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 Post subject: How to ask for pay
PostPosted: October 1st, 2003, 9:40 pm 
I've got some great material (at least, I think they are great) that I would like to submit to newspapers. Most small newspapers are on a budget crunch and pay little or nothing. I'm tired of writing for free and want to get paid for my effort but how do I ask without coming across as being crude. An essay that is only 1-3 pages long doesn't need a query, (just fold and sent it along) but how do I ask for pay without being blunt? I know this is not the way to go about it. Example: These are not free. How much are you paying? Such a simple question but the answer has me puzzled.


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 Post subject: How to ask for pay
PostPosted: October 1st, 2003, 11:54 pm 
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Joined: September 12th, 2003, 10:47 pm
Posts: 455
Here are some suggestions:

"I'm offering (whatever rights you're offering, such as non-exclusive one time rights) for the amount of $XX. "

"If you find you are interested in my essay for publication, you may contact me at phone # or email."

"If you find you are interested in publishing my essay, I will be glad to accept your standard rate of pay."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2003, 12:29 am 
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Joined: July 10th, 2003, 9:57 am
Posts: 11
Newspapers are a terrible place to send freelance material. They don't pay well, if they pay at all, and the brusque, off-putting attitude at many papers (the "tough newsman" persona) can be pretty hard on a new writer's ego.

Suggest looking for publications -- probably magazines -- whose editors are seeking material about the subjects you've written about. If you've written op-ed style pieces, getting paid for those anywhere is an uphill battle -- opinion from no-names just doesn't sell. If, however, there's a news or feature angle to your work, you can probably sell it from between $0.10 to $0.60 US per word, depending on the caliber of the publication and your own credentials.

Mike


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2003, 12:44 am 
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 5:13 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Toronto
What really burns me is when I see publishers that obviously bring in enough money to pay their writers - and they don't. They know that new writers looking for publications will work for nothing, or almost nothing.

I am not against letting someone have a poem or a small article I've written for now pay - but I certainly wouldn't let that happen with a big magazine.

I think once you've had 3 to 4 pieces published, you have enough on your bio to demand some money.

Carly :-0

_________________
Carly


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 Post subject: Never!
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2003, 8:07 pm 
NEVER write for free!!!! It's a reputation that's hard to get rid of. Writing is a profession, and professionals GET PAID!! Writers who continue to write without pay for their work make it that much harder for other writers to get paid.

Have some confidence in your work and your profession. I agree with R Kay. Spell out exactly what you want with confidence. Geesh, editors aren't gods, after all.


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 Post subject: Getting paid
PostPosted: October 4th, 2003, 1:43 am 
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Joined: March 2nd, 2003, 1:09 pm
Posts: 27
What's wrong with a little bluntness? If you are approaching a commercial publication (i.e., one that sells ads and costs money to purchase, there is no reason to be squeamish about asking for compensation. Do enough research (through the various writer's resources on the market) to make your price realistic, but don't depend on the publication to broach the subject. Be bold...


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2003, 7:05 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2003, 12:59 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Fremont California
Another thing to consider is whether the paper is a union or non-union paper. Sometimes union contracts limit the amount of paid freelance stuff that the editor can use. No point beating your head against a union wall if this is the case.


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2003, 9:22 pm 
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Joined: August 13th, 2003, 3:48 pm
Posts: 304
to Markie: why are you so determined to send your essay to a newspaper? What is it that's so good that a newspaper will pay for it? I worked for a newspapers and my editor would tell you in a flash he could find stuff much better than that of a nobody at almost no cost at all, and we're talking $5 a week here. Remember there are syndicates out there by almost anybody you can name and in any business, the names of whom you would recognize in a flash. Try turning it into a story, or something else salable and pitch it to a magazine or short story market.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 8th, 2003, 4:06 am 
Mark...

For gosh sakes-- if you're going to attempt to sell ANYTHING, you should AT LEAST read a TINY BIT about the proper way to SUBMIT what you write. You should attempt to learn a TINY BIT about THE VERY BASICS of submitting to editors and getting published, Mark.

"FOLD AND SEND?" Are you kidding? You're going to FOLD THE PAGES before sending it to an editor?

All roughness and in-your-face criticism aside, Mark, you don't EVER want to FOLD anything you send. You send it to the editor in a BUSINESS ENVELOPE, so as to NOT have to fold it. Search Google and read any one of THOUSANDS of articles out there on the web on the very basics of submitting to editors. They give you every detail, including the margins you should use, stuff like that.

And please keep and eye out (in the next few weeks) for my upcoming book on this website and Booklocker.com, "10 Golden Rules of Freelance Writing and How I Broke them (How to Break the Rules and Make It as a Freelance Writer)." I've been doing this since 1987-- long before we were ever using email, and before Windows was here.

It's a business, Mark. Treat it as such. Also: Don't listen to people who tell you never to write for newspapers, or to never, EVER write for "no pay." That's the kind of negative advice (though generally true) that can put off fledgling writers. SOMETIMES it's okay to write for little or no pay, depending on WHAT YOU GET OUT OF IT! Is there an upside? Are you only going to do it once, THEN get paid later? That kind of stuff is covered in my upcoming book. For example, I wrote a bungee-jumping story for a local, tiny newspaper very near my home town featuring a local Bungee center. No pay-- but I got SIX free jumps out of the deal, worth $65 each!! Saved me $390 on the adrenaline rush of a lifetime and a helluva great afternoon! Also, I once wrote a long feature for a newspaper I was working for as Regional Advertising Director, before I was really a writer, and did it for "no pay," technically, but the buddy of mine who's rock band I wrote about got a whole bunch of great free publicity in the New York tri-state area, I got a BEAUTIFUL "clip" of a two-page spread in a "major" Music Weekly, and I also got a lifetime's worth of love and appreciation from my buddy and his pals in the band-- and a HUGE hug from my good friend's appreciative Italian Mom.

Hmmm." Never write for no pay?" I don't think so. Sometimes it's okay, though it's a bad habit. Do it to get clips, to help friends, to satisfy personal desires-- stuff like that.

Then never do it again until there's another benefit in it for you.

Good luck.

Bob Freiday
ScribeGuy2003@Yahoo.com


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 Post subject: essays for publication
PostPosted: October 8th, 2003, 1:45 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 1:20 pm
Posts: 1
Hi Mark:

Don't want to be the bearer of bad news here but there really isn't too great of a market for essays in newspapers. Usually any essays they run are created in-house or they're syndicated. Depending on the topic, however, you might check into some other places for publication. For example, if you're writing about Rocky Mountain-area issues, particularly with a liberal slant, try Writers on the Range -- they seem to be very open to well-written pieces from unknowns and then they syndicate the essay. Otherwise, look for publications that specifically publish essays; again, essays are opinion pieces and are rarely considered [i]news[/i]. Newspapers DO accept guest editorials but they're mostly the equivalent of long letters to the editor. However, while you shouldn't write for free, sometimes it's worth it if you're getting your personal message out and earning some clips to show to other potential publications.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 8th, 2003, 4:01 pm 
scribe, you're my hero!


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