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Freelancing, contracting, telecommuting

(surviving and thriving as a creative entrepreneur or independent contractor)

General information, tips, resources for freelancers
AB5, freelancer rights, and problems in the 'gig' economy
Clients: finding and nurturing the good ones
Organizations freelancers may find useful
Blog roll, freelancing and consulting

Getting paid (on time) or getting stiffed?
How to find work and get referrals
Freelancing during the pandemic
AB5, freelancer rights, and problems in the 'gig' economy

Common pay rates and ranges for writers and editors

How much should (can) I charge? (pricing and rate setting strategies for various types of products and services)

How to make money as a freelancer (the good, the bad, and the truthful)

Kill fees

Tools and resources for freelance writers, entrepreneurs, and independent contractors

    From basic ID to bookkeeping and accounting tools.


Affiliate marketing
Should you incorporate, or not? Which way?

Becoming more productive
Content mills (sweat shops for writers, under Job Boards)


Sample contracts and agreements for services

Negotiating freelance arrangements

Income tax for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and independent contractors

Home office and other tax deductions

Tools for freelance writers and entrepreneurs

Email and electronic files, Managing your

Business cards that work

Insurance for Freelancers

---Health and disability insurance

---Liability insurance

---Paid Family Leave
Other helpful resources on health insurance

See also:
Covering tax avoidance and the wealthy
How much (and how) do collaborators and ghostwriters charge?

Job banks, job boards, and publishing marketplaces
Magazine mastheads and editorial calendars
Work for hire agreements

I've been freelance most of my career (after several years as an editor in book publishing), so I know it's possible to make a living this way. Freelancing doesn't suit everyone. I happen to prefer working alone because it helps me concentrate, and being selectively gregarious I go out when I need the company--but I don't need to be working around people all day. The loneliness gets to some freelancers, as do the serious problems with cash flow (because even if you have enough work, payments are sometimes slow in coming). Many people say they want the security of a job, but when job security became an issue for many people, a few years back, my comfort level with not knowing what I would be doing a year later served me well. You need to be able to market yourself, but that doesn't mean you have to be a salesperson so much as you have to let people know you are there, are dependable, can and will do the work you're being hired to do and will do it well, on time, and in an agreeable manner (being easy to work with is a plus). It's probably wise to have several skills and clients, so that if one client or type of work disappears you have others, as gigs are unpredictable--although many freelancers work on certain contracts or for certain clients for years and years. That variety also  makes your work more interesting. More on those elsewhere on this site. There is a learning curve, but there are places to learn and books to learn from.

I'm adding some items on telecommuting, because I get lots of queries from people who can't afford to keep their jobs, and for some telecommuting may be a good alternative. To the extent that I can post links to advice on how to make that work, I do so. I also post links on how to run a small business, because that is essentially what a freelancer is doing. Some present themselves as a company. I haven't done so only because I have been more interested in the work than in managing other people doing the work--although I do subcontract parts of my work. (On a book, for example, I always hire an editor; even though I edit, I can't edit myself effectively; nobody can. I also hire proofreaders. On books I help others self-publish, I also farm work out to designers and book production people. And increasingly, in the memoir market, I subcontract to video people.)


Check out The US government is seriously underestimating how much Americans rely on gig work (Erin Winick, MIT Technology Review, 6-7-18) Undercounting people who rely on “alternative work arrangements” risks marginalizing a key part of the American economy. 'Had the BLS report found a large jump in nontraditional work, it might have caught the eye of Congress and motivated lawmakers to pass legislation to protect and support people in the gig economy (emphasis on “might,” but still). Instead, the report could be used to argue that this type of work isn’t as important as it’s cracked up to be. “The government is best positioned to help us understand this workforce—they have access to the most data,” says Kasriel. “And I think there will be recognition that they need to do more in the hopefully not-too-distant future. See also:


A Remote Work Future May Make Freelancers of Us All ((Ed Zitron's Where's Your Ed At, Substack, 8-11-21) "The fight against remote work by large organizations is all about control...While running my PR agency, I’ve often had the thought that I basically have seven or eight jobs at any given time, but I call them “clients” - while I now have staff that can help with the work, there were many years where I didn’t, and the work was still done, and the clients still paid.... I see the substrate of work changing based on remote work - a disconnection from the classical eight-hour work day, and a move toward a valuation of a worker based on their output rather than their ability to be somewhere. A remote future is one that could create a massive debate around what exactly we pay people for - is it their time? Is it their output? While we definitely want people to be available when we need them, do we really care what they do when we don’t?"
The Pandemic Was Office Culture and Middle Management's "God Is Dead" Moment (Ed Zitron's Where's Your Ed At, Substack, 7-13-21) "The reason that large companies are fighting the remote future is that to accept remote work is to accept the vast inefficiencies they’ve pumped money into and written books about. If they have to admit that remote work is the future, they have to admit that they have promoted people to or hired people to be managers that, when you remove the office, do very little. They have to admit they’ve spent a great deal of money on beautiful real estate that, deep down, actually provides minimal function...


Do check out AB5 and other threats to freelancers' (independent contractors') livelihood and survival of the gig economy

Tools and resources for freelance writers and entrepreneurs

How to get a Social Security Card: "For assistance call us at 1-800-772-1213 or visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov. To apply for an original card, you must provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or current lawful, work-authorized immigration status. See Application for a Social Security Card
---Documents to prove your Social Security number (ID.me)
---Primary and secondary identification documents (ID.me)
---How to replace your Social Security card.

• How to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

---Getting an EIN is Easier Than You Think- Here’s How (Stephen Fishman, Collective.com) "Once you establish your freelance business, you’re eligible to receive an EIN, which stands for Employer Identification Number.
     "This nine-digit number is also referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number and is assigned by the IRS and used for tax filing and reporting purposes.
     "Basically, your EIN is like a Social Security number for your business. And it’s formatted like this: 12-3456789.

     "After getting your EIN, you’ll be able to list it on every form, payment, and document that your business files with the IRS. And, in most states, you’ll also use the EIN for state tax filings and payments."
---Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online (IRS)

Dropbox. A free service (up to a point) that lets you post your photos, docs, and videos online for accessing on the road or sharing privately with others--particularly helpful for files too big to email. I pay for more storage and I use it all the time to exchange big documents and graphic files, etc., with clients and subcontractors.
Hootsuite (social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks)
Endnote (software tool for publishing and managing references and bibliographies)
Mendeley (desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data, collaborating online privately or in groups, reading and annotating PDFs
Evernote (organize your notes and thoughts in one spot)
AwayFind (let urgent emails cut through the clutter and find you--don't keep checking email constantly)
The Writer's Legal Guide (Authors Guild members can download free) Plain-English explanations of the legal and business aspects of writing, from electronic rights and e-books to contracts and accounting
Gray Chapman's Freelancer Resources
Max Falkowitz's Tools for freelance writers
Articles on how to improve your freelance writing business (Ed Gandia on High income business writing:ed@b2blauncher.com), articles in these categories: Getting clients, Running the biz, Mindset, Writing, Pricing.
Who Pays Writers
5 Timekeeping Apps for Your Small Business (Mashable)
Best Accounting Software Review of the top ten.
Online billing tools (Dave McClintock, on Entrepreneur, 11-19-10, reviews five billing and receivables tools for security, payment plans, support, mobility, and branding ability(how well you can brand your bills with your logo etc.): QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, AcceptPay, and PayPal, with nods to Outright and Xero.
Top 10 Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs
Five Best Note Taking Applications (Lifehacker review 2011)
Five Best PDF Tools (Lifehacker review 2011)
Five Best Desktop Personal Finance Tools (Lifehacker review 2011)
Five Best News Aggregators (Lifehacker review 2011)
Deliberate Freelancer podcast

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Business cards that work

Author Business Cards: Why You Need Them and How to Make Them (Kate Sullivan, TCK Publishing, 2020)
Moo (good quality and service for short-run business cards -- better quality than Vista, and you can have variations: same front side but different images on back, etc.)
30 Creative QR code business cards (Webdesigner Depot)
QR Codes, Explained (Common Craft)
7 Tips on What Information to Put on Your Business Card ( Julia Melymbrose, Tuts+, 7-21-16)
20 Creative Business Card Templates (Sean Hodge, Tuts+, 4-25-19) To suggest visual variations.
10 Tips for Designing a Professional Business Card (Andrea Campbell, Bright Hub, 3-11-11)
Using Adobe Photoshop to Make Your Own Business Cards (Laura Jean Karr, Bright Hub, 11-16-10)
How to design a business card: 10 top tips (Sam Hampton-Smith, 8-31-16) Leaving a lasting impression.
14 Designers’ Business Cards + Tips for Designing Your Own (Amanda Aszman, How Design, 9-11-16)
7 Free Business Card Templates for Microsoft Word (Tricia Goss, Bright Hub, 12-23-10)
Cost of Printing Business Cards: Is It Really Cheaper to Make Your Own? (Linda Richter, Bright Hub, 2-21-11)

Business gifts. There's a $25 limit, says IRS, Publication #463

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Freelancing during COVID-19

Freelancing in the Time of Coronavirus (Stephanie Parker, The Open Notebook, 8-18-2020) Rebecca Renner, a freelance science journalist based in Florida, initially didn’t see opportunities when coronavirus began to dominate the news cycle, because she doesn’t cover infectious disease. But then she thought of a novel angle: how the experience of the pandemic was affecting dreams. Parker spoke with nearly 20 freelancers and editors to assemble this extensive list of tips, strategies and suggestions for writers working in a new normal.
Overview of Federal Reserve Lending and Liquidity Facilities (PDF, from office of Senator Chuck Schumer)
CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for Freelancers (Larry Goldbetter, NWU, 3-27-2020) The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes independent contractors/self-employed individuals eligible for up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits under some circumstances, through December 31, 2020. Guidance on applying for benefits.
Freelancers don't want Warren's 'cure' for the coronavirus crisis (JoBeth McDaniel, Washington Examiner, 5-14-2020) Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and other defenders of AB5 claim they were addressing the exploitation of workers who are misclassified as independent contractors and wrongly denied full wages and benefits. But with the "gig" sector as one of the few that's hiring in a historically troubled economy, and with demand skyrocketing for delivery, in particular, Congress should take a skeptical view of expanding California's disastrous approach nationally.
Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (National Employment Law Project) The CARES Act creates three new UI programs: Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Explained.
The historic $2 trillion CARES Act will be an economic lifeline for gig workers and freelancers (Elaine Pofeldt, CNBC.com,3-30-2020) The stimulus package also offers the self-employed and small business owners a $10,000 advance on an Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) that does not have to be paid back, even if the borrower does not qualify for an SBA loan. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/28/gig-economy-what-new-stimulus-package-means-freelancers/2934128001/
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Driving Huge Growth In Remote Freelance Work (Jon Younger, Forbes, 3-29-2020) Among many comments: “We are seeing early signs that highly skilled, very experienced, remote freelancers are still in demand and this may ramp up as companies start to come back online but still need to be agile and keep headcount low.”~ Rishon Blumberg, Cofounder of 10x Management and 10x Ascend
Coronavirus and a Freelancer’s Dilemma (Leah Sottile, Columbia Journalism Review, 3-23-2020) "I’m no health reporter. But unlike with wars or riots or mass shootings, there are no guidelines for covering COVID-19. What’s the size of the risk? Could a journalist, trying to be brave, contract a virus we don’t fully understand for the benefit of an outlet that isn’t going to pay a dime toward health insurance? Might some publications fail to pay entirely, if we’re staring down a recession?"
5 actions freelancers should take right now to protect against crises like COVID-19 (Oz Alon, co-founder and CEO of HoneyBook, CNBC, 3-17-2020)
A Freelancer's Guide to Managing Job Uncertainty During the Coronavirus Crisis (Giulia Pines, Money, 3-23-2020) "Sites like Behance, Upwork, and Fiverr list creative jobs that can mostly be done remotely, while TaskRabbit is more likely to advertise one-time gigs that need to be done in person."

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AB5 and Related Problems in the Gig Economy

AB5, the PRO Act, the ABC test,
and other threats to freelancers' and independent contractors' livelihood


"Listen to your elders, not because they're always right... but they have more experience being wrong."~Warrior Goddess Wisdom

• **** AB5 Horror Headlines Karen Anderson's superb rolling links (continuing collection) to a gazillion articles that document the destructive and disruptive effects of California's new AB5 law for many types of businesses and professionals, including freelance writers and editors.

     Under California's AB5, anyone providing labor or services for pay is considered an employee unless they pass all three components of the "ABC" test:

A: The person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of work and in reality.
B: The person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business.
C: The person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

      Workers have often been exploited by corporations, but as one writer explains, "This national rule is an attempt to impose on the entire country the horrific AB (Assembly Bill) 5 passed in a California a few years ago, written by a labor leader named Lorena Gonzalez. It has resulted in tens of thousands of independent contractors losing their work, from artists and musicians to many seniors who supplemented their Social Security with side gigs such as playing Santa Claus. There's especially been a crushing impact on the performing arts, the true impact of which was masked due to Covid closures." (Jackie Hyman, on Authors Guild forum) Scroll through the headlines to find articles related to your own situation.

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Freelancers Against AB5 Facebook group 

      One group of freelancers believed enough in freelance rights to sue the Department of Labor.  

What Do Anti-Freelancer Laws Mean for Independent Journalists? The Latest on Independent Contractor Issues (Debbie Abrams Kaplan and Wilson Freeman, YouTube video, 93 minutes, American Society of Journalists & Authors and Society of Professional Journalists,  94-minute video with transcript, 3-8-24) California's AB5, which uses the 'ABC Test' to determine freelancer status, has been detrimental to many freelancers. Similar language is used in a US Dept of Labor Rule (under the Fair Labor Standards Act) set to take effect in March. What does it mean for freelance journalists? What states are considering similar laws?
Before 2021, the Dept of Labor (DOL) provided informal guidance for worker classification, but mostly left it up to the courts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether someone was an employee or an independent contractor. The DOL first issued an independent contractor rule in 2021 under the Trump administration. That rule focused on two factors: control and opportunity for profit. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA is determined by looking at the economic realities of the worker's relationship with the employer. If the economic realities show that the worker is economically dependent on the employer for work, then the worker is an employee.

       'While the PRO Act is concerning, our biggest threat right now is DOL rulemaking that would effectively redefine independent contractors as employees. The newly introduced seven-factor test is very different from the existing rule, which was written by the last administration. This anticipated rulemaking will limit the choice for self-employment." 

     Under AB5 there were exceptions; under the DOL rule, there are no exceptions.  The potential penalties are going to chill employers.  Under the new rule (which goes into effect March 11, 2024, the DOL has accumulated a lot of power, which will end up reducing opportunities for independent contractors.

    Under the 2021 rules, Control and opportunity for profit (based on how well you do your work) were the basis for determining what was a safe harbor for using a freelancer. Under the new rule, it's hard to tell firms what is a safe harbor. 

     'One ray of sunshine is the introduction of House Resolution 72, a pro-independent contractor resolution to “recognize the contributions of independent workers and contractors to the American economy.” It’s a sort of shout-out from Congress that sets out to legitimize independent contracting as a way to work.'

     Minute 48: The Congressional Review Act is being spearheaded by Bill Cassidy of Louisiana in the Senate and Kevin Kylie of California in the House (one of freelancers' heroes in this fight), to overturn the Department of Labor attack on independent contractors. 

     Follow Freelancers USA on Facebook. There is also a group on Twitter.   WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THESE proposed RULES NOW? 

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•   We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified (Kim Kavin and Jen Singer, The Hill, 1-14-22)  "AB5 created zero new unions and precious few traditional jobs. Instead, most companies cut ties with California's independent contractors, damaging so many livelihoods that the state passed an emergency measure exempting more than 100 professions. The reverberations were indeed felt across the country in our home state of New Jersey, where a copycat bill died amid vocal outrage from independent contractors unwilling to endure the same fate. 

     "Unbelievably, the Biden administration has since doubled down on the president's promise to make AB5's anti-independent contractor language the basis of all labor, employment and tax law."

These new government contracting rules will put parents, caregivers, seniors out of work (Carrie Lukas, Fox News, 3-12-24) The legal distinctions aren’t clear, but what is clear is that the new Department of Labor regulations are meant to reduce the number of independent contractor relationships and push more people into working as traditional employees.
      "The new Department of Labor regulations require employers to consider six factors to determine who can be a contractor: the employer’s level of control over how the work is done; the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss; the level of skill required; how long the relationship will last; the worker’s investment in equipment or materials; and how integral the work is to the employer’s core business."

The Latest on Independent Contractor Issues (Debbie Abrams Kaplan, ASJA, 3-14-23) While the PRO Act is concerning, our biggest threat right now is the forthcoming DOL rulemaking which would effectively redefine independent contractors as employees. The newly introduced seven-factor test is very different from the existing rule, which was written by the last administration. To learn more or take action, join the Fight for Freelancers USA Facebook group.

Representative Kiley, Senator Cassidy Introduce CRA to Reverse Biden Regulation Limiting Independent Contractors Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA, in the House) introduced, with 54 cosponsors, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) independent contractor rule, which seeks to destroy the gig economy and jeopardizes the ability of 27 million Americans to work as independent contractors.

When Your Boss Is an App (Lauren Hilgers, NY Times Magazine, 4-13-23) 'Gig work has been silently taking over new industries, but not in the way many expected. Inside and outside the gig world, the century-old compact that has determined who is entitled to key protections is eroding....Whether they seem like “gigs” or not, countless varieties of jobs are sliding into the ecosystem of the gig — the world, broadly defined, of technology-enabled temporary employment — and steadily loosening the ties between workers and employers.'
The Truth About the Gig Economy (Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, Jan 2019) Uber and similar companies aren’t driving huge changes in the way that Americans make a living. “The gig economy was then and is now a more marginal phenomenon than it might have seemed.” "The gig economy isn’t taking over, but it has become a useful emblem of what it is like to work for a living in late-stage capitalism."

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California Assembly Bill 5 (2019) Wikipedia's clear history and explanation of the AB5 problem, with links to key documents.

Freelancers Against AB5 This Facebook group has followed the struggle.
What Is The ABC Test, And How Could It Harm Freelancers and Independent Contractors? (Kim Kavin, Entrepreneur, 6-21-21) Solopreneurs, franchise owners and small business owners who hire independent contractors have serious cause for concern.
Professions Harmed by AB5 (Freelancers Against AB5) Six hundred and counting.
California loves the arts. But its new gig law could decimate theater (Lily Janiak, Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 10-21-20) "Theaters will face a drastic increase in expenses — at least 30% of annual budgets, according to many estimates — when they reopen, as they must turn actors, stagehands, technicians, costume makers and musicians into employees to comply with California’s new gig-work law, AB5."

30 Entities Back Journalists Orgs In High Court AB 5 Fight (Irene Spezzamonte, Law360, 4-13-22) The case is American Society of Journalists and Authors Inc. et al. v. Bonta, case number 21-1172, in the U.S. Supreme Court. "California's Assembly Bill 5 misclassifies well-established freelancers as employees, affecting their financial freedom, a group of 30 organizations and companies told the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the justices to examine a Ninth Circuit ruling that the law doesn't affect freedom of speech.

     "A.B. 5 aimed at resolving workers' misclassification among gig workers or app-based jobs, but the group said "it is a common misperception" that most independent contractors work in those areas, as "millions of independent contractors have been legally earning income in hundreds of professions for years or decades prior to the creation of the app-based economy."

     Correction from JoBeth McDaniel of the American Society of Journalists and Authors: 'AB5 didn’t “codify” the Dynamex decision. AB5 actually expanded the CA Supreme Court’s narrow decision on wage orders to include all 600+ freelance occupations. Otherwise, journalists and other professionals would have been exempt from CA’s unusually restrictive ABC test because we aren’t subject to wage orders (mandatory lunch breaks, etc).
     'Also, this story fails to point out the reasons ASJA and NPPA sued: the restrictions are content-based, applying only to the press. AB5 bans freelancers from using video as a reporting tool for film, television, or theater, and creates other hiring restrictions only for media businesses and journalists.
     'A PR writer/photographer/artist is fully exempt. Only media businesses (print, web, TV, radio, podcasts, film) are subject to a list of restrictions when hiring freelancers who are engaged in reporting - and freelancers are 60 to 70% of CA journalists.'
Fight For Freelancers USA (Self-employed professionals fighting to remain our own bosses--a multi-state, multi-occupation coalition) The 1930s ABC test must not be codified into federal law. It is regressive, not progressive, and harms the majority of independent contractors who say they want to remain independent contractors.


Assembly Bill 5 harms hundreds of industries and professions (Sacramento Business Journal)
California’s AB5 Is Such A Mess, ‘Pandemic Pods’ Might Not Even Be Safe (Independent Women's Forum, 9-8-20)
California Contractor Misclassification Law Does Not Violate Free Speech An explanation of where things stand via the latest legal decisions on AB 5 and ASJA's arguments, from the Society of Human Resources Management. It's mostly lay language, so not hard to follow. This is follow-up to next item (from Daily Labor Report, Bloomberg)
California Freelancers Held to Worker Test, Ninth Circuit Says (2) (Daily Labor Report, Bloomberg Law, 10-6-21) A.B. 5 does have exceptions for freelancers, but those suing argued that a limit to the volume of worker-produced projects impairs their legal right to speak and publish. A trial court last year sided with the state and dismissed the freelance groups’ lawsuit. The state defended the law, arguing that the legislation regulated commercial conduct, not speech. JoBeth McDaniel (ASJA's First Amendment Committee): "Nothing has changed: it’s still against the law in CA for freelancers (60+% of journalists) to do any video reporting for television, and against the law for me (a freelance journalist) to step in for an ill/injured/pregnant media staffer. The state is aggressively enforcing this law with fines of $5000 to $25k per person, per incident." Here's the decision: The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association v. Rob Bonta, Attorney General of the State of California (6-11-21) The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to strike down part of a 2019 state law known as Assembly Bill 5, which codified the three-part test to determine employee status.

