Asking editors for a better pay rate has always been something I shy away from. Sometimes I think I do deserve more, but “haggling” isn’t something that I like to do, that is until now.
Towards the end of 2011, I was in the process of closing another acceptance with a magazine I write for on a semi-regular freelance basis. It was quite an in-depth feature with photos to compliment the piece. I found a photographer on the Internet, and told her that the magazine did not pay for photos as stated in their guidelines, but she was happy for the exposure and agreed to a byline.
As I sat with the feature and photos attached and ready to go, I thought to myself that this deserved more than just the $75.00 that I was paid earlier in the year. So, when I got the email response from my editor stating it was good and she liked the accompanying photos. I thought about shouting “Show Me the Money!” But, being shy, I asked her what amount I should put on the invoice.
Her response was almost instant – $160.00! Needless to say, I nearly fell off my chair! She was willing to pay a little over twice the amount she paid last time around. Of course, it made me run through the what if’s?
I instantly felt bad for the photographer who was not being paid and emailed the editor asking what she was willing to pay for the use of the photos. “I can only pay $25 per photo,” came the response. So, now both the photographer and myself will benefit from a bold move.
It doesn’t matter how you ask – just do it, and grab a new rate for the New Year!
Nadia Ali is a freelance writer born in London, UK and now living in the Caribbean. Her writing credits include Dog’s Monthly, Chicken Soup, Whole Life Magazine and the Travel Channel.
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