Designing a manual - fixed price or pay by the hour?

I'm currently designing a manual for a yoga school, and I will need to give a quote to my client.
At present I'm still waiting to receive the whole content, but I've already designed the framework for the manual. Would you suggest I quote for the type of project, or for a forecasted timescale (includinglayout design, typesetting of content, reviews and final design)?
And would you have any advice on a fixed price for a manual design of roughly 100-150 pages?
Thank you 🙏


  • Secure the content! Then, this will give you a better feeling. If you can't get the completed content, then get the wordcount. This is a greater indication than page numbers. I advise quoting based on wordcount rather than page numbers because you may want to space the content out further! Or, add new images. Typesetting is what takes the longest, so consider this.

    Clients tend to prefer fixed costs, but make sure you are super clear about the project scope. x
  • It should be at least £500 to onward depending on the context. If you need a hand please reach out at
  • @christopher conway yes, absolutely, i'm quite reluctant in offering a final price until i'm actually aware of the content i'm going to be working with, so atm i've offered my hourly rate and an estimate for page typesetting.

  • Your fixed prices should be the total of your hourly rate for a project. So, it doesn't really matter. Both prices should be the same.

    What you might consider for a typesetting project like a booklet or manual is a per page price, and folding additional costs into that quote.

    As an example. My hourly rates are £50/hr. I'm quick and good after ten years, so most jobs I take on will take around 10 hours (mostly book covers) so my fixed price for a print book cover is £500. For typesetting, however, my rates are £250 + £0.50pp - that's 5 hours for working through the design, plus a price for laying out each page. If the layout has multiple different layouts or unique layouts for each page, then that per page rate goes up. A 60-page cookbook won't have the same per page rate as a 400-page novel, for instance.

    In your shoes, I'd probably eschew adding a cover price onto a manual, but you could throw £50 on top to design a cover. But you'd have a base price, say 5 hours plus 150 x a per page rate. With the proviso that your actual rate will be the specific number of pages, whether that's 100 or 150.

    That idea of charging for reviews (given you're not involved in that) isn't something you should be doing, but the whole process should be going into your rates.
  • Calculate how many days you will spend on the project and include 2 rounds of adjustments and corrections. If you have a hourly or day price, you can easily find a value for the Brand Design Manual.

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