You Ask, I Answer: Do I Need to Bill Editors?
Louise asks: Do I need to bill editors after I turn in an assignment or will they just automatically pay me?
In short, you should send an invoice for all the work you do for any magazine or website.
Some magazines do pay automatically without an invoice, but it’s easier to just send one than to try to figure out who needs an invoice and who doesn’t. Also, having an invoice on file will help you keep track of your accounts receivable, and will give you some backup should you need to go after late payment.
A question that stems from this is when you should send an invoice. New writers are often afraid that an editor will be turned off if the writer sends in an invoice too soon.
I go by gut feeling. If a magazine typically doesn’t request revisions — or if they do but it takes them forever to get back to me — I send the invoice right away. But if the magazine I’m writing for usually gets some revisions back to me in a week or two, I want until I turn those in to invoice because I want to make sure the editor is happy with the article before I bill for it.
Technically, I could invoice everyone as soon as I turn in the article, but it just feels right to wait a bit on those magazines that are quick with edits.
Whatever you choose to do, feel confident in the fact that an editor will not blacklist you for invoicing when you turn in an article. You are a professional, and that’s what professionals do.