How much money?

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Story price list Story Price list

How much will I be paid for selling my story?

There are many reasons why you might decide to sell a story. But how much money you will earn from selling your story to a newspaper, magazine or television is not an exact science. Even editors disagree on whether something is a ‘good story’ or not and how much money to pay …

How much money you earn for selling your story depends on the following:

* Your story is in demand. If many newspapers and magazines want to buy your story then you are more likely to gain a better price than if only one publication is interested.

* Your story is exclusive. Every editor wants every story to be an exclusive. Stories from interviewees who have already appeared in many publications are less sought after.

* Your story is topical. If your story is sparked by a similar story in the headline news right now, it can be worth more money. For example, when actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, and the Duchess of Cambridge had severe morning sickness, I was able to sell stories to magazines from interviewees who told of their similar experiences.

* If it’s a story about you, you are happy to be identified and photographed. Many publications won’t even accept anonymous stories for free.

* You have photographs and video to illustrate your story. A good photo can be the story while top prices are paid for video footage.

* There are no legal difficulties. There are legal considerations and laws that can prevent any publication paying you for your story.

* You don’t sell your story directly to a newspaper or magazine (including your local newspaper.) Interviewees who sell a story directly are often offered less money. This is because they don’t know the true value of their story and editors will pay as little as they can. Stories are then often sold on by that publication without any extra fees to the interviewee.

How much money do you want for your story?

Naturally everyone would like to be paid thousands for selling their story. But the truth is newspapers, magazines and television are all businesses with books to balance and budgets to stick to. Editors won’t buy stories if someone is too greedy or prices their story so highly it becomes unaffordable.

Many people’s expectations are very unrealistic. Some people believe national newspapers and magazines will always pay tens of thousands for stories.

Some magazines advertise that they pay ‘up to £2000’ for a story. But the truth is it is an advert. They might only have paid ‘up to’ that a handful of times in the past and then only for a very sensational story.

Due to the rise in newspaper websites – which pay very little (approx £40) if anything – for a story, very high fees for stories have become rarer.

It would be great to be able to pay everyone thousands of pounds for their stories. However, the bottom line is if you are unrealistic and want more money than anyone wants to pay for your story then you won’t be able to sell it!

So what money for selling my story to a newspaper or magazine is realistic?

The average payment from women’s magazines for a strong real-life story going over two pages is from £300 to £500. But magazine editors will pay much more if they are in competition with others. If more than one magazine wants a story, prices can be anything from £500 to £1000. In very exceptional cases, where several magazines are bidding for a story that is in huge demand, the price can go up to £2000 or very occasionally even more.

Payments from tabloid newspapers are similar for personal real-life stories. For rare, sensational and highly sought after stories, they can go to over £5,000 or more. And of course an extremely sought-after front-page exclusive in a national newspaper, often involving a world first, well-known celebrity, or a member of the government may command up to £10,000 and sometimes upwards.

However, it is important to understand that most newspapers cannot afford to pay thousands of pounds for one story and the amount is most likely to be in the hundreds.

Meanwhile smaller stories in magazines and newspapers will be worth less money. If you are appearing with other people in a bigger article you might be paid between £100 and £200 for your contribution.

Appearing in a very short piece for a magazine might net you £50 while many health pages pay a small thank you fee or prefer not to pay interviewees for their stories at all.

Some broadsheet newspapers also have a policy of not paying interviewees for stories.

Selling your story to television might not actually be paid at all – some news and documentary makers do not pay – although any expenses will be covered. However, again some television programmes do pay interviewees well. Then fees are very much in line with newspapers and magazines and are dependent on how much a TV company decides to pay you.

Multiple deals

One way to hugely increase your earnings from selling your story is to appear in multiple deals. Most interviewees who come to Featureworld to sell a story want their story to be syndicated to other magazines, newspapers and television shows both in the UK and around the world. If your story appears in a newspaper, one or two magazines in the UK, on television and in publications abroad, then your earnings will really start to add up…as they did here for interviewee Elaine.

Will I earn more money cutting out the agent?

Selling a story via Featureworld always earns interviewees more money and more coverage. Briefly this is because an agent can auction your story for the best price. Your story can also be sold on to other publications. There is more here about whether you should approach a newspaper or magazine yourself to sell your story or sell your story via an agent.

And you don’t have to be paid for your story…

Some people, for a variety of reasons, don’t want to be paid for their story – that’s fine and if it is important that people know you haven’t been paid, that can be added to the bottom of any article.

It also helps to look to the future when selling your story. Further financial gains can come along even when someone has gone ahead with a newspaper or magazine article for free. People whose stories have appeared in the national press have gone on to get a book deal, or gain valuable PR for a business. One Featureworld interviewee’s daughter was picked to appear in a TV advert. Others have successfully told their stories to raise awareness or gain justice.

Ready to find out how much your story is worth? Why not contact me using the form to the right of this page>>> for a no obligation quote? You only go ahead if the price is right so you have nothing to lose!

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