Evaluating Non-Paying Markets

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There’s a lot of demand for free writing – too much, really. For the most part unless you’re only starting to build up your clips or if you’re the sole author (usually self-publishing via blog) these freeby feels don’t offer much. However, once in awhile, a non-paying gig is well worth doing.

  • When looking at a publisher that might not pay you but may have other things to offer, consider the following:
  • What’s the circulation? How many people are reading this pub?
  • Who is reading the publication? If a small market is filled with powerful readers – especially ones who fit your market niche – it might be worth giving up a little bit of your skill in order to reach them.
  • Will you be given an opportunity to market your own projects? If, for example, you teach workshops in tarot reading, will this give you a chance to talk up some aspects of tarot right before a convention in that area?
  • If you’re new to the area, does this help you introduce yourself and establish a foothold in your given market? Will it make it possible for you to network with individuals who share your interest?

If the market offers any of the above small payoffs, it may well be worth pursuing because of indirect payoff. As in all businesses, writing is partially in who you know – and being strategic about how you get your writing out there will help you develop those contacts.

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  1. Bunny

    I’d also add pro bono work. PSAs, or articles for newsletters. If it contributes to the public good, passing on your writing talent is a good way to “cast your bread upon the water,” you should pardon the reference.

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