ProTalk Discussion: Writing for Money - 8/17/04


Verla: we have three minutes to go according to my computer clock
JenniferJ: What is the discussion again? I need a refresher
Verla: it's on the Topic line, Jennifer. <grin>
Verla: Writing for Money
CrummyButt: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
JenniferJ: got it!!
Verla: next time it's ILLUSTRATING for Money...
Verla: Hi Sami
CrummyButt: Hey, Sami!
Sami: Hi Verla - made it!
Verla: I see that, Sami. YAY!
Sami: Hi Crummy Buttons
els: hey Sami!
Sami: Hi els!
Verla sharpens her fingertips...
CrummyButt: Ouch!
els: I can't see- let me clean my glasses first! please!
Verla: makes sure the chairs are in a big circle...
CrummyButt: SSSHHHHHHH.............
Verla: passes out chocolate, coffee, sodas, and fresh crunchy veggies and potatoe chips with dips
JenniferJ: Thanks
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #kidlit to Writing for Money - ProTalk Discussion IN PROGRESS
Verla: Okay, folks...
Verla: tonight's discussion is Writing for Money!
Verla: this is a great topic, as there are few people I know who don't need money
els: Hi cass
els: I forgot what money is.
Sami: I do!
els: can you remind me?
Sami: It's what I'm trying to make!
Verla: you are all encouraged to chime in and discuss this topic... just please, stay on topic during the next hour.
Verla: it's mostly green, els. At least the kind you want to get is
cass: ok :)
els: kewl
Verla: so let's start by telling each other who has made money writing, and what they did to make it.
Verla: I've made money!
Verla: Not tons of it. But some.
els: me too... but not a lot. enough to cover groceries a few times
Verla: enough to make me feel very good about my writing
kpickles: I"ve made money...
Verla: who else has made money writing?
CrummyButt: I've sold my soul to The Princeton Review
JenniferJ: I've made alittle money writing, but much more selling some stuff at eBay, but some at writing
cass: I have
Sami: I make money writing for corporations
Verla: LOL jennifer
MRSfields: I've made money...used to live on my writing back when I thought box mac-n-cheese was gourmet
cass: I'm wearing some shorts that highlights bought
JenniferJ: All true Verla
Verla: wow... we really have a wonderfully diverse group tonight!
kpickles: I bought a pair of glasses from Themestream proceeds
cass: lol mrs f
kpickles: and I'm making a pretty good part time income test writing...well until I fork over Uncle Sam's share
els: I sold 2 articles to Backwoods Home, on art and education topics
kpickles: I bought a fountain pen with my first sale
MRSfields: I've made the MOST money writing about writing.
Andrea: Hi, everyone! Full house!
JenniferJ: Great els.........Hey I would like to try adn write tests. That would be interesting, I think
CrummyButt: kpickles, do you have a steady gig or is it freelance?
Verla: I have made my money in three ways... From magazine sales (a whopping $92 out of two sales) ... selling picture books... (advances and royalties) and... doing author talks
MRSfields: Backwoods Home is cool, els
Verla: wow, jan. That's awesome!
kpickles: it's freelance, but work has been steady
Andrea: what made you the most money, Verla?
JenniferJ: Veral, do you find taht the author talks bring in a fair amount?
kpickles: I do it through elance
Verla: welcome, Andrea... we are sharing who has made money right now, and how they made it
kpickles: If you want details, private e-mail me for the address
CrummyButt: sounds like its about what I do, although sometimes I work *very* full time, and sometimes not at all
Andrea: I made money!!!
els: yay Andrea!
Verla: author talks are VERY lucrative once you get enough experience and have enough sales to warrent higher prices
Andrea: Just the grant... heehee
kpickles: CB it comes in spurts---I have 3 days to turn around a project
Verla: Hey, that's ANOTHER way to make money!
cass: that counts, Andrea :)
Andrea: YAY!
els: yes, your talent earned you the money
kpickles: well it's not money..but I get STUFF for product reviews
Andrea: I forgot it was pro-night- I'm so glad i popped in!
Verla: Okay... first let's talk about the grant, Andrea.
kpickles: which is sorta money because it's less stuff I buy for my kids
JenniferJ: I once recall Tim O'Brien, adult author, saying that he made more money talking about writing than writing -- ie giving talks etc
Verla: what did you do to get it?
cass: tell me about that, k
Verla: and what did you do with it when you got it?
CrummyButt: i enjoyed his book The Things They Carried
cass: (oops, sorry kia)
Andrea: I sent in the first two chapters of my novel, and synopsis and a bio- this was for SCBWI's WIP grant, BTW
JenniferJ: CrummyB that's the only one of his I read. I met him once. He's very nice and a little shy though
Verla: so you didn't even have to write the whole book, Andrea... that's awesome!
Andrea: The thing is, I had decided to stop writting if I didn't get an honorable mention, and when the time came and went for the announcements
CrummyButt: if i'm a published textbook writer, can I apply for those SCBWI grants?
Andrea: And I didn't hear anything, I thought that was the end of writing for me
Verla: welcome, Jaina... we are sharing who has made money right now, and how they made it
Andrea: They were late announcing- anyway, one night I got a phone call telling me taht I won
Jaina: Hi, everybody
Andrea: CB- you can be pubbed and apply for the grants
els: hey jaina. :)
cass: hi j
Sami: Andrea that's so great!
CrummyButt: that's great, andrea!
JenniferJ: Great good news Andrea, and this was for what??
Andrea: So I spent the money on babysitting
CrummyButt: hi, jaina!
Verla: that's so wonderful, Andrea. And what did you do with the money you got from the Grant? (Or what WILL you do with it?)
Andrea: J-SCBWI give several work-in-progress grants every year
Jaina: I applied for the Karlin grant but I'm not holding my breath
Sami: What year was this Andrea?
