Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ponder? I Hardly Knew Her!

Which, in your opinion, would be the better deal for the working writer: To have an assignment terminated—and to receive a kill fee of, say, 25%—in its early days, before devoting substantial effort of writing and research to it? Or to put in a full complement of labor, and to receive full payment, for an article which will ultimately never be published?

1 comment:

Magazine Man said...

That's a trick question, bubbie. You almost never get a kill fee until after you've done the work. And you almost never get paid in full for stories that don't run (what kind of crazy editor does that anyway?) It's all too easy for an editor to find some subjective piece of nonsense to grouse about, make you do a revision or two, and then kill it anyway. So then you get 25% for more work. the spirit of the question: I always go for full payment. But I'm also a jaded, cynical hack who no longer cares about seeing his name in print and seeing his work shown. I sign a contract to do the work and as long as I get paid, I don't care what they do with the story.

Of course, I've also been at this game long enough to reuse the material and write another story for a different magazine in such a way that there's no conflict of interest. Then I get paid twice.

Uh...what was the question?