Author Topic: A little advice  (Read 1411 times)

Offline keira

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A little advice
« on: February 10, 2010, 03:48:21 PM »

hello to all
I wonder if anyone may be able to offer me a little advice...
I write spiritual columns for local newspapers, I would like to able to take this forward and develop on all levels,
My questions are many and varied...
I have never known any other columnist and have no idea what one might expect to earn, so far not enough!!
And is an agent the way to go forward...
Any opinions or thoughts would be great
Thank you kindly in advance for any help
Blessings
xxx

Offline A.J.B

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 07:44:27 PM »
Agents are good if you know what you want to do.

If you plan on writing a novel agents prefer that you have the whole thing written so that if they say yes then they don't have to wait for you to actually write it. So if it is anovel you are planning on, don't worry about agents until you finish the novel.

If it is a non fiction book you plan on writing then Agents expect you to provide a detailed chapter by chapter overview. They want to know EXACTLY what will be in each chapter and what direction you plan on taking whatever it is you are writing about. They also expect you to tell them why they should take you on as a client, why you are the person best suited to write this book.

If you are wanting to keep writing columns then I don't see why an agent would be needed.

For any detailed help then you will need to say exactly what your goals/plans are.
My debut novel 'Life Eternal' is now available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.

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Offline keira

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 01:17:34 AM »
Hiya and thank you for replying
The reason for the agent was I guess to help realize the worth of the work, I have no idea what you should be paid for writing newspaper columns, this is my second column the first I wrote for a local newspaper in Scotland for 3 years, I moved location and now write for my local publication here, the demographic is fairy small and the remuneration reflects this, but also I consider the work wonderful experience, 6 years of column writing is good training for someone with no writing experience. I would like to hold onto the column I have and negotiate another with a greater population in a different location, to do this fairly an idea of pay ranges and what is normal and fair would be helpful.

I am in the midst of writing a metaphysical Novel, although I have not worked on it for some time, maybe 6 months, I will be returning to finish it in the near future, and again thank you the advice, I must admit I am very green, I had planned on sending three chapters to publishers, strangely I never considered obtaining an agent for the book.

Thanks again
Blessings

Offline A.J.B

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 05:56:26 AM »
I don't know how one would go about getting an agent for column writing considering that is largely considered a freelance job. Unless you're Jeremy Clarkson you might find it a bit difficult.

Perhaps it's worth asking google as well as this board?
My debut novel 'Life Eternal' is now available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.

Please search 'Aaron J Booth' on Amazon to find the product.

Offline keira

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 09:35:59 AM »
I don't know how one would go about getting an agent for column writing considering that is largely considered a freelance job. Unless you're Jeremy Clarkson you might find it a bit difficult.

Perhaps it's worth asking google as well as this board?

well my lovely Jeremy Clarkson im not..the agent was not entirly the question but rather what was the going rate for such work...google was my first port of call then i remebered of this forum...i thought with so many writers on board ..someone might know..
Blessing to you

Offline WordBird

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 02:32:24 PM »
I pulled out my 2009 copy of Writer's Market. (I didn't buy a 2010 yet).

For a local column, the editors of WM give you the numbers below. And my understanding is that for newspapers as well as magazines, the rates are also dependent upon the circulation.
High = $600/column
Low = $68/column
Average = $171/column

I also have a book on my shelf from Michael Sedge (2000) about Self-Syndication. A quick view of the index: Agents is not listed as a topic. This tells me that Agents are either not discussed at all in this book or not enough to warrant a spot in the index. Sedge offers some discussion and examples of pricing. Again it is based on circulation. Pg 74: 50,000 circ might pay $10/wk for a daily feature. New York Times may pay $75/week. "A good initial goal is twenty-five customers. If you average $50 a week per feature, your monthly return will run about $5000." (damn, who knew so lucrative??) When starting out, Sedge recommends offering the first ten samples free of charge or for $1-$5/each.

For self-syndication, the 2009 WM offers this range:
High = $35/insertion
Low = $4/insertion
Average = $8/insertion.

As with almost everything, these are only guidelines. But I hope this helps you get started.

D




Offline keira

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 02:46:57 PM »
thats amazing! thank you very much... yip maybe need to get one of those books
 you think the numbers are good... i was quite shocked at the low pay from the big papers, but if you can work quick...it looks good
blessings and thank you xxx

Offline WordBird

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 03:02:32 PM »
You are most welcome Keira.

Re: the low pay from big papers, just keep in mind that when newspapers buy a syndicated column they lose the advantage of being the only paper to publish it. That is why they pay less for a syndicated column verses a dedicated column that no other paper will see.

So you are working really hard to write a column every day, but you are sending that one column to your 25 customers instead of writing 25 different columns.

D

Offline keira

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 03:08:46 PM »
ahhh gotcha, thats good work if you can do it...perfect advice and help...thank you xxx

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 04:11:52 PM »
Hello - good luck with it all, I'm an ex news and features ed in local papers and contributor to national papers etc, if you can get a column in a national then you should be looking at £300 upwards a go, but for a local paper, payment can be a lot lower, or non-existent due to budget cuts etc and commissions are also currently shrinking on the nationals too - can you tell us anything more specific about your target publications so we can answer particular questions. Often (unfortunately for people who earn a living writing) such columns may be written by people happy to contribute in return for publicity/links to a connected business - I am sorry if this sounds negative but it is based on experience. x Ref an agent - if you were an A-list celeb attempting to sell a column to a regular buyer then this could work well but as there will be more people trying to get their columns published than editors to commission them, it's a buyers' market and the onus will be on you as someone new to the field, to convince them why they should carry your work as opposed to convincing them they should pay you more handsomely for it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 04:14:27 PM by LindaJ »
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Offline keira

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Re: A little advice
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 04:33:02 PM »
The work I do at the moment is easily described as a psychic agony aunt, I am a spiritual healer to trade and worked as a professional Clairvoyant for many years, I was offered my writing first job after reading for the editor, the same happened for a local radio station, similar events for my presant job.  The column includes a reading, another question normally to do with healing maybe for example which crystal would be good for this or that….. Kind of question, I pass on global healing events...
I live as an expat and think i would follow this market and sell down this root.