freelance technical copywriting terms and conditions

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Robert Warren specializes in providing English-language written communications materials and consulting to service businesses and independent professionals. These offerings include but are not limited to: magazine and newspaper article ghostwriting, print collateral design (brochures, booklets, fliers, etc.), print advertising, Internet-based marketing (website writing and design, e-zine and e-book writing, etc.) and public relations writing and consulting (press releases, media kits, etc.).

Contact my office and schedule an appointment to discuss your project. If you already have a specific project in mind, I can deliver a written cost and timeframe estimate typically within one business day of receiving all relevant project background (dependent on project complexity).

If you require consultation concerning your marketing needs, I require a basic retainer for an in-depth consultation session. The session itself is free; the retainer is directly applied to further project billing (if any). Retainer is not refundable.

Once a course of action has been agreed upon, you will receive a contract from me within one business day of my receiving all relevant project background. Sign the contract and send it back to me along with your deposit or retainer, and we'll get started.

Except under rare circumstances, further project coordination will take place via phone and email.

Estimates are for English-language written content (copy) only unless otherwise and specifically negotiated in writing. Core service is written content. When projects require the assistance of other specialists (graphic design, web design, etc.), those tasks are outsourced to other trusted professionals. In those situations, project estimates will include specialist fees as well as my own.

Please read my Services FAQ for details.

Every contract I sign includes a confidentiality clause which binds me from divulging the nature, content, tangible products or even existence of our relationship without your permission; likewise, all proprietary materials released to me are kept in the strictest confidence. I also regularly sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with clients when circumstances warrant.

Upon initial contract execution, you will be assigned an online client account; this account will allow you to view your current and past invoices, browse your current and past project records, and retrieve past deliverables (drafts, notes, reports, etc.) associated with your account. New changes and additions are posted to your online record within one business day of occurrence. Only the client owner and myself may view information associated with that client's account.

For security reasons, online project availability is subject to agreement by both the client and myself, and may be revoked by the will of either party. In this situation, client data is entirely removed from online database access and the account closed.

Billing will either be done on a flat fee or hourly basis, to be negotiated during initial consultation. Flat vs. hourly billing is entirely at my discretion and is dependent on how well the project scope can be specifically determined.

Flat fee estimates are provided after an initial consultation but prior to start of work, based on a standard hourly rate, estimated time to completion and additional project complexities (such as meeting availability). As every project is entirely different, estimates will not be given prior to initial consultation.

Flat-fee project estimates include two rounds of revision (copy only, and within a reasonable amount of time from completion date) and one meeting (including phone conferences), excluding changes in project scope or content. Further revisions or meetings are available at Writer's base hourly rate.

Most of my projects are billed on an hourly basis, limited to a do-not-exceed (DNE) level that is written into our agreement. The DNE is equal to the maximum amount of time I foresee requiring to bring the project to completion, estimated prior to contract execution. Hours in excess of the DNE level will not be worked without written authorization.

Under this agreement, hours are billed entirely on a time and materials basis, and include (in addition to copywriting time) phone consultation, meeting, revision and independent research time. For projects requiring travel, I bill a daily rate plus expenses.

Both United States and international copyright law stipulate that the legal intellectual property rights for any creative work remains in the ownership of the creator unless he or she explicitly transfers those rights via a signed written conveyance. Unless the nature of the project requires otherwise, all contracts signed by myself clearly indicate that all rights to these materials (copyright, patent, etc.) transfer to the client upon material delivery, dependent on fulfillment of contract terms. If for any reason the contract terms are not fulfilled, the rights remain with Writer and may not be exercised by the client.

For these reasons (among others), no work is performed without a written agreement signed in advance of project commencement. There are no exceptions.

Written agreement is required before start of work. A nonrefundable 50% deposit is required in advance on all projects, unless specifically negotiated otherwise.

For past and current clients, I bill a two-hour minimum on flat-fee projects and in half-hour increments on retainer contracts. Billable time includes phone consultation, interview, project management, independent research and revision time.

Deposits and retainers may be delivered via money order, check or bank wire, with check preferred. I do not accept credit cards at this time.

A retainer is required from all accounts originating outside of the United States and Canada, payable only via bank wire at this time. Contact my office for current rates and appropriate payment information.

I will provide an estimated time to completion at the same time as the cost estimate. If, however, you require a faster project turnaround, I reserve the right to charge "rush" fees (25-50% project cost) at my discretion. If I feel it's necessary to assess a rush fee, I will inform you at the time of service request. You may then reschedule if you wish.

If the project is killed for any reason after completion of first draft copywriting, I remain entitled to full payment of agreed-upon fee. If the project is killed prior to first draft completion, I remain entitled to full payment of all hours invested by myself prior to the end of the project.

Deposits and retainers are applied to future project billing and are not refundable.

Any deposits or retainers are required prior to start of work.

Client can expect an invoice for any outstanding account balance to be mailed at the end of the month in which the relevant services were rendered. Invoicing is done on a term 30 days basis; late payments are subject to a monthly service fee equal to $50 or 10% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater.

Payment may be made by money order, check or bank wire. (For accounts originating outside of the United States or Canada, only bank wire payments are accepted at this time.)

Past and current invoices may now be viewed online, along with project and delivery records. Click here for full details.

last updated March 2012


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(c) Robert Warren, Writer and Editor - Freelance Technical Copywriter, California and Florida - T/ 209.232.4219
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