Work For Hire Revisited

June 1996
by Meredith Rutter, President, Publicom, Inc

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Publicom works with many writers, editors, designers, and artists under Work
for Hire clauses as part of the way we operate when providing publishing
services to textbook publishers. We are under a Work for Hire contract with
those educational publishers ourselves, and so we must have our individual
contractors sign similar agreements with us.

Yes, the hourly rates are somewhat high. However, we are paying for
professional services. Plus, these independent contractors need to manage
their own overhead, including insurance, taxes, and other self-employment
costs, out of that hourly income. Also, they have to work project-to-project
and thus have to try to live in between projects. The longer in-between goes,
the lower their true hourly rate becomes when viewed at year’s end.
(Relatedly, part of a freelancer’s self-analysis needs to be whether they’re
any good at selling themselves and thus have enough work enough of the time
to stay in business at a competitive rate.)

For someone buying the service, it becomes a choice on any given educational
textbook project whether it makes more sense economically to hire for a piece
of work or to hire for an employee who can learn the ways of the company and
add to the company’s knowledge-base from project to project. The latter costs
less on an hourly basis but requires a longer-term commitment to that person.
In the trade business, royalty becomes a third option.

When Publicom puts in bids on particular projects, we build the co…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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