Why and How I Wrote a Kindle Single

28/11/2011 § 8 Comments

THE WAGES PAID to foreign stringers – the occasional contributors newspapers rely on to cover vast swaths of the planet – even shock reporters. Between $200 and $300 per dispatch is common. $500 is desirable. That fee represents work taking about a day, sometimes two, to complete in a dignified manner. You identify what’s most important or interesting in a situation, talk to people about it, confirm what they tell you, perhaps travel to an event and record the details, write up the story, find a place to send it back to the publisher, and wait an hour. Then you go through one or more rounds of questions and edits. A twelve hour day is a minimum, and longer ones very common. That process doesn’t really change, whether you are covering a distillers’ convention or the Libyan Revolution.

It’s fair money if you’re sending a story every day. But you usually aren’t. « Read the rest of this entry »



26/11/2011 § 3 Comments


Me, slightly too pleased with myself

The name of this blog, $3.86 comes from the lowest balance I have had in the checking account I use for work expenses.

I’m an international reporter. Writing long-form items about faraway events is a fascinating experience. The business model for this kind of work, however, has always been a little suspect.

I am hoping to use this space to talk about my job. I’m interested in finding ways to continue doing these kinds of stories for as long as I can, and for as long as they prove useful.

Where Am I?

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