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PRO ACT and ABC Test: No One Knows What the Effects Will Be (Erik Sherman, Forbes, 3-24-21) As Jeremy Schatz of Virtus Law Group, a labor lawyer who represents employee plaintiffs suing employers in Alabama, put it, the ABC test in the PRO Act is a “massive conflict” with existing laws (not unusual for any new law that doesn’t try to address contradictions with existing statutes) and that anyone who says they know exactly what the implications are is “not being truthful.” See also How Democrats and Unions Plan to Wipe Out Independent Contractors (Sherman, Forbes, 4-5-21) and The PRO Act Is Becoming Labor’s Amateur Hour (Sherman, Forbes, 3-2-21) "Part B is the sink hole. If you are in the same line of business as a client, you must be an employee. That would hold true whether you’re an independent journalist writing for national media, a truck driver taking trailers hitched to your cab cross country, or a software engineer....There are times that companies do misclassify employees as independent contractors. The advantage to the company is avoiding benefits costs, payment of payroll taxes, and less regulatory work. In such cases, workers generally recognize the difference, don’t wish to be on their own, but are forced anyway. One of the most bitter examples are the many adjunct professors, people with PhDs, driving from one class and school to another, trying to piece together a living and often failing."
The PRO Act and the ABC Test (Authors Guild, 3-11-21)
Fight for Freelancers USA (Facebook group) A nonpartisan group of independent contractors and others who oppose the use of the ABC Test in federal law.
Freelancers, pandemic assistance and the PRO Act National Association of Science Writers on a couple of relief programs freelancers can access: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers loans that can go toward salary and certain expenditures, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA),unemployment benefits meant for self-employed people, contractors, and freelancers who have lost work due to the pandemic, including due to caregiving for children not in daycare or school. Plus this is a succinct full explanation of freelance writers' concern that the PRO Act as it is written could prevent freelance journalists from working independently and earning a living (especially prong 2 of the ABC test).

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Myths vs. Facts About AB5 (visual, Fight For Freelancers USA) Self-employed professionals fighting to remain our own bosses.
The Pro Act and the ABC Test (Karen Warren on Twitter)
California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees (Kate Conger and Noam Scheiber, NY Times, 9-11-19) California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29-to-11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. In California, the legislation will affect at least one million workers who have been on the receiving end of a decades-long trend of outsourcing and franchising work, making employer-worker relationships more arm’s-length. Many people have been pushed into contractor status with no access to basic protections like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Ride-hailing drivers, food-delivery couriers, janitors, nail salon workers, construction workers and franchise owners could now all be reclassified as employees. But the bill’s passage, which codifies and extends a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling, threatens gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft [which...] have built their businesses on inexpensive, independent labor....“Today the so-called gig companies present themselves as the innovative future of tomorrow, a future where companies don’t pay Social Security or Medicare,” said State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, a Democrat. “Let’s be clear: there is nothing innovative about underpaying someone for their labor.”
California’s new 35-story limit for freelancers (Tony Biasotti, Columbia Journalism Review, 9-24-19) When it became clear the bill would pass, Uber, Lyft, and Doordash pledged $90 million toward qualifying a ballot measure that would let them continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors....The core of the Dynamex decision, and of the new law, is a three-pronged “ABC test,” which is used to determine who is and isn’t a freelancer. The “B” prong, which presents the biggest issue for freelance journalism, states that employers can only contract out work that is “outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” A company in the business of journalism, then, could not hire freelancers to do journalism....As CJR reported in March, some publishers responded to the Dynamex ruling by cutting ties with freelancers based in California. The passage of Assembly Bill 5 offers some relief: freelance writers, editors, photographers and editorial cartoonists were given a partial carve-out, allowing publishers to hire them for up to 35 separate “content submissions” in a given year." [For many freelance journalists, this effectively eliminates certain steady markets, including freelance sports coverage.]
4-page summary of the PRO Act (U.S.Senate)
Protecting the Right to Organize, 2021, section by section Protecting the Right to OrganizeAct of 2021(H.R. 842)
FAQs, Myths & Facts About Anti-Independent Contractor Laws and the ABCs (American Society of Journalists & Authors)
---Federal legislation: The PRO Act (ASJA)
---State-level legislation (ASJA)
---How to advocate for your position.
---What is AB5? AB5, Explained
Do not assume that being an LLC protects you from AB5 laws. In California the EDD labor dept has gone after small businesses that hired only LLCs, and they’ve said in their AB5 info sessions that being an LLC "does not mean you will pass AB5’s outdated Depression-era ABC test." (H/T JBM)
What you need to know about freelancer legislation in 2020 (Carolyn Crist, Covering Health, AHCJ, 1-10-2020) "By now, you’ve likely heard about the independent contractor bills in several states that could derail how freelance writers do business in 2020. In California, for instance, where AB 5 took effect on Jan. 1, freelancers are already being blacklisted from certain publications, losing weekly columns and seeing reduced contract terms. Journalists in New Jersey (S4204/A5936) and New York (S6699A/A8721A) are pushing against similar legislation in their own states. The details shift quickly, so here’s the latest (and where to connect with others)...“We want to be fair to legitimate independent workers,” said one New Jersey Democrat. “But for the businesses that are gaming the system, we want to correct that.” See Twitter and Facebook tags for NJ and NY "Fight for Freelancers." See also a good Covering Health overview of the problem. “It’s critical right now that journalists understand this law,” said California freelancer Vanessa McGrady. “Even if you live somewhere else, this may be coming your way, too.”
AB 5 (An Overview) by Ivan Hoffman, an intellectual property lawyer.

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• From an Authors Guild discussion: According to writer/business owner Bob Zeidman, "when a percentage of contract workers don't pay their taxes, the state wants to go after one corporation rather than dozens or hundreds of individuals that cheated. It's easier to classify those people as employees and then force the corporation to pay their taxes. All of this creates huge risk for corporations to hire contractors."
California Freelance Writers United (a private Facebook group, where participants discuss how AB5 is actually affecting writers and in some cases editors, photographers, artists, translators and others in real life) H/T Jackie Hyman.
Publishers Brace for California Labor Law Changes (Jason Boog, Publishers Weekly, 12-17-19) 'AB5 also contains pages of exceptions, some of which could help publishers continue to classify some California creatives as independent contractors. According to the new law, the “ABC test” does not apply to “services provided by a freelance writer, editor, or newspaper cartoonist.” Instead, the employer must consider the number of “content submissions” the independent contractor makes each year. As long as the freelance writer or editor makes less than 35 “content submissions” a year, they can still be labeled an independent contractor. “I can't imagine a book editor doing more than 35 books a year for us,” said Maggie Langrick, publisher of LifeTree Media, when asked about this important exception to AB5’s new regulations. She serves on IBPA’s advocacy committee, helping other publishers navigate these new legal waters.'

     However, a sports writer covers far more than 35 sporting events a year, for example, and a food critic typically critiques more than 35 restaurant meals.
The Devastating Impact of AB5 on People with Disabilities and Their Families (Gutting the Gig Economy, 1-24-2020) Why a business to business exemption is not possible in a majority of cases, and is ableist and discriminatory.
Is AB5 closing the curtain on community theater? (Tamara Steiner, The Pioneer)
The Devastating Impact of AB5 on People with Disabilities and Their Families (Stacyey Biro, Gutting the Gig Economy, 1-24-2020)
California loves the arts. But its new gig law could decimate theater (Lily Janiak, Carolyn Said, SF Chronocle, 10-21-2020) Theaters will face a drastic increase in expenses when they reopen, as AB5 requires even small companies to turn actors, stagehands, technicians, costume makers and musicians into employees.

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Gig workers shouldn’t be forced into 20th-century work ideal (Amanda Edwards, Orlando Sentinel, 6-30-2020) "It’s up to gig workers like myself to continue speaking out against efforts to organize our industry. There are plenty of like-minded gig workers who don’t believe becoming full-time employees will change things for the better....[Gig work is] streamlined, convenient, and puts me in charge. And a lot of gig workers feel the same. So let’s stop applying 20th-century standards to a totally different generation of work."
Why Threatening The Gig Economy Means Threatening Working Mothers (Libby Emmons, The Federalist, 10-23-19) Somehow the California State Assembly managed to threaten free press, freelance writers, and working mothers — all with a single piece of legislation.
Include Nurse Practitioners in the exemption to AB5 (Change.org)
Freelancers start national group to oppose independent contractor legislation (Carolyn Crist, Covering Health, AHCJ, 2-14-2020) Spurred to action after the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act passed the House on Feb. 6, a group of freelance writers created a website, Twitter and Facebook group for Fight for Freelancers USA — and they want every type of independent contractor to join the fight. "Anybody who gets a 1099 should be in the group." Primarily, the group is focused on changing the language of the PRO Act to eliminate the ABC test used to determine employment status, especially since the ABC test in the national legislation pulls from the AB5 law in California, which has received negative feedback. Featured on the group’s website under the tab “IRS not ABC,” it says the ABC test is “20th-century thinking for 21st-century work.”...Many people still don’t know that it affects them, not only writers but also musicians, performers, management consultants, tech developers, therapists, translators, event and meeting planners, truckers, limousine drivers, real estate agents and photo/video/creative professionals....We need to reach beyond our writer colleagues — if legislators only hear from a portion of the 56 million Americans who work as independent contractors, they won’t be as concerned about it in the face of pro-union money."
AB5 gig work bill: All your questions answered (Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 9-16-19) An excellent explainer/Q&A. "AB5 codifies, clarifies and grants exemptions to a 2018 California Supreme Court decision called Dynamex. Both AB5 and Dynamex make it harder for companies to label workers as independent contractors. They use an “ABC” test [the Borello test, in effect before AB5 was enacted], which says workers are employees if (A) they perform tasks under a company’s control, (B) their work is integral to the company’s business and (C) they do not have independent enterprises in that trade. It takes effect Jan. 1....There are exceptions for photographers, photojournalists, freelance writers, editors or newspaper cartoonists who make 35 or fewer submissions a year, as well as for some types of business-to-business activities."

      Item B is the sticking point. If I write articles and the publication's business is publishing articles, my work is "integral to the company's business." Many freelance writers in California have lost major clients, who decide they cannot afford the huge fines that might ensue should they keep using the freelancers. The idea of the test is to protect employees from being screwed by being subjected to independent-contractor terms (no health insurance, no job security, no breaks during work hours, etc.), but some types of work are the bread and butter of independent contractors (essentially, small, often one-person, businesses), who work for many clients.

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Lawsuit filed 12-17-19 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) advocating for the rights of independent contractor (freelance) writers and visual journalists.
Is AB5 closing the curtain on community theater? (Tamara Steiner, Pioneers Publishers, 2-27-2020)
• Sign Language Interpreting and Realtime Captioning are decades-old industries that have a long history of freelance independent contractors who are in business for themselves and who provide these vital services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. These are not the workers that AB5 set out to protect from corporate abuse. These industries have a long history of freelancing and because the ABC test is more stringent than the Borello test, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities are very concerned. Converting providers into employee status may result in lower rates of pay, loss of independence & flexibility, loss of say over what hours they work and what jobs they work; essentially, the loss of the opportunity to “be their own boss.” Going against the preferred culture to make this change in status may lead to providers exiting the industry or even leaving the state of California to practice elsewhere--which would be disastrous to California's Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Industries like court reporters, captioners and sign language interpreters should have an exemption carved out for them, too.
AB5 could be death knell to printed daily newspapers (Tim Hunt, Palo Alto Online, 10-1-19)
Musicians and actors invented the gig. A new law threatens their way of working (Joshua Kosman and Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 12-22-19)
California freelancers are losing work, but they’re wrong to blame the gig economy law (Michael Hiltzik, business columnist, LA Times, 12-19-19) A contrarian view by a staff journalist who clearly doesn't "get" freelancer interests (or consider them legitimate).
Freelance Journalists Sue California Ahead of Gig Worker Law (Katie Kilkenny, Hollywood Reporter, 12-17-19) ASJA and the National Press Photographers Association are suing California (in federal court in Los Angeles) on independent journalists' behalf before the law takes effect.The aim is to stop the gig economy law AB-5 from changing the livelihoods of independent journalists, including writers and photographers. The plaintiffs argue that AB-5 contains "unfair exemptions and carveouts that disfavor freelance journalists" in contrast to other communications professions. Freelance journalists are capped at 35 "submissions" per "putative employer" per year before they must become a part-time or full-time worker. "Under the law, a freelancer like me can write 200-plus press releases in a year for a marketing firm, and it’s no problem," said Randy Dotinga. "But if a newspaper wants me to write a weekly column about local politics, it must put me on staff — a very unlikely prospect — or violate the law."
Laws to protect Uber drivers could put freelance journalists out of business (Kim Kavin, Washington Post, 12-11-19) Not every independent contractor is in danger of exploitation.
California Wanted to Protect Uber Drivers. Now It May Hurt Freelancers. (Nellie Bowles and Noam Scheiber, NY Times, 12-31-19)   

'The law has a host of so-called carve-outs...But complexities cropped up quickly. For example, marketers and grant writers were exempted, but journalists were not.  So a weekly columnist for a newspaper must now be considered an employee, since under the new law a freelance writer can publish only 35 so-called submissions a year with a publication. (A video and a text article on the same event would count as one.) The intention was to require newspapers to put these workers on staff. The result in some cases has been layoffs. "Everyone's scared in California," Ms. Rivera said. "Who's going to hire me as an employee for three assignments a month?"'

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Vox Media to cut hundreds of freelance jobs ahead of changes in California gig economy laws (Ari Levy and Alex Sherman, CNBC, 12-16-19)
California Just Delivered a Death Blow to Freelance Writers Like Me (Ocean Malandra, Medium, 12-11-19)
Why Threatening the Gig Economy Means Threatening Working Mothers (Libby Emmons, The Federalist, 10-23-19)
Stop NJ S4204/A5936 (Fight for Freelancers) Meet Some of the Real People Whose Livelihoods Are at Stake.(Brief profiles.)
•  Just who is an independent contractor? (Lisa Renner, Capitol Weekly ("Covering California government and politics"), 9-17-18) 'The ruling on Dynamex Operations West Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles provides a new three-part “ABC” test to determine who can be an independent contractor.' "The ruling says that the worker must (A) be free from control and direction from the hiring business, (B) must perform work outside the scope of the hiring entity’s usual business and (C) the worker must have an independent business of the same nature of work (demonstrated by taking out a business license or marketing services, etc.). The biggest change is Part B, which was never included under previous law."
Authors for Hire: What the New California Labor Law Means for Freelance Writers & Journalists (Authors Guild) "After several months of meetings and negotiations with Assemblywoman Gonzalez and others, the coalition convinced lawmakers to carve out a partial exemption for writers, editors, journalists, and photographers. This exemption allows business and nonprofit entities to hire freelance “creators” to provide content submissions up to 35 times a year. The coalition persuaded legislators to expand the definition of “content submission” so groups of articles or photos count as one submission in certain situations, such as coverage of an event or specific topic. For example, if you take 100 photos about the impact a hurricane has on a community for a news site or write a 15 blog posts for a client about “novels written by first-generation Americans,” those count as a single submission towards the annual cap of 35. While we were hoping to secure a blanket exemption like other freelance professionals such as marketers, accountants or lawyers have, we believe this is the best deal we could secure at this time." Whats next? New York State, home to a vast number of “gig workers,” is considering similar legislation.
Work Made for Hire Agreements Under California Law (Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D.) This situation may apply to you no matter where you are located.
AB5 (Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D.) Important read for those who think CA AB5 doesn’t apply to them.
How a Gig Worker Revolt Begins (Nathaniel Popper, NY Times,11-19-19) Rev was just a small start-up offering online transcriptions. Now it’s the latest symbol of a gig-economy company whose workers are fed up.
Net 90 payment is a policy that freelancers can’t afford (Jocelyn Brady, Freelancers Union, 9-26-19) Why does big business get 90 days to pay its bills to freelancers?
‘This could ruin us’: A class-action suit imperils California freelancers (Sarah Feldberg, CJR, 3-15-19) 'Exemptions to the wage orders—and therefore Dynamex—already exist, granted to some “professionals” such as doctors and architects and “creatives” such as artists. Writers fall into a sort of gray zone—not explicitly exempt and not explicitly subject....the NWU is working on specific language that would protect independent writers who are truly independent....The most coveted freelance gigs—recurring columns or features that journalists can count on month after month—seem especially vulnerable.

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Freelancers: California Writers & Journalists Losing Work Due to New Court Ruling (Authors Guild, Industry News, 12-13-18) "Writers and journalists may be losing out on work as a result of an April 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that restricts who can be declared a freelancer. While the ruling in Dynamex Operations West Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles was intended to prevent employers from reclassifying certain types of workers as contractors as a way to avoid providing them with the same benefits and opportunities as full-time workers, the ruling has had unintended negative consequences for those workers who are and wish to have the option to remain independent contractors.... [Randy] Dotinga and other journalists and organizations are joining forces to lobby the new California state legislature to clarify the rules so that legitimate freelance journalists can continue to work as freelancers and not lose work due to publications’ fears that they will have to treat all journalists as employees and provide employee benefits and pay employment taxes."
5 Common Struggles You Will Face In The Gig Economy (Abdullahi Muhammed, Forbes, 10-7-18) Three of them: Employment legislation is murky. Competition and oversupply of services is rising. Payment issues are rather common.
What do you think are the most pertinent policy issues related to the gig economy? (Labor and Employment Issues in the Gig Economy: Q&A with Professor Paul Oyer, Analysis Group, April 2017) Scroll down for this Q&A item. "The gig economy portion of the independent workforce is relatively new and has been developing quickly. As such, new policy issues are presenting themselves, and we don’t really know which will be the most important and problematic. I can see three key issues, at a minimum: 1) potential exploitation of workers, 2) benefits (specifically, the degree to which they should be mandated or be portable), and 3) legal classification of workers."


Let me know of new and useful articles on this topic!

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How Much to Charge?
for various functions and for various types of product

What can a writer or editor expect? Proofreader? Designer? Ghostwriter? Copywriter? Resume writer? Video producer? Some of the following articles report ranges of fees reported in various genres, at various levels of expertise or complexity; some are articles on how to set rates. Some freelancers distinguish between a business model ("This is how much I charge") and a contractor model ("This is how much I pay").

Expectations vary by market Except for celebrity chefs, fees for food writing are typically very low, because food writers are often writing on the side, out of a love for cooking (or eating). I was particularly willing to take low fees for food writing and restaurant reviews when I was a young mother; later it felt more like a lightly subsidized hobby. Academic clients tend to pay very little, operating on tight budgets with academic writers with low expectation$. (On an academic book, authors sometimes actually end up providing a "subvention" for various production costs--because the publication is a credential they need to advance as a teacher.) Literary journals reward authors with copies of the journal. Silicon Valley won't blink at a rate of $100 and more an hour and may question the ability of someone charging less. Some government agencies are impressed by high fees but can't always pay them and may ask you to bill more hours at lower hourly rates.

        Writers get paid better than editors who get paid better than proofreaders--that's the pecking order on skill levels. Most editors in NY book publishing are paid relatively poorly; technical writers and editors are paid very well. Editors in Washington DC are paid far better than an editor in book publishing will be. Their editing may not be as much fun or satisfying as editing "creative" writing, but there is steadier work.     

       Fees vary by region, by genre, by type of publisher, by commercial vs. government vs technical, etc., and by level of skill and experience. If the venue accepts advertising, find out what they get paid per advertising page, and that's sometimes, though not always, a clue as to how well they pay their writers.

       And keep in mind that for certain clients and certain types of material (such as one-time publications or a batch of captions), a project fee is likely to be more acceptable so the client doesn't have the anxiety of imagining the meter running--and the faster you are, the greater your hourly rate, which is never specified.

       As for "estimated cost," this is something a savvy writer/editor may hesitate to offer, particularly on sizeable projects, as it's difficult to predict how long some projects will take -- especially if they depend on information or stories not yet gathered. If you must, make the estimate tentative, based on how complex, problematic, or time-consuming a project turns out to be--to be revised as the project unfolds. Or, if a client can only afford so much, set a monthly budget, work to that number, then stop for the month.

