From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Legal Risk as a Copywriter

Hi Pat,

I am working on the Accelerated Program for Six-figure Copywriting, making certain to follow the instructions exactly and completely. I’ve hit a little snag. I read something I don’t understand and I don’t know where to get the answer.

On Part II, Section 10, page 68, there is a picture of the Newsweek Magazine – Active Subscriber Datacard. The first line is: 2,564,426 – $85.00/M.

What does the “M” stand for?

Muriel R.

Hello Muriel,

This is a simple but important question. You need to understand exactly how to read a datacard. Don’t think twice about asking any question you may have.

List brokers charge for a list by the amount and quality of names on it. This particular list goes for $85.00 per thousand names. The “M” represents “one thousand.”

Hi Pat,

Here’s a question. Do freelance copywriters need to purchase business insurance to protect against fines or lawsuits related to errors, omissions, libel, slander, etc.?


Hello Pam,

Great Question!!

The complete answer to this question is complicated – and would take far more space than I have here. But, generally speaking, as a copywriter, you are not at risk for lawsuits because …

  1. You are not going to make untrue claims about the products you’re writing about.
  2. Your client is ultimately responsible for the product itself.

There are other – more involved – considerations. AWAI has an excellent (and affordable) program called “Freelance Business Success in a Box.” I recommend you pick up a copy. It will answer all your questions about starting and running a freelance business.

That’s it for this week. Thanks to one and all- and keep those emails coming!


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Published: December 18, 2006

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