Andrea: oops, gives
Andrea: last year, Sami
Verla: wow... awesome
Andrea: I spent it on babysitting- but it's more that everyone, especially hubby, takes me seriously now
CrummyButt: that helps
Verla: okay... that's one wonderful way to make money writing... next is writing for hire
cass: that's a huge leap -being taken seriously
els: money does have a tendency to make things seem more real
Jaina: Talking of grants, be sure to check with your local arts council and state arts council...
JenniferJ: I think that money helps validate people as writers. It helps anyhow
Verla: that's what you do when you write your test questions, isn't it, Kay?
Andrea: Good idea, Jaina
Jaina: Our local arts council gives a grant each year and often NO ONE applies!
Andrea: There are lots of grants and contests out there
CrummyButt: i guess that's what i do, too. I write language arts and math test-prep books
JenniferJ: I have not applied for a grant for years. It's a good thought though
Verla: jaina... why aren't YOU applying????
kpickles: I work on a bid basis
Jaina: The money could be used for anything and it's not being given out because the local artists didn't know
MRSfields: That's very cool, CrummyButtons
kpickles: so I'm not sure what you call that
Jaina: I'm on the board, Verla, so I can't
Verla: get off the darned board, jaina. LOL
Jaina: But I AM applying for the state arts council grant
kpickles: bye
JenniferJ: Bye kpickles
Jaina: Verla! I'm trying to make a difference in my community, silly
Verla: oh, okay, jaina
Andrea: YAY, Jaina!
Verla: sorry...
Andrea: wow, that was fast
CrummyButt: i like it, but my annual income varies greatly from year to year
CrummyButt: which can be stressful if you've got bills
MRSfields: I know how that goes
CrummyButt: it plummeted after 9/11
CrummyButt: now it's picking up a little again
Verla: For the purpose of this discussion, I'm calling writing for any kind of "flat fee" (where you don't get royalties) as a type of "work for hire"
JenniferJ: I found out very early that I need a steady job so I don't depend on writing for an income, but I do liek to get paid if I publish, but payment isn't always necessary
Verla: uh.. I mean where you are assigned a project/topic to write
CrummyButt: depending on the project, sometimes i get paid hourly, and other times it's flat-fee
MRSfields: I've done work for hire for a sunday school curriculum, a toy company, and ICL
Verla: how did you get your jobs like that, crummy and jan?
els: How do you break into the sunday school market, Jan?
Sami: I've worked for hire for entertainment co's etc.
CrummyButt: long story
Verla: wow... that's interesting, sami! How did you get started doing that?
MRSfields: I heard about it somewhere...It was about 7 years ago...and I sent a resume and they hired me.
Sami: consulting - just changed the slant and sold myself as a business writer
Verla: (In other words, how can WE do that if we're really interested?)
MRSfields: I probably heard on a discussion board or CW -- somewhere online
CrummyButt: hubby's been working for TPR for many years, and one day he was out of town and he asked me to send an email to his editor about something
Verla: welcome, LisaS... we are sharing who has made money right now, and how they made it
Sami: I think we all possess knowledge that will is beneficial to organizations
LisaS: Yes!!!
JenniferJ: Some writers are OK with work for hire, others don't like it. I don't know how I feel about it.
CrummyButt: she thought my email was well-written and funny, so she asked if i wanted to write for them
Verla: TPR is... what?
CrummyButt: The Princeton Review
Verla: Oh thanks, crummy
cass: from an e-mail -wow
els: wow
cass: doesn't surprise me though
Andrea: how cool, CB
Verla: I just found out that some newspapers pay people to write for them!
cass: crummy aka erma
MRSfields: That's a very cool story
Verla: for their children's sections, I mean
CrummyButt: the funny thing is, i ignored it because i've never gone to college and i figured that would disqualify me
Verla: welcome, dy... we are sharing who has made money right now, and how they made it
MinieMe: hey
Verla: welcome, MinieMe... we are sharing who has made money right now, and how they made it
els: hey Dy and Minie
JenniferJ: Oh crummybuttons, college is not a prerequsite for writing
Verla: I never got a college degree
dystar: I've made money
Sami: life experience is most important
CrummyButt: the editor mentioned it to hubby again a few weeks later, and he basically browbeat me into sending in a writing sample
dystar: mostly from non-fiction, not kidlit
els: I.. ahem... don't have a highschool diploma...
MRSfields: Good hubby
cass: good for him
Jaina: Yay for beating you!
JenniferJ: Good
els: it's not stopping me from writing
CrummyButt: everyone at TPR has except me, though, i think
Verla: only went to two semesters of college, actually, and one of those was just for music.
cass: thank goodness, els
Andrea: me either, els!
CrummyButt: columbia, princeton. . . it's very intimidating
els: no way, Andrea!
Andrea: but I do have a college ed
Jaina: Who gives a flip Crummy, when you're intelligent and well-spoken (er, written) like you?
JenniferJ: I have a lot of education behind me and in front of me -- as I am a teacher, but that really doesn't matter
Andrea: GED- high school drop out
Verla: ah, but there's nothing like success to put that college degree in perspective, crummy
CrummyButt: what is this success of which you speak?
JenniferJ: brb
Verla: making money writing is one success, crummy
Andrea: verla kn ows all about success!
Verla: getting a book published, of course, is another
CrummyButt: ooo! hot dog!
Jaina: Right now I'd write a story for a chipwich.
els: Some of the best known American writers and editors don't have highschool diploma's behind them- one of the Tor editors, Louis L'amour, and others whose names are slipping my mind- but they make good money at what they do.
Verla: Okay.. who has sold to magazines?
Andrea: LOL, J
NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud
cass: lol, j
MRSfields: Me
dystar: me
LisaS: I have
Verla: and did you get paid in copies? Or get money?
els: me
Amishka: I have
Andrea: not me- haven't sold anything
Sami: me
dystar: money
cass: me
Amishka: money and copies
Sami: money
els: I got both, Kia, money and copies
Sami: and copies
Andrea: congrats to all of you that have!
Verla: I got a whopping $42 for my first magazine story... and $50 for my second one
MRSfields: Money...I once made $1500 from Teddy Bear and amazed, be very amazed
Jaina: $50 sounds pretty good to some of us!
cass: I got cash from highlights, the rest will pay on publication
Verla: so in four years, I made a whopping $92!
