Letters To The Editor For April 18th

WritersWeekly Saves Reader $3K

After a reader inquired about a firm listed on our Whispers and Warnings list, I sent the appropriate link. This was the response:

Dearest Angela,

I just cancelled via email a $3000 agreement. I’ll follow up and send a snailmail written demand to cancel the agreement.

Spotting your website (I just signed up) helped save me from becoming a victim.

You’re an angel.

World’s Worst Book Proposals


After reading the comical boo-boo’s supposedly offered as proposals and your ultimate – and well-deserved – refusals, I had to respond. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why someone would send you such horrible replies to your rejections. It blows my mind that there are people who are so ill-mannered and filthy minded.

I would like to counteract that with the comment that you are doing great work and you are appreciated. Just know these people are in the minority – we can only hope!

Just concerned and flabergasted,
Lynn M.

Selling Stock Photos Not Likely to Yield Profit


Besides being an excellent photographer (sports for newspapers, portraits for book covers, competition winner, etc.), I am also a member of NWU who has been published in nationally circulated publications, as well as being a small self publisher.

I know the various segments of the photography business as well as being able to take great photos. I am *very* familiar with stock photography and its current “opportunities”.

The days of making significant money at stock are over. It used to be done by top pros to make extra income with outtakes when clients kept squeezing them for lower prices for commissioned work.

Then some folks started doing it on spec, which was okay for a few years until the market got overcrowded — and then the internet made every camera owner into a competitor, which drove income down to miniscule levels.

It is very misleading to tell writers that they will make any money by doing it. Certainly not anything that is worth the time.

Even most Pro and advanced amateurs do not make money with stock.

The microstocks pay peanuts — and only if you sell enough to hit the threshold for a payment at all. Many give up or delete their photos after long waits with no payments due to no sales.

Most stock agencies expect continuous submissions. Those that don’t will highlight the images of the more active submitters — as well as those with the best sales record, which makes it hard for those pics to ever be seen for consideration of buying for only a buck — or less.

These days all the significant stock agencies expect top notch pictures – perfect exposure and focus, and well-composed, not vacation, snaps.

It is nearly impossible for a newb to get seen in the clutter of so many similar photos, less so when others’ photos get shown first. And there are not enough new ideas to make money at pennies a pic cause you have an “exclusive” (temporarily – because your ideas will get copied).

There are a handful of people that make good to fair money at microstocks — maybe what a good writer can make doing it full time. There are tens of thousands who are getting less than minimum wage — or nothing.

The traditional high end stock houses (Getty, Corbis, Jupiter, et al) are buying up microstocks and often weeding out many photographers and returning their images (and good luck selling them on your own then). They do not accept submissions to their high end libraries — they invite people who have already made a name.

The midlist stock (Alamy – maybe some similar will survive too) members can make modest amounts *IF* you can take great photos with model releases and if you keyword them well.

There is the rub. Getting model releases is not easy and consumes a lot of time. Often you have to pay for the releases, which is an upfront expense. Fixing the photos and uploading them and then keywording them takes a lot more time and skill than many people have. Just look at the questions on the photo forums by all the newbs with a new digital camera who think they will be making a lot of money by using it.

And this is all on SPEC. Would you write on spec? Then write on spec cause you can make more money playing to your strength than trying a secondary method.

There are better ways to make money with a camera. Illustrate your article to make it more desirable. Weddings, sports leagues, events, senior portraits, advertising, architecture, yada yada, all would yield better income potential although none of them would be easy money. Note: Real estate pix pay about the same as microstocks – RE agents are the tightest wads on the planet.

William Adams, PE, PhD



I just wanted to send some kudos your way.

My eBook, The Easy Way to Write & Sell eBooks, is offered through Booklocker and WritersWeekly. I’ve been so impressed by the professional way you run the site and by how promptly checks are mailed out every month. Unfortunately, not every publisher is so writer-friendly. Angela, you are THE writer’s friend, and I appreciate all your hard work.

Kind regards,

Kristina’s book is currently the #2 best seller on WritersWeekly!

Angela’s Paranoia – Children Who Are Choking