The Almighty Dollar
Asking for a Raise
Getting Paid for Speaking
- Question - How do I figure out how much I should ask to be paid for an hour talk? A halfday talk? A full-day workshop?
It's really o.k. to ask around about the going rate. You are probably undercharging. While we all know libraries are on tight budgets, many libraries and consortia can afford a few hundred dollars plus travel.
Note also if you consistently low-ball your presentation fees, it's hard on everyone else.
Also factor in travel costs; whether you're taking vacation to do the gig (that's lost pay); is it for buddies in the area; other costs you have to pick up; and whether you can do this on your library's time.
Then there's the question of benefit to you. What's it worth to you to give this talk?
Suggestion from S. Bell: I would recommend thinking more about having a schedule of fees, just like a consultant probably has. I use three factors in coming up with a fee for a presentation: location; length of speaking engagement; the organization. I tend to charge less for a local organization (and usually nothing if I belong and it's local) because there's little travel (and time) involved. By local I'm talking about a one hour drive or so. Once I start getting into two to three hours that's going to make a difference. Then again, if I have to fly that's going to add to the cost. If I'm being asked to speak as part of a program and it will be one hour or less, I'm going to charge less. If someone asks me to do a half-day workshop, that's going to cost more. If they ask me to speak in the morning for an hour, and then be on a panel during the afternoon, that's going to cost more. Now, about the organization, if I get a sense it's a group on a tight budget I will reduce the normal fee - or least be flexible on the fee to do what I can to help out the organization (and it might sound harsh but don't become a charity - your time and expertise is worth something). This sort of factor usually comes out in the negotiation process. In general my fee can range from $200 to $1,000 depending on the location, time involved, and organization. One other factor would be a keynote address. That would add to the cost. These fees would be in addition to reimbursement for travel, lodging, meals, etc. I find my formula usually works for coming up with an amount that works for me and the requesting organization.
- Question - When someone says "small honorarium" and asks you to pick a number, what's the usual range?
$200. Unless it's a local gig, for a sister library or a neighboring system where you feel like family, in which case a freebie might be in order. Locally, the pro bono rate is a hug and a $25 Amazon gift certificate.