy's book will get you started!

  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:


So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline

Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.

But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.

Read more here:


3 Responses to "Are You UNDERcharging Your Clients to be “Nice?” Don’t Sell Yourself Short! by Angela Hoy"

  1. pamelaallegretto  May 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Excellent article!

  2. Hannah Vaughan  May 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    This is such a great article!! This is really difficult for me, especially as I get potential clients that think the standard rates are highway robbery. I had one guy once that wanted me to do a quick read through of his intensive, historical, non-fiction book for any errors before sending it to press. He offered me 50 dollars. I politely explained to him that I would not be able to do it for that amount and how much per page it would cost, and he got nasty. Said it didn’t need THAT many corrections. The whole tone was that my time and services were not worth it, and I should be grateful he was offering me the opportunity to even read it.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  May 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm


      If you’re an editor, you know that some authors get very defensive about their work. Unfortunately, that can lead to problems when they refuse to listen to the “experts,” and when they hire cheap labor for a very important job, which will ultimately reflect on them. Good editors are essential, should be respected, and deserve to be paid fair rates for their work.