Letters To The Editor For October 31st

AUTHORS BEGGING FOR CASH ONLINE? INSULTING!!

Dear Angela,

I just read “Authors Begging for Cash Online?” and I agree with every word you say!

Last year, a work colleague started going around the office asking people to donate money to help her self-publish her fantasy novel. She’d tell people that she was “so close to her dream” and that she just “needed a little more help”. I personally didn’t contribute to the cause, but I know several people who did, mostly because they felt sorry for her.

Sounds bad already, right? Wait, there’s more…

A few months ago the books were printed and delivered. How did we know? Because the morning after the books arrived, said “author” was going around the office asking people to buy copies of it. She also offered the people who had donated money to her a chance to buy her book at a “special discount price”–the amount of the discount being determined by the amount of money the person had donated to her before. So, a person who had donated $5 would get a 10% discount on the book, while a person who had donated $100 would get a 20% discount…despite the fact that if they hadn’t donated to her in the first place, there would have been NO BOOK AT ALL FOR HER TO SELL!!!

The “author” is now doing the rounds again, collecting donations for her second book. I won’t be donating, and I have actively advised people to stay away from her. Having spoken to her a few times, I’ve gathered that she feels that asking for donations will make a good anecdote for the future. She thinks that it proves her “humble beginnings as a struggling writer.”

She definitely isn’t the only writer I’ve come across who thinks it’s okay to ask people for money to help with publishing a book. I don’t understand why it is that some people feel like it’s alright (or even noble) to ask for money to help with their writing. Other people have dreams, too, and maybe they’d rather spend their money on their own dreams instead of paying for the chance to buy a book they’ll never read at a “special discount price”.

A.M.

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Hi Angela,

I liked your post on writers asking for money. I’ve had people approach me on this, too. I’m not sure why, since I write a pet blog.

That certainly is a pet peeve of mine, but an even bigger one is the hoax from “guest bloggers” who “generously” share exclusive content written just for my blog that contains links to advertising sites. These “writers” are getting paid from advertisers and content mills to post stories with ad links in them on a number of blogs. I never accept these on my site.

I am getting at least 3 offers a week from “writers” who want to post these “stories.” I just find it offensive. My letters to them have gotten harsher over the months.

Other than that, I hope you are doing well, and I enjoy getting WritersWeekly.com.

Best,
Michele C. Hollow
Pet News and Views
http://PetNewsandViews.com