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Posts Tagged ‘freelance writing

What We’re Planning to Discuss on 5/27

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We all know that fair pay is an issue for writers and money (or lack thereof) is an issue for publishers. Just this week in Crain’s New York we learned that $35K is the new black, errr $75K for author advances. Is this really the right move? Advertising, R&D and other business-building investments tend to pay off during a recession, reports The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki. Are cost-conscious publishers blowing it by not investing now?

Perhaps the answer isn’t to invest more but to invest smarter. We’re seeing clever publishers return to the days of Dickens with serial books and e-books. We’ve seen TwitPay and TipJoy emerge as models for micropayments via Twitter. These and more have the potential to lead a radical revolution in pay models. What are you trying? Specifically, we are wondering:

  • Writers: are publishers plying you with new pay ideas? What’s the craziest pay model you’ve tried?
  • Editors: are you being asked to explore new and different pay models?
  • What models are working? Which aren’t? What are the roadblocks to success?
We’ll be discussing these questions and more tonight on #editorchat at 8:30pm EST.  Please drop us a comment in the box below if you have any other questions.

Written by LydiaBreakfast

May 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Transcript of #editorchat 5/20

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[20:31:05] LydiaBreakfast: Good Evening tweeps and welcome to the 5/20 edition of our chat. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do. #editorchat

[20:31:05] milehighfool: And we’re live. Please introduce yourself when you join. #editorchat

[20:31:09] GLHancock: @milehighfool Thanks. How are you tonight? This week? #editorchat

[20:31:49] jennipps: @milehighfool Hey, Tim! Good to see you. BTW…to you & @LydiaBreakfast…just turned in an article to a newsletter featuring #editorchat

[20:31:56] JaneFriedman: Hi everyone – Jane Friedman, Publisher/Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest (F+W Media) #editorchat

[20:32:12] milehighfool: @GLHancock Super busy. Not regretting the blogathon but, wow, it’s tough to add that to my regular writing schedule. You? #editorchat

[20:32:41] jennipps: Hi, all! Jen, fl writer in south Oklahoma writing about health, writing, creativity, plus-size issues, & everything in between. #editorchat

[20:32:42] JMegonigal: Jordana Megonigal, editor in chief for Upstate S.C. business publication (and soon others?) And I’m a GEN-X #editorchat

[20:32:56] ptsaldari: Hello from p.tsaldari #editorchat

[20:33:00] milehighfool: @jennipps Wow. I’m truly flattered, Jen. Thanks for thinking of us. #editorchat

[20:33:06] shortformernie: Howdy! Ernie Smith, Editor of super-awesome tightly edited news site ShortFormBlog: http://shortformblog.com/ #editorchat

[20:33:09] GLHancock: @milehighfool What blogathon or do you mean here and now? #editorchat

[20:33:11] booksandcorsets: Hi all, I’m an editor w/Sterling Publishing, working on branded books and the Hearst magazine lines #editorchat

[20:33:15] LydiaBreakfast: I am your co-host Lydia Dishman, freelance features writer covering business, food, travel and style for a pile o’ mags #editorchat

[20:33:16] BeckyDMBR: @LydiaBreakfast Hey! Checking in from Iow-ay, Land of Windy. #editorchat

[20:33:27] milehighfool: @JaneFriedman Glad you could make it, Jane. #editorchat

[20:33:44] jennipps: @milehighfool But of course! 🙂 After it’s in print, I have OK from the editor to post it online. I’ll let you know when it’s up #editorchat

[20:33:44] shortformernie: But when I’m at work, I totally work at The Washington Post’s Express as a designer and visual editor duder. 😀 #editorchat

[20:33:47] LydiaBreakfast: @BeckyDMBR Hey Yay! #editorchat

[20:34:06] LydiaBreakfast: @booksandcorsets Fabulous thanks for coming! #editorchat

[20:34:07] dan_miranda: Hello everyone tweeting from a new account to make sure I don’t disturb anyone. You may know me as @timecommander #editorchat

[20:34:38] milehighfool: Your other co-host here. Tim Beyers, Motley Fool tech contributor, blogging at Quicken.com, writing daily. #editorchat

[20:34:40] GLHancock: Georganna, writer/editor/websites for writers; published since 1964; Luddite in electronic clothing. (not really the last one) #editorchat

[20:34:48] hinder: Hi. All. Katie HInderer – editor for teen mag, hip hop mag, and commercial real estate publication. Freelance writer too. #editorchat

[20:35:18] JenniferPerillo: Hi All. Jennifer Perillo, consulting food editor at Working Mother & freelance food writer/recipe developer. #editorchat

[20:35:23] PDXsays: lurking:at .@AboutUs hosting NTEN PDXTech Club: Online Story Telling by Roger Burks, Sr Writer, Mercy Corps. #Editorchat

[20:35:34] marciamarcia: Freelance writer w/ FastCo+, educator, editor, learner, mom, SoMe enthusiast. Thrilled to have a short break to join in on #editorchat

[20:35:35] merylkevans: Content Maven from Plano, TX who writes, edits and plays with words plus a little gamin’ and PR’in. #editorchat

[20:35:37] shortformernie: @dan_miranda Howdy, dude. 😀 #editorchat

[20:35:57] LydiaBreakfast: @JenniferPerillo Yippee you made it! Now pass out those yummie bytes 😉 #editorchat

[20:36:03] JenniferPerillo: I’m doing #editorchat tonight, so pls filter if you like for the next hour.

