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Out of the blue, I've been contacted by an on-line photography tuition business asking if I'm interested in writing an e-book.

They appear to be well established and one of the more prominent of these types of outfit. They had seen my images in an international

      photo competition

They pay $6 per 100 words and an e-book is 20 - 30,000 words. 

 

Has anybody done this type of work ? Is that a fair pay rate ?

 

I'm interested in doing it - it would be a new challenge and you never know what might lead from it -  but it's not something I have any experience of apart from a few illustrated articles. 

Any insights and advice welcomed, as are any pertinent questions that I should be asking at this stage.

 

Thanks

Geoff

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The rates are more commonly quoted as so many per thousand, although the maths are not a challenge. It is usual to be paid 1/3 up front/on signing the contract. 1/3 on delivery of text, and 1/3 on publication. You don't throw in the photos or illustrations. Negotiate a duration and agree on fees for extensions

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It's pretty stingy for all rights in perpetuity (which is what they'll want)- about £45/1000 words, and 1000 words/day is probably what you'll manage. 15 years ago I was getting £100-150/1000 for a single UK trade publication,  but that did include images.

But probably better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say

Negotiate. Find out how much they want you. If you could get that rate up by 50% it wouldn't be too shabby. Especially if you're fast.

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I used to do a lot of writing for print publications, and those would have been considered slave-labour rates. However, I realize that the whole landscape has changed since I was scribbling. Personally, I would never sign an "all rights in perpetuity" contract if that is what they offering. You are basically giving you work away and will never be able to make any money from it again. The increasing popularity of these types of contracts among publishers was one of the main reasons that I quit freelance writing. As Mark suggested, you need to negotiate. Best of luck.

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My pieces were Photokina reports for the trade press, so not much re-licensing value, but my editor only wanted first publication rights They weren't sold elsewhere. But at anything near the rate you've been offered, ARIP would be quite insulting.

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26 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

My pieces were Photokina reports for the trade press, so not much re-licensing value, but my editor only wanted first publication rights They weren't sold elsewhere. But at anything near the rate you've been offered, ARIP would be quite insulting.

 

I've never done any e-book writing, so I don't know what the going pay rates are. However, I have done some writing for e-zines and the like. When the Internet was young, electronic publishers actually paid quite well. However, they soon realized that the flood gates had been opened, and they could easily get people to work for almost nothing (or even nothing at all). It was all downhill from there. I used to cross out "all rights" on contracts and replace it with "one-time rights" or something similar. Eventually I just gave up, especially when some publications that I contributed to refused to negotiate at all and even started demanding all rights for accompanying photos as well.

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Thanks for the replies so far - the message is clear !  I'll try a bit of negotiation. I suspect that the reply may be of the take it

or leave it variety. 

I guess that as with stock photography, the power is largely in the buyer's hands. 

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Good luck with it, Geoff, whatever you decide to do. 

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Thanks Ed and also thanks to Chris Hellier who pm'd me to offer some very helpful info. I've tried to thank you via email, Chris,

but it keeps bouncing back.

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34 minutes ago, geoff s said:

who pm'd me

 

I was under the impression that we cannot PM other forum members from the forum.🤔

 

Allan

 

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Posted (edited)

Geoff Shoults; web-site easily found, email address supplied. The PM function within the forum was quite useful but there were some who took liberties we were told

Edited by Robert M Estall

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Unless you are ghost writing this, then if you have the capability of writing c20-30k words with images, I would be inclined to write your own eBook and then get it distributed. There are plenty of companies that will provide this service for a 50/50 split on all revenues in perpetuity and they take care of the formatting for all the relevant platforms (apple, amazon, etc). The key thing you have too gamble is whether c1500 in the bank now, is better than an unknown split of on-going revenue.

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On 24/04/2020 at 06:04, isphoto said:

Unless you are ghost writing this, then if you have the capability of writing c20-30k words with images, I would be inclined to write your own eBook and then get it distributed. There are plenty of companies that will provide this service for a 50/50 split on all revenues in perpetuity and they take care of the formatting for all the relevant platforms (apple, amazon, etc). The key thing you have too gamble is whether c1500 in the bank now, is better than an unknown split of on-going revenue.

