Treating writers well

Trade Press Services works with a variety of writers from around the country with diverse backgrounds. Many of them also write for other publications, which we at Trade Press Services view as an organizational strength—the more experiences our writers have, the more depth and insight they can bring to Trade Press Services and our varied mix of clients, whether they’re Fortune 500 businesses or a lone author working on publishing his or her first book.

For years, one of our writers has contributed to a regional business publication in his home state. It’s a small monthly periodical, filled mostly with feature stories about business leaders in the area and trends that impact the local economy. The magazine had been the sole business publication in the market for about four years, but recently our writer received an email that a new publication was starting up. Rather than speak ill of the competition or try to restrict free commerce, the editor took the time to acknowledge the new publication and the fact that some writers might also do freelance work for the new magazine. The editor also thanked current freelancers for their past contributions and publically recognized the economic reality that new opportunities represent

Our writer was struck by the professionalism of the email from the editor, although it was what he had grown to expect from this company. They valued their writers. They understood that the quality of the writers’ work was what set their magazine apart. They also understood that freelance writers must work for a variety of publications to make ends meet. Rather than discourage them from working for this new competitor in the marketplace, the editor understood that writers “have to pursue every opportunity available.

If you’re the editor or owner of a business publication, what is your stance on writers—even your most regular contributors—working for the competition? Writers, do you write for publications that discourage you from contributing to their competition? Certainly, in some cases, such prohibitions and even non-compete agreements are necessary to protect the publication. But oftentimes, it’s a sign of strength and confidence in one’s product when an editor can say “we understand your situation and value you—do what you need to do,” rather than take the opposite tack.

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