Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Should you pay others to publish your work?

I had a new writer contact me about an article she had written for a photo-editorial fashion spread. Here's what she wanted to know:

"A photographer friend and I recently did a fashion shoot as a part of a fashion and environment awareness idea that we came up with. The images are beautiful and the story is relevant to the 'going green' movement showing how. Because it is not your typical fashion magazine spread that's trying to sell a specific product, but is more of an informative approach, I am trying to figure out which publication it is best suited for. Possibly a magazine that's in need of content? Should I expect to pay to have this first item published? and if so, how much should I expect to pay?"

Here's my response:

Sounds like a great concept and very timely, too. You should not pay to have your work used; you should be paid. I'm guessing that the photographer has either given you the rights to the images or you will be submitting the work as a photo editorial. You both should be paid for your contributions. What you can get depends on the quality of the work and the publication's budget. Small, regional magazines don't have big budgets, but typically would be interested because they lack the staff to do it on their own. Many fashion spreads are shot and written by freelance contributors. What about the fashions featured? The designer or the store that supplied the clothes should be credited.

Paying to have your work published in a magazine or other print publication is advertising. Do not confuse it with self-publishing a book, where the author assumes the production costs but receives all the profits from book sales.

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