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FAQ: how we charge

How do you charge?

Everything is free until we agree on things. I may want to meet you, if you are in Perth. Then look at anything you've written yourself (even rough notes), and talk to you about what you have in mind. After that, I'll begin to work out a way to do it that's feasible and affordable for you. No charge for that meeting (or maybe meetings).

I'll give you a fixed quote, if I can. I prefer doing that. Sometimes I give two figures: the dollars I expect it to cost, and a top figure. I guarantee not to go over the top figure (unless you change your mind about what you want).

But I won't be able to give a fixed quote if your project is still blurred and you aren't sure how big it will get. So I'll agree on an hourly rate and put in some checkpoints to protect your budget. The bigger the project, the lower my hourly rate.

If that sounds too vague for you, and you want to hear some sample dollar figures right now, then please picture what it would be like to phone a builder and say: "I want to build a house. How much will it cost?" It's the same with me. Before I can quote dollars, I need to know more.

Why can't we do the writing? Why do we need you?

Maybe you can do it. Except:

1. You may be too close to it.

2. You may not have time.

3. You may not have all the writing skills, or at least not enough flexibility to change writing style enough to suit a special audience. Have a look at my two articles: How to write things people will read and How to write a non-fiction book.

What big clients have used Viacorp?

I've handled complex projects for Alcoa internationally, BHP Billiton and Hamersley Iron. I've also done work for Reader's Digest International Book Division. And if you know Australia, you'll know these companies: Argyle Diamonds, Western Power and Woodside. I've done intricate work for all of them. Example: Our Quality Story for BHP Iron Ore. (I am mentioned inside the front cover.)

Smaller clients get the same energy, skill, and fair prices.

What about samples of your work?

I have boxes of it. But first I'd like to have some discussion about what kind of business you may want to do with us.

For samples of my writing work that you can see on the web, please look at the site guide. If you're interested in having me help with a website, then this will be worth a look: Free tips on how to make a website work.

This is sensitive material we're working on. We haven't got a patent yet. Can we trust you until we're ready to tell the world?

I'll consider signing a nondisclosure agreement. I have signed a lot of them.

But there's another thing: if we're going to be talking about sensitive things, we both need to make sure we secure our emails. Our website has a guide on How electronic encryption works. I can offer the following secure communication systems:

For PGP, use this public key.

Or just use our secure-message form.

Who does your design work?

I work with several designers. Some are good at glamorous productions, and others at the hard-sell, practical end of things. With two in the middle.

When I know what you aim to do, I'll suggest a designer -- unless you have your own.

Can we try you out on something small first?

Yes. But unless you're from a large company, I'll want part of our fee up-front.

If I haven't answered your question, please ask.

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