Beginner’s guide “Extras”
Once you’ve gotten a few assignments, and feel that you’ve really embarked on this as a potential career (or just a part-time income-booster), you’ll want to think about the little extras.
A nice touch: get yourself some nice letterhead. Splurge a little with your second or third paycheck and invest in professionally printed letterhead. Presentation does count when submitting your correspondence to an editor. Avoid cutesy clip art of quill pens and inkwells.
Also, an invoice. You should always include an invoice with your completed article. Often, the person you submit the story to is not the same person in charge of sending you a paycheck. By including an invoice, you can be reasonably assured that the billing department will have a record of what terms were agreed upon, and when they are supposed to pay you.
Receipts: Hold onto your postage receipts and your writing-related supplies. If writing is your profession, then these can be tax write-offs. Also, if you are able to negotiate it, editors will often reimburse you for any expenses you incur while on assignment once you are an established writer. Submit your phone bill (with the reimbursable call/s circled), your book receipts, your travel expense receipts, etc. along with your invoice. Make sure these terms are specified in your contract.
You’re ready? Good! Get out there and get ’em, slugger. Good luck!