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  #46  
Old 30 Nov 2008
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Well!

Just watched Harlan Ellison's clip. Well what d'ya know? Must say I can't think of an answer to the problem he highlights. Must obviously make my expectations clear at outset when approaching an editor. Linzi.
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  #47  
Old 30 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
£200 is a joke….
For a professional writer maybe, but surely this thread is about amateurs trying to make a few quid out of what they've done?

For the average traveler, £200 is a ferry to northern Spain, a set or two of tyres, or a whole chunk of food and/or fuel?

Sure if you are looking for a commission (and are relying on the money to actually fund the trip) then negotiate, but as the clip highlights - there are plenty of people out there willing to sell their story for whatever the market is paying, either to recoup some of the their costs, or yes, simply as they want to see their trip in print - whether that's for ego or to inspire others to do the same?

For info, NUJ rates used to be around £200 per 1000 words. Your average A4 magazine feature will typically run to around 1500-2000 words, unless it's very picture heavy.

Yes, technically you should also be paid separately for the photography (anything between £25-50 a shot, depending on size - incidentals don't usually pay much), but this is usually for dedicated photography...

Editors know there is no story without the pictures (as Alibaba says at the beginning of this thread) so tend to expect them as the package - "you want paying for the words? then we want the pictures for free..."

Try to see it from their (business) point of view - a magazine has a monthly budget, and if the editor knows (and they can usually tell) you are an amateur writer, they will offer accordingly (freeing up valuable magazine funds so the staffers can spend a week razzing sportsbikes round a racetrack in southern Europe, in the name of 'testing' x)

If you are looking to use your trip write-up as a launch for a journalistic career, then consider that having your feature in a mainstream consumer magazine is a good addition to your portfolio - you can use that as a lever to get further commissions, and if you build a rapport with an editor, you'll tend to find subsequent commissions are more in line with the professional rates...

xxx

ps. that clip is great - what a guy!
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  #48  
Old 30 Nov 2008
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Got it in One

Hi, I'm sure you're correct. I just leafed through a book about writing for magazines and the few motorcycle titles listed each had the note, " Negotiate individually". Suggests quality in all ways can attract a higher payment. Makes sense of course. Linzi.
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  #49  
Old 30 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
For a professional writer maybe, but surely this thread is about amateurs trying to make a few quid out of what they've done?
It might be valid reasons for working “for free”, but I would call that exceptions.
People who work for free makes it harder for the professionals to get decent paid, which again make good writers quit and the quality of the magazines decreases.
In the end the magazine will be filled with hobby-crap, we have internet for stuff like that.

As a traveler you do something unique, you travel for months (or even years) and have loads of experiences. What would the cost be if the magazine sends a reporter away for 6 months? I think 250€ per page is dead-cheap for a well written story with good pictures.
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  #50  
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I also think rates differ significantly between markets - the UK has a huge number of motorcycle magazines, and they sell to virtually every English speaking country too... the editors are not going to pay top dollar when they know so many writers will want to get their work in there?

Someone suggested the 'women's magazines' as a possible direction? The good thing about these (even though there are plenty of those too in the UK) is they tend to have a lot of advertising revenue, so you might find there is more money in the pot. Also, they like stories/features that are inspirational - a woman traveling around the world by motorcycle is still considered a rare and exciting thing...

Good luck with finding a nice (money) tree-lined avenue!

xxx
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  #51  
Old 30 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
I also think rates differ significantly between markets - the UK has a huge number of motorcycle magazines, and they sell to virtually every English speaking country too... the editors are not going to pay top dollar when they know so many writers will want to get their work in there?
The more potential customers you have the easier it is to get the right price. The fact that they sell a lot of copies means that the expenses of paying you is divided on a lot of magazines – which is an ideal situation.




Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
Someone suggested the 'women's magazines' as a possible direction? The good thing about these (even though there are plenty of those too in the UK) is they tend to have a lot of advertising revenue, so you might find there is more money in the pot. Also, they like stories/features that are inspirational - a woman traveling around the world by motorcycle is still considered a rare and exciting thing...
Most motorbike-magazines have loads of ads, that’s how they earn their money. But Woman-magazines can be a great opportunity, esp if you are female.
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  #52  
Old 1 Dec 2008
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The more potential customers you have the easier it is to get the right price. The fact that they sell a lot of copies means that the expenses of paying you is divided on a lot of magazines – which is an ideal situation.
Oh I agree that should be the case, but in reality, the UK magazine editors know full well an amateur writer will take less money to get their work in a 'prodigious' magazine... it might not be right, but they call the shots... afterall, no piece of work is indispensable (like anything in the entertainment world), and if you price yourself out of the market, they'll just look elsewhere?

