A few weeks ago, my laptop got sat on (don’t ask). A few days later, I noticed a small crack in the screen. The local, family-owned computer place (which we love, by the way) ordered a new screen for me. We planned for my laptop to get the new screen on Friday and, instead of moving files from one computer to another (which can take hours), we would take the day off and attend the Common Ground Fair. It’s very stressful for me to be offline for a day. I have a hard enough time delegating…but getting cut off completely from the business? I feel so detached!
Last week, we pondered if AllVoices.com, which runs lots of ads for writers, is just another pay-per-click meat market. I issued a call for AllVoices.com contributors to contact me, and to share their experiences. This is what I wrote at the end of the article:
So, this week I’d be interested in knowing how many writers Allvoices.com has and the total amount they’ve paid out to their “Citizen Journalists” since they launched. I’d also be curious how much the highest earners have earned versus the lowest earners. And, I’d be curious to know what percentage of their contributors have earned less than, say, $100 in the past year. I’m also wondering how long it takes to write a typical article for them and what the pay breaks down to by hour – for the average “Citizen Journalist”, of course. I bet they wouldn’t give me any of this info.
Surprisingly, not one AllVoices.com contributor contacted me with answers to my questions. However, I did get an email from the founder of AllVoices.com…
I followed a few links from this week’s newsletter and was just re-reading your Examiner article and the comments. I came across this:
Clark: $20 for 32 articles = $1.60 per article
The math is worse than it looks unless the $ sign was supposed to be on the 32!
And as bad as we thought it was for Clark – $20 for 32 articles = $0.62 each.
Oh WELL! Glad I’m not an Examiner (and yes, I was offered to be… no way!)
Most authors learn the hard way that when starting out, traditional bookstore signings can be discouraging. Very quickly we are forced to find or accept more creative, even unusual venues to sell our books. When my first novel was released, I was horribly inexperienced in the world of marketing. I focused almost primarily on bookstores or festivals, scheduling twenty or more events in and around the Midwest that first year. Out of those twenty plus gigs, only two drew sales worth writing home about. Two.
I’d like your opinion of the new Reptile Media site posted online. Writers are supposed to post unpublished articles on the site. Editors are supposed to look at the site, pick the ones they like and make an offer to the writer. This saves the trouble of writing a query letter or targeting a publication. Besides writing on spec, it seems like it would be open season for the people that steal other writers’ work. Your opinion?
For nine years, I was a kindergarten teacher. I loved the kids and I loved teaching, but in 2007, after discovering I was pregnant – again! – I resigned from my position. I had always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, and now I finally had the chance.
COMPLAINT about Clear Copy Solutions / clearcopysolutions.com / Cynthia Bingaman – Writer alleges she’s owed $100 and that publisher is ignoring her correspondence.
COMPLAINT about 10 Million Clicks For Peace / tenmillionclicksforpeace.org / 10millionbooks.com – They’re supposedly looking for writers to write booklets but, when you start clicking, you get hit up to pay $212 for their home study course!!!
Atlantic Publishing Company / atlantic-pub.com – Spammed Angela AGAIN!
If you’ve been receiving WritersWeekly for more than a year, you probably know that the children and I sow seeds each year in our small outdoor garden. Most of them never come up and the majority of the ones that do end up dying sometime during the Summer. Sometimes, we get lucky (or the garden fairies take pity on us) and a few things actually SURVIVE!
What is up with all these content-hungry websites, you may be wondering? It seems like every other help-wanted ad we see for writers now is from a company that pays measly pennies (or less) per click for a writer’s blood, sweat and tears.
I am currently thinking of offering a (ghostwriting) service to people who want a book written about them for friends, family or colleagues. This will appeal to people with egos, money and the notion that they have something to say. Would you feel that your service would be a good fit for this idea?
The largest percentage of BookLocker’s revenues come from public book sales. Those sales help us keep setup fees low. Publishing books for anybody and everybody, regardless of quality, just because they have money and an ego, would mean lower-quality products and, thus, a lower percentage of public book sales. Doing this would also harm our reputation. When a reader comes to Booklocker.com, we want them to come to our bookstores again, and again, and again. Publishing anything and everything puts a company’s entire inventory in question and, naturally, discourages customers.
We’re really not interested in working with people who want to publish a book just to impress family members or a few colleagues…or simply because they have large egos or lots of money. That’s not the type of author we want to work with. I’m sorry.
I have received two mails from people I offended with this missive, one from a ghostwriter who says she runs a similar business and another from a writer whose grandfather wrote his memoirs.
This ghostwriter whose letter appears above was interested in approaching people with large egos and deep pockets (not waiting for business to find her), and suggesting they pay her to ghostwrite books about themselves to impress friends and colleagues. I did not publish her entire letter because I did not think it would be fair to give away her entire business model (even though I disagree with it).
There is nothing wrong with writing an autobiography to document history and to teach future generations about your life. But, paying someone to write a book about you just to give out copies to friends and colleagues to feed your ego? Per my missive, that’s not the type of author we want to work with. There’s a huge difference between a rich egomaniac and a memoirist.