A STANDARD PAGE IS 250 WORDS. See how many words your document contains (there is software to calculate that), divide that by 250, and you'll have your page count. (Clients: You don't save money by squeezing a lot of tiny print on a page and tiny print is hard to work with!)
Be warned: many fees --especially for consumer magazines, the ones people buy at the supermarket -- are far lower today than they were even recently. Scroll down to three articles toward the very end of this list of great links for a depressing exchange between Nate Thayer and Alexis Madrigal

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Common pay rates and ranges for writers and editors

"Cost. Quality. Speed. Pick any two."
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Not surprisingly, several articles bear titles like:
How Much Should I Charge for My Freelance Services? (Lifehacker)
Who Pays Writers? An anonymous, crowd-sourced list of which publications and websites pay freelance writers—and how much. Click on the name of a journal along left side and learn reported rates paid. Here's Twitter thread. "It's not that writers should never work for free--it's that they should not donate their labor to unfair bosses."~ Susie Cagle
Freelance Market Guide (Association of Health Care Journalists)
Common editorial rates (Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), with "typical pace, per page". Many entries.
Freelance writing status (We Are Indy)
• Why not to pattern your rates on the EFA survey (besides that it's on the low side) The Quest for Rate Charts (Rich Adin, An American Editor 4-6-15).
ContractRates, fyi Crowdsourcing rate data for freelancers, consultants, and any other type of self-identified contractual workers.
41 high paying freelance writing niches (Peak Freelance.com) I remember with gratitude (when I was writing food articles) learning about some of these much-better-paying markets. Check this out and broaden your base.
Freelance Market Guide (Freelance Center, Association of Health Care Journalists) This page alone makes the dues for belonging to AHCJ worth joining, if you qualify.
How (and how much) do ghostwriters charge? A separate section on this website, under Book collaboration and ghostwriting.
Get Freelance Writing Rates (Allena Tapia, The Balance, 11-20-17) Range of rates per type of project, by project, by hour, and by page, plus upcharges and down payments.
Forget per-word rates (Kelly James-Enger, Dollars and Deadlines, 5-21-10), by the author of Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets
Rates Database (The Freelance Creative)
Freelance Writers: How to Set Your Hourly Rate (Jack El-Hai, Medium, 2-4-19) Determine your hourly fees based on how much yearly income you want. You do not have to disclose your hourly rate to clients "unless you are invoicing them on a per-hour basis. Instead, use the hourly rate to figure out fees for entire projects — multiply the expected number of hours by the hourly rate to get a project fee that you can propose to the client. In addition, you can measure fees that clients offer against the hours required to see if your hourly fee is met."
How Much Should I Charge? (Lynn Wasnak, Writers Market, PDF of easy-to-read chart, based on summary of 2005-2006 fees). See also How Much Should I Charge? (Lynn, for NJ Creatives Network)
Are journalists finally being paid what they’re worth? (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, 1-13-22) The rise of both the Creator Economy and content marketing is driving up demand for talented writers.
Against Editors (Hamilton Nolan, Gawker, 8-18-14) "The number of pure writing positions that offer salaries as high as top editing positions is vanishingly small. Most well-paid writers are celebrities in the writing world. That is how few of them there are....It is impossible to count how many great writers have made the dutiful step up the career ladder to become an editor and forsaken years of great stories that could have been written had they remained writers. Journalism's two-step career path is a tragedy, because it robs the world of many talented writers, who spend the latter half of their careers in the conceptual muddle of various editing positions."
Insider editor Nicholas Carlson makes $600,000 in salary and received a $600,000 bonus. (Tarpley Hitt, Gawker, 3-15-22) A spreadsheet leaked to Gawker listed the salaries of its entire editorial staff.
Insider is launching a series that demystifies people's salaries, and we need your help (Chris Weller, Business Insider, 1-25-22) The series, "Salary Journeys," demystifies pay and compensation, with anonymous submissions from people who wish to share their salary history. The goal: to create more transparency as taboos around pay break down. Sidebar: Employees across industries and salary levels reveal how much they've made over their careers "Salary Journeys" reveals what people have made over the course of their careers--from the administrative assistant making $16.50 an hour who's "never been happier" to the software engineer making $183,000 who feels frustratingly underpaid.

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It Costs That Much Cause It Takes Me F*cking Hours #2 (Viral TikTok 2021) One short video after another demonstrates how long and how many stages of production it takes to produce various pieces.
How a Gig Worker Revolt Begins (Nathaniel Popper, NY Times,11-19-19) Rev was just a small start-up offering online transcriptions. Now it’s the latest symbol of a gig-economy company whose workers earning $4.50 an hour are fed up at getting 30 cents from each $1 a client pays.
A dirty secret: you can only be a writer if you can afford it (Lynn Steger Sgtrong, 2-27-2020) Two in five: our new series about the disappearance of the US middle class. There is nothing more sustaining to long-term creative work than time and space – and these things cost money.
Rate Tracker's freelance rates (Australia) Download the latest freelance rates being paid around Australia, based on numbers provided by members of Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance. MEAA Media is the largest, most established union and industry advocate for Australia’s creative professionals.
What Is Science Journalism Worth? Part I (Kendall Powell, The Open Notebook, 1-20-15) Thoughtful piece on how the online universe is bringing down prices and time allotted for writing a piece of science journalism. The $$ realities of being a science journalist.
How much are words worth? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney calculates "how many feature stories the top magazines in America assign every year, and how much they typically pay their writers for the assignments. The list was only going to be for the top publications in America–the ones that pay between $1.50-$5 per word and that comprise the top tier of journalism." He compares the amount writers earn for feature stories with what they take in in advertising and becomes "deeply sick in how little writers’ work is actually valued by the industry....Now consider that the December issue of Wired alone brought in $7.5 million even after a steep advertiser discount. One issue of one magazine still can cover almost the entire cost of all features in America in a given year."
Freelancers resist precarity by sharing rates and organizing (Elizabeth King, Columbia Journalism Review, 2-25-2020) For many workers, openness about pay has helped to make conditions more equitable. Still, they fear retribution. "Rate sharing is a popular practice in Study Hall, founded in 2015 by journalist Enav Moskowitz and writer Kyle Chayka. Study Hall keeps a member-updated database of editors’ contact information and rates writers were paid at various outlets. Members of the organization also share their rates on a one-off basis in the group’s listserv and Slack...Even in non-unionized workplaces, employees are legally protected if they want to discuss their pay with colleagues. Nevertheless, they are often discouraged from doing so, and so sharing rates is still considered risky or taboo."
Scott Carney crowdsources what major magazines pay per word (Click on "I'm throwing the database online" to call up a Google doc with the rates per word paid by major magazines and newspapers, reported through crowdsourcing.)
The Paid Publishing Guidebook (give Jacob Jans your email address and download this free broad-ranging guide to 1500+ publishers who pay freelancers--strange to me only because in implying that being paid for your writing is unusual).

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Why I don't care what I make per-word (Kelly James-Enger, Dollars and Deadlines, 5-21-10) Her most popular blog post ever, updated 8-1-13)
Don't Be the Cheapest, Be the Best (Mike Templeton, Entrepreneur, 1-30-15) Mext time you’re considering how to price your product or service, instead of sweating the pennies, look at how you can charge MORE by offering a better quality experience for your customer. You’ll be shocked at how much less stress is involved with pricing up instead of pricing down.
How much should I charge? By the hour or by the project? (Allena Tapia, About.com) There is also "per diem."
The Business of Editing: Fee Negotiations (Part I) (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 10-14-24). Know your required effective hourly rate (EHR), your churn rate, and your workweek parameters. Part II What is a "page," the project's size, size and schedule, difference between editing weekdays and holidays/weekends, etc. And Part III, Calculating the Price.
Infographic: How to Calculate Your Freelance Hourly Rate (Ryan Robinson, Creative Live blog, 1-30-16)
Who Pays Writers?. Manjula Martin created this site for freelancers to report rates paid out of frustration with the lack of pay transparency. See What is lost when contracts bar freelancers from discussing pay? (Adina Solomon, Columbia Journalism Review, 10-29-18) Solomon writes: "In the past decade, Martin has seen a rise in media companies asking freelancers to permanently relinquish the potentially profitable copyright of their work. Asking to not discuss aspects of contracts, especially money, feels like the next step." Read your contracts closely and push back.
How Much Money Do Authors Make? (Chux Dezman, Byliner, 3-1-21) And what does 'how much an author is paid' depend on?
Writing a Book? Here's How Authors Make Money (DIY Marketers) Some useful insights, with special section for self-published authors.
The Creative Group's 2015 Salary Guide ("Moolah Palooza," salary data by job title and location--very helpful for the big picture)
Salary Database (free to members of Society for Technical Communication; charge to nonmembers). Back up your bids for contract jobs with NAICS codes, geographical market information, and BLS Occupational Employment Statistics.
Salary Survey 2014 (Chris Daniels, PR Week, 3-1-14). Story about the results: The Surprising Gender Wage Gap in PR (Wendy Marx, Fast Company, 12-23-14). "...the PR profession skews heavily female, men make significantly more money and hold the majority of the seats of power in the largest agencies."
Ilise Benun Reveals a 3-Tier Pricing Strategy That Works Like Crazy, part of Ed Gandia's series of training podcasts, for his International Freelancers Academy

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I’m a newbie proofreader – should I charge a lower fee? (Louise Harnby, 8-12-14). Includes recent examples of her hourly proofreading hours, in British pounds (a currency converter values the pound at $1.609 in Sept. 2014)
Freelance Fees Guide (National Union of Journalists, primarily for freelance NUJ members working for UK publishers and other media outlets, archived fees, 7-19-22)
Guidance on rates and fees (Society of Authors, UK). This useful British site also provides guidance on permissions fees (for use of extracts, suggested permissions fees for Literary Estates), plus fees for teaching, speaking fees for appearances at festivals, and fees for translation, broadcasting (BBC fees), and indexing, among other things.
Ask Your Coworkers What They Make. You’ll Earn More. (Nick Cassella, Civic SkunkWorks, 3-13-18) Lack of wage transparency is a real factor in suppressing American wages."When unions represented the majority of American workers, there was greater “familiarity with the distribution of wages in a given market.” In turn, this put “workers in a stronger position during negotiations”—which could help explain why wage growth was stronger when more people belonged to a union....Benjamin Harris of Northwestern University has compiled a report enumerating five remedies to improving wage transparency....Alas, Republicans have blocked legislation that aims to provide workers with more information on compensation. They have filibustered and condemned the Paycheck Fairness Act—a labor law that, among other provisions, would punish “employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information.”
UK Freelance Ready Reckoner (Andrew Bibby) Compares freelance daily rates in pounds to full-time salaries
Suggested Minimum Rates, UK) (Society for Editors and Proofreaders. London) A starting point for negotiations.
BiblioCrunch's pricing guidelines (on the low side)
Freelance Fee Setting: Quick Guide for When a Client Demands a Price NOW (Kindle edition, 2012) by Laurie Lewis, author of What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants (see below)
Why should I bother using an editor, and how much would it cost? (Judith Broadhurst, The unexpected benefits of hiring a professional editor, Polished Prose)
Freelance rates database (Contently, rates reported for journalism and for photography). Pathetically low rates, far lower than experienced journalists have been paid in the past. Let's hope these reported rates do not reflect reality.
Tip of the Week: What a Copyeditor Earns (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 3-13-12). Includes rates for Content Development & Management, 2012, copyediting rates, 2012.
How much editors charge, and how to calculate that (Links on Writers & Editors site)
Tip of the Week: More Copyeditor Earn Rates(Brenner, Copyediting, 3-20-12). Discusses rates in England, Ireland, and Canada.
Common editorial rates (Editorial Freelancers Association) and typical pace, per page. Rates are on the low side, reflecting the low rates book publishing traditionally pays--now more than ever.
Suggested minimum freelance rates (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, UK)
Rate and Guidelines (UK) (The Society of Authors). Spells out common rates for author appearances (at schools, libraries, colleges and festivals); sources for freelance writing, editing, and proofreading rates; Translation rates; Broadcasting rates; Indexing rates; and Arts Council England on How to pay artists. Many useful links.

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Freelance Fees Guide (National Union of Journalists, UK) Rich in numbers.
Rewards and Drawbacks of Editing ($ section of So You Want to Be an Editor, Editors Association of Canada)
Common rates reported in Bay Areas Editors' Forum (2005) (PDF, summary of results from 2005 member survey of rates and types of work done)
Fees for indexing: guidelines for clients (Society of Indexers, UK)
FAQs about Indexing (American Society for Indexing) See 7. How much are indexers paid? 8. How do indexers price their services? and 9. What kind of annual income can I expect from indexing? to see the price from the indexer's viewpoint.
Freelance Fees Guide (National Union of Journalists, UK)
How to Charge: By the Project, by the Hour, or by the Word or Page? (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit, 1-24-11)
Tips for Putting a Price on Your Work (Alina Tugend, New York Times, 1-27-12)
Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines (13th edition, free when you join the Guild
How to calculate your effective hourly rate, or EHR (American Editor, 10-6-10 )
Cost of doing business calculator (National Press Photographers Association, The Voice of Visual Journalists). Be realistic about costs you have to cover.
Pricing guides for photography (various, American Society of Media Photographers). See also ASMP's licensing guide
How to Set Rates FAQ (HTML Writers Guild, but principles applicable to all entrepreneurs). See also, from the same group: Discussing prices (HTML Writers' Guild FAQ, explaining the organization's rules against discussing prices online, in view of federal regulations against price-fixing
The Designer's Guide To Marketing And Pricing: How To Win Clients And What To Charge Them by Ilise Benun and Peleq Top

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Freelance Forecast 2011 (PDF, survey of freelancers of various types, Boomvang Creative Group). Interesting infographics showing % responses to various types of survey question. Word of mouth and referrals was far and away the chief source of new business
The Freelancery. Walt Kania offers excellent advice on strategies for pricing, billing, and generally making more money as a freelancer, and you can download a collection of 50 of his best pieces in this PDF: The Freelancery Book. One of my favorites is "How to talk money, painlessly" (p. 107)
How Much to Charge (Paul Lima, Chapter 38 from Everything You Wanted to Know About Freelance Writing)
Just how do you price corporate writing/editing (or training) work? (Paul Lima, Everything You Wanted to Know About Freelance Writing, 7-5-08)
Triangulate your rate before you quote (Paul Lima, 4-13-12). You need an hourly rate, a per page rate, and a per word rate to triangulate.
How to price a corporate writing/editing job (vs. periodical work) (Paul Lima, 1-19-08). Paul provides a useful chart for calculating time on various stages of a project.
• Retainers? This Writer’s Clients Give Him a Check Every Month (Tim Lewis guest post on Peter Bowerman's Well-Fed Writer blog, 6-30-11). Retainers – essentially a guaranteed monthly income from a commercial writing client – can benefit both writer and client.

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New Publisher Authors Trust: Themselves (Leslie Kaufman, NY Times, 4-16-13). Taking advantage of a new service offered by his literary agency, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet will self-publish his next book. Publishers don't deliver the marketing they promise, and money is also an issue. "While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties — the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books — after the advance is earned back in sales."
The Real Costs of Self-Publishing a Book (Miral Satter, Media Shift, 5-15-13) Miral (of BiblioCrunch) gives the once-over-lightly breakdown for various components, from developmental and copy editing to cover design, formatting and digital conversion (for ebooks), getting an ISBN, distribution, printing, etc.
Realistic Budgeting for Documentaries (David L. Brown via Tony Levelle)

Services and fees at Story Circle Editorial Circle (affiliated with Story Circle Network, by, for, and about women)
Freelance Fees Guide (National Union of Journalists, UK) For example, Words, per 1000 / news
SfEP suggested minimum freelance rates (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, UK)
How to find and price medical writing jobs (Norman Baumann, 1999)
Thinking About Money: What Freelancers Need to Understand. How to calculate your effective hourly rate, or EHR (American Editor, 10-6-10)
How to Set Your Copywriting Fees and Earn What You’re Worth (Dean Rieck, Men With Pens). Many comments!
What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants, interview with Laurie Lewis for National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants (Barbara L. Jones's notes on Laurie Lewis's book,AMWA Mid-Atlantic Region)
Select Results of the 2015 AMWA Salary Survey (PDF)
Results of 2011 salary survey, American Medical Writers Association (PDF, Susan Bairnsfather, AMWA). Interesting analysis of results.
• See fuller list of entries at How Much to Charge? for various functions and for various types of product (Freelancing and contract work, Writers and Editors)

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Folio's 2013 Editorial Salary Survey (Michael Rondon, Folio, 12-20-13) Age, experience and education are increasingly less indicative of pay levels for magazine editors, in this survey at three major job levels—editorial director/editor-in-chief, editor/executive editor and managing/senior editor—in three magazine industry segments: b-to-b, consumer and association
Folio's Five-Year Editorial Salary (infographic for salaries for 2008-2012, for top three editorial management levels, at consumer magazines, business-to-business magazines, and association magazines--just to give you a sense of the markets)
What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants by Laurie Lewis (a book about pricing as part of a career strategy, not just a job strategy--solid practical advice and templates)
Go Ahead, Raise Your Business's Prices (Jason Fried, Inc., 11-1-10). "Sure, some customers will complain, and others might take their business elsewhere. But there’s a good chance you don’t want those kinds of customers, anyway."
Freelance Writer Rates: Who Pays the Most Online? Paul Tullis, TravelersNotebook, on Matador Notebook). Freelancers’ newsgroup polls members; range is $0.03 to $2.00 per word, for travel writing. The links to publications go to the "writer's guideline" pages.

Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians . Read chapters 9 (Structuring a Business) and 10 (Set Realistic Fees)
Avoid Pricing and Discounting Mistakes (Karyn Greenstreet, Self-Employed Success)
Pricing strategies and cost factors (Encyclopedia of Business)
Should you post your fees? Publish your pricing? Hit yourself with a stick? (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, 3-22-12). See response from American Editor: The Business of Editing: To Post or Not to Post Your Fee Schedule?
How Much Should You Pay a Personal Historian? (Dan Curtis, 7-8-09)
Seth Godin's pricing formula (S&S). Substitute & Story. Is there no good substitute for your product? Does your price tell a story?
Pricing Strategies for Resume Writers (Resume Writers' Digest, which has no accent on final e)
What to say to your low-balling clients (Laura Spencer, FreelanceFolder)
Why should writers work for no pay? Contributors to the Huffington Post have begun to chafe at its no-pay policy. They could take a lesson from stand-up comedians who faced a similar insult in the 1970s. (Michael Walker, OpEd, Los Angeles Times, 4-1-11)
Should I work for free? (Jessica Hische's amusing and realistic chart)
When to work for nothing (Michelle Goodman, New York Times, Shifting Careers, 11-9-08)
Proposals and bids: Put the price on page one. In bold. (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, 3-27-12, p. 127)
The Business of Editing: Best Price “Bids” (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 10-12-12)
Per diem rates, U.S. Department of State. If you're estimating travel costs abroad, these might help.The foreign travel per diem allowances (which vary by country and within a country) provide for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses when an employee is on temporary duty overseas.
Benchmarks for Estimating Editing Speed by David W. McClintock (originally published in Corrigo: Newsletter of the STC's Technical Editing SIG (June 2002), pp. 1, 3.
How long does editing take? (Jean Weber Hollis, Technical Editors' Eyre: Resources for technical editors)
Value Added: Mom taught daughter how to pursue success (Thomas Heath, Wash Post, 9-1-13). To get her first technical writing job, Pam Hurley called and called and called. Finally she got a gig teaching employees how to get to the point. Her fee went from $500 a day to $2000 and then up from there (for teaching critical thinking).
How much can you earn? Really. (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, 4-2-12).
Why Low Self-Worth Drives Lower Wages for Women Freelancers — and What You Can Do About It (Dianna Huff, for International Freelancers Academy
2012 Freelance Industry Report (rates paid for various skills, broken down in various categories--a helpful survey)
The Best-Paid Moonlighting Jobs in America (Kimberly Palmer, U.S. News & World Report, 8-23-12)
The PW Publishing Industry Salary Survey 2023 (Publishers Weekly)
Female Editors-in-Chief Make $15,000 Less Than Men (Alexander Abad-Santos), Stat of the Day, The Atlantic Wire, 9-26-12)
• How much to expect in a book advance. One of the best sources for recent book deals is Publishers Marketplace, a subscription website that tracks book deals (by $$ size), with agents listed and a wealth of information, including a contact database, hosted web pages, a rights and proposals board, a book review index, a book tracker. Publishers Marketplace publishes Publishers Lunch, a free sampler of the more comprehensive Publishers Lunch Deluxe ($20 a month), which keeps you up to date on recent deals.
Authors' incomes collapse to 'abject' levels (Alison Flood, The Guardian, 7-8-14) ALCS survey finds median annual earnings for professional writers have fallen to £11,000, 29% down since 2005

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Who Pays Writers? We Asked the Editors (Jane Friedman & Manjula Martin, Scratch magazine, talk with Nicole Cliffe, Dan Kois, Alexis Madrigal) "What do web editors actually do? How do they set writers’ fees? What are they looking for in a pitch and an editorial relationship? Scratch invited web editors from Slate, The Atlantic, and The Toast to talk openly about fees, pitching, and other controversial issues in online journalism (including how to pronounce 'gif')."
Scratch, a digital magazine for writers, about Writing + money + life. (Subscription $20 and worth it.)
Writers talk about money
Contract terms (especially but not only in book publishing)
Council for Advancement and Support of Education on compensation. Summaries of CASE statements etc. about pay levels contains fascinating nuggets. For example: There is high turnover in fundraisers and women earn less than men at the job.
"A new study finds that "agreeable" workers are paid significantly lower salaries than "less agreeable" ones. And yet many managers say they don’t reward bad behavior."
Interesting summaries; you must pay to get the articles and reports.

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 (Global Editor of the Atlantic Magazine asks Nate Thayer to write a story, for $zero. Hello??? Nate Thayer responds.)
A Day in the Life of a Digital Editor, 2013 (Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, responds to Nate Thayer. "The biz ain't what it used to be, but then again, for most people, it never really was."
When People Write for Free, Who Pays? (Cord Jefferson, Gawker, 3-8-13)

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How much and how do ghostwriters charge

Most of the ghostwriters and collaborators I know go for more upfront money and charge more for no byline. Some of them charge an hourly fee for the research, which can eat up a great deal of time, and then a flat fee for the writing. Authors (the ones with content to be shaped into a book) often think the writers (the ones who will actually get the book written) will be willing to write a whole book for their share of income. Most professional writers know that there are rarely many royalties beyond the publisher's advance and many authors are willing to pay a writer's fee higher than the publisher's advance--because for many authors, the income is not the most important goal. (This is particularly true in this era of falling advances.) Indeed, for many "authors" of nonfiction books, in particular, the book is a credential and the ghostwriter is a business expense--the real money will be made from the business (or speaking fees, especially for motivational speakers) that come because of the book. For a book that is self-published (an increasingly common practice), of course, there is no standard and trustable way to share "royalties" and ghosting a book may be part of a bigger package: both writing the book and handling production (particularly with memoirs and family histories--or the increasingly common personal history).
Ghostwriter (Wikipedia--see section on Remuneration and Credits, credits being a factor in pricing on collaborations).
How to Be a Successful Ghostwriter by Kelly James-Enger (Writer's Digest, 2011). See also her book: Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More by Kelly James-Enger
• See Claudia Suzanne's frank and thorough textbook Secrets of a Ghostwriter: The Only Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Ghostwriting Theory, Skills, and Politics. She also offers occasional workshops on ghostwriting.
Expensive, Affordable, and Cheap Ghostwriters
Ghostwriting Prices (Writers for Hire, with fee range on the low side--the ghostwriters of bestsellers are paid more than that)
Four Ways to Compensate a Book Ghostwriter (ghostwriter for hire, byline discount, revenue share, or business partner -- Helen Kaiao Chang, Ghostwriter Needed)
How to Be a Successful Ghostwriter (Kelly James-Enger, Writer's Digest, 6-7-11). Covers typical ghosting fees and terms to cover in your collaboration agreement.
• A ghostwriter who offers all-day workshops on ghostwriting in Southern California (and I'm not talking about Claudia Suzanne) says in his promotional material that the typical ghostwriting fee for a short business book starts at $25,000 to $45,000; for a memoir begins at $45,000 and runs to well over $100,000; and for a ghostwritten novel is from $65,000 to $100,000. See section on Book collaboration and ghostwriting.
What Should I Charge to Ghostwrite a Book? (Brian A. Klems, Writer's Digest, 6-10-08). Klems writes: “As-told-to” ghostwriting often nets you less money per hour because you get other benefits—such as a byline, an advance and a split of the royalties (up to 50 percent). But if you’re willing to skip the byline and future earnings, you can act as a work-for-hire ghostwriter and charge more on the front end." (Correction about work-for-hire: Under copyright law, not all types of work by independent contractors will qualify. The work must be "specially ordered or commissioned" as
• a contribution to a collective work,
• a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work,
• a translation,
• a supplementary work [to another author’s work, such as a foreword, chart, or table],
• a compilation,
• an instructional text,
• a test,
• answer material for a test, or
• an atlas.
(A tenth category, "a sound recording," was briefly added and then quickly removed from the statute after intensive lobbying by recording artists.)

