More Insights from Working Copywriters

In the last issue of The Golden Thread, we asked several of our copywriters to tell us how they go about working with a client to create a successful promotion. Today, our interview continues with their insights on what to do after the package mails – and how to charge for your work:

TGTE: After the package mails, what do you request from your client?

ALL OUR EXPERTS: Ask for samples (pdf files and printed copies) and marketingresults on a regular basis.

TGTE: How do you charge for your work?

JOHN FORDE: When working on something freelance, I either ask for a payment midway and a payment on completion or simply a payment on completion. (I'm bad about invoicing, but I usually get one to the client within a week or two.)

JUSTIN FORD: I usually get paid half when beginning the project, and I submit an invoice for the rest once the final copy is approved and ready to go to layout. If the client posts my copy on the Internet after it's mailed in print, I charge 2% of Internet sales.

KRISTA JONES: I send an invoice after the final revision.

DICK SANDERS: My terms are one-half payment up front to start the project and one-half payment 30 days after approval of final copy, regardless of the mailing date. Royalty payments are due 30 days after the mailing dates. (I get royalties for any additional use of my copy, including the Internet, inserts, print ads, etc.)

EDITH NEE: I send an invoice after the last revision – when I think the client is totally satisfied with my work. If they use my copy on the Internet, I charge extra.

TGTE: Do you charge extra to update your package if it becomes your client's new control?

JOHN FORDE: I have updated most of my controls. The way this should work is that the update gets you more royalties, so there's no upfront fee. But if the update is so considerable that it becomes a new package (a subjective but frequent occurrence), you ought to negotiate something additional.

JUSTIN FORD: I update it at no charge.

DICK SANDERS: I will update any control at any time, solely on a royalty basis. The only exception is if more than 25% of the package needs to be changed. Then, I charge a fee plus royalties.

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Published: July 22, 2002

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