[20:36:09] LydiaBreakfast: @marciamarcia Hello Marcia thanks for coming 🙂 #editorchat

[20:36:14] sooutdoors: #editorchat Lloyd here from Southern Ontario Outdoors. Writer, author, journalist.

[20:36:28] LydiaBreakfast: @merylkevans Hello Miss Meryl 🙂 #editorchat

[20:36:44] LydiaBreakfast: @sooutdoors Lloyd, so glad you made it – I know the time is a crunch for you #editorchat

[20:37:00] milehighfool: @marciamarcia @merylkevans @JenniferPerillo Welcome, all. #editorchat

[20:37:15] milehighfool: @sooutdoors Hey, you made it. Sorry about the time crunch. #editorchat

[20:37:41] SpecialDee: #editorchat Special Sections editor @sunjournal, Maine, also Arts & Humanities student @usmlac

[20:37:52] milehighfool: @JaySlacks Glad you could make it, Jarvis. #editorchat

[20:38:02] newswise: Greetings everyone at #editorchat – if you need smart news, you should get @newswise http://tinyurl.com/cjl7vw

[20:38:11] JaySlacks: @LydiaBreakfast Jarvis Slacks, writing and adjunct english teacher and I forgot this part: #editorchat

[20:38:13] LydiaBreakfast: @SpecialDee Hello Special Dee 🙂 #editorchat

[20:38:16] ellmcgirt: Heyo! Ellen McGirt, senior writer, Fast Company magazine, coming to hang awhile! I write feature stories, mostly. #editorchat

[20:38:18] JMegonigal: Hey all friends – for 1.5 hrs, filter me, filter me, filter me! (Unless you want to talk journalism!) #editorchat

[20:38:51] JenniferPerillo: @LydiaBreakfast Well thanks for the warm welcome. Doing the dinner dishes during #editorchat.

[20:38:57] LydiaBreakfast: @JaySlacks Brilliant, thanks for joining and lending us your perspective 🙂 #editorchat

[20:39:03] milehighfool: @ellmcgirt Hi Ellen. Wow. Your first editorchat, I think. Glad you could make it. #editorchat

[20:39:14] JMegonigal: @ellmcgirt YAY Ellen! Welcome! #editorchat

[20:39:17] LydiaBreakfast: @ellmcgirt Hooray 🙂 No #utb jokes I’ll be good #editorchat

[20:39:18] SpecialDee: @merylkevans #editorchat I love the “play with words” it’s so functional.

[20:39:34] milehighfool: @JMegonigal Glad you could make it, Jordana. #editorchat

[20:40:04] LydiaBreakfast: So let me just remind everyone that editorchat is for writers and editors, anyone else is welcome to lurk #editorchat

[20:40:10] merylkevans: Another warning… entering a second tweetchat… so you may want to slam http://www.twittersnooze.com on me. #editorchat

[20:40:13] milehighfool: @sooutdoors Don’t we all? 🙂 #editorchat

[20:40:33] milehighfool: Rules coming next. #editorchat

[20:40:37] ellmcgirt: This is my maiden voyage yes! I’m back and forth with my actual editor, so I’ll be off and on a bit. But am so happy to make it. #editorchat

[20:40:47] SpecialDee: @GLHancock #editorchat I am just learning about Luddites and Neo-Luddites in my Science, Technology & Society class.

[20:40:47] JMegonigal: @milehighfool Wouldn’t miss this one for the world!! #editorchat

[20:41:16] GLHancock: 😎 #editorchat

[20:41:21] milehighfool: Rule No. 1 Observers welcome but #editorchat is for those who are, or those who work with, editors.

[20:41:42] milehighfool: Rule No. 2 Stay on topic. #editorchat

[20:41:59] milehighfool: Rule No. 3. Courteous comments, please. (Thank you, sir. Ma’am.) #editorchat

[20:42:00] PDXsays: conceptor | writer | editoir in PDX. work with Brick | mortar biz to come to SoME. and strat up book authors | blog “journalists #Editorchat

[20:42:17] milehighfool: Rule No. 4. Spammers will be electrocuted. (Your computer *is* wired, pal.) #editorchat

[20:42:19] SpecialDee: Little tip for newbies: If you’re using TweetDeck you can follow this conversation in a separate column by doing a search for #editorchat

[20:42:37] milehighfool: Rule no. 5: Refer to the question number when commenting. Q1, Q2, etc. #editorchat

[20:43:07] dawndsokol: I’m a book designer and author…I’m just going to lurk. Hope that’s OK. #editorchat

[20:43:52] milehighfool: @dawndsokol Of course it is. Whatever suits you. Chime in anytime. We try to post transcirpts within a day or two. #editorchat

[20:44:01] LydiaBreakfast: For those of you who didn’t read the post on the topic, we will be discussing the generation gap and its effect on publishing. #editorchat

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LydiaBreakfast

May 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm

What We Are Discussing on #editorchat on 5/13

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A new survey from temp worker agency Kelly Services says that 26 percent of the population is now self-employed, up from 19 percent in 2006. With news of layoffs in virtually every American industry, it’s a good bet that this additional 7 percent includes unwilling freelancers. It’s certainly true in publishing. Former New Yorker writer Daniel Baum has been tweeting the story behind his firing in detail.

