Statements appearing in these forums represent the opinions of the authors
of each post, not the opinion of WritersWeekly.com and/or BookLocker.com.
It is currently September 20th, 2014, 7:57 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: December 30th, 2003, 5:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 30th, 2003, 3:47 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Maryland
Earlier in the year, I wrote an article for a well-established, local newspaper. I signed a contract. However, the contract did not specify a rate of pay. That was left open and up to the discretion of the managing editor. The editor verbally quoted a monetary rate of compensation, and I accepted the amount.
The paper ran my feature article on their front page. Afterward, the editor and I discussed future assignments via e-mail. However, as weeks went on, I noticed I had not received a check in the mail. And, e-mails to the editor were not answered.
I have since found out that the editor that I spoke with has left the paper. The new managing editor promised to honor the agreement. However, dispite sending her my W4 form, as she requested, the paper has not forwarded a check. What can I do, if anything?

_________________
Caressa Bolden
Have you Caressed a writer today?
www.caressawriter.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: payment
PostPosted: December 30th, 2003, 6:31 pm 
You sent a W4 form? That sounds like they intend to treat this as a "work for hire." That is, treating you as an employee during the time you were writing the article (so that they have all the copyrights and you have none) rather than as a freelance writer (who sells specific rights to them). Unless we're talking about a large amount of money, I would almost rather not get paid than give up all the rights to my work.

Do you have anything from them in writing? If not, you need to start communicating via writing so that you have a paper trail. You'll need it in case you ever want to take this to small claims court. You'll also need it in case you give up on getting paid, because this then becomes a bad debt, deductible on your income taxes.

I would prepare an invoice and send it to them, specifying a reasonable time-frame for them to pay you. The time frame should probably be neighborhood of 6 weeks. Unfortunately, in corporate America, cutting checks for contracted work is not a high priority and may only happen once a month. If they still didn't pay, I would seriously consider small-claims court. The costs are not great, but it will take up your time. On the other hand, there is a great deal of satisfaction in winning a judgment and if you have anything in writing this should be a slam-dunk.

Good luck!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 30th, 2003, 10:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 30th, 2003, 1:08 am
Posts: 1133
Location: Melbourne, Australia
And keep sending invoices with interest added. They bought a product from you and they haven't paid for it! Get one of those "Friendly reminder" stamps or stickers that other creditors use. Make it clear that you are serious. Failure to pay creditors is bad business sense.

Terms of payment required within 30 days (of date of invoice or date of receipt) before interest is charged are usually considered fair. I've had some invoices requesting payment in 7 days! If other companies can be cheeky :) so can you!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 31st, 2003, 11:26 am 
. . . before receiving a payment for a regular column I was writing and sending in invoices for. It turned out that my editor was in the midst of a nightmare with the accounting department's new admin. I continued sending invoices (without interest - it didn't seem right considering it was a "newbie" mistake) and, finally, received a check for all the back pay. In the beginning, before I knew the whole story, I was really upset and worried I had been contracted by a deadbeat establishment. I'm glad I was patient and gave them the benefit of the doubt . . . in a very persistant manner. :wink:


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 2nd, 2004, 12:28 am 
Offline

Joined: December 30th, 2003, 1:08 am
Posts: 1133
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hence the "friendly reminder" and warning that if they don't explain or remedy their lack of payment you will charge interest like everyone else. You are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (lost in the post, mislaid, forgot...). If they are in financial difficulties they should approach you as they would their landlord, electric company, etc, and ask for leeway.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Right :)
PostPosted: January 2nd, 2004, 11:36 am 
daoine wrote:
Hence the "friendly reminder" and warning that if they don't explain or remedy their lack of payment you will charge interest like everyone else. You are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (lost in the post, mislaid, forgot...). If they are in financial difficulties they should approach you as they would their landlord, electric company, etc, and ask for leeway.


I was merely relaying my experience with the situation described in the first post. :: smiles :: Isn't it amazing how writers/authors don't believe they deserve the same consideration as the other bill collectors you mentioned? It wasn't until after I started taking myself seriously that others did the same. Message boards like this one certainly aided in that effort! :D


Top
  
 
PostPosted: January 3rd, 2004, 12:03 pm 
I just wanted to add my .02 here. When I invoice, I mark it as due upon receipt ... and I usually get paid pretty quickly. However, I'm not dealing with publications; I'm a copywriter. The client knows this up front, however; we discuss payment terms at the time of the assignment. If I were an employee to the client, they'd be paying me every Friday, so why should I have to wait 30 days?

Eileen
www.eileencoale.com


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group