Sami: and look at you now verla!
els: I got $40 for my first article, and $85 for my second
Verla: yep, sami. I'm actually making some money each year now.
LisaS: But you know, that little bit plus an acceptance is sometimes what you need to keep going
Amishka: wow Mrs
els: wow jan!
cass: wow mrs f
MRSfields: It was my first eve magazine sale
MRSfields: ever...I don't know what an eve magazine is
Andrea: WOw
Jaina: That's my dream, Verla. I just want to make *some* money... enough to help out
Verla: probably half of my yearly income is from author talks
Verla: or more...
JenniferJ: back
Andrea: enough to help out would be fab
els: hey Deets
Jaina: Hi, Deete
Deetie: hi kids.
CrummyButt: i'd like to only be a little famous so i don't have to give talks
Amishka: I got 25 for my first, 40 for my second and $600 for my third, forth and fifth then 25 for my 6th
Amishka: Hi deet
CrummyButt: that scares me to death
els: yeah, thats what i want, enough to help out, and maybe give back to those who have helped us out, too.
MRSfields: Oh I would LOVE to do more public speaking
JenniferJ: I have only made money from mag sales, some Author Talks and Poetry readings, all together, maybe 2-3K but I didnt save it.
cass: every check or contract I get is validating, and is worth much more than the dollar amount -it means I'm "real" and worthy of being left alone while I write
Sami: Amishka - $600!
Amishka: Is that just with your books kia or your school visits too
Verla: that's the BEST part of being a published book author... the talks. I get paid to go places, they pay all my expenses while I'm there, and then they pay me to talk about myself while I'm there. Who could ask for a better job for someone like me who loves to talk????
JenniferJ: Ami, it's me Jen!!
els: lol, kia
Verla: both,ami
MRSfields: Yes, Miss Verla, when I grow up I wanna be you
Amishka: Hi Jen
cass: 600$ what did you do, mish?
Verla: LOL jan
Verla: deetie, we are sharing who has made money writing and what they did to make it
cass: i think the new cwim has a section on author talks and price ranges -very interesting
MRSfields: But I want to do SCBWI conference's my master plan behind
JenniferJ: I think there is a lot to be made in the author talks etc. And I don't think a person has to have a book to sell to do these either. Publishihg credits, probably, but a book should not stop a person from tring to do the author talks
cass: brilliant plan mrs f
Verla: speaking at SCBWI functions can serve a dual purpose, jan
Jaina: ohho... you have a hidden agenda
Jaina: I might have known!
CrummyButt: free booze?
Jaina: LOL
cass: lol
MRSfields: I had to sell my husband some kind of agenda to get him to spring for the server $$$ and do all the web work
JenniferJ: that would be enough for me
Verla: normally I do those events for a bare minimal amount... but sometimes they give me a free year's membership in SCBWI along with my token fee... so it "ups" the amount I get by $60
Sami: nice perk, verla
Jaina: Can I ask if any of you have written licensed character books for a flat fee or anything similar?
els: very nice, Verla
cass: that's worth it, esp. since you'd go to the conference anyway
Sami: not me, Jaina
JenniferJ: Verla, do they waive the conference fee?
MRSfields: Not me, though I did do a series of books that sold with dolls for a toy company
Amishka: cool Verla
Verla: you can talk about writing at any time... even before you start selling. Talk to kids about what it's like to write and write and keep getting rejected... about the struggles of a writer's life...
Jaina: How'd that go, MrsFields?
Jaina: Can I ask what the going rate was?
Verla: I haven't written licensed stuff.
MRSfields: I wrote abysmally disdactic yikky books...and they paid me and I tried to forget I wrote the things...went pretty well
Amishka: I used to do school talks all the time
JenniferJ: That's great Ami, do you still do them??
Amishka: I did little writing workshops for kids
Sami: I can't wait to have a book so I can do school visits!
cass: I would love to do author talks, I hope enough mag. credits will legitamize me (can't spell)
Amishka: I don't have time right now Jen,
Verla: most of the time they do, jennifer. When I went to the Arizona Reading Conference and spoke there, I had to pay to attend the conference, pay my way to Arizona (from California) and pay my hotel and all my expenses to be there - and speak for them
Jaina: I know a writer who did lots of series books (the flat fee sort under a different name) and she said she made enough to put her kids through college.
JenniferJ: I teach a creative writing class to kids in the summer, and I love that
Amishka: I work full time, but I'd like to get back to it
LisaS: How did you get the word out about those, Ami?
Amishka: I have to get in touch with some of the teacher friends I have from where I used to live
Sami: I've taught middle school student a picture book writing class
Jaina: She also said it sort of ruined her writing for a time and she had to work her way out of it to write well again.
JenniferJ: Verla, that just irritates me when conferences don't waive the fee for their speakers, but I won't go on and on about that. It's pretty much across the board in ED. that way too
els: I have to shut down for a minute- brb
Amishka: Lisa I did them at first with my daughter's classes, after the same teachers kept asking me back
CrummyButt: i can understand that. it's hard for me to switch from reading comp drivel to novel writing
Verla: but I did it, because I felt it was a "good move" to get my books noticed in another state. Turned out the next year I got called to come do a school visit... and they paid all my expenses AND paid me to come. Two years later, I was asked back to do three schools... same thing. All expenses paid and paid me to come. I made MUCH more than it cost for that first visit to Arizona
Amishka: My library would also like me to do a writing course - but for adults
cass: When I spoke a teaching conferences I used to get a small stipend, and the conference fee paid, but not lodging
Amishka: I haven't said yes on that one yet
JenniferJ: Right Verla, you did the conferences to help and to help your books and accomplished your goals
cass: verla, do CA schools pay much for author visits anymore?
Amishka: great idea, kia!
Verla: AND I got asked to be the Keynote speaker at a children's Young Author Conference...
