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Pay the Writer

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Harlan is one of my favorite writers. And of course on principle I agree.

But few can take this advice seriously.

Face it--writers, even good ones are a dime a dozen. It is a buyer's market, unless you are named JK Rowling or Zane or Dan Brown or Stephen King or somebody else whose name appears on the cover ABOVE the title.

(Ever notice that? )

If you treat writing as a business you understand the necessity sometimes of cutting your price, undercharging and giving away freebies.

Dope dealers are probably among the most mercenary, blood thirsty merchants on earth. Even they put out free samples (sometimes called "testers") so as to get the consumers to come to them.

Writing is a business, and in America, the Land of the Heartless and Home of the Paid, we are in competition.

And so it goes.

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During all of discussion surrounding the Huffingtin Post being purchased by AOL it was mentioned that of the 6,000 bloggers writing for the Huffington post -- none of them are being paid. WTF?!

Will any of those writers who clearly contributed to the success of the Huffington Post see any return ($) on their labor will they get any of the $130MM+?

The answer is of course is "no" and that is a travesty. Actually that is exploitation.

Chris, this is really not a matter of giving away the occasional freebie, writers are writing everything for free, for a by line.

I know, for example, that I pay a book reviewer more than many sources that pay reviewers.

I know magazines that pay reviewers less than $50 for a review. I've even heard a couple of stories of publishers that even want the reviewed book to be returned by the reviewer!

Publishers would pay for really good writers.

The REAL problem is that the public no longer knows the difference between really good writers and bad ones.

The public is also unable to distinquish between opinion and news. Indeed, publishers serve up opinion as news and the public does not seem to care...

Take 6,000 unpaid Bloggers, get the public to think of it as journalism, and sell the whole package for 130 million.

Only in America Kiddies.

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