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Should Writers be Paid to Write?
Troy posted a topic in Black LiteratureShould writers be paid to write? The question does not come out of thin air. It is born out of the fact that there is pressure from businesses to pay writers increasingly less for their work and it is getting harder for a free lance writer to make a full time living writing. As a result, it is harder for all the intermediaries between the reader and the writer; editors, reviewers, booksellers (on and off line), publishers, publicists, distributors, etc, to make money. This starts a process which feeds in on itself. As the writing profession becomes more challenging it discourages talented new writers from entering the profession, which reduces quality, which in turn reduces customers and a downward spiral begins. Author Victoria Christopher Murray was asked recently, by a reader, why doesn't she make a eBooks available for free online? In an environment where many authors make their eBooks available for free (usually as a promotional measure), the expectation of the reader that eBooks readily available for free is increasing. The availability of free ebooks today is such that I can legally download a new or classic title, and have enough reading material to last me the rest of my life. Besides, aren't writers supposed to write for the love of writing? How many writers have you heard say they write to live -- they need to write they way others need air. They would write even if they were not being paid.... It is not like writers provide food, shelter or any of the things our society need to actually survive. Don't garbage collectors, teachers, policemen, doctors and farmers deserve more of our financial resources? Maybe what we are witnessing today is the market just making itself more efficient and just. “The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve ‘the common good.’ It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.” — AYN RAND