Thursday, August 8, 2013

Everyone in the Whole World to Writers: What?? You Want to Get Paid?!??!?!

This guy wins the internet today. 

This is the subject of MANY conversations between me and my writer friends: the conversation.

"What is the pay?"


Now, don't get me wrong, we all do stuff for free-but that's when we want to and when we can afford to do so.

In G-d we trust, everyone else needs to FOTD-fork over the dough.

I have a friend who is a filmmaker who insists on the exact opposite of the 'build your brand by working for free or next to nothing'. He told me long ago that doing things for cheap or free, or 'discounted' actually harms your brand more than anything.

Everyone wants to and ought to get paid. Writers and bloggers, too.

He says:

"Over the past five years, every writer I know has been told by their agent to 'monetise the activity around their writing'. Give talks. Go to conventions. Judge prizes. Write reviews. Write articles. Go on telly. Go on radio. Go on Twitter. Build your brand."

"The problem with all these activities is that nobody actually wants to pay you to do them. Instead, you are given vague assertions that it will be good for sales, good for your profile, and if you do all these things, then my son, there will be jam for tea."

"Well, I'm now 41, have written 10 books over 12 years, and for me it's tea time. The kettle has come to the boil, the Crown Derby is laid out, the bread is sliced and I need the jam right now. In short, I want to be paid for what I do."

Bonus awesome: 

"I'm sure many fellow authors will identify with the occasion when I took two days to get to Durham and back, in order to talk to 14 people in a damp Scout Hut, three of whom bought a book. Or how about the major book prize which wanted me to be a judge and read some 35 books over the summer?"

"Love to,' I said."

"What will you pay?"

"Pay? Oh. Well, we give an honorarium."

"I had to look it up. It's Latin. Apparently it means, 'You should be honoured to be asked, but if you insist, here's a groat and you won't get asked again."