Letters To The Editor For February 14th

Social Security Number vs. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Dear Angela,

You recently advised a reader not to give a publisher a copy of their driver’s license or Social Security card, very correctly pointing out that identity theft could be an issue.

You then advised the freelancer to submit their Social Security number on a Form W-9. I’d like to suggest instead that the freelancer obtain an EIN, an Employer Identification Number, for business use. The EIN can be obtained online at the IRS site. The EIN has the same number of digits as the Social Security number and can also be used on the W-9 form.

Best wishes,
Connie Myers

Simple Formula for determining writing fees anywhere in the country


1. Go to Salary.com
2. Look up Reporter or Editor or Writer
3. Type in your zip code.
4. Divide the annual salary by 52 weeks (both high and low ranges) and
then by 40 hours to get your hourly fees.

Experienced reporters and copy editors in my area range from $17.50 to $34/hour

This offers a great starting point to charge and a way to explain one’s fees to a client.

Barbara Martin

P.S. Love your newsletter.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

You already know I love your ezine, because I write to you ALL the time. Well, here’s something else I thought worth writing to you about:

I just finished reading How to Be Your Own Literary Agent by Richard Curtis, and publishing through Booklocker is looking better than ever! By the time Curtis finished explaining all the rights publishers try to claim and all the ways they try to take advantage of unsuspecting writers, the last thing I wanted was to use a traditional publisher! Having a hard time getting my books into the stores seems like a price I’m willingly pay, if it means publishing my book with people I can trust.

After reading this, there’s no doubt in my mind – when my first book is ready for publication, you are the first publisher who will see it!

Katharine S. Leppert

P.S. The book also goes over publishing contracts in minute detail, and might be a good resource to recommend to your readers – regardless of what they publish or whether they use an agent.