Monday, September 13, 2010

Stiffed at Last

Since 2000 people have asked me to edit their manuscripts, both people I knew and those I didn't, and unless it was clearly a long and massive job, I did not bother to ask for money up front.

Then I was asked to spend half an hour on a manuscript sample I found so sorely in need of editing, formatting, and fact-checking that correcting the first two and a half pages took up the whole thirty minutes. I returned the heavily annotated manuscript with with an invoice for half an hour's work. I have now billed the author every week for 12 weeks, adding, "It is not too late to pay me." It is the first time I've been stiffed, fortunately for only a small amount, but there's the principle of the thing. (The manuscript was about principles, and how "these are the times that try men's souls.")

New rule: Strangers pay up front for a minimum of one hour's work. Make that your rule too!


  1. Isn't the subject matter of that manuscript ironic?

    Sounds like the writer's ego took a bruising and he or she would rather be mad at you in preference to owning up to needing work.

  2. It amazes me how many people stiff other people. Guess they have no idea about the law of Karma :-)

  3. The day this blog appeared, an email from the author came, saying I would be paid. Today I got the check. Interesting.