Are you writing without a safety net? If you take on freelance gigs without a contract, or with a bad contract, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. A good contract covers more than getting paid. It protects your rights and limits your liabilities as a writer.
Today’s Reading Round-up is full of links to useful information about contracts for freelance writers.
Types of writing contracts
Veronica Picciafuoco explores Essential Contracts for the Modern Writer at The Urban Muse. In the post, she discusses work for hire contracts, and freelance writer assignments, along with copywriting, nondisclosure, and ghostwriting agreements. (While you’re there, don’t miss the link to legal resources for writers.)
The nuts and bolts of contracts
No round-up on this topic would be complete without a mention of Understanding Contracts by Moira Allen on Writing-World.com. This is an old post, but the information is solid. Allen defines terms, addresses rights and copyright, and offers advice for making your own contract if the editor doesn’t offer one.
Some thoughts about indemnity clauses
At HealthJournalism.org, Irene Wielawski discusses why she refuses to sign contracts with indemnity clauses (and why you should be careful before you sign contracts that include them) in Focus on Freelancing: Keys to Negotiating Fair Contracts.
Beyond getting paid: a project blueprint
Long-time veteren freelancer, Anne Wayman (AboutFreelanceWriting.com) outlines 7 Reasons Freelance Writing Contracts Are About More Than Getting Paid. She also has a great Q&A post about Credits, Contracts, and Contributions that discusses the value of having a contract in place when working on a collaborative project. It’s worth a look while you are visiting.
Maybe you need to negotiate a contract with a local client that doesn’t fall neatly in the editor/writer relationship, like a job writing copy for a local business’s website. FreelanceSwitch.com has 7 Tips for Negotiating a Freelance Contract that can help you hammer out a fair deal.
What resources do you rely on when it comes to making contract decisions? Share your ideas with other readers by leaving a comment.