MRSfields: I trained instructors for ICL and they paid EVERYTHING including food for Mark and Rachel
cass: fun!! Kia
cass: wow, mrs f
Andrea: wow, Verla!
Verla: depends on the school, and your experience and number of published credits, cass... an average is $500 to $1500 I think for California schools
Andrea: awesome, Jan
MRSfields: Cool Verla. Now I know I want to grow up to be you
Verla: lol, jan
cass: I just ask because in 8 years at my school we had one author, so I'm wondering if there is a market here
MRSfields: It was awesome...PLUS, they paid about $1500 more in honorarium than I was expecting
cass: thanks, v
Verla: NICE, jan!
cass: wow mrs. f!
Sami: cool mrs f
Amishka: that's a lot of money for a day, Verla
JenniferJ: Your school's ptsa probably can sponser some of an author or all!
dystar: it depends on the school
JenniferJ: that's right
JenniferJ: and the ptsa
cass: our school was very poor, but the school on the hill had Dav Pilky last year
JenniferJ: The ptsa in my school is.........not easy to work with
Verla: My base rate for school visits right now (with 7 books out and two more "in the works") is $750 for local schools and $950 for out of area schools. But... I'm very flexible. I've gotten paid $1000 to do one day of four talks at a conference... and last year I did three schools in three days for a total of $300 ($100 per school) for local area schools who couldn't afford to bring in an author.
cass: so do you market to the principal, or pta, or everyone?
CrummyButt: how did you figure out your rate?
Sami: how nice of you verla.
Verla: call the school district and ask if they have any programs available to assist schools to bring authors in, cass
MRSfields: I'm sure the kids really appreciate that, Verla
JenniferJ: And I think that places can always ask an author to come anyhow. I wonder if Dav Pilkey would turn down a poor sschol that could offer him little? I bet not
Jaina: Our county and neighboring ones are very poor but they somehow manage... one county gets authors every year and free books for the kids... I think it has something to do with RIF
cass: :P
NOTE: :P = sticking your tongue out at someone
Verla: I started free for my first couple of talks, crummy. Until I learned how to do them and felt comfortable
cass: only if it helps the test score, kia
Jaina: I bet he would, Jennifer. Not enough time and too many poor schools. : (
CrummyButt: makes sense
dystar: our author talks are done in the library, but it's the parents' association that makes all the decisions
Verla: then I charged $50 and then $100 (when I had no books out yet and then one book.)
Amishka: Robert Munsch does school visits for free, but he can afford to
cass: or do you target the librarians...if you had them, I mean
Verla: as I got more books out, and became more proficient with my talks, I gradually upped the fees until I got to where I am now
JenniferJ: Right dystar, I have been up against PTSA in my building
Verla: to get talks, talk to school librarians!
LisaS: Have any of you written writing-related articles for pay? (does that make sense?) I'd like to know what markets are out there.
Verla: but lets' get back to basics of making money here... we're getting a little "off track" I think...
dystar: it's better if you can get two or more organizations to sponsor your visit
dystar: that way they can share the fees
Verla: doing talks is only ONE way to make money writing. There are so many other ways!
Jaina: Lisa, I wrote a book related article for small pay for the SCBWI bulletin
dystar: I've written articles for our local guild magazine
Jaina: I'll probably try another one soon
MRSfields: Lisa, I have written them for Byline, CBI and ICL
NOTE: CBI is Children's Book Insider and ICL is the Institute of Children's Literature
Amishka: Lisa I've done several of those
LisaS: I just submitted something to ICL, and it was fun, so thinking about doing more
cass: has anyone done greeting cards?
JenniferJ: And work for hire is also a way to make money writng, but I know nada aout it
Verla: okay, dy.. what's a guild magazine, please?
dystar: our writers' guild
JenniferJ: I would love to do a greeting card!!
dystar: has a magazine
Jaina: My attempts at greeting cards come out all wrong. ; )
cass: I keep seeing the greeting cards listed in CWIM, but I barely understand the guidelines
JenniferJ: I have mostly sold to Children's mags, and had to learn to negotiate my rights, whihc is off topic, and I didn't make much money writing, but I stil write
Verla: ICL (Institute of Children's Literature) told me they would pay me to do a workshop in their chat room.. I did. And never got paid. LOL!
MRSfields: Oh no...that's terrible
cass: really -that's awful
Andrea: What, Verla!!!
cass: did you invoice them?
Verla: But I didn't ask for money afterwards, because I felt I "owed" them the workshop... they helped me get where I am today with their WONDERFUL courses.
JenniferJ: So verla, what did you do about not getting paid?? I would complain!!
Jaina: For my darling daughter on her birthday . . . What sweet little girl is turning four? You! And I hope you learn to poop in the potty 'cause they won't let you into kindergarten if you don't.
Amishka: I've written for a few online writers magazines (I'm not sure they are out anymore) and the CWIM
Verla: Oh... it was just an oversight I'm sure.
cass: ahhhhhh
els: lol, Jaina!
Verla: It was only $25!
cass: LOL jaina!
JenniferJ: Oh verla, too kind
Verla: Not a big deal...
Andrea: LOL!
CrummyButt: HA!
MRSfields: $25? Their pay rates make no sense to me at all
LisaS: Does Alice accept queries from anyone for the CWIM?
NOTE: CWIM = Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market guidebook, published by Writer's Digest and Alice is the editor of this book.
cass: does CWIM pay well?
JenniferJ: What more can we learn about writing for tests here? That's interesting
els: CWIM pays well
Jaina: She accepted one from me, LisaS, and she doesn't know me.
Verla: CWIM pays very well, compared to most periodicals
els: yay Jaina!
cass: yay, jaina!
Verla: they accept queries from most anyone.
Jaina: A query... she sounded positive about it, but she hasn't accepted the article yet!
Amishka: Alice does accept queries
Jaina: She said she'd get back to me, but I haven't heard.
els: ohhhh
Verla: Alice's baby was due today... so I don't know if she's still "on board" or not right now
CrummyButt: well, i write practice tests based on the real tests, and how-to guides for taking the tests
els: she's due to have her baby like today or yesterday, too, jaina
JenniferJ: Well, a positive letter is worthy! here! here!
