How Free Will Some Freelancers Go? By Dawn Josephson
Dear Ms Josephson,
You asked “Who’s with me on this?” in your article for WritersWeekly this week and I wanted to raise my hand and say “ME” with a resounding shout!
I just got an email from a company that has three business franchises and web sites, and yet they wanted me to write articles for $10 per article if I was able to turn it around in 24 hours; $15 if I was able to research and write the article in 8-12 hours. They sent me a huge file of guidelines, listing the places I’d be required to research, and a long list of SEO requirements, bullet points and other things that had to be included in each article. Of course, they also made mention that they want the writer to dumb down their prose so that the people who come to their web site can understand it, because they believe all their clients are stupid. They also required rewrites for free, and access to your personal bank account and social security number.
I was so insulted by this I was ready to tell this company off, but my husband said I should write for them nearly for free because “some money is better than no money.”
I just couldn’t do it, however, so I sent them an email outlining my rates and explaining that if I take my average time of 4 hours to write an article that doesn’t require much research, I’d still manage to make less than minimum wage on that article. If the editors required rewrites, I’d end up writing the article nearly for free.
I’ve been a freelance writer/reporter for 25 years, so I don’t need to write for clips or exposure. My bills won’t get paid by writing for a pittance or for free.
Thank you for speaking up on this issue. I am with you 100 percent on saying no to insultingly low rates and people that expect freelancers to write for free.
Thinking Outside the (Bookstore) Box By Margaret Nava
I just wanted to let you and your readers know that I support the suggestion to try craft shows from Margaret Nava’s success story in last week’s newsletter.
This past weekend I had a table at a church’s show, and consider it a successful experience. Definitely much more fun than trying to deal with bookstores. I covered my expenses and came out ahead, but besides that, I got great feedback and support. I came away with a renewed spirit, feeling so blessed even by several folks who didn’t buy a thing.
That said, I’ll also mention that I was at another show in October where attendance was bleak and so were sales. That comes with the territory, though. Nothing works 100% of the time and usually one needs to try something more than once to get an idea as to whether it’s a good fit or not. If an author has a books suitable for a craft show audience (mainly women shoppers who are buying for themselves or family members), I say give it a try. I’m looking forward to show number three this weekend!