Writing projects (read: compositions and arrangements) are always up for negotiation. What I always try to do is let the person hiring me talk first. After we have discussed what is involved, I quickly calculate how much time it will take to complete it. I get a price in my head that I think is fair, but I try to let the other person make an offer. If he doesn’t come forward with a figure, and assuming I know the person pretty well, I might say something like this. “What’s your budget for this? Have you got any money?” He’ll probably come back with something like, “I think I can get $2,000.” Many, many times that figure will be more than I was thinking. Now, if I don’t know the person I won’t be so flip in getting him to talk. I’ll say, “What have you budgeted for this project?” I have found that often what seems like a lot of money to a musician is not that much to the person who is hiring you. It can work the other way too. A good friend contacted me about one of my unpublished big-band charts. “Can you get me a copy?” he asked. “Sure, how about $75 delivered?” I replied. Pausing, he said, “Look, I’ll give you $150.” That’s a good friend. I was trying to do him a favor, but he had the money in his budget, and he took care of me.