A. Antaonow’s article, We Have Seen the Enemy and She is…a Writer, comes as no surprise to me. As a just budding-never been published-dreaming of becoming-writer who is also a doting and diligent wife who has sought out contract software engineer jobs for smart as a whip hubby, I can attest to this type of unethical practice occurring in many occupations.
I was always appalled by these placement companies that wanted to hire my husband for his expertise and aggressively pursued him for their open positions, praising his talents and experience on the one hand, yet demanding to be paid AT LEAST 50% of his contracted salary with zero benefits. Oftentimes they would request 60-75% of his contracted rate! Whenever my husband would negotiate salary rate with them they could never give him a plausible enough reason for the high price of their “services” that explained well enough why they deserved to be paid the exact amount of money he was paid for actually doing the difficult and demanding daily work. One company representative told him it was “the nature of the beast”, meaning, if you bill it, they will pay it.
I am not surprised that writers are being treated in the same manner. Though I am sure most writers (myself included) would be thrilled just to be published and have someone read their thoughts, ideas, and hard work, the reality is that many businesses will always try to get that work as cheaply as possible. The most unethical part about this is that the writer seeking the cheap labor KNOWS the amount of work involved in preparing a piece for publication….or at least they should. They should know that when a writer writes, they have poured a small piece of their soul into that article. It contains thoughts formulated inside their minds that were melded together into a prose that conveys information, expresses emotion, describes scenery, tells a story, gives perspective, or takes the reader on a journey. It is inexcusable that a true writer could forget that for a buck.
Thanks for being a truly valuable resource for writers and wannabe writers such as myself.