 

I don't have any experience with e-books. However, I get the impression that most people write them as a "labour of love" rather than as a money-making venture.

 

No doubt there are exceptions. though.

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4 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I don't have any experience with e-books. However, I get the impression that most people write them as a "labour of love" rather than as a money-making venture.

 

No doubt there are exceptions. though.

 

Isn't that why we're doing stock photography now?

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6 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Isn't that why we're doing stock photography now?

 

Well, yes and no. It seems to be a YMMV type of thing. I'm still lucky (touch wood) to be earning enough every month make the effort worthwhile financially, but I also enjoy photography for its own sake.

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Always try to negotiate for a better rate. Rates for writing have dropped significantly but the rate quoted is still much lower than even the stingiest publications I'm aware of. If you are writing for a company that will be using the e-book to market their other products, you should be able to get them to increase the rate.  Also, as others have mentioned, negotiate photos separately and make it clear that you will provide first rights not all rights. Even these days with both old and new clients, I've been able to negotiate around the "all rights" grab, so it may not be a deal-breaker. Good luck!

 

You could also try to negotiate for a flat rate plus a percentage of the profit, unless of course it's being given away as a free loss leader to entice the purchase of other items. 

 

These days, any income is welcome, so ultimately you should feel comfortable with what works for you. 

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5 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Well, yes and no. It seems to be a YMMV type of thing. I'm still lucky (touch wood) to be earning enough every month make the effort worthwhile financially, but I also enjoy photography for its own sake.

 

I was being tongue in cheek, but yes, YMMV. Hhmmm... think I need to increase my collection. Can't believe some people have tens of thousands, taken me 5 years to get here! But yes, I do it for fun and to try to improve to a large extent.

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5 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

I was being tongue in cheek, but yes, YMMV. Hhmmm... think I need to increase my collection. Can't believe some people have tens of thousands, taken me 5 years to get here! But yes, I do it for fun and to try to improve to a large extent.

 

Yes, it's amazing how many images some contributors have in their collections. There are some busy beavers out there. I started submitting in 2007, so it has taken me about 12 years to get to 8000 images, which isn't very many these days. That said, I figure that I could probably delete at least one third of my images and still make roughly the same number of sales per month. I find that the most important thing for generating dependable income is to have a stable of repeat-sellers.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Marianne said:

Always try to negotiate for a better rate. Rates for writing have dropped significantly but the rate quoted is still much lower than even the stingiest publications I'm aware of. If you are writing for a company that will be using the e-book to market their other products, you should be able to get them to increase the rate.  Also, as others have mentioned, negotiate photos separately and make it clear that you will provide first rights not all rights. Even these days with both old and new clients, I've been able to negotiate around the "all rights" grab, so it may not be a deal-breaker. Good luck!

 

You could also try to negotiate for a flat rate plus a percentage of the profit, unless of course it's being given away as a free loss leader to entice the purchase of other items. 

 

These days, any income is welcome, so ultimately you should feel comfortable with what works for you. 

 

That's good advice. I found that talking publications out of the "all rights grab" got increasingly more difficult after the print media started to decline, but it's the only way to survive in freelance writing.

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8 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

probably delete at least one third of my images and still make roughly the same number of sales

Yes, but to paraphrase John Wanamaker (always thought it was Beaverbrook!), which third?

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7 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Yes, but to paraphrase John Wanamaker (always thought it was Beaverbrook!), which third?

 

Yes, that's always the problem. Mind you, I think I could make a pretty accurate guess at this point.

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Update ....I replied expressing my interest and a .modicum of enthusiasm but questioning the rates and asking about rights, image rights etc.

And......nowt ! I imagine my reply was metaphoricaly screwed up and tossed into the bin. 

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Update to the update...

 

I've had a reply to the effect that "we were inundated with people wanting to take up the offer, presumably at those rates, so we don't need you or your bolshy re-negotiation bol***ks,

 but have a good day"

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Plenty of willing punters around to support the 'vanity publishing' sector then, I suppose these hard times might be a factor also. Reminds me of the companies requiring free professional photography in return for 'exposure'.

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