6/22/2018

Hiring The Wild S. John

I've had a couple of inquiries about my current rates. Beware. I bite. But:

What I'm best at is RPG writing, and I no longer set a rate for that. During my freelance days (1991-2001, approximately), I did RPG writing for a wide range of rates (from 4 to 15 cents/word). For most of my independent days (2001-2016, approximately) I kept my rate locked at 15 mainly to keep people from bothering me, and then still dipped a toe in to keep ties with certain friends and colleagues.

These days, my rate is just "impress me with how much fun the project is," combined with "offer me something Cumberland can't." Perks are more interesting than pennies. A great editor/writer relationship exceeds the value of any currency. A fascinating world to play around in beats them all.

I have no modesty on this point: if you have me on your book, your book will be better. But, be amazing, or get lost.

My editorial rate (full-project only) is "half of what the writer gets." My production, typography and/or indexing rate is $15/hour.

$200 Commish
Some folks would rather hire me to make a map for them. My rate for cartography is currently $5 per square inch or 25 cents per structure (if it's a town map), whichever is more, rounded up to the next multiple of $50. That's for all-rights, any colorspace, resolution up to 600 dpi (or vectors), in one of my existing styles or a near-variant of them. Designing a whole new style (or other kinds of added labor) costs more depending on the specifics. There's no set rate for new-style work; drop me a line and we can hash it out.

For a graphic example of that "per-structure" rule: the Scott's Landing map would be covered by the standard $5 rate, since it's not insanely packed with buildings, walls, or boats (it would be a $400 commission), while the Trostig map has just over 2,000 rooftops and a handful of boaty-boats, so there the "per-structure" rate would dominate (it would be a $550 commission).

These rates are for pen-and-paper RPG publishers only. My non-RPG graphic-designer rate is $75/hour. My non-RPG writing rate is "no." If you've got more questions or want to check my availability and timetables, my inbox is always open. If you'd rather I pay you, instead of you paying me? That'd be my preference, too. Click here.