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Attracting, nurturing, and wisely choosing clients
and knowing when to let them go

Some items about "job interviews" are included because in a sense each effort to land a freelance gig can be like a job interview--except you'll be expected to deliver on your own.

8 tips for interviewing freelance writing clients (About Freelance Writing)
Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling by Michael Port
Falling into Freelancing (Medium) How to leave -- and survive -- that 9 to 5 life. Felicia C. Sullivan's many helpful articles (e.g., I have 5 income streams; Freelancers, be a farmer, not a hunter; Consultants, coaches, and mentors can't save you; The #1 rule about working with friends ("Get a contract because people can get funny about money."); Let's talk about giving it all away for free ("It doesn't pay to be an information scrooge.").
Paying a Freelance Writer: What you need to know (Holly Leber Simmons, TorchlightHire, 9-24-21) Writers: Send a link to this when you're being offered ridiculous terms and rates.
The Breakdown of a Winning Freelance Proposal (Shanice J. Douglas, HuffPost, 8-23-17)
Landing Big Money Clients: Who they are, what they want. (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, 7-22-11)
3 Ways to Earn More Money from Client Work (Ruben Gamez, 99u.com). 1. Master the art of up-selling. Up-selling with just one or two options converted the best. 2. Make your competitors’ prices irrelevant. 3. Use persuasive words to command higher rates. Reframing your services as solutions to clients’ problems helps them focus on the value you can deliver instead of the price. You can do that by asking the following two questions:
“What’s the biggest concern you have with this project?”
“What’s most important to you about the person/company that you hire?”
7 Websites for Writers to Create a Portfolio (Syed Hammad Mahmood, Make Use Of) Reviews of Contently, MuckRack, Journo Portfolio, Clippings.me, Writer's Residence, Medium, Blogger.
Digital portfolios for journalists: What are your options? (Susanna Speier, Poynter, 4-10-13)
How to Spot Bad Clients Early (and How to Gracefully Fire the Ones You Can No Longer Serve) (Ed Gandia, Anastacia Brice, and David Ackert, International Freelancers Academy)
5 Pieces of Job Interview Advice That Can Help You Land Freelance Clients (Christina Nicholson, Fast Company, 5-10-17) You don’t have to start over completely once you become your own boss. Here’s how to repurpose your interview prep for freelance life.
FreelanceWritersEditors (a forum for published professional freelance writers and editors to discuss the business of publishing - getting into print, finding and keeping clients, handling difficult situations, getting paid, networking, useful resources)
Nuggetoids of helpful freelancing truth (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, 4-5-12). Sample: "Most times, the client is just as uncertain and clueless as you are. Especially if they are yelling. So don’t take it personally."
Dealing With a Client Who Calls and Calls and ... (Alina Tugend, NY Times, Shortcuts, 10-18-13) What to do about troublesome clients.
Should You Pay For Referrals? (Bob Bly, guest-blogging on Successful Customer Follow-Up 5-30-11). Bly doesn't give referral fees because he wants his clients to know his referrals are objective. Referral gifts are another matter -- and not a bad idea if someone has referred a client to you. (You can send ME lobster!)
How to Get Your First Freelance Byline (and Why Even Fiction Writers Should Freelance) (Catherine Baab-Muguira on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-26-21) If you aspire to be an author, you probably already know that you need a “platform” to land a book deal. Even fiction writers eventually need a platform. Do some freelance writing to make your "byline" visible. Advice on getting your first bylines.
The 5 Ways I’ve Found Clients as a Freelance Writer That aren’t Upwork or Fiverr (Jessie Lewis, Noteworthy, 8-9-18)
Everything You Wanted to Know About Freelance Writing by Paul Lima. See sample chapters:
Sample Pitch Letters (Chapter 35, on selling yourself to a corporate client) and How Much to Charge (Chapter 38, on quoting a price to a corporate client)
Too Busy to Get Clients? (C.J. Hayden advising, If you don't have enough time for marketing, something about your business needs to change. Stop what you're doing, and take the time to figure out what it is.)
The Vendor-Client Relationship (YouTube video showing how some clients expect unrealistic pricing--this may sound like a parody but a lot of these lines will become familiar--don't fall for them)
Three Habits of the Best Job Candidates I've Ever Interviewed (Sara McCord, The Muse, Fast Company, 4-10-17) Take it from an experienced recruiter: Making a great impression isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to get wrong. 1. They make it clear why they fit the organization. 2. They show they're listening. 3. They write thoughtful thank-you notes. ("Pro tip: In addition to sending an email within 24 hours, also send a handwritten one so the hiring manger will be reminded of you fondly a few days after the fact.")
The Best Interview Questions to Ask in Every Round (Dorianne St Fleur, The Muse, Fast Company)
Don't Exaggerate Your Size. Nearly every entrepreneur exaggerates his or her company's size to impress clients. Jason Fried (Inc. June 2011) says such behavior is silly—and unnecessary. Don't exaggerate your experience either!
The Designer's Guide To Marketing And Pricing: How To Win Clients And What To Charge Them by Ilise Benun and Peleq Top
• Retainers? This Writer’s Clients Give Him a Check Every Month
(Tim Lewis guest post on Peter Bowerman's Well-Fed Writer blog, 6-30-11).
What to say to your low-balling clients (Laura Spencer, FreelanceFolder)
8 Points to Smarter Client Contracts (Erik Sherman's WriterBiz, 11-19-09)
Dr. Freelance (Jake Poinier's advice on freelance jobs and client relationships)
Clients from Hell

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Getting paid (on time) or getting stiffed?
Avoiding deadbeat clients and  keeping a healthy cash flow

Makeup Artist David Tibolla Explains Why He Supports The Freelancer Payment Protection Act
Support the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (in New York). Read the Summary of 2010 Independent Worker Survey or the full report .
Freelance Isn't Free Act. Are you a freelance worker in NYC? Know your rights. On May 15, 2017, Local Law 140 of 2016 took effect. The law establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers, specifically the right to:

   ---A written contract

   ---Timely and full payment (the right to be paid within 30 days of completion of the work or submission of invoice). "Unless payment terms are explicitly stated in the contract, the law states that freelancers are owed money 30 days after services are completed. The act also fines the hiring company if no contract is put in place."

   ---Protection from retaliation
'Freelance Isn’t Free' Bill Introduced in New York State (John Maher, Publishers Weekly, 2-18-22) Roughly five years after the implementation, in New York City, of the Freelance Isn't Free Act, a local law intended to establish and enhance the rights of freelance workers—including authors, journalists, and other writers on contract—a similar law has been proposed at the state level.
How to get late payments for your freelance work -- no crowbar required (Jen A. Miller, Poynter, 12-8-17) An excellent overview of practical options.
GetPaidNotPlayed: Deadbeat Client Stories, Twitter thread (hashtag #getpaidnotplayed), run by Freelancers Union spring 2012. Among items tweeted
---Don't fall for "you'll get publicity."
---Small claims court in your jurisdiction is a good resource for small claims.
---Get part of the payment up front (25%, say), the rest in scheduled payments, and last 10% on completion.
---Always get it in writing.
“Net 15” or “Net 30”? — Don’t Get Your Hopes Up (Elaine R. Firestone, An American Editor, 10-30-17) "Net 15" means you expect to get paid in 15 days. During contract negotiations is the time to learn your client’s payment procedures.
#GetPaidNotPlayed What's your worst deadbeat client story? (Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union, 4-19-12)
Teeshirt submission to Threadless ("If i wanted to work for free I'd choose to be a volunteer, not a freelancer")
Out Magazine Dogged by Unpaid Contributors (Kali Hays, WWD, 1-18-19) Contributors looking to be paid are getting caught in the middle of some dramatic executive finger-pointing.
Web Sites ‘Out’ Deadbeat Stores (Sharon Edelson. WWD, 2-16-09)
Show Me the Money: Getting What’s Due (Karen Berger's blog, CreateWorkLive 11-30-08).
We Want a Discount... (translators Danilo Nogueira and Kelli Semolini on the many reasons clients feel entitled to a discount, Translation Journal, 12-20-10)
A Factory for Words in a Sea of Debt (Jim Dwyer, NYTimes, 6-19-09, on 50 unpaid freelance writers unpaid by "textbook factory" Inkwell Publishing, in turn unpaid by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Business of Editing: You Want a Deposit! (Rich Adin, An American Editor (8-4-14). See also Refusal to use escrow (Online Freelancing Guide)
More Freelancers Fight to Be Paid (Joe Light, WSJ, 4-27-10)
The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time (Laura Roeder, Copyblogger)
10 Ways To Get Paid Faster (Benjamin Tomkins, Crisis Survival Kit, Information Week, 10-2-08). See also 8 Tips for Freelance Designers to Get Paid Faster (Web Designer Depot, 2-4-11).
3 Ways to Get Paid Faster (Jessica Stillman, Inc., 10-31-12). Cash-flow is key for small businesses. Improving yours could be as simple as changing a bit of wording on your invoices. Here's how.
Using Small Claims Court for Freelance Business Disputes (Marshall Lee, The Self-Employed, 11-9-12) "Three out of four freelancers will have difficulty collecting a debt at least once during their career…"
The Wealthy Freelancer (blog, Steve Slaunwhite, Ed Gandia, and Pete Savage), co-authors of the book The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle, available by Kindle (read it while flying to a meeting with a client).
11 Things to Do When a Client Files Bankruptcy (Carolyn M. Brown, Inc., 11-22-10)
The danger of speaking the truth. Marc Canter, Marc's Voice blog, What really happened at Broadband Mechanics (getting stiffed by Radio One, the Black media empire, etc.)

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Sample contracts and agreements

The focus here is on U.S. contracts and agreements. See also Negotiating freelance arrangements.
Rights 101: What Writers Should Know About All-Rights and Work-Made-for-Hire Contracts

• Adds one ASJA writer: If you specify the scope in detail (eg one round of revision), then add a clause saying "any further work will be charged at X per hour." It concentrates their minds wonderfully.

Freelance Isn't Free Act (NYC Consumer Affairs) On May 15, 2017, Local Law 140 of 2016 took effect. The law establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers in New York City, specifically the right to:
---A written contract
---Timely and full payment
---Protection from retaliation
The law establishes $$ penalties for violations of these rights. Download a copy of this New York City model Freelance Work Agreement.
FIRE Contract Template (Freelance Investigative Reporters + Editors). See also Freelance contracts for investigative reporting (a new generation of freelance contracts in which an outlet promises to protect the independent journalists they work with—and provide fair and equitable terms for compensation, rights, and other business considerations), and The Case for Protecting Freelancers (A Public-interest Argument for Fair Contracts).
3 Types of Contracts Every Writer Should Understand (Leonard D. DuBoff and Amanda-Ann Bryan, on Jane Friedman's blog 2-25-19) Once over lightly on Implied Contracts, Oral Contracts, and Written Contracts. "The Statute of Frauds, a law adopted to inhibit fraud and perjury, provides that any contract that cannot be fully performed within one year must be in writing in order to be legally binding." By the authors of The Law (in Plain English) for Writers
NUJ Rate for the Job: Words, per 1000 / news Rates reported by members of the National Union of Journalists and others, and printed in the Freelance, newsletter of London Freelance Branch, 1-17-24) Rates for the UK.
8 Contract Provisions Every Freelancer Should Know (Vinay Jain, Freelancers Union, 9-11-13) Jain explains how and why to cover scope of work, ownership of work, revisions, deadlines, payment amount, payment timing and late fees, reimbursement of expenses, early termination.
Contracts for editorial services (and/or rules of engagement) (Writers and Editors)
Have A Free Freelancer Contract Template (Jyssica Schwartz, Medium, 4-27-18) Your contract should dictate payments, deadlines, deliverables, and anything else having to do with the client/freelancer relationship. Both of you should sign this and have a deposit paid before ANY work is done (if you require one). See JPS Freelance Contract.
Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement (download from site of Editors' Association of Canada, EAC)
Types of Freelance Contracts and Samples (Alena Tapia, The Balance, 6-17-18) The letter of agreement (informal contract), nondisclosure agreement, formal contract, noncompete agreement, statement of work
Copyright forms (forms for filing copyrights, from the Library of Congress)
Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement (Sarah Jolly, SJ Editorial). This excellent contract VERY clearly spells things out in important areas most editors probably never think about.
Verbal Contracts: Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities (MBO Partners, 8-2-17)
What Should an Independent Contractor Agreement Include? (MBO Partners, 5-24-18)
Learn About Serial Rights and More in North American (Allena Tapia, The Balance, 8-20-17) Tapia explains the practical meaning of First North American Serial Rights (FNASR), first print rights, first English-language rights, second rights, reprint rights, etc.
Sample Contracts for Freelance Writers
A Model Contract for Literary Translations (PEN)
Model Contract for Translators (Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters, or CATI)
    See also section For and about Translators and Interpreters
Collaboration agreements (samples, Writers and Editors)
Permissions and release forms (many samples, Writers and Editors site)
How to Deal with Indemnification Clauses (ASJA position paper, 2003, posted on Writers and Editors website) Note how old it is. There are surely more recent examples.
Business of Editing: Liability Insurance — Nyet (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 8-21-17) Do not sign contracts that contain terms that are not applicable to what you are hired to do, especially if those terms will cost you money.
Sample copyediting contract (Erin Hartshorn, The Well-Chosen Word)
What clauses should you include in a proofreading contract? (Linked In) "Powered by AI and the LinkedIn community" so add grain of salt?
Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee? (IRS--believe me, this issue will come up, if you freelance.)
Contract Advice (for members of the National Writers Union, NWU)
Contracts 101: Negotiating Contractor Agreements (Vimeo, Dave i, VP of Client Services, MBO Partners). Putt,not a lawyer, explains the terms of a sample consulting agreement helpfully for independent contractors (and those who hire them)--especially why to avoid overbroadness in noncompete, indemnification, nondisclosure/confidentiality, warranty, injunction, arbitration, errors and omissions insurance, and other clauses. Hire a lawyer when the expensive words "liens" and "bond" appear.
Book Contracts, in the page on Copyright, work for hire, and other rights issues. See
Contract terms (book publishing, including morals clauses, reversion of rights clauses, and indemnity clauses) and Books about rights, contracts, copyright, clearance, and other issues of importance to writers and editors.

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Negotiating freelance arrangements

See also Sample contracts and agreements.

Reading and Negotiating a Freelance Contract (Shira Feder, The Open Notebook, 5-26-2020) "Most editors are sympathetic to the challenges freelancers face and view polite, well-informed efforts to negotiate as simply part of doing a professional job," but "“Don’t negotiate until you’ve established that you have something that they want,” she says, “and that they know roughly how you’re going to carry it out.” Scroll down for explanations of common contract terms, some of which you definitely want, and some you don't: Work-for-hire or work-made-for-hire clauses (bad) vs. "an all-rights contract, in which [you] own the story by default but then transfer some rights to the publication," a first North American serial rights clause, payment on publication vs. payment on acceptance, kill fee, warranty clause, indemnity clause, non-compete clause, non-disparagement clauses, termination clause, arbitration clause, and choice-of-laws or choice-of-forum clause.
Asking for More: Negotiating Rates for Freelance Assignments (Rachel Zamzow, The Open Notebook, 4-10-18) Geared to science writers.
The Complete Guide to Setting and Negotiating Freelance Rates (Tom Ewer, Lifehacker, 4-11-13)
Get Paid What You’re Worth: 37 Negotiation Tactics for Every Freelance Writer (Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger, 9-24-12)
Onsite as Opportunity or Headache — The Freelancer’s Occasional Dilemma (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, On the Basics, An American Editor, 2-12-18) It's good to be flexible; it's possible to negotiate a higher fee for onsite work; working at home can be isolating and insulating; and so on--as opposed to working in your jammies.
Here’s when you should say no to that freelance assignment (Kat Boogaard—FlexJobs, Fast Company, 8-30-18) As a freelancer, it might seem counterintuitive to decline a project, but when times aren’t desperate, you should be picky about what deserves your time.
Pricing & Negotiating: Book Cover For Politician’s Memoir (Craig Oppenheimer, aPhotoEditor, 3-12-14). Rights are very much an issue on this kind of contract.
Contracts 101: Negotiating Contractor Agreements (Vimeo, Dave Putt, VP of Client Services, MBO Partners).
We have no budget for photos (photographer Tony Sleep on why to avoid negotiating with clients who "have no budget")
Freelancing: 7 Tips for Negotiating High End Rates (Tom Ewer,, Bidsketch)

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How to make money as a
freelance writer or editor
The good, the bad, and the truthful

From a staff reporter to an independent journalist: How to make the switch (Barbara Mantel, Health Journalism, AHCJ, 2-12-24) Q&A with Anna Medaris, "who held staff positions for nearly 15 years, most recently at Business Insider, where she was a health correspondent. She took a buyout in June 2023 during a strike that was partly over proposed layoffs."
How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Turn Your Words into Multiple Streams of Income by Joanna Penn. How to make money from your books: Understand your publishing options and the changing industry. See your book as an intellectual property asset. Understand the differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing (being an indie author). Write more books, especially books that people want to buy, and publish in multiple formats, and globally. Sell direct to your audience and understand how to market your books.

    See also her advice on how to make money with writing in other ways: Through affiliate income; crowdfunding, patronage and subscription; professional speaking, teaching, performing, and live events; online courses, webinars, events, and membership sites; advertising and sponsorship; physical products and merchandise; freelance writing and ghostwriting; consulting or coaching; author services; and other ways to make money with your writing.

     See also Penn's Lessons Learned From a Decade of Being a Full-time Author Entrepreneur (9-10-21)
Money Matters: The Road to Financial Literacy (Authors Guild series, 18 videos), including
---Freelancer Finances: Negotiating Rates, Getting Paid, and Streamlining your Accounting
---Royalty Statements: The Nuts and Bolts
---All About Advances: What Authors Should Expect When Negotiating with a Publisher
---Forming an Entity: When Should Authors Create an LLC or S Corp?
---Me, Myself, and ROI: Doing Your Own Marketing
Why I used to hate talking about money as freelancer (Priya Joi, The Art of Freelance, 10-17-23) Wanting to earn more money isn’t gauche or greedy.
Flying solo: Using your records to price jobs and make business decisions (Sue Littleford, Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, UK) "I’m going to talk about just one tool in Excel: the filter. Once you get to grips with it – and that won’t take long – you can use that same tool over and over, layering it up, even, to get an analysis out of your records of whatever information you’re focused on."
6 Freelance Writing Tips to Try in 2022 (Maricel Rivera, The Ascent, Motley Fool, 5-18-22)
Saving for Your Future Self While Freelancing (DNYUZ, 5-7-22) The four primary retirement savings options for freelancers, explained: The SEP-IRA, or Simplified Employee Pension plan individual retirement account; the Solo 401(k), the Health Savings Account, or HSA, and the Roth IRA.

