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Payment for article if magazine is no more?

(4 Posts)
KikkiK Tue 30-Aug-11 11:11:06

Earlier this year, I was commissioned to write a magazine article. I submitted it and I got an acknowledgement email from the editor, and he told me which issue it was due to go in. The month of publication came and went with no sign of a contributor copy or the issue in the shops. I emailed the editor, but have never heard back, and no-one is answering the office phone so I think the publisher must have gone bust - the last issue listed on the website was a couple of months ago.

I sent my invoice in with the article as they asked. The commission said "payment for all words and images is £XX" but also stated that the terms are "payment within 60 days of publication". Although I sumbitted the "words and images", does this mean they only would have paid had the article made it into print, so there is no point chasing the invoice? Although, to he honest, I don't even know who I would contact to do this - my only contact there was the editor. I just thought that if they have gone into administration, there must be someone sorting out the finances.

I am assuming there is no way I'll ever get paid, but as I'm just starting out with freelance work, I thought I'd post to see what others think. Should I just write it off and move on?

PeriPathetic Wed 31-Aug-11 07:42:39

It does sound like you've been "had", sorry sad

Unfortunately it is quite common these days. I had to write off a high three figure sum late last year for something similar.

You say you were commissioned to write it? Have you tried to track down the person who contacted you? Googled / played investigator? I'd do this if I were you. See if you can make contact in any way. I'm not saying you will get paid, but at least you will feel you've done what you can. You really have to stay on top of the invoicing - send lots of reminders, start charging late payment fees if necessary.

But ultimately, it does sound like you will have to write it off as a bad debt.

Good luck with your new freelance life!

Tee2072 Wed 31-Aug-11 07:45:49

If the publishing company went into Administration there has to be public record as to who dissolved the company.

I would google the company name and/or check with Companies House (assuming UK).

However, you still may not get all of your money as debtors are usually paid x on the £, not the full amount paid.

KikkiK Wed 31-Aug-11 13:28:39

Thanks for the replies. Yes, I did google my contact, but it seems he is no longer with the company, so I don't think he'd be able/willing to do anything.
And thanks for the tip about checking with Companies House, I'll do some investigating.
Although my best bet might be to try and sell the article elsewhere, I think. Onwards and upwards!

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