Sunday, February 24, 2013

Writers: "The Dollars-Per-Word Pay Decoder"

 Poets, priests and politicians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no-one's jamming their transmission...
-noted philologist/ logophile, Sting

What with the Pulitzer* juries beginning nomination deliberations this past Friday I thought we should let our writer friends know what the business side is really all about.

From New York Magazine:
What’s a word worth in the topsy-turvy economics of today’s content-providing business? Inspired by a University of Minnesota researcher who applied that metric to Sarah Palin’s three-year stint as a Fox News commentator (which paid her $15.85 for every utterance, it turns out), we did some math of our own. Here, our best estimates* of the rates other notables have collected for putting syllables together.

Robert Caro: $.015 per word for the original manuscript of The Power Broker.
Dave Eggers: $.77 per word for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Stephenie Meyer: $2 per word for the three Twilight books.
Ira Glass: $3 per word for an episode of “This American Life.”
Jonathan Safran Foer: $5 per word for Everything Is Illuminated.
Stephen Colbert: $16 per word for a 2013 episode of The Colbert Report.
Malcolm Gladwell: $19 per word for The Tipping Point.
Bill Clinton: $33 per word for My Life.
Hillary Clinton: $38 per word for ­Living History. 

HT: Newmark's Door

*Caro has a couple of the tchotkes.