Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Business Tip: Getting Paid for Publications

In last month's newsletter, I shared some of my top tips for getting your work published and I promised to discuss the sticky subject of getting paid for your publications.  As magazines shut the doors everyday and blogs (filled with free content) gain popularity, many publishers aren't offering very much in the way of payment when they feature your artwork in their magazines.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be compensated for your work. 

Most magazines won't pay if they only feature a photo your piece in their magazines, but many will pay you if they want you to write an article and/or tutorial to go with your piece.  It's very important to ask about a publication's policies on paying their contributors, before anything goes to press.  Frankly, I'd actually ask before I even submit.  You deserve to be paid for your work and the content you are giving a magazine.  Don't be shy about asking.  Any professional publisher/editor should expect this conversation.  Just be professional.  Once you get an answer decide if you would like to submit to the publication.  Here are a few things to consider:
  • If they don't pay, or the pay isn't enough (in your opinion) think about the opportunity.  Will it give you a huge amount of exposure to your Target Market?  It may be worth the time investment if you think it's a good marketing strategy.  But don't let yourself fall into the trap of always working for free in the name of "marketing".  It's a slippery slope.
  • Can you leverage what they will/will not pay you with some other streams of income?  For a recent article that I got published, I was paid by the publisher but also sold some items in my Etsy shop and received an endorsement payment from a manufacturer for mentioning their product by name.  When I added all these income streams up, the article was worth my time.
As times change, the professional community of artists and crafters are slowly trying to find a way adapt to the changes.  Keep in mind that people in other industries don't work for free!  Value your work and others will too.

If you have any questions about this article, please leave them in the comments. I'll do my best to answer your question.

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