By Devyani Borade –
Want more money? Don’t hesitate; negotiate! Whether you are looking for higher salary at work, greater price on a house or better paying freelance assignments, the principles of negotiation remain the
1. Assess yourself.
How long have you been in business? You can command a higher price if you’re a veteran than if you’re a novice. While some magazines welcome the fresh approach that new writers bring, many prefer to work with established writers for their experience and professionalism.
2. Assess the market.
What is the magazine’s budget? Where do they get their funding from? How large is their subscriber base? What are their advertising rates? A privately-owned corporate publication will pay more than a department journal run by college students. Who is holding the purse-strings? The editor may not have authority to release or liberty to negotiate payment.
3. Keep your finger on the pulse.
What are the current rates for your type of work? Ask around in writer’s groups, associations or online forums. What do the editors of your chosen target market seek? Check Duotrope for interviews indicating likes, dislikes and tips. Then tailor your work to align to them. The less revision your work requires, the more favourable your image, the stronger your bargaining position.
4. Have a holistic view.
Where is the magazine based? New York publications pay more than Wyoming ones. Is it boom time or bust? Recession can drag overall rates down, so raise your expectations reasonably.
5. Check your budget.
What have you put in to get your work out? Monitor writing-related expenditure – advertising, writing material, home office with a broadband connection, library membership, subscription to a writers’ forum – and factor in these deductions from your income to determine your asking rate. Keep in mind currency conversions, bank charges and other hidden transaction fees and ensure payment covers a percentage of it.
6. Consider the complexity.
What type of article is it? What level of commitment is necessary? Researching, collecting supplementary material like photographs, arranging expert interviews, and including sidebars requires extra effort. Writing personal memoir doesn’t.
7. Learn the legalese.
Understand what rights are being requested. Moving heaven and earth for an extra $10 for one-time electronic rights is not worth the hassle. Asking 50 percent more for all rights is.
8. Be principled.
Principles are any guiding rules we live by. Every person has different ideas about what is important to them and there is no one-size-fits-all. Be clear about what you want and what you are willing to forgo. Then stick to your principles.
Are you starving? Are you getting a chance to do something different that may offer new opportunities in future? Compromise on the money for non-monetary benefit-in-kind.
10. Be honest, persuasive and professional.
The best type of negotiation is a win-win situation for both parties. You want the editor to feel they have gotten a good deal while ensuring you don’t get the raw end of it either. Be courteous, honest, respectful and not defensive. Never be rude, threatening, sarcastic, argumentative or pushy.
After you receive an offer, put your request as an open-ended question like, “Is there any wiggle room in payment?” Don’t mention specific amounts, let the editor re-consider and come back with a revised figure. Be ready to walk away from the deal if expectations don’t match.
Once you have settled the deal, honor the terms. Reneging on contracts can be expensive in terms of money as well as reputation. Uphold your integrity. It may pay off when you least expect it.
Negotiate and let your income appreciate.
Devyani Borade writes on the humor and pathos of everyday life. Her articles on the craft, business and heart of writing have been accepted/published by nearly all writing-related publications in the USA and UK. She likes to eat chocolates, read comic books and try her husband’s patience! Visit her website Verbolatry at http://devyaniborade.blogspot.com to contact her and read her other