Friday, August 07, 2009

More on Harsh Economic Realities

Blogger The Cloudcutter said...

Sounds a lot like home!
Re the magazine, how many words will they expect for this pittance? And will that include pix? If so, don't take it! You should get extra for the pix and ask them to pay you per word, it will work out better for you.

There is an additional fee for photos, though I am not sure how much. The word limit is 500 words per story with the expectation that features would be longer.
I didn't think it would be so bad but damn! Thirty-five bucks is really embarrassing!

Sheer Almshouse's Response

Isn't it just so sad? How long have they exploited our labour as a people and made us feel that working for naught is the de facto way of life for the poor and humble? Maybe that is a common current shared by us who have been colonized in recent enough times and felt especially by those of us who used to be forced to work for free. Furthermore a sliding local currency makes it even worse.

I will try to negotiate for a better deal, but the likelihood of that happening is slim in times like these when magazine sales are down. I really just need to pitch to bigger publications... aim high and see what happens thereafter.

My ex did it... he pushed himself so hard and for so long sending his working to newspapers until some of the MANY "No's" turned into paid work. Now he is arguably the most highly internationally published Jamaican photog/writer.
He's just that kind of guy.

Furthermore, a lesson that I have yet to learn is that I need to be going for gigs that pay in hard currency. Our local currency is anything BUT hard. It's as mushy as the food you give to a toothless geriatric.


The Cloudcutter said...

You know, I encountered a similar problem years ago while freelancing. Publications will pay huge salaries to lazy ass writers on their payroll, who probably end up doing just 4-5 stories a month, but they will do a double flip if freelancers ask for more (read what they rightfully deserve)!

Another thing I noticed was that most freelancers generally accepted meager compensations because they were either writing as a hobby or merely to supplement another source of income. And just like everyone wants their 15 mins of fame on telly, everyone also wants their name to appear in print!

The whole thing is pretty irritating especially the way they breathe down your neck to hand in a story but take months and months to send you your cheque!

Anyway, this has been my sordid experience as a freelance writer in the past. I hope you have better luck, I really do. Do send me the links to the e-editions of the publications you are going to be writing for.

Remember, like the good folks at L'oreal tell us, you are worth it!

Z said...

Thing is that you really need to have your name in print to be able to promote yourself to the bigger publications. So it could be that accepting the small sum will lead to bigger things if you are pushy enough (I'm already sure you're good enough). Good luck.

Kathy said...

Well I was getting JA$800 an article/week about 3 yrs ago. Same length et al.
I'm glad to hear u can make more than 3 times that today. Could we consider that 'progress'?!?!?

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