Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quote, unquote: Raising rates or walking away from writers

“Magazines will have a choice: Either they raise the fee for that particular job or they walk away from the writer. And believe me, there’s going to be a lot of that going on. Some writers are clearly worth more than they are getting and some writers are not. The writers who are not are not going to get any more.”
-- The Walrus editor John Macfarlane (retired editor of Toronto Life), commenting to Masthead magazine after a discussion about rates and rights hosted by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

More likely there will be publishers walking away from high word rates next year. With paper costs rising the printing bills aren't getting any smaller...guess where the equilibrium will be found.

4:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if you bump the stubborn $1 per word rates an additional 50% (which many of us are now negotiating, BTW), our rates are hardly "high." They're "subsistance."

The industry smells like old cod. Not sure if you're trying to be a realist here, or are bent on propping up an intolerable situation. If it's the latter, and you're set on defending indefensible status quo, you should know that it's that attitude that has contributed to the overall decline in quality of Canadian magazines overall.

1:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact, Macfarlane said, TWICE, that there was no more money for the editorial pot and that therefore, if writers who are worth more than $1 per word receive more, other writers will get less.

Tough talk, likely intended to scare writers away from Finkel's agency, lest they fall into the not-worth-it category, and thereby destroy the consensus that could finally help writers break through the buck-a-word ceiling.

For another perspective on the Masthead story, please see the Town Hall item on J-source.

4:48 pm  

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