What Is a Kill Fee? - Definition and Example

Definition: The kill fee is a negotiated payment on a magazine or newspaper article that is given to the freelancer if their assigned article is "killed" or canceled. This is generally expressed as a percentage of the total payment, and is used to give the freelancer confidence in putting their efforts into an assignment which may not make it to the final magazine edition, in the case of, for example, space issues or other change of plans.

Examples: The magazine ended up going from 64 to 58 pages, and so they didn't use my assigned article. However, they had promised me a kill fee of 25%, so my work wasn't a total loss.