Writing would be so much simpler if we needn’t need to finance it. But we do, and every writer wants to get paid for his writing. Sadly, many (most?) writers make much less than they could be making. They don’t know how to ask for money, or how to raise their fees, or how to avoid scammers.
We’ve talked about the essential tip to doubling your income: charge more.
Which begs the question…
Get paid: how do you know how much to charge?
I’ve covered that, and much more, in our new program, “How Much Do I Charge?” The Secret Strategies Of Writing For Money.
Negotiation makes writers uncomfortable, but if you want to charge more, it’s necessary. It can be fun, too.
Here’s an excerpt from “How Much Do I Charge?” The Secret Strategies Of Writing For Money on negotiating.
Get paid more when you negotiate
Your ability to charge what you want, and get it, depends on how well you negotiate.
Does that sound scary? It’s not; you just need practice in managing clients and your writing business.
You negotiate every day, with your children, your partner, with co-workers… even with yourself.
Start a negotiation by knowing what you want, and also the least you will accept
You’ll find that within a short period of time, negotiation will become the easiest part of your writing life – there’s nothing difficult about it. Approached in the right way, negotiation is fun. 🙂
Here’s what helps me when I’m negotiating: I think about how long the project will take, what other things I could be doing with my writing time (what if someone else offers me a fantastic project and I need to decline because I’ve taken on this one?)
I decide on what I want to be paid for the project, and also what I’ll accept (my bottomline), if I don’t get what I want. It’s essential to know your bottomline — that’s your walk away point.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a novel for a client. You estimate it will take you a month to write 50,000 words. A month of your time is worth $10,000. You’d like to be paid $12,000. Your bottomline, the very least you can accept is $8,000. You justify taking this lower amount, because it means you can save time and money on marketing.
Once I have those two figures, I completely relax.
As far as I’m concerned, once I’ve quoted on a project, it’s out of my hands. The ball is in the prospect’s court, and I forget about it. Until the client pays me, there’s no point in thinking about the project; and I never commit my time, until then.
Important tip: Never schedule a project until you’ve been paid. In full
Too many things can go wrong. I’ve had clients approach me three months after I quoted on a project – clients have busy lives too. Commonly a client is shocked when I tell him I won’t be able to start his project for five months, because I’ve taken on other projects since I quoted on his project. If he wants to cut in ahead of other clients, I’ll be charging him 50 per cent more than my original quote.
Guard your time: only those people who have PAID for your time have any call on it. Until a prospect pays you money, and becomes a client, you owe him nothing.
Many writers make a mess of their calendar because they schedule projects before the money is in their bank account. Clients say “yes”, when they mean “maybe” . Please remember that until someone pays, there’s no point in taking them too seriously. The old saying “Money talks” is very important when you work with clients.
“How Much Do I Charge?” The Secret Strategies Of Writing For Money — How To Set Fees For Your Writing, And Get Paid
Not sure how to set your fees for your writing? Want to increase your rates for your clients but aren’t sure how? This program covers everything you want to know about getting paid to write. Learn more.
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Today, the opportunities for writers have never been greater. Back in the day a writer who was making six-figures a year seemed a creature of myth. These days, highly successful writers are making six figures a month.More info →
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