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Affiliate marketing for passive income (Writers and Editors)
How to Make Money Through Social Media Without Being an Influencer (Ashleigh Renard on Jane Friedman's blog, 3-15-22) You don't need to be famous or a tech guru. All you really need is an Instagram account, a PayPal link, and something to offer your audience. 
National Press Club talk on freelance success by Katherine Reynolds Lewis (four short videos, YouTube, 12-2-17) Follow along with handout here. (warning: comes with ads!) and portfolio of articles, including Best Companies for Hourly Workers (Working Mother Report (April 2013)
A Quick Guide To Getting Paid For Your Writing (Simone Michaud, The Writing Cooperative, 12-10-18) Lesson 1: 1. Stay in your wheelhouse and make it a mansion. 2. Start from the bottom, but not the pits of hell. 4. Know where the opportunities are. Network. Know how to value your time. In her case, "My main considerations were the pay per word, amount of time I’d need to spend on research, the amount of time estimated to write/edit, and their revision stipulations."
Freelancer Finance, Part 1: What Is Your Actual Income? (Molly McCowan, Copyediting, 12-5-17). See also Part 2: How to Better Manage Your Freelance Income (1-16-18); Part 3: Why It’s Time to Drop the “Feast or Famine” Mentality (2-20-18); and Part 4: Making Sense of Billable vs. Non-Billable Hours (Molly McCowan, Copyediting, 3-20-18)
How to escape competition (and build a business on your own terms) (Ali Mese, The Startup, Medium, 12-2-19) Authentic, powerful marketing is about being yourself, not fooling people into believing you’re something you’re not. “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” ~ British-American author Simon Sinek “A company can’t ‘own’ its facts. If the company’s facts (speed, price, quality) are superior to the competition, any good competitor will duplicate them, or worse, improve upon them, as soon as possible. What a company can own, however, is a personality.” (~ Marc Benioff, Salesforce founder)
How to Negotiate as a Freelancer (Andres Lares, Harvard Business Review, 11-25-19) "In my 25 years of advising corporations and independent contractors on how to negotiate, I’ve found that three specific areas often trip up freelancers in their work with clients. First, they focus on the business aspect of the relationship to the detriment of building a personal rapport; second, they attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors with price discounting, and third, they waste their negotiation time on the wrong clients." How to do otherwise.
How I Earn $4,000 a Month as a Freelance Writer (Liz Carey, Freedom with Writing) In April, she wrote a pitch letter for a story about the Mongol Derby, pitching to publications in and around the cities where all eight of the Mongol Derby riders came from. She customized the pitches for their respective rider and publications and sent them out en masse by mid-April. In all, she sent out 25-30 pitches. She ended up writing two 1,500-word pieces and one 800-word piece, not including the piece she wrote for her local magazine. The pieces ranged in price from $250 to $650. "I once read in Writers’ Digest that the key to freelancing was being able to sell the story to multiple publications."
Why I Hate the Term “Freelance Proofreader” (Louise Harnby, The Editing Blog) Think of yourself as a business owner.
Edgar A. Poe: His Income as Literary Entrepreneur (John Ward Ostrom, Poe Studies, June 1982). Fame he got aplenty. But "he died [in 1849] essentially penniless. His lifetime earnings as a professional author, editor, and lecturer — about $6200."
How To Make Over $1k Hosting Your First Workshop (Kayla Lee, The Startup, Medium, 12-3-18) The more defined your niche, the more relevant your workshop will be, and therefore, the more money you can charge. And don't undercharge. "It’s much easier to sell 4 tickets at $300 than it is to sell 20 tickets at $50."
11 Facts to Know About Freelancing (Adam Rowe, Tech.co, 2-12-18)
What is the Creator Economy? (Joe Warnimont, Ecommerce Platforms) And what does this form of media consumption mean for creators? The creator economy offers business management tools for creators to connect with fans, market their products, and monetize their creations.
Marion Renault's frank Twitter thread about freelancing "I'm sick of individuals bearing the brunt of an industry that doesn't care about us, that doesn't care about itself. Solidarity is not enough."
The “Gig Economy” (David O. Stewart, Washington Independent Review, 9-6-15)

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How I Became A Profitable Freelance Writer Immediately (Jyssica Schwartz, Inside Blogging, Medium, 3-19-19) I started freelancing over 2 years ago and have made $65k+ per year since starting. I did not spend one single dime on anything business related. Get her Contract Template
PayPal Releases Global Freelancer Insights (Melissa O’Malley, Paypal, 2-6-18) Link at bottom takes you to How the Freelance Generation Is Redefining Professional Norms (LinkedIn Profinder blog, 2-21-17)
Tips for freelancers to unleash their inner entrepreneur (Jocelyn Wiener, Covering Health, AHCJ, 4-27-18) Deeply practical. For example, "Deep dive stories are meaningful and important – but “they take forever, and aren’t remotely cost-effective,” Linda Marsa said. Make sure you’re doing enough quick hits to support the bigger stories, she said.

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• One bad apple: She made a career out of scamming writers. These are the women of color who were her victims. (Shanon Lee, The Lily, 8-3-18) ‘I feel like I can’t trust anyone’ See also: Who is Anna March? (aka Delaney Anderson, Nancy Kruse, Nancy Lott) (Melissa Chadburn and Carolyn Kellogg, LA Times, 7-26-18) Scamming literary circles in Los Angeles, San Diego, Rehoboth Beach, Del., Montgomery County, MD, and nd Washington, D.C.
Five ways work will change in the future: Life inside the new gig economy (Killian Fox and Joanne O'Connor, The Guardian, 11-29-15). Rather than move up, employees may move sideways (freeflowing ideas and career paths), taping into new networks. Robots are stealing jobs/freeing us for more creative activities. "Websites that match employers with freelancers are growing fast – and so is the potential for lower wages and inequality" -- the race to the bottom. There will be more workplace monitoring (or GPS, or reporting on each other's performance, etc.). Retirement will be pushed back; elders will keep working--which could raise GDP.
Why Freelancers Need to Charge Based on Value (Matthew Baker, Entrepreneur, 6-18-18) It's perfectly fair to charge different customers different rates depending on the value they get from your work. Factors to consider: amount of risk, tightness of timeline, market rate for a particular service (way more for complex storytelling than for proofreading, for example), other benefits a client offers, etc.
Start Up as a Freelancer: 3 Common Pitfalls (Lori Paximadis, Copyediting, 9-26-17)
How Much You Should Be Charging for Your Freelancing Gigs (Entrepreneur) What is the median rate for your industry, and how high do you rate in your industry--based on skills, experience, and special talent?
Freelancers: Avoid Burnout by Taking Mandatory Vacations (Molly McCowan
The Ultimate Vacation Prep Checklist for Freelancers (Molly McCowan, Copyediting, 5-16-17)
Small Business Financing: The Definitive Guide (Katie Horne, Digital.com) Learn how to obtain funding for your small business through grants, loans, and non-traditional lending.
Awards, grants, and fellowships (a section of its own on this site)

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10 Years of Freelancing: One house, one recession, and the best job in the world (Jen A. Miller, Notes from a Hired Pen, 3-2-15) Four time-honored strategies for navigating the gig economy.
The Bezos Effect: Why The Washington Post Wants to Be the Uber of Freelancing (Dillon Baker, Contently, 8-25-15) "The Washington Post, one of the more tech-savvy newspapers of the old guard and the third-largest national news provider, recently released a new platform called the Talent Network, which went live June 22 and is meant to connect freelancers to editors throughout the newspaper’s 600-person newsroom in Washington D.C." Anne Kornblut "explains that it was inspired by other software-driven freelancing networks such as TaskRabbit and Uber—she says they even jokingly referred to it as 'UberLancer.'" You submit profiles and are vetted into the system. Many freelancers among us suspect that this is going to be a raw deal for freelancers.

Doonesbury Takes a Whack at Huffington Post. No Hard Feelings, Says HuffPo Bureau Chief (Rebecca Rosen Lum. Fog City Journal, 4-25-12) on HuffPost expecting bloggers to post for "exposure," not pay)

•"Way back in the '90s when online pubs started to flourish, I had lunch with another freelancer who gave me the line I still use when someone asks me to do a story for exposure.'Don't you know people die of exposure?'"

       ~Jim Morrison


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Show Me the Money: The Economics of Freelance Science Journalism (Rose Eveleth and Rachel Nuwer, The Open Notebook, 11-5-13)
53 Places to Land Freelance Writing Gigs Online (Elna Cain, 10-28-17)
81 Sites To Find Side Gigs To Earn More Money Now (Emma Johnson, Forbes, 9-14-15) These aren't writing gigs, but just as actors often work as waiters on the side, so writers may find it useful to take on dog sitting, mystery shopping, and other jobs suitable for freelancers.
Employers Are Paying Freelancers Big Bucks for These 25 In-Demand Skills (John Rampton, Entrepreneur, 5-23-17) With the right skills and some hustle, freelancing pays like a full time job.
Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners by Dawn Fotopulos
Summertime & Wondering Why (Richard Adin, An American Editor, 6-8-15) "Back then, most freelance editors viewed themselves as craftspersons, members of a guild, not businesspersons....Accepting that editing was a business with great financial potential meant that I tackled creating that business as if it were (could be) a highly successful, organized and structured business. That meant setting a workweek, buying medical insurance, establishing (and funding) a retirement account, establishing (and funding) a vacation account, and so on."

Survival strategies of an online freelancer (Michael Meyer, CJR, March/April 2015)

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Alternative Income Sources for Writers, Norman Bauman's summary of an ASJA meeting on the subject in 2002 may be helpful, especially about technical writing. See also the material he added to his website: Catherine E. Oliver on what's required for technical writing. Norman's other reports include How to find and price medical writing jobs (1999). For more such summaries, including an interesting piece on text retrieval and search engines, go to Bauman's website, Medical Writing in New York.
How to Win the Bidding War (E-Myth co, 4-16-09, author undesignated) It's about more than price.
Training podcasts, International Freelancers Academy (Ed Gandia's helpful free podcasts on various practical topics)
Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How To Make Vitamin Soup (Richard Morgan, The Awl, 8-2-10). A dose of reality about writing for magazines, from a man who wrote for the top magazines. "Freelancing isn't just about finding good stories. It is also—more so?—about finding good editors." Which isn't easy. "But the editor will never choose you over the publication to which he is married. It will not even be a fleeting thought in the editor's mind. The freelancer can have a lot of fun, but is ultimately the editor's plaything. And any one freelancer is, above all things, unnecessary and replaceable."
8 revenue ideas for authors/experts (Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound)
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Anderson Allen
A Year Without Social Media as a Freelance Writer (Alexander Lewis on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-15-22) For freelancers, forgoing social media can mean giving up crucial visibility. But it can also provide time to focus on being a better writer.
How to Earn $250 Per Hour As a Freelance Writer (Linda Formichelli, Copyblogger, 8-27-14)

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22 income streams for authors, experts, consultants (Joan Stewart, Publicity Hound, 9-26-12)
The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia.
Eight Years of Solitude (Susie Cagle, 3-16-14) Freelance "journalists quietly, privately lament our low, late pay, our inherent insecurity, and the dual pressure to appear productive and successful while also available for hire. During my relatively brief stint as a staff writer, I saw the wide discrepancy between labor and payment for staffers versus the freelance work our site and many others rely on to fill content columns and drive traffic."
What rich authors know that poor authors don’t (Joan Stewart again!)
Most of all, money is a story (Seth Godin, 2-27-14). Pricing based on cost makes no sense. Price based on value of the product to your client or customer.
Become a Six-Figure Writer (Marcia Layton Turner's free e-zine)\
8 Points to Smarter Client Contracts (Erik Sherman's WriterBiz, 11-19-09)
Freelancers’ Guide to Getting Paid—on Time (Diana Middleton, WSJ, 7-16-09)
Go Ahead, Raise Your Business's Prices (Jason Fried, Inc., 11-1-10). "Sure, some customers will complain, and others might take their business elsewhere. But there’s a good chance you don’t want those kinds of customers, anyway."
Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger
Tricks of the Trade: Study Suggests How Freelancers Can Land More Jobs ( American Sociological Association (ASA) , 2-14-14)
Think Beyond The Book: Authors Or Anyone Can Make More Money By Achieving Maximum Audience And Revenue For Your Knowledge Faster, Better And Easier! by Melanie Jordan

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Kill fees

Dead stories and the small fees for killing them (Oliver Bateman, First Person, CJR, 4-12-18) "Kill fees are just one of the banal indignities attendant in the writing-for-pay world: Kafkaesque editing tests that lead nowhere; ceaseless competition between writers, some of whom are satisfied with producing content in exchange for exposure; and the simple act of collecting any promised money at all. The bottom line: If you’re a freelancer, you are left adrift in a world in which no one can afford to care about your plight." Mothers: Give this piece to your children who are talking about freelancing.
What Is a Kill Fee? Definition and Example (Allena Tapia, The Balance, 6-5-17) A word of warning: Some publishers include escape clauses in contracts or agreements that allow them to dodge a kill fee if you produce substandard work.
Victor Navasky suggests calling it a 'guarantee' (Being an Editor, Part 6 of Conversations with History, Harry Kreisler's interview with Victor Navasky, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, 2005).
What Is Science Journalism Worth? Part II (Kendall Powell, The Open Notebook, 1-27-15) Your contract "should include a kill-fee clause with a minimum of a 25 percent payment of the fee if the article is deemed unacceptable. (Many of my own contracts have a 50 percent kill fee). If an article is in acceptable condition and meets the original assignment, but the publisher decides not to run it for internal reasons, then the writer should be paid in full."
How to negotiate a kill fee (Meredith Little, Tech Republic, 12-12-2000) It's not uncommon for a project to end early or be canceled. When that happens, you may want to negotiate a kill fee. We'll explain how it's done.
How kill fees ruin writers, hurt magazines and destroy… (Scott Carney, 2-2-15) "Last week I had a conversation with a former editor at the New York Times Magazine who told me that they kill between 1/4 and 1/3 all assignments they issued to their on-contract writers. The magazine killed a much higher percentage of stories that they assigned to freelancers who weren’t already on the masthead."
Thanks For the Kill Fee! Wait – What's a Kill Fee? (Chuck Sambuchino, Writer's Digest, 8-3-09)

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including links about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)
Health and disability insurance
Other helpful resources on health insurance
Liability insurance

Health and disability insurance

I am not qualified to recommend any particular insurance provider, but I am listing sites others have recommended. Some freelancers look for very high-deductibles, mostly basic coverage for catastrophic (highly expensive) care (mostly in-hospital, but outpatient chemo can also be extremely expensive). Others look for an integrated healthcare system (such as Kaiser Permanente), believing in preventive health maintenance.
Coalition of Eleven Book Industry Associations Launch Official Book Industry Health Insurance Partnership (BIHIP) (Authors Guild, 8-4-2020) A coalition of eleven book industry associations launched the official Book Industry Health Insurance Partnership (BIHIP), an alliance with Lighthouse Insurance Group (LIG) Solutions designed to provide members from across the eleven associations with a choice of health insurance options. As of August 2020, official BIHIP coalition members include American Booksellers Association, American Society for Indexing, Authors Guild, Book Industry Study Group, Graphic Artists Guild, Horror Writers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, Novelists Inc., Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Western Writers of America Inc.

      See also ASJA Partners with LIG Solutions (ASJA, 10-22-2020) LIG Solutions announces a partnership with the American Society of Journalists and Authors to offer its members, their families, their employees, and others committed to the ASJA mission access to exclusive healthcare insurance coverages.
• Here are some links that may be helpful under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), though is happening under Mr. Trump is anyone's guess.
"With Obamacare, I’ll have health insurance for the first time in quite a while."

--Freelance copyeditor interviewed about her specialty for The Millions
The insurance marketplaces, or "exchanges," are available at the state level. "Assistance for premium costs: For those with incomes under specified thresholds, federal tax credits will be available to help cover the costs of premiums."
"Choices will vary by states: These will be state-based exchanges, so choices will vary depending on where you live. The federal Health and Human Services agency has posted an interactive map that provides some useful information. It also provides a link to state exchanges and websites."
The Affordable Care Act (Pat McNees's links to information about ACA, health care reform, why medical costs are so high, and medical errors)
HHS basic information on the health insurance marketplaces.
5 Things To Know About ACA At Year 5 (Julie Rovner and Julie Appleby, KHN, 10-31-17) First: The health law has not been repealed.
HHS interactive state-by-state map.
New York State of Health: The Official Health Place
Covered California, the new marketplace for affordable private health insurance

Other helpful resources on health insurance

Health Insurance (PEN's list of organizations offering health-care access to writers and artists)
PDF, FAQs about Health Insurance Partnership with Lighthouse Insurance Group(LIG) Solutions (Authors Guild, June 2020) The Authors Guild and a coalition of book and publishing industry organizationshasannounced a health insurance partnership with Lighthouse Insurance Group (LIG) Solutions. To help members understand the partnership and what it means for them, we have created this frequently asked questions document.
Affordable Health Insurance Options for Members of the National Press Club (Affinity, etc. -- some journalists accept steady gigs on small papers to qualify for NPC membership and health insurance)

Uncovered: How the Insurance Industry Denies Coverage to Patients (ProPublica series). Stories by David Armstrong, T. Christian Miller, Doris Burke, Maya Miller, Robin Fields, Ash Ngu, and Cheryl Clark, for ProPublica and Patrick Rucker, for The Capitol Forum.

For example:
---A Doctor at Cigna Said Her Bosses Pressured Her to Review Patients’ Cases Too Quickly. Cigna Threatened to Fire Her.
---Doctors With Histories of Big Malpractice Settlements Work for Insurers, Deciding If They’ll Pay for Care
---Insurance Executives Refused to Pay for the Cancer Treatment That Could Have Saved Him. This Is How They Did It.
---You Have a Right to Know Why a Health Insurer Denied Your Claim. Some Insurers Still Won’t Tell You.
---Find Out Why Your Health Insurer Denied Your Claim

    ProPublica’s Claim File Helper lets you customize a letter requesting the notes and documents your insurer used when deciding to deny you coverage. Get your claim file before submitting an appeal.
---Health Insurance Claim Denied? See What Insurers Said Behind the Scenes
---How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them

---Big Insurance Met Its Match When It Turned Down a Top Trial Lawyer’s Request for Cancer Treatment
Check out the whole series, linked to here.

Writers Union Hit by Insurance ‘Scam’ (Cynthia Cotts, Village Voice, 1-8-02).
The Health 202: Trump's executive order has a history. And the government says it's not all great. (Paige Winfield Cunningham, WaPo, 10-12-17) "President Trump intends to sign an executive order this morning expanding association health plans. But 25 years ago, federal watchdogs concluded that such plans ripped off hundreds of thousands of Americans by refusing to pay their medical claims while violating state insurance laws and even criminal statutes.Back in 1992, the Government Accountability Office issued a scathing report on these multiple employer welfare arrangements (known as MEWAs; they’re pronounced “mee-wahs”) in which small businesses could pool funds to get the lower-cost insurance typically available only to large employers....“MEWAs have proven to be a source of regulatory confusion, enforcement problems and, in some instances, fraud,” the GAO wrote at the time.

    Association health plans -- which are basically MEWAs that are tied to a trade association (such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) -- have been around for a long time, but had to operate in a single state and were subject to ACA regulations under Obama-era rules. Trump is seeking to broaden their ability to function by instructing a trio of Cabinet departments to rewrite the federal rules governing them. In these arrangements, a trade association acquires health coverage that small businesses, individuals or nonprofits could buy into. “At the heart of regulation and enforcement problems is the fact that state regulators are often constrained by the inability to identify MEWA until after MEWA problems occur,” the report says. Sometimes plans tried to duck regulations entirely, the agency found. Forty-two states said MEWAs had claimed exemption from state laws under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, which had allowed MEWAs in the first place. Courts mostly sided with the states in these legal battles, but they still cost states large amounts of staff and time. Yet Trump is now poised to rewrite the rules, turning to the 43-year-old idea of association health plans -- which the government has found some serious problems with in the past -- as his way of reshaping Obama’s ACA.
Freelancers Union insurance
FracturedAtlas (liberate the artist)(various kinds of insurance for artists)
HealthCare.gov (learn how new federal rules about health insurance may affect you)
eHealthInsurance (compare different insurers' plans side by side; ask for advice from an agent)
HealthInsuranceInfo.net (consumer guides, by state, for getting and keeping health insurance, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute)
Health Insurance Consumer Information (News You Can Use from Healthinsuranceinfo.net)
Finding Health Insurance If You Are Self-Employed (Marci Alboher, NY Times, 3-17-08). Note the date; some things have changed.
What the Self-Employed Need to Know About Obamacare (Dinah Wisenberg Brin, Entrepreneur, 9-25-13)
The SHOP Marketplace (the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs), open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs--which does not include independent contractors).
"Your most important asset is your ability to earn": Private disability insurance for freelancers (Meg Cox interviews financial advisor Amy Keller, on Freelance Feast, 7-20-12). Why freelancers need private disability insurance, and when to get it.

Media liability insurance

See also full section on Defamation, Libel, and Slander

The "liability" sections of homeowner insurance policies don't cover book-related lawsuits.

     There are generally two types of "professional liability" policies: "occurrence" policies and "claims made" policies.    

     An "occurrence" policy provides coverage for claims arising from an event that occurred within the policy period (for a writer, for example, the authorship of your book). If you have such a policy, you would not need to renew or continue coverage.

      With "claims made" policies, you are covered only for claims that are made while you're paying premiums, UNLESS you purchase a "tail" when you stop. You're no longer insured for anything once the policy lapses. To be covered, both the incident (such as publishing something libelous) and the plaintiff's claim must occur while the policy is in force. One-time purchase of the "tail" (if it is available from the insurance company) insures you for future claims for things you did while the policy was in force (such as publishing your book). Without the "tail" (which may or may not be expensive), you are NOT covered if someone sues you years (or days) after the policy lapses. (H/T Bill Reid, on Authors Guild discussion group.)

      With respect to "claims made" policies (which would require renewal for continued coverage), the answer to the question "How long should you carry insurance?" is rather fact specific, says Cheryl Davis, general counsel for the Authors Guild. It would depend on such factors as the likelihood of a lawsuit in your specific circumstances, and the type of potential suit. For example, the statute of limitations for libel/defamation (for statements made about others) is different from the statute of limitations for copyright infringement (for the unauthorized use of another person's copyrighted work).

       For a book about individuals who were active in World War II, for example, the likelihood of a lawsuit would probably diminish over time, as the number of potential (i.e. living) plaintiffs decreases. But there might be other risk factors in that work that could require more extended insurance coverage. While you can (and probably should) make yourself aware of the statute of limitations for relevant states (if you're writing about people located in a state other than your own, some courts have held that you might be at risk in that state as well), it makes sense to have a manuscript vetted to spot potential issues that might not be immediately apparent, so you can protect yourself accordingly.

Time Limits to File a Defamation Lawsuit (All-Law) State-by-state limits (varies by state, one year in some states, two or three years in others, and in Tennessee six months for slander). If you miss the deadline for a particular state, you'll lose your right to a civil remedy over the matter.

Warranty and Indemnification clauses in book contracts Many authors routinely strike out or modify the part of any contract that holds the client or publisher blameless for any suits related to a particular story. Clearly it makes no sense for writers to agree to indemnify and hold blameless the client or publisher. Some publishers' contracts include indemnification clauses that hold the publication blameless and assign the burden of liability to the writer (even though editors may change the content). But even for a nuisance lawsuit, legal costs can be substantial. Ask that such a clause, or any indemnification clause, be struck from the contract, or change the wording so that the writer is liable for content only "as submitted or approved by the writer," as one health writer suggests--see also the language suggested in the following important position paper on how to deal with warranty and indemnification clauses: How to Deal with Warranty and Indemnification Clauses (Writers & Editors site) and Contract terms (especially but not only in book publishing), old "handouts" that may well need updating.

