The question of tips and other business practices

Funny, but this question has come up multiple times, and it was something I didn’t even realize I needed to address. I do cover design and editing on the side, and my client base is growing very quick, for which I’m extremely grateful. I’ve been working with awesome writers and I fully expect to continue to do so in 2012. I have been asked if I’ll accept tips—apparently, my clients are very happy with my work!

The answer is yes, I will accept tips, if a client wishes to offer one. But even though they are appreciated, they are not necessary or expected. What I quote a client at the beginning of our working relationship is what I maintain throughout the project. This is extremely important to me, because there are many editors, designers and other folks in publishing who toss out additional fees along the way, or who come up with unexpected costs, and who believe that since you are already hip-deep in it, you have no recourse except to try and swim to the other side.

This is not a good business practice. If you helm a service, you should always have all fees up front, and not in small print, either. Never deliberately allow a client to misunderstand your payment system or what they are getting for their money. Do not try to extend payment in any way. Not only is it morally shitty, it’ll ruin your reputation faster than Charlie Sheen on a bender, so even if you do manage to get away with tacking on additional fees a couple of times, don’t expect return customers. And don’t expect rumors to not spread about your shitty unprofessional ass, or I may have to start calling you Publish America.

This is the internet.

That is all.


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