Recently a newspaper editor emailed to say she'd like to consider publishing my nutrition article for $40. Good news! However, I couldn't help getting hung up on that word, "considering".
Next came the request: "Do you happen to have any photos of the suggested treats?"
I'd read enough nutrition articles in the past few months to know they're usually accompanied by photos. However, I didn't have a photo, a professional camera, or her guarantee that my article would be published either way.
Then I got an email from a second editor, requesting the same thing. It seemed the only thing that stood in the way of getting my two newspaper submissions published, and payment, was a photo. How could I say no?
So I cooked up a batch of pancakes, borrowed a relative's 6-megapixel camera and emailed the pics. It wasn't until a recent meeting with my writing mentor Linda that I learned what I should have done.
Linda usually told (regional publication) editors that she didn't have accompanying photos, and said most of the time it hadn't made a difference. If she happened to have photos that would work, she would let them know, and then ask if they offered additional compensation. Sometimes the extra pay only amounted to $10, but it was the point: extra work should mean extra pay.
Oh, well. Click and learn!