Media Liability Insurance (Authors Guild). In 2020, several members of the Authors Guild told me Axis was virtually unresponsive. See the AG's later handout WriteInsure Program: Frequently Asked Questions.
WriteInsure, through Axis Pro/Argo Insurance Group (media and entertainment liability coverage, professional and miscellaneous errors and omissions, and cyberspace liability). Leading underwriter of media liability insurance. Available through Authors Guild and ASJA, among other organizations.
• Affordable media liability insurance is available for members of the National Federation of Press Women (through Walterry Insurance Brokers). Walterry appears also to offer Chubb's MediGuard errors and omissions liability insurance for broadcasters and for newspaper publishers. I know nothing about these except that they exist.
AxisPro's booklet Media Law 101 (a loss-prevention guide, this PDF booklet provides basic info on defamation, defamation, invasion of privacy (more complex than you might expect), trademark infringement, and copyright infringement). See also its loss-prevention guides on Copyright Best Practices and on Trademark and Trade Dress Best Practices.
Liability insurance for writers; taxes and incorporation (Kay Murray, The Writer, 12-3-02)
Indemnity clauses and liability insurance (The Writer, 1-31-02)
MusicPro Insurance (for instruments and computer equipment)
Liability Insurance — Nyet (Rich Adin, Business of Editing, An American Editor, 5-22-13). When a client insists that a freelance editor has errors and omissions insurance, what does the editor do? Explain why it makes no sense for editors.

Please let me know if any of this has become out-of-date and let me know of other insurance available to creative professionals!

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Paid Family Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act (U.S. Dept of Labor, 1993) The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting as a Freelancer (Knvul Sheikh, The Open Notebook, 8-27-19) "Building a family doesn't have to sideline freelance journalists' careers," writes Knvul Sheikh in her latest reported feature for TON. In fact, as freelancer Tara Haelle shares with Sheikh: "In my case, having children kind of launched my career." Read for strategies other freelance science journalists have used to take parental leave despite a dearth of benefits in the U.S., to work with editors to find flexibility, and to adjust to the challenges of becoming a parent. Haelle is co-author with Emily Willingham of The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years
Are You Eligible for Paid Family Leave Without Knowing It? (Steven Findlay, Consumer Reports, 2-21-18) A 1993 law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for personal or family health needs, bonding with a new child, or circumstances surrounding the deployment of a member of the armed services. But the law applies only to businesses with 50 or more workers. As a result, about 40 percent of workers don’t qualify. Here's what you need to know (with many useful links).
Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (PDF, National Partnership for Women and Families, 2016) Important Q&As.
State Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Laws (PDF, National Partnership for Women and Families, June 2019)
State Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Laws (PDF, National Partnership for Women and Families, June 2019) California allows the self-employed to buy into its paid-leave benefit, as do the new laws in New York state and the District of Columbia.
Could the U.S. Get Paid Family Leave? It’s Looking Better Than Ever (Maya Salam, NY Times, 2-15-19) The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee its citizens paid family leave. A proposed bill could change that.
Why Is Paid Family Leave So Controversial for America? (Jon Hyman, Voices in the Profession, WorldatWork, June/July2018)
Paid Family Leave: What’s the Right Model? (Knowledge@Wharton, 4-12-19)

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Affiliate marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing (Commission Junction)
Getting Approved At Affiliate Networks
HTML Tips: Anatomy of an Affiliate Link (Lynn Terry's clear explanation of the part for which most people's eyes glaze over)
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (Nick Reese, Blogging.com). For example: "CPA stands for cost per action," "CPS is cost per sale, "CPL is cost per lead," "CPC can be an acronym for cost per conversion or cost per click," etc.
Rosalind Gardner's Super Affiliate Handbook (explaining how she makes $30,000 to $50,000 a month in affiliate commissions)
You Can Make Money: A Step-by-Step Guide to Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing (Terry Whalin's ebook, a free download in exchange for giving him your name and email address, one of the tricks of the biz!).
30 Days to Massive Traffic (Anthony Morrison, a free 76-page ebook)
Amazon Associate Affiliate Marketing, Part 1 (12-19-12) and Part 2 (1-10-13) Giuseppe Macchiaverna, on his How I Make Money Writing blog.
Warning: "Thin Affiliate Sites."  Google says: "We differentiate between affiliates that produce extra service, value, or content, and those that simply are duplicates of other sites, set up to boost traffic to other sites and earn a commission for it. The former ones are not Offensive and should be rated on the merits to the query. The latter ones are Offensive...

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Income tax for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and freelancers


See also More on home office and other tax deductions for writers and freelancers AB5 and Related Problems in the Gig Economy
Should you incorporate or not? (Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or S-Corp?)
Tax avoidance and the wealthy

IRS publications Links to a long list of online publications that should provide answers to most federal tax-related problems and info on most tax-related topics.
Face masks and other personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are tax deductible (IRS, IR-2021-66, 3-26-21)
Forms and Associated Taxes for Independent Contractors (IRS.gov) What you need to know about W-9s and 1099-NEC (which replaces 1099-MISC for independent contractors) etc.
How to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) (IRS.gov) or How to apply for an EIN online The EIN is the number you use (as payor) to report income paid to subcontractors.

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Multistate Voluntary Disclosure Process The Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) is an "intergovernmental state tax agency whose mission is to promote uniform and consistent tax policy and administration among the states, assist taxpayers in achieving compliance with existing tax laws, and advocate for state and local sovereignty in the development of tax policy." A taxpayer with potential tax exposure in more than one state will find this service to be faster, more efficient, and less costly than approaching each state separately. There is no charge to the taxpayer for participation in the MVDP. When might this apply for you? Let's say you move from state A to state B and take the work with you from a firm in state A, learning years later that you should have been paying state income tax in state A, which pays you, not in state B, where you live.
     Upon entering into a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) with the state, "the taxpayer is required to file returns, pay the tax due under the returns, and register with the state (if required) in return for waiver of penalty for the duration of the look-back period, as provided in the VDA. Interest is due on unpaid tax obligations incurred during the look-back period unless expressly waived by the state." See Frequently Asked Questions – Multistate Voluntary Disclosure Program.

• Tax Advice for Writers (Bonnie Lee, Writer's Digest, 6-17-2010) A good overview from 2010.
Authors, Take Advantage of the New Tax Deduction (Authors Guild, 8-22-18, and from its Bulletin) Under the new tax code, effective in 2019, owners of certain pass-through entities may take a 20% deduction on their qualified business income. Can authors take advantage of this deduction, and if so, to what extent? "The IRS has finally made it clear that self-employed writers are permitted to deduct 20 percent of their annual net income from writing provided the total taxable income is not more than $315,000 (if married) or $157,500 (if single); this applies to a writer acting through a pass-through entity or as a sole proprietor. However for writers with taxable income in excess of these amounts, their ability to deduct the 20 percent is still uncertain."
IRS Gives 10 Tips on Employees Versus Independent Contractors (posted by Tax Institute)
Employee Identification Number (EIN)  "If you aren’t comfortable sharing your Social Security number with various distribution platforms," says the IRS, "one option is to get an Employee Identification Number (EIN) to use instead. It’s quick, free and easy, and can be done through the Internal Revenue Service." You can apply for an EIN online. Getting a permanent EIN is also useful for filing business and tax reports, and for anyone paying subcontractors, including cleaning workers.
    Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) (a clear explanation by IRS.gov). An EIN is a federal tax identification number used to identify a business entity or household employer (e.g., of cleaning people or caregivers). Just as you get a Social Security number (SSN) when you first start earning income, so you should probably apply for an EIN when you become an entrepreneur. It's required if you have employees or are incorporated, and useful if you are filing 1099 forms sent to subcontractors--on which you're probably better off providing an EIN than an SSN. Here's IRS on How to Apply for an EIN.
     Here is NIST's explanation of TIN/EIN. A federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) (a "95 number") is similar in function, according to NIST -- in being a 9-digit number issued by the IRS, as a way of uniquely identifying a business entity. Many companies use them as a way to facilitate financial management when an individual or firm may operate with different names, or names may change over time. A TIN/EIN is used by "employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, nonprofit associations, trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities," explains NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology).
What is an ITIN, and how does it work? An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a 9-digit number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues to people filing a tax return who are not U.S. citizens and who do not have or are not eligible for a Social Security number. You can only use your ITIN for tax reporting purposes. How to apply for an ITIN (IRS)

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Ten Things You Should Know About IRS Form 1099 Before You File Your Taxes (Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 3-31-15) MUST-READ if you use or are a subcontractor and the pay is more than $600 in a year. Adds the IRS: It’s often stated you must earn $600 before you receive a 1099, and this is true for certain types of income (royalties of $10 and above must also be reported by the publisher). The purpose of the 1099 forms is to tell you what income you got from a particular source. You do not send them along to the IRS with your tax return. They are to let you know the amount the publisher (etc.) reported to the IRS. Publishers must report royalties of $10 and above.
A new tax rule can even the playing field for up-and-down freelance income (Jonathan Medows, Freelancers Union, 2-2-21) One of the key changes to the tax code that may have gone under your radar is the loosening of restrictions on the net operating loss (NOL) deduction, which were put in place as part of 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. where your business deductions exceed your business income. When the difference between the two is so wide that it offsets other taxable sources of income, you may end up having negative taxable income on your current year tax return. That's an NOL. "A change to the net operating loss deduction could put money in your pocket. If your freelance income took a hit last year, find out how to put this rule to work for you."
Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business Taxes by Stephen Fishman

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The Turbotax Trap: How the Tax Prep Industry Makes You Pay ProPublica has long detailed how Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and other companies have worked against making tax preparation easier and less costly.
---States Prepare to Send Checks to Consumers Tricked Into Paying for TurboTax (Paul Kiel, ProPublic, 5-4-23) A year after a $141 million settlement with Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, that emerged from an investigation sparked by ProPublica’s reporting, 4.4 million customers will receive compensation.
---The TurboTax Trap: How the Tax Prep Industry Makes You Pay (A ProPublica series) ProPublica has long detailed how Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and other companies have worked against making tax preparation easier and less costly. They have lobbied to ban the IRS from offering free, simple tax filing. And they have deceived customers who should qualify for the Free File product. See, for example, What to Know About TurboTax Before You File Your Taxes This Year (ProPublica: Learn how the biggest tax preparation companies have suppressed free filing options for years) and Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free (Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel, ProPublica, 10-17-19)
AB5 and Related Problems in the Gig Economy Links to 100+ articles that document the destructive and disruptive effects of California's new AB5 law for many types of businesses and professionals, including freelance writers and editors.
Freelancers: California Writers & Journalists Losing Work Due to New Court Ruling (Authors Guild, Industry News, 12-13-18) "Writers and journalists may be losing out on work as a result of an April 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that restricts who can be declared a freelancer. While the ruling in Dynamex Operations West Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles was intended to prevent employers from reclassifying certain types of workers as contractors as a way to avoid providing them with the same benefits and opportunities as full-time workers, the ruling has had unintended negative consequences for those workers who are and wish to have the option to remain independent contractors.... [Randy] Dotinga and other journalists and organizations are joining forces to lobby the new California state legislature to clarify the rules so that legitimate freelance journalists can continue to work as freelancers and not lose work due to publications’ fears that they will have to treat all journalists as employees and provide employee benefits and pay employment taxes." See also Just who is an independent contractor? (Lisa Renner, Capitol Weekly ("Covering California government and politics"), 9-17-18) 'The ruling on Dynamex Operations West Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles provides a new three-part “ABC” test to determine who can be an independent contractor.'
An Independent Contractor’s Guide to Taxes (Rebecca Lake, Smart Asset, 12-22-23)

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What Authors Need to Know About the New Tax Bills (Authors Guild, 11-29-17) Under the Republican-proposed bill: Authors who file as self-employed individuals will still be able to deduct costs like any other business. "The principal changes to individuals’ income taxes proposed by both the House and Senate bills are 1) changes in tax rates, 2) the elimination of many specific, itemizable deductions and credits, and 3) the increase in the standard deduction. These changes are intended to streamline personal income taxes by limiting the number of those filing itemized deductions. It will make filing returns simpler for many taxpayers, and will benefit those who rely on the standard deduction. However, it will penalize those who currently have high deductible expenses, such as medical costs, dependent child care, and high local and state income and property taxes. Neither bill, however, would repeal self-employed writers’ ability to take standard business deductions—a source of some confusion since certain individuals who file as employees, such as “qualified performing artists,” would no longer qualify for unreimbursed business expense deductions under the proposed bills. This provision is applicable only to employees, and not freelancers." Emphasis added. Nathan Bransford (11-21-17) posted a similar piece on Freelancers Union.
New tax laws mean increased depreciation deductions for freelancers (Jonathan Medows, Freelancers Union, 5-23-18) See also his piece about the new pass-through deduction, which applies to sole proprietorships, S-corporations partnerships, and LLCs (that did not elect to be taxed as a corporation),

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Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee? (IRS--believe me, this issue will come up, if you freelance.) Even if you don’t receive a 1099-MISC, you still need to report that income."
Taxes for Writers – Must I Deal With This Stuff? (Matt Knight, Sidebar Saturdays 10-1-16) Deductibles and keeping clear records.
Freelancers and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Susan Lee, FreelanceTaxation.com) Susan specializes in taxes for freelancers, artists, writers and psychotherapists.
Freelance Files: Death and Taxes (Kathiann M. Kowalski, SEJ, 4-4-18) "I personally consider the money I pay for tax preparation to be well spent, even though there are likely cheaper options out there."
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). A tax payment system provided free by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Pay federal taxes electronically via the Internet or phone 24/7.
IRS Provides Guidance On 20% Pass-Through Deduction, But Questions Remain (Tony Nitti Forbes, 8-9-18)
Mechanics of the new Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income (William A. Bailey, Journal of Accountancy, 5-1-18). Good luck understanding this one. I consider the money I pay my tax accountant well spent.

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A Primer on Taxes for Freelancers (LaToya Irby, All Freelance Writing, 1-14-13). Irby also posted these pieces:
~ 4 Types of Tax Deductions (standard, itemized, above-the-line, and business/schedule C)
~Documents You'll Need for Tax Time (9-10-12)
~Freelance Writers Have to Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes (6-8-12)
~What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Taxes (3-29-10)
~The Downside to Taking Business Tax Deductions (5-27-11)
Tax Bill Is Lifting Curbs On Julia Child's Oregano (Irvin Molotsky, NY Times, 11-6-88). A little history. "Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Mrs. Child and other writers were barred from deducting expenses for a book except in the years when they earned income from that book, and the income frequently came long after the writing and the associated expenses. Hence Mrs. Child's literary-gastronomic-accounting question. In a letter to members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees, she asked, ''How do I allocate the oregano?' A provision of the new tax law required them to ''capitalize'' their work....a painter had to determine what portion of various tubes of paint and other materials went into a particular work and then had to wait until that painting was sold before taking a deduction for expenses incurred in producing the work. Such requirements, some artist groups said, would force artists to concentrate their efforts on creating work with an eye to quick sales, thereby discouraging innovation and experimentation. The new law would enable artists once again to deduct expenses in the year they are incurred."

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IRS Form 6166 - Certification of U.S. Tax Residency If you receive royalties from publishers outside the United States, and want an exemption from taxes for those countries, fill out IRS form 8802, which states that you are a US resident who pays US taxes, so that you aren't taxed by both the US and the foreign government. With that form (and an $85 filing fee) you are applying for an IRS Form 6166, which states that you pay US taxes, which you or your agent send to the foreign publisher so that they don't deduct foreign taxes from your royalties (under the principle of "no double taxation").
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) . Your Voice at the IRS. "Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. We offer free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving your tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own. Remember, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all!"
Secrets Of Claiming A Home-Office Deduction (Richard Eisenberg, Forbes, 2-8-13)
Employee or Independent Contractor (section 2, p. 7 of IRS form 15a)
Tough Rules (Julian Block). See also See also Julian Block's Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers: Trim Taxes to the Legal Minimum
Tax Aspects of Authors/Writers/Screenwriters (D. Larry Crumbley, accountant but not lawyer)
(Seven) states without an income tax (About Money). See also Taxes and freelancing (overview of Schedule C) and Tax Deductions for Bloggers
Taxes for Writers (Carol Topp)
Taxes for Freelancers (Durant Imboden, Writing.org)
Tax Deductions Guide for Freelancers and the Self-Employed (Lindsay Van Thoen, Freelancers Union, 2-13-14) Form 1040, Schedule C, Part II, explained.
Tips to Get It Right (Julian Block, HouseLogic.com, click on arrows for slide show illustrating home offices)
Don’t Forget These Home Office Tax Deductions (Miranda Marquit, Peak Personal Finance 1-25-10)
Office-in-Home Tax Deductions - Home Business Use of Your Home (Randy Duermyer, About.com)
Red flags for audits (Julian Block, NY Financial Writers' Association).
Taxes for business travelers: What is and isn't deductible ((Nancy Trejos, USA Today 4-8-13)

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More on home office and other tax deductions for writers and freelancers

The Best Way To Handle Required Minimum Distributions (Bob Carlson, Forbes, 4-13-18) [Combined with advice from Authors Guild member Stephen Manes] The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should change the way many people make charitable contributions....One of the most efficient ways to give (the qualified charitable donation, or QCD) available only to those ages 70½ and older, and the changes should cause many to gravitate toward what for several years has been one of the smartest ways to give....[The donation must go directly from the trustee of the account to the charity; you can't take out the money, put it in your checking account, and then make the donation. Some financial institutions will provide checks that you can write directly on an IRA account to any charity you prefer, which is probably the simplest method. Others will, via online or phone request, make out a check to the charity and send it to you to forward on.] QCDs can be made only to public charities that are eligible for charitable contribution deductions under the regular IRS rules. Not eligible for QCD treatment are gifts made to private foundations, donor-advised funds, and charitable gift annuities.
What's Deductible for Legal Fees When Couples Divorce (Julian Block, HuffPost, 2-3-14) The IRS prohibits any deduction for the cost of personal advice, counseling and legal action in a divorce. For example, there's no write-off for what a husband spends to resist his wife's demands for more alimony or to set aside a pre¬nuptial property agreement.
10 Big-Ticket Tax Deductions for Writers (Manasa Reddigari, MileIQ, 9-10-18) For example, deduct for self-employment tax (includes both Social Security and Medicare fees), health insurance, writers conference fees, software and office supplies), work-related travel and meals.
Tax deductions for writers (Stephen Fishman, Nolo)
'Tis the season to wrap up more depreciations deductions for your freelance business (Jonathan Medows, Freelancers Union, 12-3-18)
• Tax deductions: Kindle books are "borrowed," not "bought." 'When I used Kindle and had too many on my device that I didn't want, I tried to donate them to the public library. Kindle said I could not; I had "borrowed" the books not bought them.'~from Authors Guild discussion.
Tax Deduction Tips for Writers (Valerie Peterson, The Balance, 8-4-18)
What Writers Can Deduct from Taxes (Savvy Book Writers, 2-17-16)
4 Types of Tax Deductions (standard, itemized, above-the-line, and business/schedule C -- LaToya Irby, All Freelance Writing, 1-14-13)
Julian Block on Bad Debts You Cannot Deduct (Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 6-23-12) You can't take a deduction if a client/publication stiffs you, if you're a cash-basis taxpayer (you "generally don’t have to report payments for articles, books and other income items until the year that they actually receive them and don’t get to deduct their expenses until the year that they pay them"), which most of us are. You can do so only if you're an "accrual-basis" taxpayer.
Tax Benefits for Education (IRS publication 970, downloadable PDF) Tax Advice for Writers (Bonnie Lee, Writer's Digest, 6-17-2010) A good overview from 2010.

How to Avoid Income Tax Deduction Problems With Home Office Deductions (eHow.com) If you take a deduction on the depreciation value of your home, you will have to pay capital gains taxes on this amount when you sell your home. Make sure to keep copies of your tax records so that you can calculate this amount in the future.
Simplified Option for Home Office Deduction (simplifies the calculation and recordkeeping requirements of the allowable deduction--simplified method compared with regular method)
A Simpler Form for Home Office Deductions (Ann Carrins, NY Times, 1-17-13) If this form becomes reality, and if you take $1500 or less for your home office deduction, this will be good news for you.

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Should you incorporate? or not?


 (Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or S-Corp?)

Is there reason to incorporate? If you are making a whole lot of money, it can make sense. Says one successful novelist: Every dollar earned above the $132,900 SSN wage base limit is still taxable by Medicare. Incorporating can reduce that tax liability. See WAGE BASE LIMITS in IRS tax topic No. 751 Social Security and Medicare Withholding Rates: Only the Social Security tax has a wage base limit. The wage base limit is the maximum wage that's subject to the tax for that year. For earnings in 2019, that base is $132,900. Refer to "What's New" in Publication 15 for the current wage limit for social security wages; or Publication 51 for agricultural employers. There's no wage base limit for Medicare tax. All covered wages are subject to Medicare tax.
The Indie Authors Business Guide (Alex Palmer, Publishers Weekly, 4-22-16) The pros and cons of becoming a business entity.
Writers Wanting to Incorporate: What Is the Right Option for You? (Matt Knight, Sidebar Saturdays, 10-8-16) The pros and cons of sole proprietorship vs. limited liability company (LLC) vs. Subchapter S Corporation (S-Corp). "In reality, the business of writing is not extremely risky." "The money spent to set up and maintain a business entity could be used instead to pay for business liability insurance or an umbrella policy that covers infringement and defamation. Helen Sedwick [Should Writers Incorporate?, on The Book Designer] also suggests looking into Media Liability Insurance for even more protection."
When Should Writers Incorporate or Create an LLC? (Robert Lee Brewer, Writer's Digest, 3-26-2020) When should writers incorporate or create an LLC? Do they protect writers from liability? Are there tax benefits? Your questions answered.
Whether to Incorporate (J.A. Sutherland, The Business of Writing, 1-23-17) "The two main benefits of an LLC do not typically apply to authors. These are partnership and liability." Clear explanations.