My point about ad revenue was that the women's magazines tend to have better paying ads - fashion, skincare, luxury goods... and therefore more income and bigger budgets...

xxx
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  #53  
Old 1 Dec 2008
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I guess one way to drum up some interest about what your doing is to inform your local papers of whats happening most usually have sections about locals doing strange stuff especially if you do some volunteer work or ride supporting a charity. Means some mags may pic it up.
As well as the womans magazine I guess u could add the extras that do human interest in the sundays papers and readers digest type publications.
General good quality pictures sell from 20-50 depending on what they are some rarer stuff [objects from in country, foods,homes even old buildings ect] may be upto 100. Its the unique or very special ones that make the most money especially in nature or area views they really do have to be great quality and very special and its doubtful you would have that sort of equipment on your bike. It also depends what rights you sign away with the pictures and the print run of the magazine as to how much u get per picture.
Again have a look at photographers direct[website google it] they show the last few sales, sizes of the pictures and info[for judging type of camera] but just remember they reduce the quality for speed reasons on the site. Signing up is free and they give you requests by email on a daily basis[ you would be surprised at some of the strange or mundane things that are requested. Also look at the highest grossing images they show you what a very good image can earn and I would also point out that this is not a premium agency as its open to pretty much anyone with camera , they will also give you a picture rating[good average ect] with every one you upload.
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  #54  
Old 14 Dec 2008
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It hardly seems worth the effort , does it ? . i would prefer to share my travel stories and pic,s with people who i know will have a genuine interest in it , like right here for instance ! . And as for the supposed ...prestige ... of getting your name and work in print , i cannot think of any magazine that i would bother with nowaday,s I stopped buying bike magazines years ago anyway . Here on the internet you can find an incredible range and variety of great stories pictures and video , so why bother buying paper magazines anymore ? .
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  #55  
Old 14 Dec 2008
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Secondary benefits.

I suppose a reason to do it might not be to fund your trip directly after all £200 isn't going to go far, but if you can show you WILL get published then it helps with the blagging of the free stuff. After all if your photos should show someone's product and you happen to mention how good it is, then that's worth a fair bit to the suppliers.
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  #56  
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I personally have been finding it catastrophically difficult to get any magazine to even acknowledge me.

I have sent mail to around a dozen different UK magazines, but haven't even managed to get my foot in the door. Not one person even replied to say 'sorry we don't take articles from nobodies,' let alone read any of my stories.

I have scratched the idea of getting in nepotistic/insider orientated mags, and will just keep trying to get myself noticed, then when I come back, get myself into the nepotistic/insider orientated world of publishing!

It makes it a bit harder now my cameraman has dropped out, because I now have to learn how to take interesting shots to illustrate my ramblings.


Joel
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  #57  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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Guidebooks as an alternative

It's not quite the same as a full-page spread or regular feature on your personal exploits, but one way to get your name in print (because let's face it once one person has taken the risk and published you others are more likely to follow) is to write, or more likely nowadays update, a guidebook.

I'm off to do my second one for Rough Guides, last one was Hong Kong and Macau, this one is the Lot in France. The money is far from great (they pay your travel, travel insurance, and a lump sum out of which you cover all expenses) but I reckon if I hadn't had to cover my rent etc here as well I would have ended up with around £1000 profit from Hong Kong (3-4 weeks there, plus a few days of writing up, helped by it being a budget guide at a time with a strong pound, Lot will be less as a more expensive country and near-parity on the euro). It could however work out as a way of taking a break from constant moving around, getting to know a place in detail, and earning enough for the next stage.

So how did I get it? They advertised on their site that they wanted people for Central & South America, and South East Asia. So I applied - for a specific thing, not just on spec, which probably helped. My CV includes an English degree and a translation qualification, as well as translation experience. I also used to live in SE Asia, and speak Spanish, so had positive points on both areas. But like everything it's also about selling yourself - prove you can meet deadlines (most jobs need you to do that); send them a sample of your writing; show that you pay attention to details and can do research, that you'll spend time finding out about all the bus timetables not just all the bars; prove you're resourceful; and you'll already stand out from the hundreds of gap-year students fresh out of school who just think it would be a "cool job" - what matters to them as to many is reliability and professionalism, any publisher is better off with slightly inferior material than with an edition that would have been stunning if the writer had turned stuff in on time...

Oh and Rough Guides at least use agency photos, so you don't need to be an ace photographer, or risk huge problems if someone nicks your camera.

Hope that helps!!

Laura

PS other option: given the common themes of people who can write not meeting the sportsbike mag market's requirements, and of travellers wanting a bike mag that deals with what they're interested in, surely contributors to this forum have the necessary skills & experience to start one? Not just trip tales but kit reviews, planning advice, articles on how to get published etc. Just a thought...
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  #58  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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Talking

Laura

PS other option: given the common themes of people who can write not meeting the sportsbike mag market's requirements, and of travellers wanting a bike mag that deals with what they're interested in, surely contributors to this forum have the necessary skills & experience to start one? Not just trip tales but kit reviews, planning advice, articles on how to get published etc. Just a thought...[/QUOTE]

Motorcycle Voyager tried just that , and they went out of business . it was a fine magazine while it lasted , but i guess it proved that there is just not a large enough readership interested in motorcycle travellers to make it financially viable . and anyway ! who need,s a magazine when we have this site ? :-)
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  #59  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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...and anyway ! who need,s a magazine when we have this site ? :-)
People who want to get published I guess?
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  #60  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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Laura

and anyway ! who need,s a magazine when we have this site ? :-)

This sure is a nice page, but it doesn’t pay much…
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