Posts Tagged ‘maya smart’


Contract Terms Every Freelance Writer Should Know

Contributed by Maya Smart, The Writing Coach

Whew! Landing that new client was a boon to your bottom line. However, now the editor is asking you to sign a freelance contract that’s packed with legal terms you’ve never seen before (or haven’t paid much attention to). To help you protect your business, we put together this short list of terms that every writer should know.

First North American serial rights

Magazines and newspapers often ask writers for the first North American serial rights. By agreeing to this, you’re promising first dibs on your story in the U.S. and Canada. Many publications (a.k.a. “serials”) now say these rights include their websites, too. In other words, they won’t pay you extra for putting your print story online, in the digital version of their periodical. Even so, with FNASR, you retain the copyright.

To read more, visit this post on The Writing Coach’s website.

About Maya Smart:

After spending six years in the trenches, Maya Payne Smart founded WritingCoach.com to help journalists, authors and other writers build profitable businesses. Her mission is to provide the tools, information and advice that freelancers need to thrive, from marketing basics to advanced business-building strategies. Smart also uses her expertise to teach entrepreneurial journalism courses for the Society of Professional Journalists, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and other organizations for wordsmiths. She currently serves on the boards of the Society of American Business Editors & Writers and James River Writers. Visit WritingCoach.com for tips and tools to help you build a more profitable writing business.

How to Keep the Freelance Fire Going

Contributed by Maya Payne Smart

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” —Reggie Leach

For years, that quotation was taped to the screen of the computer I used to hammer out articles that explained everything from the aluminum-market outlook to the best ways to organize your home. The legendary hockey player’s words were a constant reminder that self-motivation is key to victory in the competitive field of freelance writing. Unlike staff reporters, who even on slow news days get paid just for showing up, freelancers must constantly hunt for new assignments and their next paychecks.

And boy can it be tiring!

Writing and reporting alone, often at the risk of rejection, can take a lot out of you. Throw sales, marketing, invoicing, collecting and business planning into the mix and burnout starts brewing. Setting yourself on fire occasionally is one thing; kindling your efforts daily is another. There are many days when my to-do list outweighs my motivation level — and the term “self-starter” feels more like a punishment than a redeeming quality. Like Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill only to have it roll back down, freelancing can feel laborious, tedious, even futile…

You can read the rest of the column here, on Maya Smart’s Writing Coach website.

Freelancing Pay Rates: Hourly vs. Flat Fees

As a freelancer, one of the questions I’m most often asked by new freelancers is “how do I charge for my services?” There are several ways to do this, but the most popular are quoting an hourly rate versus offering a flat fee. In the column linked below, this question is addressed on The Writing Coach’s blog.

Freelance Writing Pay Rates:  Hourly vs. Flat Fees

Another good resource for information on rates is the Editorial Freelancers’ Association. These rates are more specific to editing, but they address writing as well.

[This content was generously provided by freelance expert Maya Smart. After spending six years in the trenches, Maya Payne Smart founded WritingCoach.com to help journalists, authors and other writers build profitable businesses. She currently serves on the boards of the Society of American Business Editors & Writers and James River Writers. Visit WritingCoach.com for tips and tools to help you build a more profitable writing business.]

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