CrummyButt: it's the devil's work
Verla: Lauren, her assistant will be running the show while Alice is out with her new baby
Amishka: Jaina when did you query
MRSfields: Awwww...I wondered if she was on maternity leave yet
CrummyButt: but i get paid
Jaina: Well, that's a poor excuse. She'd have plenty of time between pushes.
NOTE: ROFLOL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing Out Loud
cass: LOL
Verla: Hi, CrankyWolf -- we are discussing different methods of making money by writing
cass: I can just see it...
cass: I have a money question
JenniferJ: Crummyb, I teach, I have this wide background, how did you get the test writing work??
MRSfields: Yeah, I remember getting so bored during labor
Jaina: I queried about 8 months ago and she said to query again at the start of summer and then I did query at the start of summer and she said she'd get back to me
els: brb
Verla: people! BEHAVE! This transcript is going to be POSTED!
Verla: ask your money question, cass!
CrummyButt: i fell into it by accident.
cass: ooops -delete , delete, delete
Jaina: Behave? I know not the term.
cass: Ok, I've sold all rights to carus twice
Andrea: lol
CrummyButt: if you scroll up, you can read how
cass: but someone just posted on yella that he is getting paid
cass: to sell his carus poems to a test company
JenniferJ: Aw verla, it can be edited!! I did that for you once.
cass: should I be trying to get more rights with my next sale
Verla: lol.. I know that, jennifer.
cass: to them
JenniferJ: Verla, I would edit this for you too, if you like ( :
MRSfields: He may have sold the alternate rights package...ummm...something reprint rights...dang...can't get the word
JenniferJ: Cass -- always try to keep as many rights as you can in this biz. In general, the mag market for kid lit is ruthless, save a few
MRSfields: Nonexclusive...that's it...they will but nonexclusive right where they can use it forever but you can resell it
Verla: it's my understanding that some of the magazines, cass... Highlights is one, and the Carus group might be another, will give you rights back on stories/poems for a specific purpose (like getting them into a book) after they are published if you ask for them.
CrummyButt: i've often wondered about how to get into writing the actual tests, but then it occurs to me that i probably couldn't do that and write for TPR at the same time
dystar: now that they know her, can she negotiate?
CrummyButt: conflict of interest and all that
cass: wb k
Verla: wb kay!
Verla: (wb = Welcome Back for anyone who doesn't know "chat lingo")
CrummyButt: not wubber biscuits?
MRSfields: or wobbly bottoms
dystar: or water bottle?
els: or wonder bread?
Verla: ASK! It never hurts to ASK for more rights (or money or free copies.) Just be flexible if they say NO.
kpickles: whale blubber
Verla: You guys are too funny!
kpickles: wonky bubbles
cass: ok, dumb question, but how do you ask?
CrummyButt: you know, asking for more money than they offer is something that just occurred to me a few weeks ago
Verla gets out the whips and chains... BACK! DOWN! BEHAVE! GET BACK ON TRACK!
JenniferJ: What about e writing? Anyone here can speak to that??
MRSfields: The editor for Cricket told me they ONLY buy either all rights or nonexclusive reprint rights...meaning they can reprint forever but so can you
cass: do you return the contract with a note for your request
els: when you get the contract, say "I am selling this for these rights only."
kpickles: I do e-writing but not for money
CrummyButt: and i've been doing this for 5 years now. what a sap
MRSfields: I've done e-writing for money but haven't seen anywhere that pays decent in years
Verla: when they write or call to tell you they love your story and want to publish it, write or if they've called, say..."That's wonderful! I'm so excited. But do you suppose there's a way I could get X instead of Z?"
dystar: you can cross out things you don't like in a contract
kpickles: cb..are you referring to your text book work
JenniferJ: CB< I THINK YOU have a nice gig there< and i'VE been in the e market but with limited success
CrummyButt: we negotiate through email. the editor contacts me and tells me what they'll pay me for the job
CrummyButt: yes, k
kpickles: well I used to e-write for money...but then they stopped paying
JenniferJ: The e bubble burst
CrummyButt: then i make some kind of joke about having to eat beans for a week because i'm working for slave wages
kpickles: ok, I'm an independent contractor and set my own price...but they may or may not take it
Verla: (assuming you are willing to accept under their terms if they say NO.) If you aren't willing to accept their terms, then you should say that immediately
MRSfields: Yes, it really did...I made good money with BrainPlay and with Kidzown
kpickles: LOL!
CrummyButt: then sometimes they come back and offer more money
CrummyButt: other times they don't
cass: ok, so I'm a test company and I see a story I want to buy. I call Cricket and they say we own the rights. Do they pass on a portion, like highlights does, or do they keep it -assuming they buy all rights
cass: a portion to the writer I mean
kpickles: the writer gets a portion from what I hear
kpickles: I"ve heard fo people getting checks when they decide to use it on a test
Sami: cool!
JenniferJ: The rights you sell do have a bearing on your earnings
Amishka: Jen I've sold some articles to online mags
Verla: that's something you have to negotiate with publishers on a ONE to ONE basis, cass. Would depend on the publisher, their policies, and maybe even the story and reason you wanted it
Jaina: Hey, Toni
Amishka: they didn't pay a lot but they paid
Dawdle: I'm sorry to be so late :<
kpickles: you write test or textbooks?
Verla: yay.. toni's here! We're deep into discussions about ways we can make money writing, Toni. Please add your two cents!
CrummyButt: i write textbooks about taking tests
kpickles: there ya go cb
dystar: I do all right with my plays
Jaina: You're charging her two cents? That's how Verla makes money in the chat room.
Verla: It's amazing how many different things there are to write about that you can sell!
kpickles: verla, I've also made money writing newsletters for online companies
Jaina: Hey, Jeff. Two cents, please.
CrummyButt: next, i'm writing a math book that teaches toward philadelphia's test
Jeff_S: I haven't got two cents.
