Working for free
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Now, where was I? Oh yes, working for free. As a freelance writer, I've come across many publications and websites that are willing to take a writer's work and share it with their readers so that you can see your name in print or online. Sometimes contributor's copies of printed publications are sent to writers, but silver doesn't cross anyone's palm.
Yeah, it sucks that situations like this exist. Unfortunately, there are a lot of writers out there who would gladly offer up that article or interview they worked so hard on just to get a clipping or see their work published. Heck, I've done it. In fact, for some pubs, I still do. ;)
But in some instances, like association newsletters or professional journals, submitting an articile is really an advertisement for your expertise. In other cases, you may want to promote your upcoming book or new TV show. These efforts fall under the realm of PR and make good business sense to do.
My beef is with publications that assign articles to writers (eliminating the possibility of a promotional tie-in or angle) and demand journalistic mastery. For free. If all the staff at that publication work for free, then that would be understandable. But if everyone else is getting paid, why not the writers?
I know, there are enough people already ranting about ads for writers on craigslist and other freelance sites where the compensation is so low that it might as well be considered "no pay." But the only way I know how to deal is to simply not apply.
What do you think?
posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:34 PM