10 Ways To Get Published and Get Paid!

We are living in the “Information Age.” People’s “need to know” has created a virtual gold mine for today’s writer. In an effort to help Americans live longer, parent better, improve relationships, enhance life quality, and perform at peak levels, online publications and specialty magazines are emerging weekly to address every target audience imagineable.

Although these start-up publications typically have low wages (some pay in “copies” only), they present a great opportunity to receive choice assignments, carve your niche, garner more clips, and have creative input. Not to mention, they are often less competitive and less political than larger, more established publications.

But beware! With all the perks these types of writing projects possess, there are clearly some disadvantages. Being an author is as much about “business” as it is about creativity. So you must be savvy in order to be successful.

After getting burned 3 times by new publications that gave lip service without pay, (1 Bridal, 1 Religious, 1 Lifestyle), I got smart. And here’s how you can too!


1. READ THE FINE PRINT-Before “sealing the deal” make sure that you thoroughly read and understand the conditions of your contract. Or seek legal expertise. A contract (whether for one dollar or one million), is still a legal document, and in most instances binding.
2. GET IT IN WRITING-“Promises, promises” When you are being wooed (romantically or professionally), it is not unusual to be promised the world. And it’s perfectly okay to be trusting; but not naively so. Issues like pay rate, pay date, kill fees, word count, deadlines, and guidelines should be put in print. This eliminates future complications and misunderstandings.
3. LEARN FROM THE LESSON – -Always be open to what you could have done better, or differently. Keep accurate records to aid the process.
4. HOLD ON TO YOUR ORIGINALS-Whether it’s a contract or manuscript- mistakes can happen, and from time to time they will.
5. RETAIN AS MANY AUTHOR’S RIGHTS AS POSSIBLE-Some publications seek that you sign a “Work for Hire” Agreement, which means that you are not able to resale your work, as it is deemed “their” property. Avoid this type

Jennifer Brown Banks- Page 3 The Downside�

of agreement if at all possible. The more control they have, the less money you do!
6. MAKE SURE THERE IS ADEQUATE CONTACT INFO PROVIDED-Preferably a working phone and fax number, in addition to an E-mail and physical address. There’s nothing worse than trying to chase down a check and hitting a bunch of dead ends. And remember, time is money!
7. BALANCE NEW PROJECTS WITH “OLD FRIENDS”-To keep cash flow going, it behooves you to maintain your existing relationships and assignments as well. As the saying goes, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
8. RESEARCH THE COMPANY-Either on line or through print resources. What’s the owner’s background? His/her mission statement? Years in the business? Other ventures? Complaints? Could you see yourself as a potential customer? These will give some indication as to future growth and continued pay.
9. BE DECENT TO DEAL WITH-No matter how great you are as a writer, if you’re difficult or “diva” like, miss deadlines, or are a general nuisance, you sabotage the chances for future work.
10. REPORT IMPROPER PRACTICES-Many times editors and publishers are able to get away with not paying us because we fail to hold them accountable Far too often we chalk publishing nightmares up to bad experiences, and simply move on. Bad move. The cycle only perpetuates. Instead, report non-payments and deceptive practices to writers’ bulletin boards, The National Writer’s Union, Preditors and Editors, and Whispers and Warnings. Save a fellow scribe potential headaches. And be taken seriously for your craft.

Armed with this information, you can consult the following resources for listings of new publications� and fare well!
These directories can be found at your local library.


Ã?¨ Bacon’s Directory of Magazines- This huge green paperbound volume is chock full of information on newspapers, radio, TV and other media. Including circulation figures, editors’ names, and readers’ profile.

�¨ Standard Rate and Data Service- Also known as SRDS in the advertising business. This directory can be found at business school libraries and large public libraries and gives the who, what, when, and where needed to market your pieces.
�¨ Folio Magazine- Is carried in some big city libraries and provides half a dozen mini-profiles of new magazines in each issue.
�¨ Mediaweek- Also includes notices about new publications and commentary on media related trends.

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