Jaina: No cents, No chats
Verla: Ha ha ha, Jaina
MRSfields: Wow, Jeff, you must be a writer
CrummyButt: so, i have to write sample tests, as well as instructional material
Dawdle: What ideas have already been mentioned?
kpickles: aha.......
Verla: I made a whopping $20 or $25 writing monthly articles for a now-defunct ezine... then I took one of those articles and sold it to a big writing publisher for $600 a few years later. Awesome!
CrummyButt: language arts reviews, math reviews, practice tests, and teacher's guides for the books i write
els: grants, write for hire, web work, novels...
Jaina: Have any of you ever traded writing for something? That's *sort of* like making $
Verla: RESELLING your articles (if you can keep your rights to them) can be VERY lucrative
Jeff_S: I've done both work for hire books and work for hire web stuff if anyone wants a metaphorical two cents ;)
dystar: plays, interviews
Verla: That's another good thing to do, jaina!
kpickles: if you count doing product reveiws yes
kpickles: I work with Kids Domain now
JenniferJ: Yes Jeff
kpickles: I get books and games and stuff to keep...I just write the reviews
Verla: yes, tell us about those experiences, please, jeff?
cass: what's that k?
Amishka: Verla, I wrote an article for that same Defunct ezine and wrote one for that Big writing publisher but they weren't the same article
kpickles: what's what cass?
cass: kids domain
Jaina: I reviewed a toy favorably on Amazon, saying how much it had helped my daughter with her delays. I signed it with my email. The company contacted me and said they were "touched" and wanted to send me a gift
Jaina: they sent me all these free products. It was awesome
els: wow Jaina
kpickles: I told the ducklings about it
cass: you're kidding! wow
Amishka: but I did sell a similar article
Dawdle: Who's gotten paid for interviews?
MRSfields: Wow...that's really nice, Jaina
dystar: I have, toni
Dawdle: GIVING interviews or writing them? :>
kpickles: oh cool...............
Jeff_S: Wait, you get paid for interviews? And here I've been doing them for free!
dystar: writing them
Jaina: It probably helped that it was just in time for Christmas shopping
Verla: that's another wonderful way to make money... writing product and/or book reviews. they send you the products and/or books and you review them, then you get to keep the products or books when you're done! Great "perk"
Jeff_S: Oh, well, never mind
Jeff_S: I've only ever been interviews
Jeff_S: ed, rather
dystar: I found a niche
Amishka: I've got paid for interviews toni, not giving them but writing them no one wants to interview me :(
CrummyButt: hmm. i need some spackle. maybe i should do a spackle review
kpickles: I've been writing for suite 101 for three years
Verla: wow, jaina. How come *I* never get perks like that??? LOL
MRSfields: Awww...shall I interview you Ami?
cass: soon, mish
Jeff_S: Psh, Mish. They will soon.
MRSfields: You could be in kidmagwriters
Dawdle: LOL! I thought someone was getting paid to GIVE interviews :>
Jaina: me too!
cass: I want that job!
Verla: (they WILL want to interview you, ami... when your first book comes out.)
CrummyButt: i'm not familiar with suite 101. is that test writing?
kpickles: they were once a paying market...but now now
kpickles: unless you teach courses or manage to sell books from the site
kpickles: not now I meant
kpickles: no it's an online community of different...hmmm
Amishka: Dawdle in a way an author does get paid to give interviews
Verla: hmm. We are getting close to the end of our discussion hour...
kpickles: how can I say this...It's an online community of writers who do monthly articles about their topics of interest...a very broad range of topics
Verla: is there anything someone hasn't gotten information on yet that they would like to know about?
Amishka: because it's free publicity and you sell more that way
CrummyButt: oh, now i know what you're talking about
kpickles: I do a software review column..
cass: pragmatic capital
Jaina: I still want to know how much these flat fee series books usually pay
Jaina: but I guess nobody can answer that
CrummyButt: yeah!
MRSfields: I did one of those for a teen online for a while kpickles...until the software took over my house
JenniferJ: Jef? flat fees??
els: probably depends on the publisher, Jaina
Verla: jeff.. didn't you do series books for a flat fee?
CrummyButt: fess up, man
Verla: lyra did... but she's not here to tell us what she got!
Jeff_S: Sorry, went away ;)
Dawdle: That's quite true, Mish, and why I do lots of them.
Amishka: Jaina wasn't there someone in here who wrote a barbie book? Oh no it was Supita
Jeff_S: Oh, for Remnants I wrote outlines
Jeff_S: For a flat fee
Jeff_S: I was paid $5000
Jaina: Yes, I talked to her about that at Chautauqua
Verla: I think it was something close to what I got for my first advance... around $3000?
CrummyButt: not bad. . .
Jaina: It wasn't Barbie, though
Jeff_S: I believe the authors of the books were given a flat fee of $7500
Verla: wow... that's a nice hefty amount, jeff
kpickles: how do you find out about those things
Jeff_S: Which is HIGH END for a series book
Jeff_S: VERY high end
Amishka: strawberry shortcake
kpickles: wow!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jaina: That's pretty good. Thanks for the info, Jeff
Jeff_S: Usually $5000 is like super tops
kpickles: oh okay..........
Jeff_S: Usually it's between $1000 and $4000
CrummyButt: how long does it take you to write one, Jeff?
Verla: yeah, that sounds about right, jeff
Jeff_S: I got paid more for an outline than the author of the series used to get for writing whole Sweety Valley High books
CrummyButt: or rather, how long do they give you to write it?
Jeff_S: For that series the author was given 2 months
Verla: don't most series use packagers to find the authors, jeff?
kpickles: I tried to do work for hire with Riverfront but they rejected me
Jeff_S: I wrote my outlines in like a week
Jeff_S: Some do
kpickles: would love to find that kind of work
Jeff_S: Some are created by an author and then they hire out writers themselves
Dawdle: Jaina, I know that a friend got $2000 per book for two Native American books in the Capstone series, I think.
