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Ask about payment, or just wait?

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I just had an article published in one of the Carus magazines.  I've heard those magazines often pay writers late.  Should I send a note to ask about my check, or wait a while first? 

#1 - March 24, 2010, 09:51 AM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

How long has it been? I got paid 6 months after it was published for Appleseeds and Odyssey. For Odyssey, I had to ask for the contract (that includes their invoice to get you paid). Appleseeds sent it right away.
#2 - March 24, 2010, 10:04 AM
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They do take a long time to pay.  But if it has already been at least two months I think you can ask. You will probably find out when to expect it, at any rate, so you can follow up again if it doesn't come.
#3 - March 24, 2010, 11:18 AM
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I'm still waiting for payment for a poem published in Ladybug in October.  When I inquired in February I was told that it would still be a while, as they were just making payments from mid-summer.  It's fine to send a polite nudge (and try to find out when you might receive a check)--but I'd expect to wait for at least a few more months.
#4 - March 24, 2010, 02:36 PM

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Which magazine did you sell to?  In my experience some of the Carus pubs (those in the Cobblestone type social studies line) ask you to send them an invoice.  I did this for Appleseeds.  The bug mags don't ask for invoices but they take a LONG time to pay.  I had a piece appear in the June '09 issue of Ladybug and got paid in Feb '10.   
#5 - March 24, 2010, 05:47 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
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The Cobblestone magazines (Appleseeds, Calliope, Cobblestone, Dig, Faces and Odyssey) are now only running a month or so after publication for payment. Our new contracts are both a contract and invoice in one, so you no longer fill out a separate invoice. The bug magazines, however, are running further behind in payment. I'm not sure how far behind they are, since they're in Chicago and we're in New Hampshire and we don't communicate all that much.

-Marcia
#6 - March 25, 2010, 08:15 AM
Author of over 100 nonfiction books and 500 magazine articles for young readers

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Thanks for the replies, everyone.  It hasn't been that long yet--just a month.  I'm not feeling terribly impatient yet, but I wanted to know about protocol.  (For instance, I've freelanced for a couple of adult markets that wait to pay until I send two reminder e-mails.)
 
Marcia, thanks for being so upfront about the payment situation.  Glad to hear that the Cobblestone magazines aren't running too far behind.  If anyone asks me in the future, I'll be sure to relay what you said. 

Melissa
#7 - March 25, 2010, 10:30 AM
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As a rule, when I send my article and receive notice that it has been accepted, I always ask "How do you want me to invoice you?"

I find that the publishers appreciate my asking and it gets the money question out of the way. I also make a point of reading through their terms very carefully to find out when they pay (on acceptance, on publication or 30-90 days after publication). As much as possible, I'll be honest, I do my best not to work with a publisher who pays so late after publication. I try to work with those who pay either on acceptance or publication. (because I have had to wait for more than 2 years to see some of my work in print).

Maude  :frog
#8 - March 31, 2010, 10:30 AM

My story came out in the Nov/Dec issue of Cricket & I'm still waiting.  Contacted them about 3 weeks ago & they said they were still working on payment for summer ( June 2009) stories.  Yep, they're really backlogged.   :gaah
#9 - March 31, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Yes, they are slow, far too slow IMHO.  However, I have to say I have always been paid, albeit many months after publication. I, too, am waiting to be paid for poems which appeared in the October 2009 and Nov/Dec 2009 issues of Spider and Ladybug respectively.

Laura
#10 - March 31, 2010, 03:48 PM
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