Saturday, March 10, 2012

Getting paid for being creative

There are many occasions at work where I will prepare an interesting way to teach material and then offer it to friends purely for the joy of hearing compliments or gratitude.  Actually, there are many occasions where I think about offer material but fear coworkers would compliment me only out of politeness.  My lack of self-confidence aside, the point is, I am sometimes willing to offer creative work to others without being paid for it.

On the other hand, my job is teaching, not creating original work.  My understanding of professional writers is that once they become professional they require some money for any work -sometimes they may only ask for a dollar or the like - the principle is the important thing, not the amount.

With digital publishing, the situation has changed.  Scott Sigler gave away many stories to create a fan base, then went pro. David Simpson followed a similar route.  Still, at one point, these artists expect to be paid.

Chris Clarke (don't buy his book from Amazon - oh, maybe that's okay now) expects to be paid and I think he is right to.  Someone at a book club sent him a letter asking for 45 free copies of his book so they could read and discuss it.  Further, this club member stated that "...expedited shipping is a must."

Why should Clarke send them his book?
This would be an excellent opportunity for exposure for your book. Our club caters to affluent taste-makers and opinion leaders in [Location Redacted] and your book will be read closely by people whose opinions matter.
Apparently, these people are affluent but unwilling to pay for books.  Clearly, at least one of them is a jerk.

Now, Clarke's blog (the second and third links link) has a 'PayPal tip jar' and I will not be tipping him.  Of course, I have only visited his blog once.  Still, even with the blogs I read everyday, I am uninterested in sending money to.  I realize, as I write this, that I am contradicting myself.  Okay, professional writers who also blog do write for free.  Somehow, I consider this to be different.  Blogs are more akin to conversation and conversation is financially different from oration and speechifying.

This eloquent tweet makes me wonder if I should change my stance.

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