Ask The Editor

July 1, 2009

Is it worth publishing? Then it’s worth paying for.

Kim Komando, in her cyber speak column, chirps about sites where you can “sell” your writing:

“A growing number of sites will help you turn your writing into cash. You don’t need to be a professional writer to use these sites, but your writing skills should be above average.”

She then goes on to detail the sites she has in mind and points out that aspiring writers are paid about 50 cents at one of the sites, about $1 at another. No, that isn’t per word. These sites pay 50 cents for an entire article.

Why on earth would Komando promote “selling” your work for so little money, it won’t even buy you a Hershey’s bar?

Surely, she’d be insulted if someone offered her just 50 cents to write her USA Today column.

And you should feel insulted, too, when you read about sites that want you to provide your writing so cheaply, you might as well write for free.

Even if you’re an aspiring writer with no credits, you deserve more. If your work is publishable, it’s worth paying for at the going rate.

This is exploitation. Period. And Komando should know better than to promote the exploitation of other writers.

Apparently, though, she doesn’t know better — nor even, what she’s writing about. She includes Scribd in her list.

Scribd is a site where traditional and self-publishers can sell copies of their electronic documents and ebooks. In other words, it operates much like the Kindle store. There’s a big difference between selling copies of your work to consumers for $1 or more per copy, and giving away the rights to someone else to profit from your writing for $1, total.

Someone, please enlighten Komando.

– Anita Bartholomew

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1 Comment »

  1. As a professional journalist, I entirely support your comments. There is a theory that content has become a commodity. It’s not, and the Web sites that pay a proper fee for writing get a return because readers come back.

    It is time for a reaction from the real professionals to this rising tide of scribble. ar

    Comment by Andrew Rosenbaum — June 10, 2010 @ 11:21 pm | Reply


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