RE: Freelance opportunity

Subject: RE: Freelance opportunity
From: "Jenny Neill" <jenny -at- wolffireworks -dot- com>
To: <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 10:06:36 -0800

Hi, Chris,

There are some excellent resources out there to help you figure out how to
price your services. I can see two very important questions for you to
address before you get to a contract stage with your opportunity:

. Will you be paid as a "writer for hire" or be given a piece of the
book royalties?

. How often will you be expected to blog?

Both issues require a slightly different take on research in terms of
figuring a fee structure.

For blogging, whether and how writers get paid varies wildly depending on
whether you are ghostwriting for a corporation, an established (and
financially successful) author, or for someone just getting started.

Caveat: These figures are in US dollars and represent fairly general ranges.
I'm sure some here can find examples of bloggers that earn more than my
example ceiling rates. The main point is that rates ranges for blogging are
very wide. Rates I've seen range from $0 ("It's great exposure for you,
writer!") to either piece rates ($5-$100 per post). Word rates seem less
common, though possible, for blog posts. Again, these vary from $0.02-$1.50
per word from what I've been seeing.

Book contracts are a whole different story. If you can tolerate a lower
initial payment and you think the book will sell well, you may be better off
negotiating for named acknowledgement and a portion of the book royalties
then being paid on an hourly basis. Of course, the obvious benefit of
setting an hourly rate is that you get paid for every hour you work.

A more common expectation, from what I've experienced, is that ghost writers
are asked to bid their work on a "per project" basis. This is very risky for
you if you have never done it before because you will likely be asked to do
more work than you estimated you would. You need to be sure to build in to
the contract language that covers how many revisions you will do before more
charges will be incurred and then to be very specific about how that will
work if circumstances lead you there.

However this plays out for you, there are two references I wanted to share:

1) Freelance Calculator -
I highly recommend spending some time thinking through each of the
categories provided. The more thoroughly you are able to fill out this
calculator, the better a job it will do giving you an idea of what to charge
on an hourly basis. Knowing your hourly rate and your typical
research/writing pace will help you to figure out what piece or word rate to

2) Contractual Differences by Kat Richardson -
Though this post is written more for fiction writers, it does an excellent
job of walking through common terms found in book contracts with sage advice
about "gotchas" and why it may be worth hiring a lawyer to review a book
contract before you sign one.

Hope this helps,

JENNY NEILL | President & Senior Wordsmith


mobile: 206.799.4945

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