Now, I waited for the appointed date and time, and I called in to hear what this was all about. The speaker and his partner began to talk about all their accomplishments, naming uber famous people that their success had allowed them to work with, and saying that their positivity and work ethic had allowed all of this to happen. I was feeling pretty jazzed. It all sounded so good! They then began to outline the project, and to state that they weren't going to accept just anyone. Fair enough. Not anybody could write well enough to help with putting together a book, much less a best seller. However, if anyone interested had a good enough story to tell for their chapter, they could use one of their ghost writers for $500.00 a pop. Hmmmm... I let that slide, because I know that there are fantastic stories out there. Okay. And then, one of them said, "As for revenue, and royalties, we won't be paying them. For every ebook sold, Amazon takes 50%. That leaves $1.00 to divide up, and it makes no sense to send everyone $0.35 every few months." So... How many chapters does this behemoth of a book have? If it's a best seller, (which they GUARANTEE it would be) it won't be selling in minuscule numbers. That sounds like more than $0.35 to me. They then said that the revenue would be given to charity. Okay. I can live with a charity project, but be up front if that's what it is.
What came next was staggering. We were told that it would cost US $8,000.00 to contribute to this book! But we'd be getting EXPOSURE, and PRESS RELEASES, and the ability to say that we were a BEST SELLING AUTHOR in everything that we do from now on.
When I write, it takes time. I take care with my words, and I put a lot of thought into what I do. My time is worth something, even if that something is a measly pittance. That pittance shows that I am valued. I can't pay my kids' tuition with exposure. Nor can I pay off a mortgage, repair a car, or pay for my dog's vet visit the next time he tries to play with his "stripey friend" or eats a bowl of pot pourri.
A singer doesn't do a concert for free. A dancer doesn't appear on stage for exposure. Actor's don't perform Hamlet in High Park for shits and giggles. I don't understand why people like these men, and entities like The Huffington Post think that they can get by with so little regard for the countless men and women who work their asses off to give them content. Yes, there are those who paint, write, dance, and sing solely for fun. But for those of us who look at this as our calling, it is demeaning and insulting to ask us to work for literally nothing. This is exploitation in every sense of the word. And for these toxic idiots to also ask people who most certainly have significantly less than they do is beyond gross. Those who do this know that they are not dealing with the hobbyist, or the person who does this as a "side" project. Their talk was all about "Increasing our sales", "Using this as a stepping stone", and "Driving our brand". I was aghast. This was wrong. I am through selling myself so short. I deserve my royalties, my fee, and my exposure will come with a big fat paycheque. They can take this crap and shove it. I am writer. Hear me roar!