Friday, August 14, 2009

Persistence pays off: Publisher coughs up missing money

It's a sad fact: It's harder to get paying jobs these days thanks to the dismal economy. There's pretty fierce competition from freelance writers for even some of the lousier writing jobs.

What's even worse, though, is that it's getting more difficult to force deadbeat publishers to cough up the money they actually owe freelancers.

This happened to me earlier this month, when a publisher seemed to disappear after I turned in a short writing assignment for him. I bugged him a few times by e-mail, didn't hear anything and decided to give up. It wasn't worth my time, I figured.

Then I changed my mind. The money wasn't a lot. But I did do the work. I deserved to get paid. So I started bugging the publisher again. This time, I heard back. And, amazingly enough, the payment showed up in my Paypal account.

Of course, I don't expect I'll get any more work from this guy. His message back to me was a bit on the ticked-off side. But so what? I don't want to write for people who I have to constantly pester to get paid.

On the down side, I have two other clients -- print publications that actually pay significantly more -- that are late on a total of $1,750. Again, that's not a ton of money, but it's enough when the assignments are so hard to come by. Come Monday, I'll be bugging these editors and publishers, too.

It's a bit of a shame, really. Freelance writers want to write. They don't want to run their own collection agencies.

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