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How to I assess a writing job offer? Ask Anne The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

I received this response to a query:

Unfortunately, we don’t have much money right now and I can only pay about $10 per article. You would, of course, get credit for your portfolio and online, but we want all exclusive rights to each article.

Let me know.

I’m thinking about doing it for the clips and the exposure. I don’t have clips and being able to point to something online makes sense to me.

That said, I don’t think they should get all rights for $10 per article. I had said in my query that I was willing to give them one-time electronic rights only.

Am I being reasonable?


Hi SW,

Let me first compliment you on being conscious of the rights you’re selling. Next I would guess that the employer is new to this game. The phrase, all exclusive rights isn’t how it’s usually said. Much more typical is all rights with the exclusive understood.

I agree with you, $10 is way low for all rights; first electronic rights should be enough, more than enough. My hunch, however, is they will reject your offer and you should move on. In fact, since you included that information in your query, and they countered with this offer, I wonder if they even read your query all the way through.

I would, however, point out that it’s not terribly difficult to change an article enough so you’re wouldn’t be violating your agreement if you did give them all rights; I still wouldn’t do it, on principle alone.

As you suspect, but I want to make crystal clear, you’re the only one who can really look out for your rights and you’re the only one who can decide what you’re bottom line is.

There are other ways to get the clips you need. You might want to read No Writing Clips? No Problem!

Do you have a question about freelance writing? Ask Anne, The Writing Pro – that’s me 😉 Ask in the comments or send an email and put Q&A in the subject line so I can sort it out from spam and I’ll do my best. Meanwhile, you’ll find some Q&A’s here: Ask Anne, The Pro Writer


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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • admin

    I’ve asked around Candy, and have had no luck… anyone else?

  • candy farlow

    After 25 year career as news journalist/columnist I am embarking on a freelance career. In one posting (on another site) the publication requested a submission of “N1804 or N1802”. I am at a total loss as to what that means. Can you help me?

  • admin

    Blogging doesn’t leave much room for copy editing does it.

  • crr

    Just found your blog. I was impressed till I saw complement for compliment.

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