I received an email from a writer who wrote seven articles for a website. She stopped at that point. She wanted to wait until she got paid for those before starting on more. And, she waited, and waited. It’s now four months later and, not only has she not been paid for the original articles, but the publisher already published her work, and, according to the writer, has now refused to remove her articles from his website.
That part of the story isn’t surprising. It’s a common scam for fledgling websites to “hire” writers, publish their work, start collecting ad money on those articles, not pay the writers, refuse to remove the material, and eventually stop responding to the writer. It’s theft. Plain and simple.
What also is not a surprise to me, but may be to you, is that she’s only owed $98.14 for those 7 articles. Let’s do the math, shall we?
$98.14 divided by 7 articles = $14.02 per article
What writer in their right mind would agree to work for such lousy pay? (Oddly enough, one of her articles was about how to avoid being the victim of theft!)
And, remember, when someone hires you, and refuses to pay, that IS theft.
Unfortunately, she can’t have this guy arrested because it’s only breach of contract. That means she’ll have to take him to small claims court. He knows she probably won’t do that for only $98.14.
If he stole $98.14 off her dresser during a dinner party, he’d be arrested. In my mind, both of those thefts are equally harmful but she can’t count on law enforcement to assist her with a “civil matter.”
How could she have avoided this?
1. She should have requested payment immediately following the completion of the FIRST article. Continuing to write for a publication after they already owe you money is a common and very risky mistake.
2. She should have NEVER agreed to write for these insulting rates in the first place! Any firm that offers such crappy rates should be avoided. If they’re going to insult writers by offering less than minimum wage for a piece, they may also not hesitate to simply refuse to send those measly wages to the writer when the work is done. The crappy wages, the lack of payment, and the refusal to remove the work from his website not only means he doesn’t respect writers, but also that he doesn’t respect human beings in general. People who do business like this are CROOKS!
How can she increase her chances of collection? She can read this:
Please, please, please, my fellow writers, do NOT work for such insulting pay. YOU ARE WORTH FAR MORE!!!
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
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See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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