Three Stories About the Cost of Publication
First, NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast explains why life gets more expensive when local newspapers close:
VEDANTAM: Dermot and his colleagues found that when a newspaper closed, the cost of loans in its county went up. This happened all over the country, including in Denver, home of the now-closed Rocky Mountain News. Dermot says one deceptively tiny number tells a significant story.
MURPHY: In the long run, after a newspaper closes, the borrowing cost for governments increases by about 0.1 percent.
VEDANTAM: Now, the interest rate on a loan increasing from, say, 3 percent to 3.1 percent may not sound like much. But here’s how it adds up.
(If you don’t want to listen to the 30 minute podcast, here’s the transcript.)
Next, Bloomberg explains why Slate writers and editors might go on strike, and notes some of the union members’ previous attempts at passive resistance:
Before the strike vote, Slate employees engaged in other forms of protest, including hour-long periods during which they refused to respond to their managers on the workplace chat hub Slack.
Lastly, I had a Billfolder request to discuss Canadian author Sharon Bala’s breakdown of how she earns a living:
Festivals, panels, public readings, etc. The going rate ranges between $125-$300/hour. Sometimes non-writers get huge eyes when they hear this number but let’s get real: these events aren’t lucrative. There’s usually so much travel involved that it works out to pennies on the hour. You do events to sell books, get your name out, and meet readers and other writers. The pay cheque is appreciated and necessary, don’t get me wrong, but events aren’t money spinners.
She does note that freelancing for publications “can be a decent side hustle,” though I’d suspect some writers (including myself) would consider the author/teacher/public speaker part of their work the side hustle and the freelancing part the main source of income. That said, if you’re a writer and you want to earn a little extra cash, you can always pitch The Billfold!
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