Sitting in rush hour as the sun started to drop into the West, I felt tired after a long day of getting everything on my list done. The strangest part is that my air conditioning, like clockwork gave me the sniffles. I dusted and cleaned the vents, checked the filter and I still end up with a stuffy nose when our air conditioning season begins.
My nose wrinkled from another suppressed sniffle when my phone vibrated. All my fatigue melted away and I smiled as I carefully caught the name at a stop and go light. One of my new literary friends texted me her first question and my day lifted. We’re all still feeling the excitement of getting closer to publishing day, and hearing new authors ask the same beginner questions creates a warm feeling in my belly.
No one can take away the feeling you have during your publishing journey. I had the same questions when I published my first book, and tried different methods. Her questions ranged from setting up an online account, how payments work, and other business decisions for filing taxes. One important point that we spoke about is an established contract between the two authors. Business is business and friendship is friendship.
Anytime you create or collaborate your fees need to clear and agreed upon before your work begins. A written contract needs to be signed between parties that decide payments and percentages. You can find templates online by searching in google. Customize and change what you see for your project and sign on the dotted line. Having an official agreement can take a care of any awkwardness or potential situations should your friendship not be in the best state at a future date. It also takes out some of the emotion because both parties understand that this project is about business, not your friendship.
When it comes to setting pricing for your services with other people, you need to do research and ask other business professionals what the range should be for certain services. You can charge by the hour, word, or with a flat fee. One thing that might help you get started is to create set packages starting with minor work, up to the full service packages that is more in depth. One package might have grammar and editing checks that don’t go in depth, while a higher priced package includes a deep dive that gets into line-by-line flow of the story. This is more than a grammar and spell check. Ghost writers might use the higher priced package for writing someone else’s story.
No matter you decide, remember that it’s okay to get paid for your time. This is one area that a lot of creatives aren’t comfortable talking about, or asking of people who ask for help. Your time is valuable. The knowledge you acquire during your own trials, and new projects is also of monetary worth. Creating a story or an art piece might be easy for us, but to others it’s a mystery. Helping other people discover their own skills, and gain new ones is something that’s worth it’s weight in gold because it can be carried with you for the rest of your life. Learning helps us problem solve during future situations.
This year, make it a goal to continue your own education and try something new. Share what you know with your community and don’t be afraid to teach others. Teaching can help you organize your methods, processes, and improve your understanding of the subject faster. In fact, if you’re having trouble learning, switch and try teaching. This small shift helps you break down the topic or skill into teachable and learnable pieces.
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