1. SerraSwift
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    SerraSwift Member

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    haven't received payment...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by SerraSwift, Nov 8, 2010.

    I wrote a piece for a magazine; the article was published in their newest issue, which hit newsstands in early October. I signed a contributor's form stating that I would receive one copy of the magazine in which my article was featured, and would receive a $30 compensation.

    I got the magazine copy in the mail...but no check. It's only been a month and I can't help hoping they are just swamped, but...I'm starting to get a little ticked. I sent an email just inquiring (as brief and polite as possible!) about the status of my payment, and I hope I'm not jumping the gun.

    What's the average turnaround for magazine payment? I know it's only $30 but still...
     
  2. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    You should have received payment with your copy. Keep on em'. I don't think you're jumpin the gun.

    Although, I have gotten paid before seperately, the contributor's copy and then weeks after the check came. So it all depends. I also had a problem with payment for an online magazine, but it wasn't going through because my paypal was messed up at the time.

    If it gets ugly (which I am sure it won't) tell them IF you won't pay me, I will report it.

    I am working with a publisher and it's taking over 7 months for it to get done, and I said to the editor, if I don't see progress in the next few weeks, I will take action. He definetly changed his tuned from that point, in a good way.

    Sometimes these editors (after months of waiting on something) need a good kick in the (you know what)

    Stay on them! And you will get paid. 9 times out of 10...they will concede if they wanna stay in business.

    Congrats on your published work. Good luck to you.
     
  3. skinnydipper
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    skinnydipper New Member

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    The first time I published in a magazine it them forever to pay me. I sent an email asking about payment, they replied a few days later that I hadn't sent an invoice. I sent an invoice and received my payment less than a week later.
     
  4. PulpyNoir
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    PulpyNoir New Member

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    Treat it like any other business matter. I would query them once a week for two weeks, then up it to a couple of times a week, if you hear no response. Be polite yet firm. It sounds like it could have been an administrative screw up, so give them the benefit of the doubt. Let them know you are giving them benefit of the doubt, but do press them for a date when you can expect to be paid.

    I know you may be feeling like you should approach the matter with a delicate touch, but you are now dealing with business that owes you a debt. And if they can't pay, right away - that's fine - but they should give you some heads up when they do expect to pay you. And lets say you have to really work hard to get the money promised to you, but the editor is like "I'll never print your writing again" ... do you really want to submit your hard work to someone who has trouble fulfilling their obligations? After all, at the end of the day, we're all independent contractors.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto what lmc and skinny dipper said!
     
  6. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    Is thirty bucks worth suing for? If not, there's no point in even worrying about it. At least you have a publishing credit. I say let them keep it, and keep doing business with them on credit (let them owe you) until you work your way up to bigger dollars with another magazine.

    Sure, it's an honor issue--but only if you make it one. You do have a paid publishing credit after all.

    You can be smart about this, or you can sue them for thirty bucks. The choice is yours.
     
  7. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    It wasn't Cooks Source magazine I hope? :rolleyes:
     
  8. PulpyNoir
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    PulpyNoir New Member

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    hmm ... I didn't see any mention of suing a publisher. Still, it's a definite honor issue that should be confronted. If you don't start advocating for yourself at the start of your career, what makes you think you'll start doing it down the road? Put it another way ... would you prefer to learn poker playing penny ante stakes, or wait to learn until the pot is in the high roller territory?
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nor did I.

    $30 is $30, you had an agreement. it is as well in your pocket as a publisher's.

    Do chase it up, politely.

    Best of luck
     
  10. skinnydipper
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    skinnydipper New Member

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    If you invoiced them and they didn't pay, just keep sending past due invoices every month. They will either get tired of receiving them and pay you, or you'll get tired of sending them and decide it's not worth the effort.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The contributor's form doesn't specify a time frame, I take it.

    This is why publications should use Agreements that are more detailed, and authors should favor those publications that do. When these things are spelled out, at least you aren't left wondering.
     
  12. SerraSwift
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    SerraSwift Member

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    Thank you all for your wonderful advice!

    I did hear back from the publisher; they said that I am in their queue of payables and that I should be paid before the end of December.

    I am *so glad* I followed up---my real worry was that I had accidentally thrown the check out with the envelope my copy arrived in!

    I'm actually glad to have gone through this experience. I previously had no idea what the time-table for payment was for magazine articles, and now that I understand it can take some time, I feel more prepared for the future. I was as polite as possible and hope I didn't step on any toes.

    Ashleigh: haha! No, luckily it was not Cooks Source ;) You know, I thought that Twitter account of theirs was real for the longest time. I couldn't believe how evil they were! Then I found out it was a fake account and now I'm embarrassed for ever having thought it was real!

    Thanks again for the advice, folks! I really appreciate it :)
     

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