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Publishing Tools




Q: I'm planning to use lots of freelance writers and contracters to manage my publication, instead of employees. Where can I find sample contracts for these folks?

Answer: Fortunately, there are several good resources for you.

There is a wealth of material about hiring outside contractors in our new book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing, 2007, This book also has great tips about design, editing, and building websites that will help you manage your freelancers more effectively.

See the Rates and Practices section of the Freelance Writer's Guide from the National Writers Union to get a better idea of appropriate freelance rates to set. This site may also have a sample freelance writing contract you can use.

For a sample freelance artist contract, consult the Graphic Artists Guild at and check the resources section.

A good resource for finding independent advertising sales firms is the National Association of Publishers Representatives (NAPR), a professional association of sales firms. Its website has a database of firms by location and valuable tips on hiring and managing someone who sells ads for your publication.

For general information on drafting a freelance contract, including sample language to use, see the book Consultant and Independent Contractor Agreements, by Stephen Fishman (Nolo).

When you are ready to hire employees, or if you want to learn more about salaries and publishing job descriptions, go to the job board hosted by Folio magazine at

Read our article about writing business plans for magazines. You should also read Cheryl Woodard's book, Starting & Running a Successful Newsletter or Magazine (Nolo Press). The book will give you an overview of the whole business so you know what you're getting into. It's available in bookstores everywhere, online from  or from Nolo Press at 800-992-6656. Amazon sells the book for about $19 plus shipping. Bookstores sell it for $29.95. Most libraries have it, too.

There are several other good books about starting publications in our online publishing bookstore. We also offer a simple magazine business plan kit that will help you quickly assess the potential for your magazine idea and develop the financial projections you will need.

After you've read some books and written your business plan, contact us. We offer a range of low-cost consulting services for startups



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