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Module Design/writing Compensation Rates

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I guess I will be the odd man here.  Personally, as a freelance writer, I prefer pay by the word.  I typically ask for a 1/4 of the value up front and the difference paid upon completion of the material.  I have a writer's contract that stipulates all of this.

Currently, I am working on an Monster Manual for a minis company with another Campaign book down the road.  It works well for both sides.  


I'm a freelancer who just finished a Bestiary for a company and I'm about to finish an Adventure Module. So-far I've been paid by the word, upon completion. This is only feasible because the publisher is offering fair market-rates. (If he were paying less I'd be losing money writing 150 page modules.)

Now that I've developed a good relationship with the publisher, however, we're moving to a royalties system for the next three books. That increases my own personal investment in the product, and makes me feel the publisher is investing in me, and wants to have an ongoing relationship. That's a nice feeling.

But, if someone's new or casual, I'd suggest by-the-word.


Anthony Pacheco:
Thanks for the replies. So--it's all over the place. Heh.


--- Quote from: Anthony Pacheco;1094686 ---Thanks for the replies. So--it's all over the place. Heh.
--- End quote ---

Yeah, everything is all over the place, but that's not just this industry. That's paid writing.

I was a publisher for trade magazines for a few years. Ultimately paid writing is paid writing regardless of the industry. Just take your editorial budget, decide what you can afford, figure out fair-market rate for what you want (and if you need to scale back what you want), and give someone a by-word or upon-completion rate until you find someone you really trust and will help you build the business long-term. That's roughly the way it has worked for the last 150 years of paid writing.


Yeah, I wouldn't expect royalties the first time I worked on a project, but once I built up a relationship, royalties make more sense. I think both the publisher and the freelancer can benefit from this. Building a relationship is the difficult part. My experience is that both freelancers and publishers seem to pull disappearing acts way too often. Several publishers I've been working for have just vanished overnight, and several jobs I've got are from publishers that have lost their freelancers and need something written asap.


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