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WN Market News

edited November 2010 in Writing
Reading through the latest copy of WN I can't say I'm happy with the market news about Your Cat magazine. They only pay £40 per thousand words! This is an insult to writers. Look at the price on the cover, how can they justify such low fees when charging such a high cover price? Other mags in this price range for pet owners pay at least treble that fee - even that is low. Is the editor paid a low wage? Are the printers paid part fees? The answer is probably no, again it is the writer that is being taken for a ride.


  • Followed up the 'Proposals welcome at Cycling World' item to find that the website consists of a home page only (Please come back later !) and my email to the editor couldn't be delivered, although it was correctly addressed.

    Just for a moment, I thought i'd found a market . :)
  • edited November 2010
    Writebag, I believe that the NUJ suggested pay rates (on which most magazines base their fees) are calculated according to circulation figures rather than the cover price.
  • Also, there's a big article about Practical Family History Magazine on the back on WN. My monthly newsletter from the IHGS (The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies) says:

    Practical Family History

    The last ever issue will be published in December. Its sister magazine Family Tree will continue to be published on a monthly basis.

    So why are they inviting articles...?
  • I saw that article, writebag. 7 years ago they were paying £60 for short fiction - and still £40 for articles: nothing much has changed there! I think the NUJ going rate is about £200-£350 per 1000 words but then I'm not a member and can't hold out for that. What are the other 'Pet owner' magazines that pay triple that fee?
  • If you check the writers and artists bible - it says that Your Cat pay £80 per 1000 words...they have a story of mine, but I don't get paid until 30 days after print. Will let you know!
  • Rates vary widely. http://www.londonfreelance.org/rates/w1000mag.html
  • Considering I can pretty easily write 1000 words in an hour, that isn't so bad.

    Beats £6.95 p/h for running around a cafe or restaurant. :D
  • LOL! Why are you doing that if you can earn so much from writing? I know what I'd prefer to do.
  • I know a lot of magazines have reviewed their payment rates over the last few years, and I don't think they all follow the NUJ guidelines.
    Some just can't afford to pay their rates I suspect.
    I've noticed that a lot of websites are not updated regularly- probably because they don't have anyone to do it, so it costs commercial rates to do anything- and I know for a fact that the suggested going rate is hundreds for one page change.
    So information will be out of date.
  • Do you think someone should let WN know that Practical Family History Magazine is closing soon?
  • [quote=Baggy Books]Why are you doing that if you can earn so much from writing?[/quote]

    Oh yeah, like I could go without money while waiting for payment after publication. Too erratic, I'll stick with the guaranteed £500 a month which gives me freedom of getting paid erratically.
  • I think you do right Stirling.

    It must be a right juggling job to live off the payments one earns by writing, isn't it? Anyone like to prove to me it isn't? :)
  • Yep not easy. I was just looking at Stirling's comment that she could write a 1k word article in an hour. If she did a couple of those a month it would top up her job income and be a lovely bonus - when that elusive cheque arrives.
  • Dora it is!
    Things have got worse in the past year with publications either folding or cutting their fees. Waiting for payment affects ones cashflow, I stopped working for one mag as they were so unreliable with payments.
    I have books that earn me royalties and also recieve an annual ALCS payment for my articles but we writers do need regular monthly incomings.
    Only last week when a cheque failed to arrive I decided to find a part time 'proper job' and found an accountancy vacancy on my doorstep. The day of the interview one of my dogs colapsed in my arms and died. The agency were unsympathetic when I asked to reschedule the appointment so I cancelled it. I then remembered why I freelance, I can work from home and be there for my dogs. My dogs also supply me with the knowledge for my specialism, somehow I'd forgotten that along the way.
    So, I am pitching like mad, have spoken to my publisher about another dog book and telling myself to get off my backside and work harder!
  • WB, every sympathy on losing your dog like that. Sometimes I think we need that jolt, we need someone - dog, whoever - to say 'remember where you're going and how you think you're going to get there ...'

    It;s been a bad year generally. My business has suffered considerably, I didn't get paid again last week (a regular occurrence) because others have to be paid before me but I can see signs of improvement and my career is set to take off next year, with 3 books coming out. I just have to cope with credit card bills, heating, and the need to eat, between now and then.
  • All the best with it writebag, and so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog.
  • The news about Practical Family History came through after our issue had gone to print unfortunately, otherwise we would have pulled it. I suspect the decision came as something of a surprise - a lot of journals are being squeezed at the moment, and disappearing overnight is sadly not uncommon.

    Regarding freelance fees in general, it's difficult to draw a line on what is and isn't acceptable. Rates can be recommended, by the NUJ or whoever, but no one can be forced to pay a fixed amount. Our market reports try to uphold a reasonable standard of pay, but also try to provide a range of opportunities for writers of different specialities, interests and levels of experience - so cat lovers without a strong CV of publication might find Your Cat to be worth pursuing - but I appreciate that not every market will appeal to all of you.
  • edited November 2010
    writebag - SO sorry to hear about your dog. Given time you'll be able to remember the good times.

    I'm sure you're right about getting stuck into the writing. However, if times get a bit thin, have you considered contacting local firms and offering to do accounting from home ? Many companies are looking at saving on the overheads of staff in-house and, if you have decent broadband, it might be possible to work from home. If you were to use your computer, electricity, heating etc then you'd save them quite a lot. That way you'd be able to stay with your dogs and maybe supplement your writing income.

  • The NUJ rate for the job website is compiled from members who send in news of what they have been paid by the publications listed. It is there as a guideline and is a very useful tool for other writers. Magazine prices and sectors has nothing to do with the list. I mentioned the cover price of the cat mag as it shows what revenue the publication is receiving. I do feel that the writers is getting the raw deal and I would lay odds on the editor and the printing company not being paid short...
  • Writebag - I'm very sorry to hear about your dog. I know how horrible it is when a beloved dog passes on.

    As for writing fees. Things have largely stagnated. What with the way the economy is, and the fact that the internet has proved a lot of people are prepared to write without being paid, times have probably never been tougher for a professional freelance writer. Many companies have slashed their budgets, are writing more content in house, and using unpaid interns to do what other people should be being paid to do as part of a real job. And yes, magazines tend to pay based on their circulation. You can always negotiate, but in the end you either take or leave the best offer they are prepared or able to make. There are many honest, fair editors out there who don't like this situation either, but they are driven by economic circumstances - and sometimes from pressure from above - to save every penny they can.

  • [quote=Phots Moll]Rates vary widely. http://www.londonfreelance.org/rates/w1000mag.html[/quote]
    Thanks for this link Phots Moll. It's rather eye opening and so varied.
  • edited February 2012
    Leizure, the link doesn't work as you have inadvertently included [/quote] in it. If you take that out it is OK
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