Having realistic pay expectations

When the members of the Gettysburg Writers Brigade talk about markets where we can publish our work. Around the Gettysburg area, the local magazines pay 10 cents to 50 cents a word.

I also write for magazines all over the country and have worked with some that pay $1 a word. Those markets are highly competitive.

I often look at the annual Writer’s Market to hunt for new markets and to also look at their writing pay rates chart. Writer’s Market is a great annual and a great place to start looking for markets, but I have two problems with it.

No. 1 – Writer’s Market has thousands of potential markets, but it’s not comprehensive. I realize that now, but when I was first starting out, I did not. It was only after having been published in dozens of magazines that I started realizing most of them weren’t listed in Writer’s Market, and some of them were very good paying markets.

No. 2 – I’m not sure how they compile their pay rate charts, but they seem too high from my experience. For instance, who pays $600 for a local newspaper column and what is the column about? How often does it run? How about $1,040 for a newspaper feature article? Maybe those are New York market area rates. Even if you look at the markets listed in Writer’s Market, you would be hard-pressed to reach the levels in the rate chart. For more realistic pay rates, check out this post by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen. She had put together an excellent selection of different types of writing and realistic pay expectations.

As you start to consider markets where you might want to submit a query, take a look at Laurie’s chart to see whether you’re getting offered a good paycheck. You might not be able to negotiate a higher rate, but you will discover that your writing might be worth more than you think.




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One Response to Having realistic pay expectations

  1. Pingback: Pilot, fireman, cop, daredevil…I’m all of those, I’m a writer! | The Gettysburg Writers Brigade

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