Got an email from one of my regular Critters. He’s trying to put together an online, invite-only showcase of fiction and would like me to submit something for it. This is actually the second showcase he’s put together. He asked me for something for the first one, but I declined because he wasn’t offering any payment. This time, he says he’s hoping to be able to pay. I told him I’d be interested for pay.
Mercenary? Afraid so. But Ann Crispin drummed into me that writers should get paid; money flows to the author. I totally agree with her. I put a lot of my soul and heart into my writing. It feels very wrong to just give it away.
I am flattered to be asked, either which way. It’s nice to have people who think highly of my writing ability, so highly that they come to me asking for it rather than the usual state of affairs where I go begging editors to please consider my humble, unworthy offering. Plus this person reviews for Strange Horizons, so I’m doubly flattered.
It’ll be interesting to see if this project takes off.
Agree completely. I’m occasionally willing to do a little bit of free work–a paragraph here, a page there–if it means helping out someone I work with. But for the most part, I don’t do free, and I don’t do samples unless they’re already written. This is a job, whatever else it may be, and people who want the fruits of my labor can pay for my time and effort.
It may be mercenary, but it’s also the way o’ things. 🙂
Congrats on the invite, though, however it turns out.
Amen. My personal motto:
Money flows to the writer, books flow to the reviewer, and slush flows to the editor. :>
Forgive the strange question, but why is being paid for what you do considered mercenary?
I know, I of all people have some nerve asking since I always undervalue my work, and hardly ever charge for it, but it’s something I haven’t ever understood. I mean, would people ask a mechanic to fix a car for free?