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Author Topic: Authoring Articles for CQ Magazine?  (Read 71242 times)
K5FH
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2013, 11:02:29 AM »

And as a columnist, you were expected to meet and honor your monthly deadlines and to have your material ready on time and properly edited.  I doubt many of the naysayers realize what is expected or demanded from a monthly columnist who was expected and obligated to contribute his material monthly basis. Writing one or two vanity submissions is good for the ego, but hardly equates to the service you provided, and the expectation to be rewarded for your work and effort. (emphasis added)

Regardless, even a one time author should receive the remuneration that was agreed too.

I wrote a weekly column for an internet publication for over five years, under a pseudonym.  No payment, and no publication credits.  I did it for the experience...and what an experience it was.  And it was a lot of work.  Breaking through writer's block when your deadline is a few hours away is definitely a skill worth learning.

BUT...if there is an agreement in place for payment, then it should be honored.  Period.

"Just because it's Ham Radio" isn't a good reason to not demand that a contract be honored, nor is it a good reason for a publisher to withhold payment for services already rendered.

Back in the mid-1970s I worked for a ham dealer for a while.  I'll never forget the guy who ordered some stuff from us by phone and we sent it COD.  When it arrived, the guy calls and screams about the COD.  "I would always trust a fellow ham!  This is an insult!" and stuff to that effect.  In other words, all fellow hams were trustworthy in his eyes.  Yeah, right.  We had a number of bounced checks from fellow hams prominently displayed in a frame behind the sales desk as a reminder of how dangerous that belief was.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2013, 11:29:16 AM »

>> ... "Just because it's Ham Radio" isn't a good reason to not demand that a contract be honored, nor is it a good reason for a publisher to withhold payment for services already rendered.

Absolutely, positively right on point.

A voice of sanity in a wild and weird thread!

Clint Bradford K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K4FMH
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2013, 08:16:33 PM »

After reading this thread, I just extended by subscription to CQ:

http://store.cq-amateur-radio.com/Detail.bok?no=411

and get a calendar to go with it. I like to put this magazine on the coffee table in my office where I do my work as a professional writer and book editor.

Stay in this head-bangers' ball if you wish!

Peace out,

Frank

PS: did I say that I write and edit professionally?
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2013, 10:12:44 PM »

After reading this thread, I just extended by subscription to CQ:
 

Peace out,

Frank

PS: did I say that I write and edit professionally?

Good for you! Go for it. I hope some of that sub fee trickles down to the authors eventually.

So, if you write and edit professionally, I am curious as to one fine point: as a self proclaimed "professional" writer, do you
expect to get reimbursed for your knowledge, time and skills, or do you accept not being paid as being part and parcel of
of being a "professional" writer and editor???  What are your credentials, just out of curiosity.  

I guess you expect that other so called "professional" writers should work for free, for the good of the hobby?

BTW, an Google search for you call kinda of trips the BS meter regarding your claims?  Perhaps you might elaborate on
your past glories as an editor and writer for ham publications??? Just curious... over and out... peace out, whatever...
LOL. This sounds a bit narcissistic. in my humble opinion.  Do I sound a bit rude?  Perhaps you might consider how your
post appears to the OP who started this thread.

Pete k1zjh
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 10:45:01 PM by K1ZJH » Logged
N4NYY
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Posts: 4821




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« Reply #64 on: August 23, 2013, 04:09:52 AM »

After reading this thread, I just extended by subscription to CQ:

http://store.cq-amateur-radio.com/Detail.bok?no=411

and get a calendar to go with it. I like to put this magazine on the coffee table in my office where I do my work as a professional writer and book editor.

Stay in this head-bangers' ball if you wish!

Peace out,

Frank

PS: did I say that I write and edit professionally?

Yes. And you also said you were out of this thread 3 times. So we know how good your word is!  Might as well go work for CQ !
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 04:30:27 AM by N4NYY » Logged
N4NYY
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Posts: 4821




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« Reply #65 on: August 23, 2013, 04:17:56 AM »

Quote
BTW, an Google search for you call kinda of trips the BS meter regarding your claims?  Perhaps you might elaborate on
your past glories as an editor and writer for ham publications??? Just curious... over and out... peace out, whatever...
LOL. This sounds a bit narcissistic. in my humble opinion.  Do I sound a bit rude?  Perhaps you might consider how your
post appears to the OP who started this thread.

