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Re: Client wants me to do extra work, but won’t agree to additional pay.

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Active Member
Staci G Member Since: Jun 2, 2018
1 of 11
I just completed writing a 40000 word ebook for a client. He now wants me to make all edits to the ebook, plus commit to writing an expanded version of the ebook. I have asked multiple times that I would be happy to continue work as long as he can agree to additional pay and royalties that were promised in the original offer. Whenever I bring up additional payment or ask for a new contract, he gets defensive and goes on the verbal attack. I have already accepted wayyyy less payment for the original project than what I normally charge because the offer promised a publication with authorship and royalties. I enjoy writing the book and would like to see it through, but on the other hand I am feeling like this is a dead end project and that he has no intention of paying me a fair wage for ongoing work. What should I do?
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Community Leader
Joanne B Member Since: May 5, 2018
2 of 11

Hi Staci,

 

After learning the hard way about not being paid for work I have completed this is my advice.....

 

Submit a request for payment for what you have completed and refuse to do any extra work unless the client sets up a new contract. 

Should the client not pay look into taking it to dispute. 

Community Leader
Madison R Member Since: May 19, 2018
3 of 11

My opinion? Submit for payment now. Make sure you have proof of all of the work you did, in case you need to start a dispute. Ask the client for payment, and tell him that you would be happy to do more work IF he pays you for the original work and starts a new contract. 

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Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
4 of 11

First of all..

 

" I have already accepted wayyyy less payment for the original project than what I normally charge because the offer promised a publication with authorship and royalties."

 

I strongly advise you to avoid that in the future. It is a standard gimmick used to get freelancers to undercharge for their work, and you have absolutely no way to ensure that it actually happens. Furthermore, I am pretty sure that payment via royalty is against Upwork TOS.

 

Now, I had written out my standard advice that I would give in this situation, which in a nutshell would be to stick to your guns about finishing the contract as specified, tell the client you'd be willing to discuss future work under a different contract -- and then never work with the client again. Why would you want an ongoing relationship with someone who "goes on verbal attack" or expects you to do extra work for free?

 

But I looked at your profile and I think I found the job in question, and the job description is problematic. The last line says you "should be willing to make corrections or revisions to the Buyer’s satisfaction." You agreed to this by bidding on the job, unless you explicitly excluded it as part of discussions before the offer. It's completely open-ended and I honestly don't know how to handle this. Maybe a more experienced Upwork writer can comment?

 

Needless to say, be sure to never bid on a job with this sort of proviso in it in the future, especially fixed rate!

 

Sorry this happened to you. I hope it works out.

 

ETA: I forced myself to think about what I'd do in this situation. I haven't been in this spot but I've been in others. I think your best approach may be to appeal to the client's sense of decency. Politely point out that you've written the book, and done it for a reasonable price well below what you'd ordinarily charge. Massive edits or expansions of a book are not typically considered to be in the scope of writing a book. You want to make the client happy but there are only so many hours in a day. How can the two of you make this work?

 

It's true that normally clients don't care about and don't want to hear about the freelancer's workload etc. but in a case where the client is being this demanding, I think an exception is in order. And then try to salvage this as best you can so you get paid and get a happy client. Maybe a compromise would be agreeing to the edit, eating a few lost hours, and not doing an expansion.

 

Whatever happens, make sure you get paid and never work for this person again...

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Community Guru
Lisa B Member Since: Dec 29, 2015
5 of 11

"I have already accepted wayyyy less payment for the original project than what I normally charge because the offer promised a publication with authorship and royalties."

 

Never accept less than what you normally charge based on "promises." It's the oldest trick in the book and should immediately raise red flags if one has a good spidey sense. 

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Active Member
Staci G Member Since: Jun 2, 2018
6 of 11
Thank you for your response. I will be on the lookout in the future!
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Active Member
Staci G Member Since: Jun 2, 2018
7 of 11
Thank you for your response. Your advice has put my mind at ease. After the client’s verbal attack on me yesterday, saying that I was “holding his company hostage” by asking for a new contract before starting his new list of edits and work, I started to second guess myself and think I was doing something wrong. I feel a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that there are so many great Upwork community members that have my back and are here for each other when stuff like this happens. Thank you very much!
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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 11

Staci, you dug yourself a bit of a hole with this. The job posting (basis for the contract) states quite clearly that you agree to "be willing to make corrections or revisions to the Buyer’s satisfaction.."

 

This is, of course, completely unreasonable but unless you specifically excluded that part in negotations it's part of the deal you agreed to.

 

Everything else has already been said - just one small clarification: Nothing wrong with the client paying you some part of the royalties, as long as they are paid through Upwork. BUT something like that would be on a purely voluntary basis, and Upwork could and would not help you enforce it, only hourly contracts and funded milestones can be disputed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
9 of 11

Thanks for the clarification.

 

I did see a post from an Upwork mod flatly saying that payment by royalties was not allowed, but it was a couple of years ago and may have been imprecise about under what conditions this was disallowed.

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Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
10 of 11

Yes Charles and Petra the killer sentence is," CORRECTIONS: Bidders should be willing to make corrections or revisions to the Buyer’s satisfaction."

 

Now the question is was that part of the original posting or was added later on?  Perhaps I am mistaken, but I seem to recall one of the MODS saying the buyers can edit their postings anytime. 

 

Is that true?

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