Allan Lynch’s suggestion regarding contracts is absolutely correct. A paper trail showing those elements is all that’s needed to enforce a contract.
All writers ought to take the time to memorize those elements, or at least keep a permanent copy of his post on your computer. That’s what you do in law school…or the school of hard knocks.
And speaking of the school of hard knocks…it never fails to amaze me when someone refers to the person who (stabbed them in the back, led them into the trap, won’t return their calls, fill in the blank) as a friend.
My third comment is that there is no need to name these crooks. As explained above, they are just likely to come after you. That’s why you leave revenge to God, or Karma. All you need to know is that, if it quacks like a crook, and waddles like a crook, it IS a crook. All you need to know is that you don’t work without getting paid. I know it’s tough to ignore the smell of the bait when you’re hungry, but you’ve GOT to do it.
And last, that’s the real thing you need to learn: Know them by their fruits. There are NO honest hustlers. Maybe there are one or two, but it’s like winning the lotto: Your chances of winning the lotto are the same whether you buy a ticket or not. (In the real world, a 0.000001% chance equals 0% chance.) In the real world, your chance of getting paid by a hustler is 0%.
It was W. C. Fields who said, ìNever give a sucker an even break, nor smarten up a chump. You can’t cheat an honest man.î
Seamus O’Brog, author
Wine and the Informed Palate
I’m sorry to hear that happened! What I take away from that, too, is to never trust people who promise performance payments or revenue share down the line. I always work for a flat fee, and agree on that fee in writing before any work takes place. If I see any terms like performance payments, revenue share and pay-per-click, I head for the hills. I experimented with these revenue share models early in my freelancing and came up with pennies for my effort. IMHO, the only time you should be dealing with passive income models is for your own websites or books. A real, credible client will talk pay in fixed, tangible and timely terms.
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Bridge of Sighs and Dreams