Tuesday, 11 November 2008

As a follow up to the do's and dont's, here's something for an editor to think about:
One of the worst thing you can do as an editor is to lie to your freelancers. Especially when it comes to contracts and payments.
I know of one editor (no names) who kept saying to his/her stable of freelancers that they all got the same payment. And so it happened that he/she gathered all of the freelancers to a conference. During that conference the freelancers naturally began to talk to each other. And surprise, surprise, they found out that they didn't have the same contracts or the same page rate.
Were the freelancers the same happy crowd as before? I don't have to answer that, do I?

That was in the days before everyone had internet. Nowdays it's pretty easy to send away an email to your colleauges and ask them about royalties, agreements, etc. And by all means do that! You got nothing to loose. If someone says "This is a standard contract. Everyone else has signed" you bet there something fishy. (Bill Watterson did some wonderful cartoons on the subject in the early 80's för the Comics Journal. Try to find that issue if you can. It has lots of interesting stuff.)
If you are an artist living in sweden you can always get in touch with Svenska Tecknare. I think they will be happy to give advice.

It's a pleasure to work with talented freelancers. One way to keep them is to treat them right. No, you don't have to lick their boots but you get the idea. Play it straight with them and they will play it straight with you.
To gain trust from a freelancer that feels he or she has been mistreated or fooled will be hard. And most likely he or she will not be as loyal as he/she would have been otherwise.

Any artists/writers or editors with thoughts on the subject or that has horror stories from the biz? Please post a comment. :)

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