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Saturday, April 2, 2011

How Much Should I Get Paid?

All writers who aspire to be professional writers want to know, "How much should I get paid?" Of course, that answer depends on your experience level. I sill consider myself a beginner, but I can say at the beginning of my beginnerness (yes, I know that isn't a word), I submitted to nonpaying publications so I could build my clips. Clips are published writing samples you can use to build your writing portfolio and use as leverage to get you noticed by the paying publications. So if you are at the beginning, consider finding some quality nonpaying publications to get you started.

Once you've had two or three freebies published, then start knocking on the doors of some paying publications. At this point, you're going to get paid a predetermined amount - find that publication listing in the Writers Market, and most will list their pay rate.

Once you've mastered the process of submitting and selling, consider seeking out some freelance opportunities - publications or companies that want to publish your writing or utilize your writing skills regularly. These could be magazines (nonfiction or fiction), newspapers (community, city, regional, national), company newsletters, or even books that publish meditations (Chicken Soup for the Soul). At this point, some will still have their own pay rates (Chicken Soup for the Soul for example pays $200 + 10 books), but the more experience you have the greater the chance you will be able to negotiate rates.

To determine fair pay, read the "How Much Should I Charge?" section of the *Writers Market. In the 2011 printing, the article starts on page 67 and includes a pay table on pages 67-77. It lists the low, average, and high pay rates writers can expect in everything from copyediting to novel writing, from business writing to screenplay writing, from grant writing to ghost writing...

So get busy - you have a lot of writing to do if you want to get paid.

*If you do not have a Writers Market, you NEED one, but until then, feel free to browse our LWC copy at any of our meetings.

Post by: LWC Director, Karen Aldridge. Visit her personal blog at My Writing Loft.

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