Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Crossover Content

Quick reading note: Johanna Edwards' new book, How to Be Cool, launches today, and for those of you who want a light, diverting beach read, I'm sure that this is it! Johanna was kind enough to blurb me when I blindly emailed her a year or so ago, and she's turned out to be a super-cool (ergo, the title of her book!) gal.

Question of the day: In January, a magazine I write for on the regular, contacted me to write a story. I outlined. It was approved. I submitted a first draft. Got positive feedback and made a revision. Two weeks after submitting the revision in February, I e-mailed my backup materials to the editor to pass on to fact-check. The ed responded to my e-mail and said that the story had been bumped due to page count issues; not sure when would get back on the lineup. Yesterday, I read a story in this magazine. It covered roughly 40 percent of the topics in my story. My thoughts: crap! and nearly half my story can't run now because the info's already out there. Replacing those portions of my story aren't an option. Bottom line: damn kill fee for 25% is in my contract--something I should have fought a long time ago. However, my bone to pick is that the work was technically "accepted." How would you approach said ed with your expectations?

I would proceed as if you hadn't seen the piece at all because whether or not they ran similar content shouldn't matter at ALL when it comes to full payment vs. a kill fee. Of course, we all know how writers can get screwed on this issue, so I'd immediately start pressing your editor for payment because it sounds like, given the fact-checking, your story has clearly been accepted, and you're due your check. Now. I'd make no mention of the other piece, instead, just say that you haven't been paid, and you expect to be. Period. Regardless of crossover content, she outlined her expectations and you delivered them, so...there's nothing to argue over.

She should get your check in the mail asap, and that should be that. So I'd email/call her right away and proceed as normal.

Anyone else have other suggestions?

1 comment:

Eileen said...

I adore Edwards books. I'm looking forward to rounding out the full set!