Jaina: Okay, thanks, Toni
Jeff_S: Katherine Applegate (Animorphs) and Ann M. Martin (Baby-Sitters Club) did that
Jeff_S: Some series are created by the publisher
Dawdle: It's not much money for all the research and work.
Jeff_S: But yeah, a lot come from packagers
Jaina: I was thinking it was around $3000 for those chapter book series
Verla: how do you find the names of the packagers, jeff?
Jeff_S: Goosebumps, Fearless, etc, etc.
Jaina: but wanted to find out for sure
Verla: if you are interested in writing series books?
Jeff_S: They should be on the copyright page
Verla: ah ha!
Jeff_S: There's also a listing you can get from SCBWI
Verla: (someone actually READS copyright pages????)
Jeff_S: There aren't very many fiction series packagers aroung
Jeff_S: At least, not as of late
els: oh, uh... I do, Verla
Jeff_S: There were tons in the '80s
dystar: I do
Jeff_S: The series I'm currently doing was created by the publisher
dystar: but that's probably 'cause I used to work in a library
Jeff_S: And they hired the writers themselves
Jeff_S: They also pay with an advance against royalty
Verla: Oh, now I never knew THAT, jeff (about SCBWI -Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators - having a list of packagers available to members!)
Jeff_S: Packagers usually only pay in flat fee
Jeff_S: And, like I said, it's not a terribly large amount, and often you're ghostwriting
kimmar: hi all! (ooh, sorry... shhh Protalk)
Jeff_S: As in, the book is published under another name and you are credited nowhere
Jaina: Hi, Kimmar!
Jeff_S: Ghostwritten series overseen by an author or publisher themselves will often have credits, though
CrummyButt: hey, kimmar!
cass: can you use the credit in your resume?
Jaina: Doesn't seem like the credit would be all that important in some of those pieces
Verla: I'm sure you can, cass.
Jeff_S: On the dedication page it'll say "The author / We would like to thank so-and-so for their help in creating this manuscript"
Jeff_S: You can definitely use the credit
Jaina: I mean, I'd like to keep my name on my real "art" writing... if I write for a packager, that would just be for the $
CrummyButt: i've worked on some projects that i was GLAD i wasn't credited for after the editors and production got their hands on them
Jeff_S: Packagers and publishers generally don't credit work for hire 'cause they want to keep alive the illusion of a single author
Jaina: Well, I could still USE the credit, right, Jeff? I just wouldn't have to have my name on the book
Jeff_S: You don't have to have your name on the book
Jeff_S: The books I'm writing now will have my name on them -- but the project is such that I WANT my name on them
Jaina: I could still say "I have written a book for the Googly Bears High series" in a letter, right? That's all that would matter to me
Jeff_S: Even though they're work for hire
dystar: what do you say in the credit? "ghostwritten by.."?
Verla: For all of you who have written for money and gotten paid for your writing... did it seem to help "validate" your time and effort in writing to your family and friends? I know it did for me!
Jeff_S: Yes, you could. No credit in the actual book needed.
Andrea: Definitely, Verla
cass: yes -getting my first contract was huge for me at home
kpickles: Yes, on the school forms I now put self employed
Sami: Verla- absolutely.
kpickles: and I call myself an educational writer
cass: I get lots of writing time -from a dinky poetry contract!
MRSfields: No, my mom continued to clip want ads for real jobs for me until she died...she never gave up
els: no, I don't think it vlidated me, Verla. It was nice to have a little extra cash, but I've known since I was 4 I would be a writer, and that was that.
Verla: that's smart, kay... and also very true!
dystar: I used to have trouble telling people I was a writer -- until I started getting paid
Jeff_S: But of course. Also, getting paid makes it so you HAVE to write
CrummyButt: well, i came at this all backwards. i got the job first and THEN decided that i wanted to write fiction for kids
Jeff_S: With getting paid comes a whole new set of worries
Jeff_S: But at least you're not thinking, "Am I doing this all for nothing?" the whole time
Verla: very true, jeff
kpickles: well...heck I have to pay IRS I might as well say I'm employed
Jeff_S: Instead you think, "Will this suck so bad I have to pay back my advance?"
Jeff_S: That is, if you're paid before you write
Jaina: I just don't want work for hire to take up too much time or to "ruin" my writing in anyway
Verla: you pay IRS because you ARE self employed, kay!
Jaina: or suck out all my energy
Jeff_S: Which I've been fortunate enough to do
kpickles: also the money I make test writing helps pay for extras like conferences, subscriptions, etc
kpickles: true
Jeff_S: Jaina, depends on what kind of work for hire you're doing!
Amishka: Verla, even now, I have a hard time getting through to my family at times - I'm on the computer because I working
kpickles: also..since I make "money" now....I feel more free to write what I want for whom I want
kpickles: I'm not worried about selling so much
dystar: I think every writer has that problem, ami
kpickles: not sure that makes since
Jeff_S: I mean, if I was hired to write Mary-Kate and Ashley books, I'd worry about my soul being sucked out
CrummyButt: besides, my hubby works at home doing the same thing that i do, but he's been doing it for 10 more years than i have. since he's sick to death of the job, he keeps telling me that WE have to get out of this business.
CrummyButt: but i like my job
kpickles: sense
Jeff_S: But I was fortunate enough to be hired for projects I LOVE
Jeff_S: That are what I write anyway
Jaina: Jeff, like, you're like, sooooooo mean.
Verla: Okay... we're running out of time... anything else anyone would very much like to share before we wind down this terrific discussion? Special words of wisdom to writers out there that WANT to make money and haven't yet?
Jeff_S: And are getting my name out there to an audience that would like my own work
cass: you can't make money if you don't sub!
Jeff_S: So I think it's more than worthwhile, and takes away nothing
dystar: the usual: write what you love, then get paid for it
els: follow up on any leads you get, and be sure you are putting out the best work you can.
Jeff_S: So, I guess, just try and seek out projects you'd like to do
MRSfields: Be open to unusual projects
dystar: take offered opportunities
els: be willing to rework
els: and rework... and rework
CrummyButt: don't be a sap like me--ask for more money than you're offered
dystar: or make your own opportunities
Verla: I think I'd encourge people to "think outside the box." Sometimes we get so caught in writing and selling that first book, we forget we can be writing and making money doing other things, while we're waiting for the "big book deal" to happen.
