Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Always Talk Money

On March 7th I found two great things in my mailbox:

1. A tearsheet and a check for $30 from a local parenting publication.

2. The March issue of another local parenting publication in which my article appeared.

Where’s the check for the other article, you ask? Well, we never really discussed my rates or theirs. So I sent off a quick email asking what their rates usually are, letting the editor know I’m not trying to get rich and that I’m thrilled to be published in their magazine. She wrote back quickly to say they usually pay 10 cents per word. I ran to my computer to check the word count on what I’d sent them. This was an article I custom-made for this publication and then luckily was able to sell to other pubs before it became a reprint. This article was over 1,000 words. Does that mean a check for $100 is coming my way?

No, because we hadn’t discussed it first. So I did the nice thing and gave it to them for half off, which still seemed like a lot of money to the editor. I don’t know why she thought I’d write a custom-made article for them for FREE.

The lesson: Always talk money upfront. If someone says they want your article or want you to write one, ask their rates or give them yours if you feel comfortable.

4 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

Oh! Great advice! Thanks. :)

I got your book. Can't wait to look it over. :)

Darling Nikki said...

I like how you dumb it down and write things we "should" know but don't.
Thanks!

Trina Darling said...

That's great advice; I'm always nervous about bringing up money!

L. Shepherd said...

If they usually pay .10 a word, why couldn't she pay you that? That's pretty on par for a small local publication. With some editors, though, you'd think you were asking for a personal dressing room and a bowl of 10,000 red M&Ms.