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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sixteen months ago, I took a buyout from the newspaper where I'd been a columnist for almost 30 years. Lot of that going around. I didn't especially want to go, but I got a fair deal and I don't have any complaints. I've moved on to doing a radio show, writing for the local alternative paper and freelancing. Life is good.
Hard to say this modestly, but since I retired, people have come up to me once or twice a week to tell me they miss my column. I tell them I had to bail (true--nearly a third of the staff has been laid off since I left), and they should write the editor and tell him he was a fool to let me go.
Apparently they did, because he called yesterday and asked me to come back as a freelance columnist...
Right now I'm fantasizing: He's desperate, and he'll do anything to get me back. I'll soak him for my former full-time salary, work from home and never have to go into the office..
The reality: He'll offer me $75 a column, which he thinks is generous but which is about 10 percent of the going rate anywhere but at newspapers. I'll laugh in his face and walk out. Then the economy will really go into the tank, the freelance work will dry up and I'll have to go back in May and beg him to let me write for $37.50. That's the kind of judgment that's characterized my career.
 

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Don't overthink it. He's just another prospective free lance client. Counter offer at double or triple or whatever you think is fair. See if he goes for it. Your brand potentially gets more exposure. Simple business transaction.

PS, I really enjoyed your old column in Autoweek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Creakyknees said:
start a blog, sell ads, make more money.
Had a blog, and it had readers, but I couldn't figure out how to make any money on it. There are supposedly 110 million blogs out there, with 50,000 new ones started every day. I fold in the face of that kind of competition. I'm a writer, not a salesman. We become writers because we'd rather sit in a comfortable place and type than go out and call on strangers who don't really want to see us.
 

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waterproof*
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Cory, it's a process, it can be learned. If you have an audience, you have an opportunity.

I won't preach though.
 

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Coco Puff
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Cory said:
Had a blog, and it had readers, but I couldn't figure out how to make any money on it. There are supposedly 110 million blogs out there, with 50,000 new ones started every day. I fold in the face of that kind of competition. I'm a writer, not a salesman. We become writers because we'd rather sit in a comfortable place and type than go out and call on strangers who don't really want to see us.
The RGJ is small time lately. It's turned into a five minute read in the morning. You know it's bad when the most substantive pages are the comics...

$75 per column? You gotta be kidding... Twice or three times a week you oughta get at least $150 each just to cover your time to fire up the fingers. They gotta be losing subs by the hundreds. I'd bet the weekly has twice the circulation and is a much better rag to boot.

I'd say eff em and enjoy the free time. Your radio show is getting better all the time btw

Cheers,
 

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Cory said:
. We become writers because we'd rather sit in a comfortable place and type .

I love doing that.

Practice, practice, practice, learn grammerer and punctiation and spelin and maybe someday I too will earn $37.50. Wait. $75.00! Yes, I shall aim high!

Dunno Cory, at this point, I'd say as long as finances are set for the forseeable future, write when and what you want, and damn the torpedos. But if dollars matter, then on your knees boy. :D
 

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Done with winter.
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Ha, the big G doesn't like giving away content older than 7 days online.

Cory: Work a deal with the column and a moderator spot on their moms site. That should give you plenty to do.
 

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Low rep power
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$75. is *way* too cheap - particularly if you managed to develop a substantial readership, as seems to be the case. As an ex-AP then commercial photographer, I'm well aware of the payment differences between newspapers and other media, but hey.....

My guess is that he didn't call you out of pity, but rather, that you have a product that adds value (sneaking in something from the corporate-speak thread) to the paper, and that he needs that right now.

What's the circulation? Figure out what you're worth on the open market in that range, and suggest that you get that.
 

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"El Bwana"
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Tell the editor that you need a lot more for the column, but that you will give them naming-rights for the column. Something like " Cory - Around the Neighborhood" brought to you by the Basque Restaurant Association of Elko.

Or something like that.
 
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