I could describe him in one word. Scumbag. He has absolutely no respect for the guy who started this thread and others that were not paid and wrote articles. To the point of renewing a subscription for that sole reason. Not that anyone here ever said not to renew or not to subscribe. The thread was about non-payment.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 04:31:01 AM by N4NYY » Logged
W3DBB
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #66 on: August 23, 2013, 04:43:17 AM »

MFJ could expand their book publishing business into magazines by purchasing CQ Communications. With MFJ's much-vaunted Total Quality Management program Wink complaints with untimely delivery and non-payment of authors would be resolved.
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2013, 09:06:00 AM »

Martin Jue is an honest individual. I did contract work for MFJ. They were always very professional,
courteous and upfront in their dealings with contract workers.

I remember someone at Ham Radio telling me a magazine should have a 50% ad content to be profitable. If you look at the
magazine ads going back to the 60s, 70s, and up until today, you will see a large drop in advertiser revenue, especially since
the last economic downturn.

I don't begrudge any magazine, but I also feel that if a magazine promises or indicates payment for material, it should be
honored. If the economics of an every changing financial situation dictate otherwise, than writers should be told up front their
contributions are welcomed on a volunteer basis for the "good of the hobby."

I will note that even QST at one time didn't pay authors, but that was an understood agreement.  They eventually changed
the policy, and I can only assume it was done to attract more writers or better quality material.  Honesty and a man's word
are what count in my book.

Pete
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:14:16 AM by K1ZJH » Logged
WB2AMU
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2013, 04:54:01 PM »

This thread has been weaving in and out of topic.  Here is my first hand information regarding payment of authors by CQ Magazine.

I have been writing for CQ VHF since 1995 until it closed up the first time around 2000 and then again from 2003 up to the present time.  I also have done some work for CQ Magazine.  Up to about 2000, payment was a bit slow but generally received payments from articles that were written by me about six months later.

This started to change for me and many other writers for CQ VHF during the past three years (I know this for a fact as I have surveyed them directly).   Currently, I am owed money for articles for the past three years and despite repeated messages to the publisher, there is no news as to whether any sort of payment (full or partial) will be forthcoming.

I really do like to write about VHF topics and could handle late payments.  Contrary to one of the earlier post, getting published is not strictly "volunteering".   There are some expenses involved with the writing of certain articles.  If writing about propagation, there is a need to buy science books and journals that discuss propagation as part of the research.  If there is a building project of radio or antenna, again some money is needed to purchase parts and material.  If one does a DX expedition, an article on the trip can help generate some money to partially fund it.

I have basically been working for free for the past three years (as well as many other writers for CQ VHF).   I am owed more than $2000 for articles and I know that some of the other authors are owed much larger amounts.

I have reached a personal crossroads of sorts this summer.  I have other interest that I am pursuing, such as aviation and have found various writing projects (books and articles) that do pay a moderate amount (and on time!) which help defer expenses.   At this point, the aviation field will be my primary area of writing going forward.  I may still write an occasional ham radio article as circumstances develop but at this point, I am very frustrated with the lack of timely payments.

There is a bigger picture of course that is going on here.  Print media is having a tough time of it these days and there is less ad revenue these days.  I am not too optimistic about the long-term health of CQ Magazine in print format.  I have a bad feeling that I will not see any of the money that is owed me either.

73

KEN WB2AMU
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NJ1K
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Posts: 370




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« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2013, 07:00:04 PM »

Ok, here's my 2 cents:

First of all, I am not a professional writer however, I have been self-employed for many many years (decades now).  I work under different kinds of contracts all the time.

I used to subscribe to CQ, 73, and others.  I dropped all but QST many years ago.  Why you ask?  Because most of the articles published just weren't worth a damn.  It almost seems that the more experience a professional writer gets under his belt, the worse his writings are.  I'm not paying for slop I do not like.

The only reason I get QST is because I do believe in ARRL membership and QST is part of that package.  I would not subscribe to QST as a stand-alone subscription.  In fairness, there are a few writers published in QST that I feel are quite good at what they do and I enjoy their atricles very much, but  there are lots who are not.

As for a rag not honoring their agreement to pay for articles, well shame on them.  If one of my clients failed to pay for services rendered, they would never receive services from me again at the very least, and depending on amount owed, they'd likely be answering to charges in court.

