What’s An Invoice?

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of publishing. Seeing my pieces in print has been a (rare) thrill ever since my high school literary magazine ran an angst-ridden short story. But until last week, I’d never sold a story. Not for money. And while my first fee is modest, it required me to produce my first invoice.

Up to now, I’ve been winging it. I don’t belong to a writers’ group, haven’t got a mentor, no fount of wisdom to turn to when I’m at sea. “Your story is off to the designer for illustration,” read the upbeat note from my editor. “Can you send me an invoice?”

Stop a minute to scratch head. “What’s an invoice? A list of items sold. But how do you invoice a short story?” Mystifying.

The savior of the novice in any discipline, the internet, held a quick answer. And many downloadable templates. I kicked myself for not having known this, not having researched in advance. Anticipating snags on my first try, knowing my technical limitations, I dashed off a reply to the editor saying I’d have it for her ASAP. I set to work and in a couple of hours, I created a professional-looking freelance writer’s invoice for $35CAD.

I proudly sent off my spanking new invoice with an email thanking my editor for everything. I checked my inbox to find a cheerful note saying, “Anything on a piece of paper will do. Just include your name, the title of the story, and the price. No rush.”

I might not have overcomplicated things had I waited for that email. A Word document would have been enough to cover my bases. Instead, I rushed in and dug up what I needed to exceed that, to make this story a double milestone. My first pay. And invoice #100001.

Everything I needed to know came from a post by Sean Cope on upwork.com. See the link below to check out his step-by-step guide.

https://www.upwork.com/resources/how-to-write-an-invoice-for-freelance-work

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