And yet amid the cutbacks is a stated desire among some publishers to produce more content than ever. BusinessWeek‘s John Byrne was on editorchat not long ago talking about filling digital pages through community engagement. We wonder if that’s all there is.

Is community the only way to bridge this emerging content divide, where few writers are asked to do more than ever? Specifically, we’re wondering:

Editors: Are you to trying to find new ways to generate more content, even with mandates to cut staff ?

Writers: Are editors asking you to produce more? What’s changed in your output routine?

Editors: What have you tried that’s worked in bridging the content divide?

Writers: Do you see the content divide as a threat or an opportunity?

For additional reading, take a look at Publishing Executive‘s piece “User Generated Content is Nothing New” and the Editor and Publisher article on the new WSJ code of conduct with regards to staff using Twitter and Facebook for their work

Drop us a comment below and tell us your stories of success or failure in bridging the content divide.  And join us tomorrow night when we’ll chat about these questions and more.

Written by LydiaBreakfast

May 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm

In which we discuss bridging another divide – that of the $$ variety

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Tim (@milehighfool) and I were talking after a tweet I sent out this morning, musing on what makes a professional writer work for little or no pay.

NOTE: Professional = a writer with a solid portfolio of clips, not just starting out.

Plenty of tweeps were quick to respond to this issue that we’ve touched on in previous chats, and one that I discussed in depth in my blog post, “What Price Freedom? Another ~F~ Word: Fees.”

Here’s a sampling of what they said:

@TankaBar_Linda: Hubris and overwhelming desire for an audience. Sort of like comedians. Many of my writer friends are taking work overseas. Voracious market for U.S. writers and rates are outstanding.
(Really? Like Reverse outsourcing? Where can we find said work?)

@stephauteri: Desperation? I’d do it to break into a publication I really loved. One with perpetually low rates, like Bitch or Bust.
(Hear that editrixes of Bitch and Bust? Ms. Auteri wants to work for you!)

@Alexandrialeigh: Um…desperation? Working at a discount for a charitable organization?
(Great minds…err…pens tweet alike).

@stephauteri: Then there are those writers who don’t know their own worth, and/or don’t believe they can command higher rates.
(Yet another example of how insecurity never gets us anywhere.)

@OurManinSH: My feeling is that they love the writing and justify the fact that at least they got something for the article. Not all writers are savvy when it comes to marketing themselves…
(No kidding – it is almost another whole job in and of itself)

@anniegirl1138 define “pittance.” No one’s paying in the ‘sphere, so I write for the “glory” of it all.

(Stumbled across submission requirements for an online magazine. $50 for 1000 word feature with research and multiple sources. When does glory give way to reality of bill paying?)

@anniegirl1138: Glory sucks. 1000 words for $50? Plus research? I’ll pass. I just blog. It’s fun. My “real” stuff? Not quite done. Soon.

@bob_bobala: That’s really swimming up stream. I think you have to be creative about it. Have enough work that pays for the good stuff. It is a tragedy that the best writing often pays the least money, no? Today, I am writing tax content. God help me.

In the spirit of keeping the discussion going, as well as perhaps creating a vehicle to help writers and editors get a feel for what different markets are like in terms of fees, we’d like to follow our chat about the digital divide with a discussion of the pay divide.

How do you go from making peanuts to a living wage?

Who’s done it and how?

Should there be set pay guidelines for certain types of projects?

Do new sites and content freeloaders make the chasm wider than ever?

Talk to us…

Written by LydiaBreakfast

March 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm

What We’ll Discuss on March 18 – the Digital Divide

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The digital divide. Does it exist? And more importantly, can it be bridged?  

With Hearst moving to make the Seattle Post-Intelligencer all digital, the U.K. Guardian newspaper’s “open platform” allowing digital content to be shared anywhere in exchange for hosting ad space on partner sites, and Amazon’s Kindle available on the iPhone, there is more digital content available in more places than ever before.

We’re wondering if the once-distinct worlds of Web and print are merging and changing what we do as writers and editors. Specifically:

Are there different style guides for Web and print? If so, how different are they?

Has the Web hurt publishing because errors are easier to correct?

Do editors expect less from Web articles?

In terms of payment, should those who write strictly for the Web be paid less than their print counterparts, or more, given the size of the potential audience?

Does the Web spell the end of good narrative because of the very short attention spans of online readers?

Editors: Are you tolerating  fewer words than before?

What qualities do editors look for when hiring a writer for online content?  Are editors looking at writers blogs? (via Vanessa Ahearn @girlgumption)

If you have any other questions you’d like to put up to discussion, please drop us a comment in the box below.  We look forward to chatting with you on Wednesday night 8-9:30pm EST.