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W6RMK
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Posts: 672




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« Reply #70 on: August 25, 2013, 08:29:35 PM »

Just a few comments..
There is some glory and recognition, particularly in academia,  in being a published author; otherwise, we wouldn't see 5 page CVs, and agonize about the impact factor of which journal you publish in.  "Nature", "Science", good. Obscure multidisciplinary hybrid journal, not so good.

And, there is a difference between being "professional" (as in paid) and "amateur" (as in doing it for free).  Pro implies responsibility on both sides of the deal: I send in high (or low) quality material on deadline; you send me check as agreed.  That said, there are flakes and snakes on both sides. And in cases of dispute, I'll wager than 9 out 10 times, it's because there wasn't a "meeting of the minds".  One side thought "he's going to contribute this for the good of the cause" and the other side thought "I'm getting paid to do this".  Sometimes, writing and not getting paid is more along the lines of an education: ask about payment BEFORE writing.

There are also those who want you to write or contribute on a speculative basis (i.e for some potential future return; maybe when the book is published, or perhaps, as a teaser for an eventual ongoing column or deal). And that's fine, too, although I find as I get older, I'm less likely to gamble than I was in my 20s.

In academia and when writing as part of work, you do get paid, but not by the publication: it's part of your job. And for technical journals, there's the whole issue of "page charges", where the author (or the author's institution) is expected to fork out cash. Personally, I think that made sense when you got 50 free reprints to mail out, less so now.

And for folks that do write as part of their income, getting paid is *real important* when it comes to the IRS.  You want to deduct the costs of doing that research and buying those books, and visiting those sites?  Better have some income to show that it's a "business" and not just an expensive hobby.

I think we can all sympathize with (or at least understand) a business who's having financial troubles.  But frankly, as a seller/vendor, the worst thing is when the guy who owes me money isn't up front about it.  I'd rather renegotiate than be left twisting in the wind.  Hey, I probably wouldn't have done the work in the first place if I didn't like the customer, so I'd much rather work with them.  But I also know how tough it is to 'fess up and ask for the favor or renegotiation, especially, since I know that ultimately, the favor might be refused (for good reason), and then I'm going to have to come up with the cash.  ANd that might mean I'm going out of business. It's hard to close down a business and leave people hanging. You really keep hoping that you can figure it out and make everyone whole. Sometimes, the hope that you can keep it going is what leads you to keep asking for more product (next issue, we'll turn it around!).  But sometimes, that's the way it is.  And in such cases, it's much better to rip off the bandage and tell those creditors and unpaid vendors "nope, the well is dry, and there ain't no more".


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KA4KOE
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« Reply #71 on: August 26, 2013, 03:45:15 PM »

Just checked this three days later. You guys still going back and forth? Play nice now and don't talk mean to each other.

Your friend,

Philip

PS Taking my theremin, Gabriella, to the Orlando Maker's Faire, October 5th. If any of you live nearby, then try to drop in!
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WB2AMU
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #72 on: August 26, 2013, 04:24:52 PM »

Hi Phil:

I am sorry that you are not getting any response from CQ Magazine.  As I have mentioned in my post above, the situation has gotten much worse for me and other regular writers for CQ and CQ VHF during the past three years.  We too are not getting any real responses to emails or phone calls regarding what the situation is.   I am not sure what you can do at this point.

73 and good luck.

KEN WB2AMU
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KC0KEK
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Posts: 144




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« Reply #73 on: August 26, 2013, 04:48:27 PM »

I am not sure what you can do at this point.

A visit to the office if you live within driving distance. Small claims court if you don't.
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KR4BD
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Posts: 245




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« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2013, 07:11:30 PM »

"Something" at CQ and their sister publication, Popular Communications seems to be going on.  Am I the ONLY subscriber on here who is not receiving their issues in a timely manner, or not at all in recent months ?  I used to get BOTH magazines mid-month BEFORE the publication date.  Then, BOTH magazines started showing up late in the month of the Publication date.  I NEVER got the June issue of CQ.  The July issue arrived the first week of August.  I am still waiting for the August dated issue. Popular Communications is also showing up VERY late.

Several weeks ago, I wrote to CQ about this.  They promptly sent me the June issue by first class mail and said I could expect the August issue around August 21....Obviously, I am still waiting.  They did mention "a problem" with the printer was causing the delays.  

Maybe they are trying to get everyone to go to the Digital version ?  

I have several years remaining on both magazines.  I sure hope they are not going "belly up"....

« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 07:15:56 PM by KR4BD » Logged
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