Countdown to Revolution: WordRates to launch Oct 19th

The journalism business is about to change forever.

On October 19th at 8:00 a.m. will bring transparency to the publishing world by allowing freelance journalists to compare rates between publications, review contracts and rate editors, magazines and websites. Called “a Yelp! for journalists,” WordRates will give writers a crowdsourced periscope into the industry in order to help them better target their stories to publications and negotiate competitive rates for their work.

In addition to the ratings database, WordRates will also launch “PitchLab,” which uses a revamped literary agency model to represent feature writers to magazines. PitchLab will pair writers and their story ideas with “mentors” who will sell those stories to mainstream magazines. The mentor team features award-winning writers from The New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Rolling Stone, and Bloomberg-BusinessWeek, including Trevor Aaronson, Vince Beiser, Erin Biba, Charles Graeber, Jonathan Green, Jon Lackman, Robert Levine, Jason Miklian, Luke O’Brien, Neal Pollack, Paul Tullis, Joel Warner

WordRates was made possible after a successful Kickstarter campaign in May raised almost $10,000 from 246 freelance journalists around the world. These journalists, and others like them, have noticed that for the last 20 years pay to freelance writers has remained stagnant. Despite the internet’s promise to level the playing field for content, and potentially allow anyone a chance to find an audience for their work, the profits, by-and-large, have stayed within the large publishing houses.

According to their own figures, magazine publishers like Conde Nast and Wenner Media pay less than 2% of the revenue they make from advertising to their writers. Meanwhile, publishing contracts have gotten worse and made it increasingly difficult for writers to get fair terms on the film rights, reprints, translations and book deals that have long been important revenue streams for creative professionals. WordRates envisions that a little transparency and some healthy competition will change that.

There has been a lot of anticipation in the media for WordRates in the last few months. Here are a few of the highlights:

Fast Company – “How Freelancers are fighting for their labor rights

The Nation – “Is Gawker’s Unionization a Sign That Creative Workers Are Finally Realizing Their Worth?

The Pacific Standard – “How do you make a living as a freelance investigative reporter? – “This Startup Will Piss Off Publishers—And Make Freelancers Happy

Columbia Journalism Review –  “A new website wants to disrupt how journalist do business.”

The Writer Underground – “Can Scott Carney’s new website disrupt how journalists do business? 

The Storyboard – “Writer Scott Carney launches WordRates & PitchLab Kickstarter

Through the Cracks – “This Guy wants to revolutionize freelance journalism.

If you would like to learn more about WordRates, or get an advance tour of the website for an article please get in contact with:

Scott Carney:

1 Comment

  1. Daniel   •  

    Great website and content. I’m looking forward to connecting to people on your site.
    I”m looking for freelance life-style, entertainment and food writers and bloggers with a following to discuss magic, pick-pocketing, corporate events and more.

    -Dan Chan

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