One of our members, Dawn Reiss, asks:
I turned a story in March and thought it was going to run in April. I was then told the artical was going to be published in May. After sending my story in, in March and my invoice on April 3 I called multiple times – I finally received confirmation that yes that had received my story and my invoice.
The magazine was published beginning of May. I was supposed to be paid on May 10th. I still haven’t received payment so I contacted the editor director who told me on May 25: “just wanted to let you know that I met with accounting today, and it looks like they’re about a month behind in freelance payment. Sorry for the delay on this, but I asked them to get to my freelancers as soon as possible.”
When I first started free-lancing someone suggested that I put the clause at the bottom of my invoice:
Terms: Payment is due in full 30 days after official print date of article. Payments made after that date are subject to a 20% late fee plus an annual interest rate of 20%.
I’m curious what other free-lancers have done.
I’ve never been successful adding late charges to my invoices for newspaper and magazine clients. I think the only time you might recover a late fee is if you had to eventually take the publication to court. Sounds like this publication is in trouble. If you still want to write for them, after receiving this payment you could give them one more chance. This could be a temporary cash problem fluke. However, if your payment is late a second time, I wouldn’t be doing business with them anymore.