I assume you have read the 5 parts to this essay. There is a difference between the required EHR and the EHR. The required EHR (rEHR) is calculated by amortizing ALL of your expenses, including taxes, over your expected actual workweek/year. For example, if you expect to have enough work to average 20 hours of actual earnings each week for a total of 42 weeks in the next year, you spread your costs over the 840 hours (20 h x 42 wk) you expect to actually be earning hours. If your total costs come to $60,000 — i.e., food, shelter, utilities, taxes, insurance, literally every expense you have/anticipate that you are responsible for — then your rEHR is $71.43 ($60,000/840 h).

Now your task becomes how to earn that rEHR or lower it. If you are in a two-income household and responsible for half of the total operating costs of the household, you calculate your expenses by adding 100% of your business expenses (e.g., cost of software and computers) to your 50% of mutual household expenses (e.g., groceries).

The per-page rate or the project rate (essentially a per-page rate) is a separate calculation. If you can edit 5 pages an hour and your rEHR is $30, then your minimum per-page rate is $6 ($6 x 5 pph = $30 or $30 rEHR/5 pph = $6 pp) and if the manuscript is 1,000 pages, the project fee is 1,000 msp x $6 pp = $6,000 project fee. If the client is offering $3 pp and you have a rEHR of $30, then you need to figure out how to edit at an average minimum rate of 10 pph.

If you are editing a project at an average speed of 15 pph and are being paid $3 pp, then you have an EHR of $45 (15 pph x $3 pp = $45 EHR). If your rEHR is $30, you are effectively earning a $15 per hour profit; if your rEHR is $60, you are effectively losing $15 per hour.

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