l/writing_policies

Videomaker Policy for Writers

This page is designed to provide an update to our Writing Policies for current writers and to instruct potentially new writers on our requirements when making queries. Please refer to our Writer Style Guidelines for writing and formatting style for Videomaker.

Editorial Attitude
The editorial tone of Videomaker is one of accessibility, enthusiasm and support for all levels of video producers. It is one of encouragement towards the beginner, and never ridicules. The tone is not elitist or condescending, and is always aimed at the grassroots videographer. Regardless of the style and approaches taken by our writers, artists and designers, their tone and attitude should remain consistent with the statement above.

Writer Qualifications
Videomaker is always in need of writers who have experience in video production. We ask that all potential writers show us evidence of videography knowledge, and an ability to write clear concise content in one or more of the following forms:

  • A resume
  • Writing samples
  • Video demo reel

Writers who qualify with the necessary skills will be given an assignment within four weeks, or when the next assignment phase opens. If you don’t have writing samples, you might be given a test post to write for our website before you receive a more formal writing assignment. If we accept it to use, you will be paid with the standard short feature payment. (See “PAY” breakhead point below.)

ASSIGNMENTS:
All assignments will be accompanied by an outline (unless stated otherwise.) This outline will have a pre-planned focus and approach that the writer MUST follow in the story. Failure to follow the approach or focus requested can be cause for the story’s rejection. Continued failure to follow our policies can cause loss of future assignments.

  • We require diagrams, and screengrabs on some articles, and this should be considered part of the assignment and does not raise the rate of pay.
  • This also includes a requirement of photos at times, whether we use yours or recreate them. If you supply photos we use, you will not receive extra pay but you will get photo credit. We need model releases of every person you photograph and/or video.
  • Those releases need to be in our possession, not the writer's, photographer's or videographer's.
  • You can find a generic Videomaker model release form online at:http://www.videomaker.com/article/12473/

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
Videomaker uses two programs for content collaboration between writers and our editors.

  • We use Google Docs as our file-format-folder system for assigning and managing articles and submission from our writers.This online collaboration with the Videomaker editors is required. You don’t have to have a gmail account to use this program and our editors will help you set it up with your first assignment.
  • We also use, Inbound Writer, which assists writers by strategically optimizing their articles. When you receive your first assignment, you will be given a user name and password to use the Videomaker account. The editors can walk you through your first use of this programs.
  • If you are unable or unwilling to use either of these tools, you can’t work for Videomaker.

DEADLINES:
Videomaker posts three or more articles to our website every week, so we require all stories to be ready to go at a moment's notice. This means they all have to have photos and art designed by our Production Department; they all have to be copy edited, technical edited, fact checked and proofed by our Editorial Department, and they all have to be completely ready to launch without exception on a weekly drop-dead time-line. Failure to adhere to assigned deadlines can hinder future assignments.

PLAGIARISM:
With the proliferation of web resources, it's quite easy for a lazy writer to copy and paste someone else's work and claim it as their own. Bear in mind that if this happens, Videomaker will drop said writer from our writer pool immediately—no excuses, and they will not receive employment with us again, on any level. We are using sophisticated software that searches this out. Don't try to fool us.

  • ALL statements of facts must have links for verification, (either in a digital note form or as a footnote at the end of the story in a clearly marked “do not print” section.)
  • NO manuscript will be accepted, or paid for, that has proven plagiarized paragraphs or sentences, this includes work gleaned from “Creative Common” sites.
  • All work must be original from the author.
  • The ONLY “copy-n-paste” information accepted is direct technical specifications. Even product descriptions must be original work.
  • There are two things that make for instant blacklisting from any further contact with Videomaker: plagiarizing content from other sources, including Videomaker's, and trying to acquire product from manufacturers without Videomaker's knowledge.

PRODUCT ACQUISITION:
Writers for Videomaker are not now, nor have they ever been allowed to receive product from any company for research, review or thanks for a story well-received, without said product coming directly to us from the manufacturer first. This is also cause for instant dismissal. The companies we work with know this, and are required to report any requests to us directly.

  • Videomaker's rules regarding contacting manufacturers: You are never allowed to acquire product without permission from Videomaker first.
  • In almost all instances, we do all the product acquiring and then we send it to you.
  • When you do need contact with a product company, within the realms of your research for us, you MUST identify yourself as a freelance writer, not staff member of Videomaker.
  • You are not allowed to take any product that might be offered in exchange for writing a story or section of a story on it.
  • When needing to contact a product manager while researching an assignment, you must contact Videomaker's managing editor, or your Videomaker contact person you are working with, first, to obtain permission to contact any product representative on our behalf.
  • When contacting a product representative, you must Carbon Copy [CC] the Videomaker contact you are working with in your email.
  • We have very strict rules about this. If we deem that a writer needs product to research an article that they are writing for us, then WE contact the company, and have the product sent to us, then WE send the product to the writer.
  • We've had instances of writers trying to get free product for a promised “plug”, and that is not allowed in the Videomaker policy. Most of our manufacturers know this, and have been alerted to contact us, if a writer does try to acquire product.

To Reiterate: There are two things that make for instant blacklisting from any further contact with Videomaker: trying to acquire product and plagiarizing.

PAY:
Pay varies depending on the type of article and is not negotiable.

  • Pay for regular columns and features is $200 per article.
  • Product reviews pay $150 for standard articles and $400 for In-Depth reviews, which also includes required video tests.
  • Short features pay $50 and Press Releases write-ups pay $15.
  • No unsolicited article will be paid for unless we accept it, and it must follow our requirements and standards.
  • Once accepted and paid for, all content remains Videomaker's copyrighted property and can not be traded, used, sold or otherwise assigned to any other publication or website without our permission and without linking directly back to Videomaker.
  • Pay will be contingent on our accepting the writer's final work and the writer returning a signed contract.
  • Payment will be made within two weeks of final acceptance, regardless of which paper issue it is slated to appear. This benefits the writers and is an encouragement to get it in early.
  • NOTE: This does NOT include articles that are returned to the author for a re-write or those that are rejected or found to have plagiarized other author's work.

QUERIES:
Submit all queries in writing; please do not call. Keep queries as brief as possible.

  • Send your resume and clips of previously published work with your query. Be sure to read at least one issue of the magazine before sending your query, so you have an understanding of our style and formatting.
  • Snail-mail materials to: Query Editor at Videomaker, P.O. Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927.
  • FedEX overnight, UPS or other courier deliveries to Videomaker's street address: 1350 East 9th Street, Chico CA 95928.
  • E-mail queries may be sent to the Videomaker managing editor: jorourke@videomaker.com.
  • Videomaker's FAX number is 530-891-8443.