On Your Own vs. Owning a Company: A Freelancer’s Essential Decision (Ruth Thaler-Carter, Intercom, STC)
The Nuts & Bolts of Running Your Freelance Business. PDF of genuinely informative slideshow from Lisa Breck's presentation 4-2-11 to AMWA freelancers (program here, includes other helpful resources). Breck's slideshow includes overview of sole proprietorships and partnerships, of LLC (Limited Liability Company), of S-Corp.
Introduction to LLCs. Nelson on the dangers of sole proprietorships and partnerships and the advantages of forming a limited liability company (LLC), plus FAQs about LLCs
A CPA Explains the Advantages and Disadvantages of an S Corporation (Stephen L. Nelson clearly explains the many disadvantages and advantages of an S Corp tax status, and provides SCorp Kits for each state of U.S.)
Google these terms and others in these presentations and you'll find even more, but this will give you an overview.
An interview with tax guru Julian Block (National Association of Science Writers, 7-18-11) Tips for staying on the taxman's good side without cheating yourself in the process. Some highlights: How to stay out of trouble as a solo practitioner (7:00); Is taking the home office deduction a red flag for an audit? (10:30); What to do when you use the same computer for business and personal use (16:00); Who gets audited and who doesn't? (22:30).

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Becoming more productive

Start by "overcoming resistance." Read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield, on overcoming resistance to achieve the unlived life within.
Steven Pressfield Q&A on The War of Art (Walt Kania, The Freelancery, p. 146 -- a dozen and a half Q&As with Pressfield).
Dumb Little Man (Jay White and others with tips on how to be more productive)
Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers: Part 1 ( Courtney Maum's compilation of writers' secret rituals for revving up to write, Tin House, 5-8-12). And Part 2.
7 Myths of Freelance Writing (Allena Tapia, The Balance, 4-7-17). One item in a section on Freelancing/Consulting, with suggestions on finance and money, basics, start freelancing, start consulting, manage your career, genres and markets.
Study Your Work Habits to Increase Productivity (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 1-27-17)
Does Your Small Business Need a Virtual Assistant? (Karen Leland, HuffPost, 8-12-11. Kathy Goughenour a virtual assistant trainer, recommends five steps to successfully outsourcing work to VAs.
Stupid Writer Tricks: How To Be More Productive (Karen Woodward, 6-6-13)
It’s Time To Finish Your Book: 9 Productivity Tips for Writers (Joanna Penn, guest post on Write to Done)
Suggestions for Being a More Productive Writer (Joanna Campbell Slan)
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Managing your email and electronic files

18 Gmail settings that will change how you think about your inbox (JR Raphael, Fast Company, 6-12-18)
The Only Five Email Folders Your Inbox Will Ever Need (Zach Hanlon, Fast Company, 1-9-17 Stop “organizing” your emails by subject and start thinking of them in terms of deadlines.
It’s OK to Start Your Day with Email (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 1-20-17)
Email Is Temporary; Create a Folder for It (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 6-15-18)
The (Not So Difficult) Trick To Get Your Emails Read (Drake Baer, Fast Company, 2-25-14)
Seven Ways to Manage Email So It Doesn't Manage You (Jeff Weiner, Lifehacker, 8-13-13)

10 File Management Tips to Keep Your Electronic Files Organized (Susan Ward, The Balance, 2-22-18)
What’s in a Name? Finding Your Electronic Files Quickly (Erin Brenner, 11-27-12)
File Management 101 (Dawn McIlvain Stahl, Copyediting, 12-5-11)
How To: Organize by Function to Reduce File Management Headaches (Paul Lagasse, Copyediting, 1-8-16)
Electronic File Organization Tips (NIST)
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Blogs for freelancers, about freelancing and consulting

"When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, “I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else.' " ~ Toni Morrison


ABC Copywriting
About Freelance Writing
All Freelance Writing (Jennifer Mattern manages a team of bloggers)
The Artist's Way (Julia Cameron, whose video course, Julia Cameron Live, can be watched online ($149)
Active Voice
Clients from Hell
Copyblogger (Brian Clark on blog writing)
CreateWorkLive (Karen Berger's blog about surviving and thriving in the creative community)
Diary of a Mad Freelancer
Dumb Little Man (Jay White and others with tips on how to be more productive)
Dr. Freelance (Jake Poinier's advice on freelance jobs and client relationships)
Freelancer FAQs
The Freelancery (Walt Kania)
Freelance Writing Gigs
The Independent Journalist (SPJ's blog for freelancers)
Inkwell Editorial
Irreverent Freelancer
Jane Friedman (Writing, reading, and publishing in the digital age)
Jet Hiking (Amber Nolan, the JetHiking Gypsy, hitchhiking to all 50 states by airplane)
Lifehacker (ips, tricks and downloads for getting things done)
ProBlogger (Darren Rowse on how to make money from blogging)
Red Pen Management
The Renegade Writer
Smiling Tree Writing (some interesting interviews on "independent writing")
Stand Up 8 Times (Diana Schneidman on making a living as a corporate freelancer or consultant)
The Urban Muse
The Well-Fed Writer Blog (income-boosting resources for commercial writers)
Writers and Editors
The Writing Base (rock solid tips for freelance writing success)
The Top 100 Freelancer Blogs (Heather Johnson, Bootstrapper), including blogs on writing, copywriting and marketing, design, programming and Web development, finance and business, photography, consulting, and freelancing and parenting
and by the way:
Why Your Freelance Writer Website Makes You Sound Like an Idiot (And How to Get Your True Voice Back) (Sophie Lizard, guest-blogging on Write Your Revolution

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General information, tips, resources for freelancers

A Beginner's Guide to Freelancing (Phil Gyford, in UK, 2006 but still relevant.)

Adventures in Freelancing (YouTube spoofs)
---Part I: The Trend Story. An amusing but all-too-close-to-true video spoof of a magazine editor assigning a story to a freelancer.
---Part 2: The Public Relations Professional "With apologies to the handful of PR people who help instead of hinder. You know who you are."
---Part 3: The Rewrite (again, oh so true, about needing to rewrite because editors sat on piece too long, for example)
---Part 4: The Job Interview "If you've interviewed at a ladymag, you've met this editor-in-chief." (You may have had a similar experience at a book publishing firm.)

Ageism in Freelancing: Here’s How You Can Beat It  (Carol Tice, Make a Living Writing). Excellent advice on "skill-ism" (keeping up with changing technology and venues, playing to your demographic, changing your mindset, and other ways to keep up with the market.


And Now, the Tricky Part: Naming Your Business (Emily Maltby, WSJ, 6-29-10) and Name Choices Spark Lawsuits (Emily Maltby, "Start-Ups Can Get Mired in Costly Trademark Scuffles With Bigger Firms," WSJ, 6-24-10)

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online. IRS process for getting a permanent number (instead of your social security number) for filing business and tax reports, for anyone paying subcontractors, including cleaning workers.


The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing: A Professional Guide to the Business, for Nonfiction Writers of All Experience Levels (2003, edited by Timothy Harper) Pick up a used copy on Amazon, for the general advice, much of it still relevant--though many technologies and markets and trends may have changed.


Behance, stylized as Bēhance. Adobe's social media platform to showcase and discover creative work.


"Brevity may be the soul of wit, or lingerie, or texting, or quail eggs, but all subjects are not the same. Efficiency of expression is in some realms a virtue and in some realms a vice. Brevity is certainly not the soul of news, if by news you mean more than information. 'The point' is not always easy. There is not always a 'takeaway.'"

   ~ Leon Wieselter, on the impoverishment of writers providing "content" for the new media, in Washington Diarist: Writers Have Become the New Proles in The New Republic

Benefits of freelancing
Freelancing: a choice not a punishment (Tam Harbert)
2012 Freelance Industry Report
4 Reasons why being a freelance copywriter is one of the best and safest jobs in today’s new world (Excess Voice)
On Returning to “a Job” After Freelancing (Deb Ng, Kommein.com, 12-28-10, on why many freelancers do not yearn for a steady "job")
101 Reasons Freelancers Do it Better (HR World). Whether they're entrepreneurs, Web workers or something in between, freelancers enjoy a better lifestyle than their cube-dwelling brethren.
Quit Your Day Job: How to Sleep Late, Do What You Enjoy, and Make a Ton of Money as a Writer by Jim Denney. The book is more realistic and helpful than the title.

Best Business Practices for Writers, 2012 (a roundup of links to stories on the topic)

Best Cities for Freelance Workers (Maggie Clark, NerdWallet, 2-20-14). What makes these 10 cities best for freelancers (and note: New York City does not make the list, which is not focused on publishing).

Breaking into Freelance Reading (Jennifer Wright, Women on Writing, 2007)

Daily Routines How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days (2007–09)


Days can be endless when you are an independent contractor (Vickie Elmer, Capital Business insert, Washington Post, 9-18-11).

Dealing with personal crises that get in the way of work
Personal Crises: The Freelancer’s Strategyhttps://www.copyediting.com/personal-crises-freelancers-strategy/#.Wn9sEHxG2NK (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 2-9-18) "Freelancers don’t have the option of a paid leave that isn’t self-funded. To maintain our businesses, we need a strategy for getting through a personal crisis." Advice on forming such a strategy.
A Personal Odyssey: Preparing for the Worst (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 11-9-16) A family emergency makes him realize he must prepare for a medical emergency: living wills, healthcare proxies, and membership in an organization like MedicAlert.
Colleagues Lost and Not Found — Preparing for the Worst (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, An American Editor, 2-9-18) "We all should have systems in place to let those who count on us know of a crisis, whether it’s temporary or permanent. Here are some of the tools that colleagues use to keep track of projects to make their editing lives easier — and make it possible for someone to step in, or at least provide notification, in an emergency."
Coping with Emergencies (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, An American Editor, 3-23-15)

Death Of A Freelancer (Charlotte Alfred, HuffPost,12-20-19) Christopher Allen reported in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. Who was looking out for him?
Digital.com Reviews & comparisons powered by real people opinions to help you find the best online tools (including web hosting, website builders, email marketing services, and ecommerce platforms) for running & growing your website or online shop. Check out the blog.

The Digital Nomad's Guide to Working from Anywhere on Earth The work-anywhere, travel-the-world fringe lifestyle is going mainstream–and these apps, services, and events are here to help. General advice as well as links to more.

Business cards that work

Moo (good quality and service for short-run business cards -- better quality than Vista, and you can have variations: same front side but different images on back, etc.)
30 Creative QR code business cards (Webdesigner Depot)
7 Tips on What Information to Put on Your Business Card ( Julia Melymbrose, Tuts+, 7-21-16)
20 Creative Business Card Templates (Sean Hodge, Tuts+, 4-25-19) To suggest visual variations.
10 Tips for Designing a Professional Business Card (Andrea Campbell, Bright Hub, 3-11-11)
Using Adobe Photoshop to Make Your Own Business Cards (Laura Jean Karr, Bright Hub, 11-16-10)
7 Free Business Card Templates for Microsoft Word (Tricia Goss, Bright Hub, 12-23-10)
Cost of Printing Business Cards: Is It Really Cheaper to Make Your Own? (Linda Richter, Bright Hub, 2-21-11)

Business gifts. There's a $25 limit, says IRS, Publication #463

A Completely Subjective Dos and Don'ts Guide to Freelancing (Jeremy Gordon, Lifehacker, 9-3-13)

Consider gigs as a virtual assistant. Or hire one. According to the Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA), a virtual assistant is an independent contractor who (from a remote location, usually a home office) supports multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services. AssistU provides advice on becoming or hiring a virtual assistant. This is a fast-growing category of home-based businesses. Services the IVAA lists include association management,coaching support, graphic design and editing, transcription services, author assistance, desktop publishing, multimedia presentations, social media services, and website design.

Corporate Publishing vs. Traditional Freelancing: Author, Prepare Thyself (Howard Baldwin, ASJA Word, 10-2-13) Content marketing, custom publishing, sponsored articles--the pros and cons of corporate publishing and how it differs from traditional journalism.

Freelancer Directories
Many writers and journalists organizations have begun offering freelance directories, so if you're looking for a freelancer in a special field, that's one place to look, and if you're freelance, make sure you're listed in the directory of organizations to which you belong. Here are some directories. I'll list more as I remember or you make me aware of them:
Association of Health Care Journalists (see AHCJ's list of independent journalists)
Editorial Freelancers Association (search by state, skill, specialty, hardware, software)
Find a personal historian (Association of Personal Historians, to help Mom and Pop write their memoirs)
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) (freelancers in an organization that traditionally attracts staff journalists)

Freelancers, Here's How To Budget Your Money (Laura Shin, Forbes, 7-17-14)
Freelancers, Here's How To Do Your Taxes (Laura Shin, Forbes, 7-18-14)
Freelancers, Here's How To Save, Pay Down Debt, Retire And Splurge (Laura Shin, Forbes, 7-21-14)
Freelancers, Here's How To Protect And Structure Your Business (Laura Shin, Forbes, 7-22-14)

Freelancers are totally screwed: What today’s cultural treadmill means for writers (Noah Berlatsky, Salon, 2-4-14) As a freelance writer, I'm never off the clock. Which means I get paid for fun, but also that fun becomes work

Freelancer's Business Start-Up Kit (Alan Kotok, Science Careers, 5-20-05) Business will not come to you; you have to go out and make it rain.

Elders in Action. Get certified (or not) as elder-friendly. Their website (see its upper right corner) is elder-friendly.

Employers Are Paying Freelancers Big Bucks for These 25 In-Demand Skills (Entrepreneur, 5-23-17) With the right skills and some hustle, freelancing pays like a full time job.

E-payment and accounting systems:
Bay Business Group (Web-based bookkeeping for small businesses
Bill.com (Web-based payment system)

Ergonomic office chairs (Ergogenesis) (customized chairs for if your body is not "normal" size) and an adjustable keyboard tray(The Human Solution) so you can stand while writing. (Tips courtesy of Susan Bairnsfather). Others rave about Aeron chairs, Herman Miller chairs, slightly tilted foot rests -- and setting a timer every hour to remind yourself to get up for two minutes, roll your eyes from side to side (they've been staring at a screen), and stretch. If you want to stand and type, consider the Geek Desk.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Freelance Writing by Paul Lima. You can read this excellent primer free online, clicking on chapter-by-chapter hotlinks. Sample chapters:
Sample Query Letters (Chapter 12)
Sample Pitch Letters (Chapter 35, on selling yourself to a corporate client)
How Much to Charge (Chapter 38, on quoting a price to a corporate client)
Accurately Pricing Services (Chapter 39)

Fax services. With electronic faxing service (a fax comes through e-mail as a PDF) you no longer need a dedicated fax line. E-colleagues have recommended these reasonably priced fax services in the U.S.: MyFax, OneSuite Fax ("you can call it fax-to-email, FoIP, Fax over IP, web fax, or ifax; either way, it’s essentially a virtual fax machine to which you can affordably subscribe from your OneSuite account." OneSuite provides low-cost long-distance phone connections, which are particularly handy for calling in to long teleconferences--which you can do from outside your office.

Fitness tip: Active sitting, standing and adjustable-height or treadmill desks, and walkstations

Five Predictions for the Gig Economy and Freelancing in 2019 (Abdullahi Muhammed, Forbes, 12-28-18)

5 Steps to a Smooth and Successful Freelance Career (Jay Raj, Sitepoint, 10-13-14)

5 Traits You Need To Be A Successful Freelancer (Termeh Mazhari, Work It Daily, 10-1-14) Self-discipline, salesmanship, people skills, and what else?

5 Ways to Boost Professional Credibility Credibility Tops Freelance Writer and Editor Wish List (National Association of Independent Writers and Editors survey)

The 5 Worst Kinds of Freelance Writing Jobs (Carol Tice, Make a Living Writing). Which five types of freelance writing jobs are unlikely? #1 is product descriptions, and #5 is poetry. Guess the other three.

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Foreign transfers. Payment between countries may be a problem if you use a small bank or credit union; they're easier in a bank with a SWIFT account. Three terms to understand for transfers from Europe (IBAN, BIC, and SWIFT) are explained well at http://auctionfeecalculator.com/iban_transfers.html"target. As that site explains: BIC + IBAN is often the cheapest way to transfer money internationally and is now free of charge in much of Europe. In the U.S. you are charged a fee if an international transfer has to go through an intermediary bank, so read up!

Freelancers Boycott 'The Outline' After it Lays Off Entire Writing Staff (Melynda Fuller, Publisher Insider, MediaPost, 9-7-18) "Earlier this week, digital outlet The Outline laid off its last two remaining staff writers, along with several other employees. The move came after The Outline raised $5.15 million in funding last May and was valued at $21.15 million. So, with a staff of 24 before this last round of layoffs, the likelihood the staffers were removed for financial reasons seems unlikely. After sighting the recent influx of funds, it continued: “Instead, it points to a troubling trend: when venture capitalists, which media companies increasingly rely on to survive, demand profit, it is staff writers and freelancers who pay the price....“To be clear, this is not an issue we have with The Outline alone. Numerous media organizations have recently displayed a dismaying level of disregard for their writers. Yes, media is a volatile industry, and layoffs are a fact of life. But the emergent, vampiric practice of venture capital and hedge funds laying waste to journalism because they believe writers and editors have no power to resist must end."

***Freelancer's Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (read free online) If you're still even a bit dewy-eyed, read what Rusch has to say. In addition, if you want your books published, read this long blog entry on how you can't count on publishers to give you a fair contract and you cannot always count on agents to watch out for your interests: Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my. In short: read every line of every contract and educate yourself on what to watch for. Read also: Giving Up on Yourself, Part 1

The Freelancery: The freelancer's guide to getting work, making a buck, and staying happy (PDF, Walt Kania's excellent advice on freelancing) The 50 most useful, most-read articles from

Freelance writing's unfortunate new model (James Rainey, On the Media, LA Times, 1-6-10). With many outlets slashing pay scales, the well-written story is in danger of becoming scarce. "With the advertising-driven income in a state of disarray, the source of future freelance dollars remains in doubt." Media analyst Alan Mutter worried about "journicide -- the loss of much of a generation of professional journalists who turn to other professions."

Freelance Writing (many articles, About Careers)

Freelance writing's unfortunate new model (James Rainey, On the Media, Los Angeles Times, 1-6-10)

Freelance-Zone.com. "Work smarter, not harder." Has job bank, various sections, helpful articles, such as A Job Opp You May Not Have Considered, Amanda Smyth Connor's story about Community managers, who are in charge of developing and maintaining the style and tone of content (social media, etc.) that is posted within a community

Freelancing Sucks (Drew Magary, The Concourse, 8-7-14). Everyday you're hustling.

Geezerguts: making a buck, no matter what . Download this free eBook PDF by Jane Genova, Speechwriter-Ghostwriter. (Oy vey - All those [middle-aged] unemployed writers--her story of loss and comeback. She lost everything at 60 and started over as a freelance writer-entrepreneur.

Getting Started as a Freelance Copyeditor (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit, 9-23-11)

Getting Started as a Freelance Writer, expanded edition, by Robert Bly

Getting Started in Consulting (Alan Weiss, Contrarian Consulting 9-5-11). See also his column Ten Things You Should Know Before Meeting With A Prospect (9-12-11)

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (see Wikipedia entry about GTD, which also lists proprietary and free software). The idea of this excellent system for improving productivity is to get those ideas and to-dos out of your head and down on paper (or app) so you can manage them; to organize them in order of time and priorities (doing quick and easy projects sooner and breaking larger projects down into tasks that can be done quickly, and so on).

Going it Alone at 40: How I Survived My First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment by Liz Broomfield

Government work.

How to
How to Be a Freelance Writer (Angela Hoy, free e-book, PDF--once over lightly)
How to Bribe Yourself to Do Nasty Things (Taylor, Men with Pens)
How to create an invoice (Allena Tapia, about.com)
How to Enlist a Global Work Force of Freelancers (Kermit Pattison, NYTimes, 6-24-09), and good luck to all
How to Generate New Business by Delivering Talks to Organizations and Professionals Groups (International Freelancers Academy)
How to Handle Rejection and Criticism as a Freelancer (Mark McGuinness, for International Freelancers Academy) Above all, do not take it personally.
How to Pitch (X magazine), through Avant Guild
How to Share a Folder Over Your Network (for Beginners -- Adam Dachis, Lifehacker 6-6-11)
How to start up as a freelancer or contractor, British-style (Tim@Caprica)
How to Critique Fiction (Victoria Crayne)
How to Cope with Critiquing (Rich Hamper, including advice on how to critique)
How to Survive Summer Break When You're a Parent and Self-Employed (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit Blog, 5-27-13)
How do I get started in freelancing? (Western New England Editorial Freelancers' Network)
How to Ensure Your Freelance Business Survives: A Ten-Point Plan (Anthony Haynes, guest-blogging about continuity management on Louise Harnby's site)
How To Use Contract Work Sites to Break Into Freelancing (Allena Tapia, About.com on Freelance Writing)

Handling the slow-pay client (Dick Margulis on his blog, Words/myth/ampers & virgule, 11-8-07)
Healthy Dietary Habits (Deanna Hoak)
The Help: How I Work with a Virtual Assistant (Michelle V. Rafter, The Word, ASJA 6-5-13)
High-Income Business Writing (Ed Gandia, podcasts of case studies from the field, expert interviews, actionable advice and proven ideas for writers and copywriters who want to earn more in less time doing work they love for better clients). On the same site, check out his articles on getting clients, running the biz, mindset, writing, and pricing.
Highlights from the 2006 WIW Freelance Success Seminar (Kristen King, InkThinker, Part 1 of 4)
Hope and the magic lottery (Seth Godin on putting in time on the essentials)

How to Win the Bidding War (EMyth, 4-16-09)
How We Work (Rodcorp, various contributors, December 2004). Art, architecture, maps, stories, writing, and occasionally how teams and systems work. Some of the links won't work but some will.

