You've submitted queries and you're playing the waiting game. Once the editor bites on your pitch, there are a few items you need to cover with the editorial staff. Clarity of expectations will help the project progress smoothly. Use this list when working with an editor.
- Ask for a precise explanation of the project. What's the word count? Are photos necessary? Do you need a sidebar?
- Note the deadline.
- Determine what format should be used to submit the final product: an attachment? body of an email? mailed on a disk?
- Learn what rights the publisher is asking for.
- Discuss payment. Will you receive a flat rate? Are you being paid by the hour? Will you earn a certain amount for each word?
- Decide what types of expenses, if any, will be covered as well as the payment procedure for expenses.
- Review invoicing policies. Who should receive the invoices? When should they be sent?
- Check if multimedia products (photos, videos, drawings) will be returned.
Many publishers will send a checklist of this nature when they decide to use your article. If a publisher does not use a similar form, a writer can send a form with her understanding of the project and ask for the editor to return it with an electronic signature via email. Protecting your bottom line and your projects will establish a solid relationship with an editor.