Traditionally, works would be submitted to publishers, where they would become part of the slushpile , and would either elicit an offer to buy an "acceptance letter" or a rejection slip.
People who create intellectual property under a work for hire situation according to the publishers' or other customers' specifications are sometimes referred to as "independent contractors" or other similar terms. Creators give up their rights to their works in a "works made for hire" situation, a category of intellectual property defined in U.
The protection of the intellectual property rights that give the creator of the work are considered to have been sold into a work for hire agreement. The total number of freelancers in USA is inexact, as the most recent governmental report on independent contractors was published in by the U.
Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. At that time, there were approximately The total number of freelancers in UK is also inexact; however, figures from the Office of National Statistics show that people working mainly at or from home rose from 9. Freelancing is a gendered form of work. Surveys of other specific areas of freelancing have similar trends. Freelancers have a variety of reasons for freelancing, the perceived benefits differ by gender, industry, and lifestyle.
For instance, the Freelance Industry Report reported that men and women freelance for different reasons. Female survey respondents indicated that they prefer the scheduling freedom and flexibility that freelancing offers, while male survey respondents indicated they freelance to follow or pursue personal passions. Freelancing is also taken up by workers who have been laid-off, who cannot find full-time employment,  or for those industries such as journalism which are relying increasingly on contingent labor rather than full-time staff.
In interviews, and on blogs about freelancing, freelancers list choice and flexibility as a benefit. Freelancing, like other forms of casual labor , can be precarious work. Additionally, freelancers do not receive employment benefits such as a pension , sick leave , paid holidays, bonuses or health insurance , which can be a serious hardship for freelancers residing in countries such as the US without universal health care.
Freelancers often earn less than their employed counterparts. While most freelancers have at least ten years of experience prior to working independently,  experienced freelancers do not always earn an income equal to that of full-time employment.
Feedback from members suggests that web portals such as Freelancer. Because most projects require bidding, professionals will not bid because they refuse to work at such rates.
This has the effect of reducing the overall quality of the services provided. According to research conducted in by the Professional Writers Association of Canada on Canadian journalists and editors, there is a wage gap between staff and freelance journalists. The Professional Writers Association of Canada report showed no significant difference between the earnings of male and female freelancers, though part-time freelancers generally earned less than full-time freelancers.
Working from home is often cited as an attractive feature of freelancing, yet research suggests working from home introduces new sets of constraints for the process of doing work, particularly for married women with families, who continue to bear the brunt of household chores and child care despite increases in their paid work time. The Internet has opened up many freelance opportunities, expanded available markets, and has contributed to service sector growth in many economies. Much computer freelance work is being outsourced to developing countries outside the United States and Europe.
Freelance marketplaces provide a marketplace for freelancers and buyers. Service providers or sellers create a profile where they include a description of the services they offer, examples of their work, and, in some cases, information about their rates. Buyers register and complete a basic profile, and then post projects outlining their requirements. Buyers will then bid for these projects on a fixed price or hourly basis.
Freelance marketplaces have globalized competition for some jobs, allowing workers in high- and low-income countries to compete with one another. These marketplaces, including Fiverr and Lyft , have been criticized as exploiting workers. Many periodicals and newspapers offer the option of ghost signing, when a freelance writer signs with an editor but their name is not listed on the byline of their article s.
This allows the writer to receive benefits while still being classified as a freelancer, and independent of any set organization. In some countries this can lead to taxation issues e. Ghost signing has little bearing on whether a writer is a freelancer or employee in the US. Freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into significant out-of-pocket expenses.
Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week. The European Commission does not define "freelancers" in any legislative text.
However, the European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities. The European Forum of Independent Professionals defines freelancers as: Independent professionals work on a flexible basis in a range of creative, managerial, scientific and technical occupations; they are not a homogeneous group and as such, they cannot be considered or investigated as a whole.
They are generally characterised by a large portion of autonomy, a high labour productivity, knowledge intensive performance, social commitment and a large dose of entrepreneurship and specialisation. In Europe , the perceived disadvantages of being freelance have led the European Union to research the area, producing draft papers [ citation needed ] that would, if enforced, make it illegal for companies or organizations to employ freelancers directly, unless the freelancer was entitled to benefits such as pension contributions and holiday pay.
In the UK, where the terms of integration into the EU have and are being hotly debated, this would lead to a significant reshaping of the way freelance work is dealt with and have a major impact on industry; employers would be required either to give freelancers the contractual rights of employees or employ only freelancers already being employed by agencies or other organizations granting them these rights.
However, the White Papers that recommend such moves have not yet been adopted in the EU, and the potential impact on UK employment laws is being opposed by key UK organizations lobbying the government to negotiate over the acceptance of EU legislation in such areas.
Government Accountability Office GAO  recommended that the Secretary of Labor have its Wage and Hour Division "focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors during targeted investigations.
At the same time, this increased enforcement is affecting companies whose business models are based on using non-employee workers, as well as independent professionals who have chosen to work as independent contractors.
For example, book publishing companies have traditionally outsourced certain tasks like indexing and proofreading to individuals working as independent contractors. Self-employed accountants and attorneys have traditionally hired out their services to accounting and law firms needing assistance. Internal Revenue Service  offers some guidance on what constitutes self-employment , but states have enacted stricter laws to address how independent contractors should be defined.
For example, a Massachusetts law  states that companies can hire independent contractors only to perform work that is "outside the usual course of business of the employer," meaning workers working on the company's core business must be classified as employees. According to this statute,  a software engineering firm cannot outsource work to a software engineering consultant, without hiring the consultant as an employee.
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In this same way, a freelance writer is a writer who works for a company or individual on a contractual, or project basis. These "contractual" positions don't even necessarily need to have a formal contract in place (although that's probably in . Freelance practices and compensation. According to the Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10% editing/copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design.