Setting rates for your freelance translation services can be done most easily by using your personal cost of living as a guideline. However, many freelance translators have a problem with pricing when it comes to the ancillary services such as proofreading and editing.
Both of these tasks can be just as complicated as translation, but many people do not have this understanding. The way to handle a client who expects an extremely low rate for a proofreading assignment is to educate them on the skills that will be employed to do the job.
Professional proofreaders not only check for typographical errors, but also for mistakes in context, formatting, the ordering of and the relationship between the words and other structural elements in phrases and sentences. After these are found the proofreader has to correct the error.
When you are asked to proofread a document, you are employing the same skills you would use in translating in a different manner; you have to make sure that the written document makes sense just as if you were writing it yourself.
Pricing your proofreading services on an hourly rate works well when your hourly rate is realistically tied to your income requirements, i.e., you need to make $20 an hour and you can read 5 pages an hour. But it also to your advantage to test how many pages of a poorly translated document you can proofread in one hour to arrive at a per page rate. If it takes you 3 hours to proofread a 20 page document of this type, $5-9 per page rate is reasonable.
You will find that this is very useful to have two methods for pricing your proofreading services, being prepared with this information will make it easier for you to evaluate source text documents from clients.