QuestionHow long does it take you usually to get paid when you publish in a magazine?
I never had access to such a big audience of photographers who are interested in the business side of photography and finally can ask a question I always was curious about:
How long does it take you usually to get paid when you publish in a magazine?
My personal experience is summarized in these 2 words: too long!
Since years I try to work with upfront payment at least for first-time clients (via credit card), but this works only sometimes. Most magazines want to pay with check (which is a HUGE hassle in Japan) or by wire transfer and some of my payments came in up to 1 year (!) after the first contact. The average is maybe 3~4 months. This kind of puts a dent into the payment, because it costs me money to send reminders, to check my bank balance, etc. etc.
I am curious about your experiences!
Thanks in advance,
At the bottom of my Quotes, Invoices and Licence to use forms, it states in bold type:
THIS COMMISSION IS SUBJECT TO ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS ABOVE AND OVERLEAF. UNDER CLAUSE 4 OVERLEAF, NO USE MAY BE MADE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS UNTIL THE INVOICE IS PAID IN FULL.
So in other words, they need to pay the 'Licence fee' before they publish or use the images; otherwise it would be viewed as illegal use. Which is something you just need to stand firm on and be very clear about, right at the start.
To me, this is the all important form, which I would strongly recommend all photographers use:
It's the Licence to use document, which can be downloaded from the AOP's website.
As a result, I find some will pay 30 days after receiving the Invoice; however, others will wait until the very last minute i.e. pay the day before the magazine appears in the shops.
Speaking of the USA...
In country, here in U.S.A.= 4-6 weeks, in general. Out of country, sometimes up to 3 months usually a wire transfer.
What helps to speed up an invoice from a new client is to first ask who shall you bill and is there some form to fill out...here we have for some a Vendors Form. We also have a W-9 form that if it is a new client will hold you up until you do one, so do it and attach it to the invoice upfront before the assignment, it helps.
Also who should you send it to? Sending it to the editor will get it to the right place EVENTUALLY...why wait,go direct with the proper headings,description and whatever refers to the job to help the billing dept.
In Ireland it can really vary. For News Papers it is usually 30 days after the image has been publish providing you send your invoice in asap. For magazines in can be 2-3 months. Generally it's always too long considering sometimes you have pay some personal costs to get certain images. Best tip I can ever give is agree a price before hand and get it in writing before committing.
Finally, in your e-mail set up additional folders/mailboxes for invoices sent, payments received and mark under News Paper or Magazine. This way you can keep track of everything.
This is really the same question as How long does it take to get paid from any business? The answer to that question really depends on your agreement and how you enforce it. Many years ago I noticed that Federal Express set terms of 21 days for payment. Everyone else was 30 days. I thought it was brilliant. Every other bill for a company would go in a 30 day net pile but the Fed Ex bill would be separated and likely paid first. I started this exact policy and maintain it today. The second critical part is that I never do anything with anyone without a contract and I make a habit of not signing magazine contracts. I provide my own and I do this for a very logical reason. They are buying from me and hence they do it on my terms. Think about this... The next time a plumber shows up at your house try telling him that he will get paid when you decide and that he has to sign your contract and that he is liable and indemnifies and holds you harmless for entering your house.....
The biggest protection you have is a contract and most importantly if you are in the US it is the act of registering your work with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. I have excellent relationships with my clients but it is business and it is all business.
Unfortunately there is no general rule of thumb when expecting payment from magazines. I've received checks within a few months after submission and I've also waited nearly a year for payment. This huge gap in processing has to do with the following things:
-How quickly the content is used.
-How on-point the Editor is at completing their buy-outs at the end of the month.
-How big of a publisher you're dealing with.
You won't get paid until your material is used and usually not until the issue hits newsstands. There is about a 2-3 month gap between the time the Editor turns in that completed material and the time the issue hits the newsstands. I've found that dealing with smaller publishers can be better for my bottom line. There are fewer accounting hoops to jump through before you get your checks, so turnaround is much quicker.
1-2 months. I charge 5% extra on the original invoice for "payment management fees" and then I put a note at the end that the customer is not obligated to pay line item xy if the payment is received in time.
the downside is that the government doesn't give a damn if the customer is or isn't obligated to pay something that was invoiced, so I have to pay VAT for that 5%, but I still find it profitable...
I generally receive payment within 30 days of the invoice being sent. I have a couple of clients that habitually "lose" the invoice and I know I'll have to send them a reminder at 30 days.
I have occasionally had to re-send the invoice with the pertinent part of my t&c highlighted, the one that says no rights transfer until payment, and failure to pay constitutes copyright infringement. That usually gets their attention.
Don't know if my experience is typical. I shoot freelance (mostly advertising and a bit of editorial) for a newspaper which also puts out variety of glossy magazines.
Generally they pay within a month of my sending in an invoice - direct deposit to my account. I'm doing and travel article with images in the spring and fully expect that payment times will be similar.
I can't imagine waiting a year for payment - that is not fair for anyone in any business.
Hope you get more answers that help you out.