• “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of ‘The Elements of Style.’ The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” ~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), writer and satirist, in a book review of Strunk & White’s writing handbook, Esquire, 1959.
• Indemnification clauses. See How to Deal with Warranty and Indemnification Clauses
The Independent Journalist (Society of Professional Journalists' blog for freelancers, a timely focus for an organization historically focused on newspaper staffers)
Inkthinker (Kristen King's blog on freelancing)
International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) "Virtual assistants are independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical service."
Invoice for "day ruining" (designer Jessica Hische's amusing invoice can be adapted for other service providers)
IRS: Understanding Employee vs. Contractor Designation (FS-2017-09, 7-20-17)
It's 2010 — er, 2011! Where's your career heading? (Bevi Chagnon, PubCom, 1-14-11)
I've been working for myself for 7 years — here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned (Jessica Thiefels, Business Insider, 10-30-18)

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The Joy and Intimacy of the Personal Writing Outlet (Zan Romanoff, Literary Hub, 2-21-18) So I’ve kept using the Tinyletter ever since, sending a missive every other week, give or take, for the last year and a half. I write about whatever I need to get off my mind that day...Sometimes the Tinyletter nets me a paid gig—a small handful of editors have reached out to ask me to expand on something I wrote there, or to say I should think about pitching them pieces. But mostly it’s just a hobby...I’m hardly alone in this: many of my favorite writers have side-blogs or Tinyletters (which some have begun to transition into paid work via subscription platforms like Substack). These projects sit at a fascinating intersection of our interests and our desires, our drives and our careers."

Learn How to Get Paid to Read (Allena Tapia, The Balance, 7-3-17) Book reviews, reading for literary agents, book summaries, read emails for business people)

Leaving the Staff: Freelancing Without Freefalling (transcript of Authors Guild Foundation symposium, 2006, with panelists Nick Taylor,Susan Dominus, William Georgiades, Meryl Gordon, and Michael Greenberg)

Lessons Learned in Auditioning for Job (Alina Tugend, NY Times, 12-3-10). Advice on how to handle prospective employers' requests to produce creative samples or give business advice -- when to do it and how to protect your work.

Lessons (Re)-Learned From the Other Side of the Editor-Writer Equation (Karen Berger, CreateWorkLive--a blog about surviving and thriving in the creative economy, 5-30-11). This is healthy advice that will probably go unheeded by the people who need it: How to be helpful to editors looking for writers and how not to create a bad impression by being too eager and self-focused. Recommend it to chronic listserv bitchers and moaners.

---LinkedIn ProFinder for Freelancers: Will It Help You Find Clients? (Kaitlin Morrison, on Make a Living Writing)
---How to use LinkedIn to find high-paying clients (Lori De Milto, guest posting on The Freelancer's Year
---How a Client-Focused LinkedIn Profile Helps You Find Freelance Clients (Lori De Milto, The Mighty Marketer, 7-25-17) "About half of all freelancers (51%) who use LinkedIn are getting clients through the #1 business social network, according to How Freelancers Market Their Services ....Clients often search for freelancers on LinkedIn. So if you craft a client-focused LinkedIn profile—with a compelling headline and summary and the right keywords—LinkedIn can be a very easy way to get clients." She offers examples of compelling, keyword-focused headlines (the most important part of your profile) and other excellent, deeply practical tips. De Milto is the author of 7 Steps to High-Income Freelancing: Get the clients you deserve
---How to Use LinkedIn to Find Freelance Work (Bob Serling, Success, 7-2-15) "The big thing people don’t understand is that LinkedIn is a search engine just like Google. As a freelancer, you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile so the search component of LinkedIn makes it easy for people to find you. Then, once they find your profile, you can have samples of your work in there—YouTube videos, PowerPoint presentations, even documents you put on Dropbox or Box." Insights you might not have on your own.
---Flying Under the Radar: How to Use LinkedIn to Find Writing Jobs (Nicole Slaughter-Graham, The Write Life, 4-18-17)

Losing My Arm — And Livelihood — for 1 Month in the Gig Economy (Lisa M.P. Munoz, Medium, 3-7-18) Losing the ability to type with two hands is a handicap when your brain has become dependent on muscle memory for things like passwords.

“Mothers: Don’t let your babies grow up to be freelancers,” cracks one journalist, freelancing after leaving a staff job, as quoted by Rebecca Rosen Lum in California Progress Report story
Freelance Journalists Suffering in Second Wave of News Media Collapse 6-23-10

The New American Job: Are freelance and part-time gigs the future? (Linda Stern, Newsweek/Daily Beast 1-27-09)

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true (David Uberti, CJR, 2-17-15) Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

No!Spec (educating the public about speculative (spec) work

On-Demand Workers: ‘We Are Not Robots’ (Lauren Weber and Rachel Emma Silverman, WSJ, 1-27-15) Is Technology Liberating or Squeezing the New Class of Freelance Labor? Lawsuits, protests and forums suggest flexible laborers aren't very enthusiastic about the new work model at the likes of Uber and Handybook.

On Returning to “a Job” After Freelancing (Deb Ng, Kommein.com, 12-28-10, on why many freelancers do not yearn for a steady "job")

101 Reasons Freelancers Do it Better (HR World). Whether they're entrepreneurs, Web workers or something in between, freelancers enjoy a better lifestyle than their cube-dwelling brethren.

Pay the Writer, Harlan Ellison getting mad at people expecting freebies
Click here for readings and film clips starring Harlan Ellison (writer of "speculative fiction"),a series of Sundance "digital shorts." BEGINNING WRITERS: In particular watch this one: Pay the Writer

The Power of Personal Passion: How entrepreneurs can turn what they love doing into successful businesses (Eileen Gittins, creator and CEO of Blurb, for Forbes 5-26-10)

Poynter Report: These 14 countries allow journalists to be killed with impunity (Kristen Hare, Poynter, 10-29-18) On Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual Global Impunity Index, ranking the countries where the murder of journalists goes unsolved: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Philippines, Afghanistant, Mexico, Colombia, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia, Bangladesh.

Prompt payment for freelancers (contractors, suppliers), with discount! Gawker reports that Time Inc. will pay you promptly, if you pay them for the service. And NBC Universal has a different version of the payday loan scam for freelancers.

PR Work (Norman Bauman's excellent notes on Doing PR Work, an ASJA panel featuring PRSA members--year? I'm not sure!)

Purposeful Porpoising: working smart when you gotta word hard (Meg E. Cox, Freelance Feast, 10-06-12)

Quit Your Day Job: How to Sleep Late, Do What You Enjoy, and Make a Ton of Money as a Writer by Jim Denney. The book is more realistic and helpful than the title.

Referral Key. I do not know from personal experience if this is worthwhile. Someone I know who thrives uses it, however.

The Savvy Freelancer blog (Lexi Rodrigo)

Science and medical writing (Writers and Editors webpage of helpful links)

SCORE, a nonprofit that helps small business owners learn the ins and outs of starting and running a business, offering inexpensive classes and free one-on-one mentoring by retired, successful businesspeople

11 Best Websites to Find Freelance Jobs and Make Extra Money (Anna Johansson, Entrepreneur, 2-1-19)


6 Top Websites to Find Freelance Jobs (Bashar Sunny, Vivipins,9-29-19)


Upwork, one of the largest networks for freelancers; ProFinder (out of LinkedIn); SimplyHired; and Freelance Writing Job Board (FWJ).

7 Steps to High-Income Freelancing: Get the clients you deserve by Lori De Milto

Seven Tips for Freelancers: Looking for Work Online (Cynthia Haggard, 11-12-08, reprinted at QuinnCreative)

Secrets of a Freelance Writer:How to Make $100,000 a Year or More by Robert Bly (third edition), how to make the big bucks writing ads, annual reports, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, Web pages, CD-ROMs, press releases, and other projects for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofit organizations, the government, and other commercial clients.

7 Things I Learned from My Portfolio Review (Alex Turner, PetaPixel, 8-30-15) #7: Think of the first image in your story like the first page of a book.... "think of it like a story book – you wouldn’t tell the reader the main plot twist at the start. So, it might actually not be your best photo but it needs to pique the curiosity of your viewer, hold their attention and make them want to see what comes next." For photographers but useful generally for enticing clients.

Seven Tips for Freelancers: Looking for Work Online (Cynthia Haggard, 11-12-08, reprinted at QuinnCreative)

Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How To Make Vitamin Soup by Richard Morgan (The Awl, 8-2-10)
"Freelancing is basically just courtship, but the freelancer-editor relationship is nothing more than friends with benefits. The editor likes you because you remind the editor of when they had enthusiasm and appetite and vision and so you make the editor feel powerful in the way that nostalgia empowers people. But the editor will never choose you over the publication to which they are married." An excellent description of freelance journalism: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Making the Leap: Six Journalists on Leaving a Staff Job to Freelance (Giuliana Viglione, Open Notebok, 11-28-23) Although some of these six people who left their staff jobs in the last several years, for reasons ranging from burnout to craving more creative leeway in their work, still miss aspects of their old positions, none regret making the leap. “Freelancing has given me the opportunity to pursue stories I'm passionate about,” says freelance journalist Erin Ross. But at the same time, she adds, “until I get a bit more of a cushion built up, income inconsistency will continue to be a big stressor.” She and the other participants share how they managed the transition, the ways in which freelancing has allowed them to broaden their journalistic horizons, and their tactics for dealing with the ups and downs of running a freelance business.

The Sky Is Falling (Carol Ekarius, essay for Colorado Authors' League). "The year was 1440. In Strasbourg Germany a young printer, Johannes Gutenberg, demonstrated an invention he’d crafted from a screw press, similar to the ones used to press grapes for wine, and moveable metal type. The printing press was born: it changed history." Now, in the age of the Internet, there is downward pressure on what writers can get paid for the content they produce. What to do about that, as writers.

Small Business (USA.gov)

Social Security. Several possibly helpful articles: Collect now, or later? Timing your Social Security benefits (Tara Siegel Bernard, NYTimes, Your Money, 7-10-09), Continuing a conversation on Social Security (Tara Siegel Bernard, NYTimes, 7-16-09), A boot camp to prepare for retirement (also by Bernard, 7-24-09)

Solopreneurs, freelancers hoping for more help from the election winner (Shane Snow, Washington Post, On Small Business, 11-6-12). "Contingent worker, freelancer, contractor, temp, solopreneur — a variety of aliases serve the growing ranks of Americans who brave the economy [... as part of the contingent of ] independent workers that makes up as much as a third of America’s workforce, some of whom have been forced from salaries to 1099s, but many of whom choose freelance as a lifestyle."

Some Questions to Ask About Potential Work (PDF, Anne Ketchen, Freelance Editor, on the very helpful KOK Edit website

Some Thoughts on Writing, followed by a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Spot.Us, Byliner, Atavist Are Showing Freelance Writers the Money (David Cohn, Idea Lab, 6-8-11). "I think gigs or "gigging" will be the way freelancers turn their practice into a career in the future. Instead of pitching story to story, you'll be working project to project or gig to gig.And that means reporters who work on projects will need representation." Among places to be spotted:
The Atavist. Read also Literary journalism finds new platforms by David L. Ulin (L.A. Times 5-15-11). "Byliner, the Atavist and Virginia Quarterly Review take the form into the future."
Byliner. Read also Will Byliner Save Longform Journalism? (Elana Zak, New Media Bistro 5-12-11)
Longreads. Aggregates (links to) the best long-form stories on the web. See its Community Picks section.
StoryMarket ("Freelancers: Discover Entrepreneurial Journalism. Showcase your work, bringing editors to you. Sell your original work to publishers a la carte."
("welcome to the future of content syndication")

Talking Shop, Hazel Becker's account of a session at the Excellence in Journalism conference in which writer Amy Wallace and Mark Robinson, feature editor at Wired, discussed the behind-the-scenes collaborative work done to perfect the piece What Made This University Researcher Snap? (Amy Wallace, Wired, 2-28-11), about a University of Alabama scientist who gunned down six of her colleagues in 2010. "Their presentation was interesting because it exposed the human sides of the two panelists – an accomplished freelancer who was scared to take on the project and an editor who put a lot on the line with his publication to get the story done." Concluding section: Advice for freelancers.
10 Myths About Self-Employment (Steve Pavlina, 7-24-06). He also wrote 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job
10 Reasons Why You Have To Quit Your Job This Year (James Altucher, Altucher Confidential, Business Insider, 5-10-13)
Ten Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Writer (Laura Spencer, Wright Thoughts, 6-21-07)
10 Reasons Your Freelance Career is Failing (James Clear, Freelance Switch 12-5-11).
Third Hand Works ("Welcome to the atelier of time" -- readiness educator Cairene's advice for creative types on how to administer their business)
13 things I’ve learned in 13 years of freelancing (Jen A. Miller, Poynter, 1-16-18) #2. Don’t work for free. Ever. #3. Think per hour, not per word.
•Three freelancer horror stories. So you're not going to believe what happened to me on this freelance assignment... (Jen Miller, Poynter, 4-23-18) Takeaways: When your fee is late, take action early; if your contact leaves, you may not get paid. Don't go along with "let us watch you edit" tests. Get an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security number; some clients are careless with such information. Negotiate the kill fee and/or take a close look at kill fee clause.
3 Lessons Children Can Learn from a Freelancing Parent Lexi Rodrigo, The Savvy Freelancer, on Freelance Folder. Lexi offers a free copy of 31 Days to Start Freelancing if you sign up for her e-mail.
37 Essential Freelance Writing Terms You Need to Know (Carol Tice, Make a Living Writing). A glossary of terms, explained--from advertorial, byline, and charticle to TK, white space, and work for hire.
3 Principles of a Successful Freelance Career (Amanda Layman, on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-26-18) 1. Becoming an expert in certain niches can bring you a higher rate and bigger clients.
Top 10 Tools I Can’t Live Without (Nitzan, Cogniview.com, 10-4-07) Firefox, Scribefire, Skype, Fastmail, WebDav, SSH, WordPress, PhotoShop, BlogBridge, and Flickr.

Trading a Pink Slip for a Passion by Carrie Sloan (Elle, 4-7-10). How an untimely layoff led four women to a whole new career--including Jennifer Campbell's shift from public television to personal history work.

25 Secrets for Successful Freelance Writers by Robert McGarvey (Kindle edition, 105 KB, $2.99). From one of the most successful freelancers in the business.

12 Struggles Only People Who Work From Home Truly Understand (Rob Fee, Playboy, 6-15-15)

Uber and the not-quite independent contractor (Justin Fox, Newsday, 6-23-15) In the sharing economy, should there be a tax category of "dependent contractor"? Some countries make that distinction.

Susan Berkley, How to Make Money in Radio Imaging Voiceover (YouTube, The Great Voice Company discusses Radio Imaging Voiceover) You need a demo for this niche of "radio imaging."
How much can you make recording audiobooks from home? (Krystal Wascher)
This will make you confident behind the mic (Susan Berkley, The Great Voice Company, The Online Radio, 7-27-17)

We studied freelancing for five years: Here’s how work is changing (Stephane Kasriel, Fast Company, 10-31-18) Working for one’s self used to be the definition of the American dream–and, apparently, it still is. Part of the reason freelancing is so liberating is that it typically happens remotely. It no longer means "I'm looking for a job."

What I Earned (and How) During My First Year of Full-Time Freelancing (Jane Friedlander, 3-19-18) The three key things you need to be a successful freelancer: Connections and relationships; visibility; and time, plus five steps to take to build a freelance life.

What It Feels Like to Be a Freelancer (YouTube video on not defining expectations)

What to Expect When You Finally Do Become a Freelancer (Lexi Rodrigo, creator of The Savvy Freelancer blog, for Freelance Folder, 10-31-11)

What to Expect When You're Freelancing (Laura Spencer, Freelance Folder, 12-6-12)

The Well-Fed Writer. Income-boosting resources for commercial writers (copywriters, business writers, corporate writers or marketing writers) by Peter Bowerman. Check out The Well-Fed Writer Blog (income-boosting resources for commercial writers), his free e-newsletter cum e-zine (subscribe and catch up on back issues), and his books:
The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less
The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living
The Well-Fed Writer: Back For Seconds A Second Helping Of "How-To" For Any Writer Dreaming of Great Bucks and Exceptional Quality of Life (mostly new content includes case histories)
FAQs answered by Peter Bowerman
The Deluxe Well-Fed Tool Box and The Well-Fed Writer Time Line (automatic download after purchase).

What Exactly Is $70,000 in Freelance Income? (Kristen King, (ink)thinker blog, 12-28-07)

WhichDraft.com (the blog) and WhichDraft.com (the forms), a self-directed legal resource (not legal advice!), for those who can't afford legal advice and can take advantage of this contract assembly web site (with multiple version tracking, comparison red lining, and online collaboration tools). We haven't tested it. Let us know if it works for you!

When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized (David Allen, NY Times, 3-17-12).

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Organizations Freelancers May Find Useful

American Medical Writers Association (AMWA's freelance directory)
American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA). Definitely helpful for freelance journalists & writers of nonfiction books
Association for Women in Communications (AWC), most helpful for women in corporate world
Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) Tremendously helpful organization, well worth joining, with a good conference and lots of resources, including a Freelance market guide, How I Did It, Tip Sheets, Why This Matters, and useful guides to Tools and Apps and Helpful Links.
Association of Personal Historians (APH) [A brief history and links to active local groups and resources.] The national organization folded in 2017, but local groups still exist, often under different names. Personal historians help other people tell their life story, lessons learned, etc., in print, audio, or video. APH held wonderful conferences which Paula "Tex" Yost oversaw brilliantly.  
Association of Work at Home Women (AWHW)
Authors Guild (advocacy, lobbying, and education for American book authors, in particular)
Authors Registry (a clearinghouse or payment agent for organizations wishing to distribute payments to individual U.S.-resident authors)
Binders Full of Women (Facebook group). See Emily Greenhouse's delightful article, A Facebook Page of Our Own: Binders Full of Women Writers (Vogue, 6-26-14)
The Communications Network You don't have to go it alone. We help those who do good do better.
Displaced Journalists (a community where displaced journalists find common ground and "begin to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with our lives and livelihoods." Parent company: Real World Media
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) has excellent postings of editors needed for specific projects
• Elance and oDesk have merged and are now Upwork
eScribers (reporting and transcription for the legal community) Don't know what a scopist is? See What is Scoping? A Work at Home Job Few Know About (The Work at Home Woman, 9-5-16)
FreelanceWritersEditors (a forum for published professional freelance writers and editors to discuss the business of publishing - getting into print, finding and keeping clients, handling difficult situations, getting paid, networking, useful resources)
Freelance L (discussion group for publishing industry freelancers in all lines of work, including editing, indexing, proofreading, writing, typesetting, design, research, other)
Freelance Folder ((tools, advice, forums, resources for freelancers and entrepreneurs)
Freelance News (journalism.co.uk)
Freelancers Union, a support system to help the growing independent workforce thrive--solidarity, benefits, community, and a political voice. One reason people join this for the insurance; here are some comments in 2010 on the insurance). Here is announcement 6-22-12 that the NY State Legislature ended its session without passing the Freelancer Payment Protection Act
Freelance Success (FLX, to which many freelance journalists subscribe)
Freelance Writers Den (Carol Tice's site--hang out, find help, earn more...)
Freelance Writing Organization--Int'l (online resources, job offerings, a free blog listing, as long as it's about writing--I have no personal knowledge of this organization)
Morning Coffee Newsletter (Freelance Writing.com's blog on freelance writing jobs)
National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE)
National Writers Union (NWU) list of publications that pay $1 a word or more, one of several resources listed on SPJ page of Tools for Freelancers
The Newspaper Guild. See Newspaper Guild: Constitution amended to admit freelancers (9-10-04). The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America "reversed decades of history by agreeing to open its ranks to freelancers....a belated recognition that the fight for full-time jobs in the newspaper industry has been lost, at least partially, to publishers advocating workforce 'flexibility.'"
NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network)
The Scriptorium (a virtual room for writers)
Union & Guild Resources for Writers
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN)

Freelancer Directories

Many writers and journalists organizations have begun offering freelance directories, so if you're looking for a freelancer in a special field, that's one place to look, and if you're freelance, make sure you're listed in the directory of organizations to which you belong. Here are some directories. I'll list more as I remember or you make me aware of them:
Association of Health Care Journalists (see AHCJ's list of independent journalists)
Editorial Freelancers Association (search by state, skill, specialty, hardware, software)
LinkedIn ProFinder (helps clients find the best freelancers or independent professionals in your geographic area)
ServiceScape (a professional freelancer platform that hosts and promotes professional editors, translators, graphic designers, and writers)
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) (freelancers in an organization that traditionally attracts staff journalists)
---If you're hiring (find quality freelancers)
---If you're freelancing (find rewarding projects)
Words' Worth . Database and discussion area of National Association of Science Writers (NASW), a members-only forum where NASW members can report their freelancing experiences and find valuable information from other members about what they did, what they charged, and how it went.
Authors in Facebook and Goodreads authors groups often seek freelance editors.


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Why Editors Go Freelance (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit, 11-6-06) Amusin and true.
Why I Love Social Media (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit, 7-31-09)

Why I’m Grateful I Got Sued By American Express and What You Can Learn From My Experiences (Nathan Rabin, The Mental Illness Happy Hour). What he learned: Don't go $36,000 into debt to research a book, and don't turn to a debt consolidation company get out of debt.

Why Write for Newspapers? (Sue Fagalde Lick, Writing-World.com, 2007) By the same author: The Newspaper/Blog Connection

Work Geography Is Dead. Long Live LifeGeography. by Peter Shankman

Working from Home: More Pros than Cons? (New York Jobs Insider, 11-15-17) A site offering employment advice.