I have a confession to make. A couple of weeks ago, I looked up the rate of inflation over the past few years. I discovered that inflation has risen 20% since 2000. While we hadn’t raised our prices at booklocker.com during all that time, we also hadn’t raised the rates we pay freelance writers at WritersWeekly.com. I was mortified and embarrassed. Why hasn’t anybody complained during all these years? We made an immediate decision.
At WritersWeekly.com, we are raising our rates 20% for features and 33% for success stories.
For feature articles, we now pay $60 for around 600 words for non-exclusive electronic rights only.
For freelance success stories, we now pay $40 for around 300 words.
I figured if nobody has complained to me, nobody has probably complained to other publications about their stagnant rates, either. While I know the vast majority of publications are guilty of paying writers the same, or less, than they did a few years ago, I think it’s a good idea to start with publications that serve freelance writers. They should set a precedent for the rest of the industry. Yes, I’m issuing a challenge to our competitors!
Per THIS ARTICLE, our competitors are currently paying these rates:
Absolute Write – Pays $0.02/published word They have raised their rates since that article was published…but not by enough.
Canadian Writer’s Journal – Pays up to $9.50 for 400-2000 words; or $0.0048-$0.024/word.
WARNING: This pub has a hard time paying their bills. We received yet another complaint today from a writer who has been waiting 5 YEARS for payment.
Past complaints are here:
Writer’s Journal – Now pays “on a variable scale, depending on budget” (whatever that means!) and $5 for poetry.
The Blue Review – Looks like they’re out of business. The previous low pay of $0.008-$0.02/word was a strong indicator that they were in trouble.
Writing-World.com – Pays $0.05/word to a max of $100 (meaning a 2500-word article would only pay $0.04/word). Pays $15 for humor and $25 for reprints. They’ve been paying the same rates since they first posted their rates online in 2003.
Funds For Writers owned by Hope Clark – Pays $10 for reprints and $35 for unpublished original articles from 650-700 words; or $0.05-$0.053/word. They’ve raised their rates from $10 to $30 to $35 over the years. This is the only publication I found that has regularly raised their rates. Way to go, Hope!
Per THIS ARTICLE, print publications for writers are paying these rates:
Writers Digest – THIS is a link to their current guidelines, and THIS is a link to their 2002 guidelines – the earliest ones available on their site.
It is unfortunate that the #1 print magazine for writers is still paying the same rates they’ve been paying for years. A one-time, one-page black and white ad in Writers Digest today will cost their advertisers $8998.00. The same ad in 2002 was $7480. That’s a 17% increase! Raise your rates for writers, Writers Digest!
Written By, the Magazine of the Writers Guild of America, pays a hefty $500-$3000 for 1200-3000 words, or $0.42-$1.00 per word. I’m not going to pick on them at all.
The Writer pays $25-$500 for 600-3500 words, or $0.04-$0.14 per word. Uh oh! In 2001, they were paying up to $800 for features. That means their rates have DROPPED. For shame! Unfortunately, they don’t post their ad rates online.
Byline pays up to $100 for 1500-1800, or $0.06-$0.07 per word. They’ve been paying the same rates since 2002. Interestingly enough, they charge $350 for a full-page ad. In 2002, the same ad cost $300. That’s at 16% increase. Hmmm….
Poets & Writers pays $150-$500, or $0.16-$0.30 per word. They pay $50 for online-only pieces and ask for first rights and non-exclusive reprint rights. They never did respond to the note I sent months ago asking for their rates and their rates are not posted on their website. A reader was kind enough to send in their current rates. Their pay is respectable so I won’t pick on them, either.
So, competitors, we are issuing a challenge. Set an example for the rest of the publishing industry. Support the people who make your publication the success it is. Raise your freelance writing rates!
If you are disappointed in the rates these publications are paying, you should let them know.
Maybe next week I’ll pick on another genre of magazines. 😉
Angela Hoy is the co-owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker. WritersWeekly.com is the free marketing emag for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is one of the top-rated POD publishers (rated “excellent”) in the industry.
This article may be reprinted/redistibuted freely, as long as the entire article and bio are included.