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Peter T Chattaway

Need advice re: freelance writing rates

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This may seem like an odd question, given how long I've been writing for newspapers and magazines, but I've been approached, completely out of the blue, about writing an article *for a corporation* (i.e. for a film production company, which the company can then give to other outlets to publish), and I've been asked to propose a "fee" for my services.

 

Any tips?

 

I'm assuming I should ask for more than whatever I've been paid by any newspaper or magazine for an article of similar length. But *how much* more, is the question.

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Assuming you have an idea of the writing assignment; how long do you think it will take you to do it? (In hours)

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Don't know. There'll be a set visit, *maybe* some interviews on top of that (as opposed to during that), the time spent transcribing said interviews, and then the actual writing (which admittedly will be sort of easier than other assignments of the same length because much of the article will be quotes from the interviews). Also, just so I know what I'm talking about, I might read the novel the movie's based on (and watch a few of the director's films; I think I've only seen one of them so far).

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Assuming the set visit is a standard 2 day affair, take your hourly rate and multiply by 8 for a daily rate. Then multiply that by 3, since it seems like a 3 day job (2 for the visit and interviews and 1 to write the story). I wouldn't charge for reading the novel or watching director's previous films unless that's a condition of the job. 

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Don't know what you mean by "hourly rate". Writers generally get paid by the word.

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If you don't know by this point how much time in hours it takes you to produce the word count you are asking the wrong person for advice.


P.S. I'll make it simple then. You should ask for $20. Unless you are getting paid in Canadian money in which case you should ask for $10 and a Tim O'Horton's gift card.

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kenmorefield wrote:

: If you don't know by this point how much time in hours it takes you to produce the word count . . .

 

I've written only a handful of 3000-word pieces in my life (not counting quasi-academic essays), and none of the ones I can think of right now required any interview transcribing (or interviewing, come to that).

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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A dollar per word. 

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I pitched something lower than that, and they ended up going with another writer. Oh well. I certainly couldn't have justified the disruption to my schedule, and all the attendant stress, for anything lower than what I had asked, so I can deal with that.

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Well, if I had followed Ken's advice at my normal hourly rate for editing, I would end up asking for only $840, which doesn't seem like enough. 

 

A PR professional would have an hourly rate of something like $150 to $175, which would end up being more than a dollar per word. It sounds like what the film company wants is a glorified press release, i.e., an article that could be dropped into multiple publications. If you wrote such an article yourself, retained copyright, and had it published in several places, you could earn a fee on each instance of publication ... if it were printed in a half dozen places you'd probably get that dollar per word or more.

 

Let me guess ... this is some upcoming "faith-based" film and the production company is looking for cut-rate PR because they don't have a big-studio budget...  

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mrmando wrote:
: Let me guess ... this is some upcoming "faith-based" film and the production company is looking for cut-rate PR because they don't have a big-studio budget...

 

Actually, no, it was a Canadian film (or at least a Canadian co-production)...

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Well, it sounds interesting, but if we have a sense of what our work is worth, we should stick to it. 

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