I don't generally provide click-through links on this blog, but there's a valuable conversation going on over at ENWorld about freelance writing generally. It's an interesting read about how little folks actually get paid in this industry.

Very few of my projects have ever made any money (yet; there is an incremental uptick when I release a new product in sales of old products). I pay commissions for art and map, rarely using any stock art: this increases my costs, but lets them exactly match my vision, instead of conforming my vision to the stock art or map. These aren't cheap. Even getting the editing for free (thanks to my talented wife) and doing the layout myself, it's several hundred dollars to produce any of my products. A product's sales certainly doesn't cover that right away; some of my more expensive products might not ever cover their cost.

I get the money to fuel Run Amok Games with my freelance writing. Most of my writing is for Paizo, but I've done work for a lot of other publishers. I've taken rates that vary from $0.01 to $0.10 per word. My average used to be about $0.03 per word, but that average has gotten higher recently (since Paizo pays me well, and most of my recent work has been for Paizo).

I've never formally hired a freelancer for Run Amok Games because I like to keep pretty tight creative control of my projects. (Run Amok Games is Ron Lundeen, for the time being.) My work with Greg Hanigan is an exception; he and I have worked together at RPG writing for several years already, so I know his strengths and weaknesses well and we complement each other.

That said, if someone came to me with a great adventure idea--whether they were experienced or not--and showed that they could write it well, I'd offer a contract for their work. I doubt I'd pay less than $0.03 per word, and would definitely consider more. Someday I may even have a formal call for freelancers; for now, consider this an informal call for interested freelancers.