Nov 08 Written by 

How to Get Paid for Writing

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Get a reputation as a writer who asks for payment, and you will get paid. Simple as that. Hard to do sometimes, because feelings can be involved. Women writers in particular cheat themselves because of feelings. Writing is a business and you have expertise and should be paid for it.

I hope that by now every writer asks to be paid for writing articles, requests an advance when negotiating a book contract, and at the very least prices his or her e-book at a princely 99 cents.

Consider asking for a fee in these situations, too:
  • Co-worker or neighbor says, "You're a writer, you're good at these things; will you please read over my son's college essay?"
  • Writer you have never met requests back-of-the-book blurb. I gave my price: $150. That's cheap for three hours of my time: Two spent reading the 300-page manuscript and one hour to create a substantial and well-written blurb. The author then sent me a pouty letter saying she never heard of paying for back-of-the-book blurbs, and that I should have done it as a favor for fellow writer. I'd do the favor for a writer friend or acquaintance from whom I might expect the favor returned--not a complete stranger.
  • You provide photographs to accompany your article. I charge $50 per photograph.
  • You are asked to speak to writers, give a writing workshop or seminar, or a reading. If your price isn't met, decline. That's the only way you will ever get paid. Organizers of these things will later say amongst each other, "She always asks to be paid." Get a reputation for being a writer who wants to be paid. If they really want your expertise they'll find $50 or $150 or $300 somewhere. Or you can barter. I gave a talk to an organization in exchange for a year's membership.
  • You are asked to offer a free service to be silent-auctioned for a fundraiser. Set a reserve price.
  • You are asked, "Where can I publish this? Can you give me the names of some agents or publishers?" Say that you will look into it, for a fee.
  • People ask to "pick your brain." Tell them it's $100 per hour.
  • People request marketing/publicity advice. Tell them it's $100 per hour.
3177 Last modified on Monday, 03 November 2014
Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.