Dawdle: Yes, Crum, negotiating is essential.
kpickles: yes, and some things can lead to other things
Jeff_S: Yeah, and at the very least, you're getting practice
Jaina: Do a little something nice with your money--even if it's only $5 on something. Because if you just use it for a phone bill, that's no fun... ; )
Jeff_S: And opening doors
kpickles: even though I get no $$ for the product looks good on a resume and shows I've been writing steadily
dystar: don't use it to buy ink or paper either
Verla: Oh, YES, jaina! With each sale I made, I took part of the money "just for me" and did something special with it.
els: unless you hve an ink and paper fetish
kpickles: I bought a pen once
CrummyButt: oo-la-laaaa
dystar: A writer friend of mine bought herself a ring for every sale
Jaina: It's nice to buy yourself something that will last. Then every time you look at whatever it is, you can think "I earned that by writing"
cass: A BIC for BIC
Jeff_S: The computer I'm on was bought with money I made from writing
Jeff_S: So, that's always fun :)
kpickles: well I have no clue where that pen is now
Verla: the first sale, when I sold a magazine story for $40... I sent the publisher $50 and ordered a hundred copies of the magazine with my story in it. LOL! I still have a small stash of them.
els: My first article got me a beautiful antique oriental pottery cannister
kpickles: it was a nice fountain pen
els: every time I look at it, i think, tht was THAT article
cass: LOL V
dystar: my first published piece, I bought a garden bench
Verla: I started buying a charm for a charm bracelet for each sale I made, dy. It now has an impressive 10 charms on it
kpickles: cool....
els: very cool, Verla!
Jeff_S: That's an interesting idea
dystar: hey, maybe I should do that -- one of those flat ones
kpickles: I bought 5 pairs of shoes with my first significant test writing check
Amishka: I bought a new computer with the advance I haven't received yet - but only because my old one was dying
Jeff_S: A lot of the money I make now goes to bills ;)
Jeff_S: Ah well
Amishka: had I waited two days I would have lost a lot
Verla: plus the bracelet is awesome, because people notice it, and ask about it, and then I get to tell them "I'm an author and these are all my books I've sold...."
Verla: great advertising for my books!
kpickles: that is really cool
Dawdle: Verla, I borrowed your idea and have one too.
dystar: no books for me (yet), just articles and plays
Jeff_S: I was thinking about getting a tattoo to commemorate all my books
Verla: So cool, toni!!!!!
Jeff_S: Like, a Egyptian hawk for one book
Jeff_S: But I probably never would ;)
cass: I must go to a meeting to raise $30,000 for the preschool now. Taking money vibes with me!
kpickles: me too dystar...well just mag articles and online stuff
Dawdle: I'm looking for my fourth charm (I only do the fiction, of course)
Verla: LOL.... put em on a Tshirt, jeff
kpickles: not sure if I will ever have books
Jeff_S: There ya go!
dystar: get something pierced for each sale
Verla: eeeek, dy!
kpickles: ow!!!!
Andrea: that's a beautiful idea aboutthe bracelet, verla
kpickles: I have NO piercing
Verla: think of Jane Yolen with her hundreds of book sales, dy.... EEEEK!
kpickles: ouch! Ouch!
Jaina: I want to do the charm thing too... that'll be fun and it IS good advertising
dystar: now, did I say on your body?
Andrea: But I'm oging to do a necklace, so I'm not copying you, Verla, :)
kpickles: what else would you pierce?
Amishka: Dawdle, what charm are you looking for?
Dawdle: Gotta go off to bed now. Write well and make scads!
Jeff_S: Bye Toni
Verla: oh, I get it, dy. We have our spouses and kids and boy/girlfriends pierced!
els: hat brim,Kay
Andrea: night, Toni
els: night Toni
Jaina: ack, what charm?
kpickles: ohhhhh...thought maybe she meant the cat
Amishka: I was thinking about doing the charm thing too
dystar: we can be a club, show off our bracelets to each other when we meet
Jaina: Now it's going to drive me nuts
Amishka: I need a shoe
Verla: toni, go on line and stick the kind of charm you're after into a Google Search
els: we'd be charming writers
Andrea: Yeah! A charm convention
Verla: she left! Hmph.
kpickles: that would be cool
Jaina: that seems like it'd be easy to find, Ami
Andrea: I will need a skateboard- hopefully!
Amishka: ballet shoes are easy
Verla: shoe charms are easy! Look in the baby section, ami
Amishka: high heal shoes are easy
dystar: thought I saw a sneaker charm once
Amishka: basketball shoes are not
Amishka: really dy?
els: I'd need an egg and a book.
Verla: oh, sneakers
Amishka: I'll have to look around
Jaina: yeah, I'll have to take a look
Verla: Google for charms
dystar: sorry, can't remember where
Andrea: I bet you could find a sneaker, Ami
Jaina: I have a book charm that opens and closes
dystar: sports -- soccer, etc
els: oh cool, Jaina!
Verla: Okay folks... this discussion has now digressed into a "charming" talk... but it's no longer about making money.. so I'm officially calling our discussion OVER...
Jaina: It's fun to think about which ones I'd need, if only...
Jaina: Yeah, now we're talking about spending it
CrummyButt: i am without charm
Verla: You are free now to talk about your personal lives, and dig up all the dirt one everyone who isn't here tonight... and it won't be posted. <grin>
Jaina: charmless
dystar: I would prefer one of those flat charm bracelets
dystar: not a dangly one
els: lol
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #kidlit to Writers & Illustrators of Children's Literature Meet Here Nightly - WELCOME!
Jaina: Well, I'm gonna work on submissions
Jaina: Night, gang!
els: night Jaina
dystar: bye
CrummyButt: night!
Log file closed at: 8/17/04 7:16:22 PM

Verla Kay
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