Business of Writing

» Hiring Rates

Jobs Writers Are Hired For

There are many jobs available to writers. With some creativity and imagination a writer may find their perfect job is not only writing the next great novel but something far different from what they ever imagined. A writer may be hired to do:

  • Readings
  • Workshops
  • Editing
  • Giving Seminars
  • Ghostwriting
  • Technical Writing (writing manuals, how to pamphlets, etc…)
  • Article Writing
  • Online Writing
  • Speech Writing
  • Translations
  • Writing Adaptations of Movies or Television Shows
  • Academic Writing

How Hiring Rates are Determined

When a writer is being hired for a specific job, whether it is a writing job or doing readings, the client will consider a variety of determiners in deciding how much the writer’s services are worth. Consider the following ways in which hiring rates may be determined:

  • Education: Having a university/college degree may be considered when deciding how much to pay a writer. The writer’s educational background may indicate whether they have experience or expertise in a specific field and set them apart from competitors.
  • Experience: Writers and clients alike may consider past experience when negotiating hiring rates. Writers who have many published works, or expertise in a specific area of interest may stand out and be able to demand higher rates of pay.
  • Skill Level: A client may look at specific skill sets when hiring a writer, and determining their rate of pay.
  • Rights Licensed to the Client: When working on a writing project, be aware of which rights the client is purchasing/licensing and how much these are worth.
  • Number of Words and/or Time the Project Requires: Many publications will pay a flat rate per word or per hour
  • The Number of Interviews and the Amount of Research Needed: Some projects may not be overly long in word count, but take hours of research and interview time, a writer/client should consider these factors when determining a writer’s pay.

General Tips for Determining Hiring Rates:

  • Do some research. There are many online sources that outline how much a writer should expect when being hired for specific jobs. These guidelines will help you to determine whether you are being paid fairly or not.
  • Keep in mind that often times certain clients/publishers will already have outlined their potential budget for a project or have established rates that they pay their writers. Often times there is little to no room for negotiations; however, it never hurts to ask or discuss a possible increase.
  • The more experience a writer has the higher payment rates they will be able to negotiate. Having your works published is a testament to your experience, and adds credibility when you are looking to be hired for a writing job. (This is tangible proof of your abilities and experience)

For More Information:

Professional Fee Guidelines from PWAC (Professional Writers' Association of Canada)

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