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Reply #162: It's also the nature of freelance writing. [View All]

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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #155
162. It's also the nature of freelance writing.
I know this is yet again delving into individual freelancer stuff rather than the publishing press, but what you're describing is what writers have done for ages. Until you've written enough that the demand for your work is a seller's market rather than a buyer's, all writers are what you would call "slaves." This is because the value of the product they're making is not yet known, and so they must either work on spec or by selling pitches. If I work in a factory the value of Good X that I'm assembling is a known value and I can be paid by the hour for my work. Probably not nearly enough, but we live in an owners' society, sadly.

It's as if those in this thread have no clue as to the economy behind creative work. You can't think of it in the same way as most wage work. If I've never painted before, you're not going to pay me by the hour to do your portrait. Not unless I've got a significant portfolio of quality work behind me. (And yes, much of the work in the portfolio I probably did for free, or for dirt-cheap.)
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  -Found our first pirated e-book today Spike89  May-05-11 01:59 PM   #0 
  - But don't you understand? Your information should be free!  Codeine   May-05-11 02:05 PM   #1 
  - Pity there's no way to imbed a trojan horse bomb in  MineralMan   May-05-11 02:11 PM   #3 
  - Because the appropriate response to copyright violation is vandalism and destruction of property?  TheWraith   May-05-11 02:36 PM   #12 
  - Yep, seriously.  RC   May-05-11 02:51 PM   #15 
  - I didn't destroy anything. The software simply encrypted the data  MineralMan   May-05-11 02:58 PM   #17 
  - "Pity there's no way to... permanently disable the device if the material was pirated."  TheWraith   May-05-11 04:45 PM   #50 
     - It is, but there's no way to do that via an ebook, so it's  MineralMan   May-05-11 06:55 PM   #118 
        - Doesn't matter. It's still an inappropriate response.  TheWraith   May-05-11 08:21 PM   #121 
  - No, actually the appropriate response is prosecution for the  MineralMan   May-05-11 03:06 PM   #18 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   May-05-11 05:40 PM   #99 
  - What's your point?  MineralMan   May-06-11 08:31 AM   #158 
  - Plenty of precedence ...  JustABozoOnThisBus   May-06-11 06:59 AM   #153 
  - If you do that people will refuse to buy your products.  Dappleganger   May-05-11 04:00 PM   #29 
  - Thanks for explaining why I don't use closed source software.  hunter   May-05-11 04:47 PM   #53 
  - I like your style, kid.  timtom   May-06-11 06:05 AM   #151 
  - Wow. Enlightening post. So you use freeware exclusively? PC based only, right?  zonkers   May-06-11 09:55 AM   #161 
     - Free and Open Source software.  hunter   May-06-11 01:45 PM   #173 
  - Surprise, surprise.  Lucian   May-05-11 05:38 PM   # 
     - Point is, you bought the book. It's your property.  mainer   May-05-11 08:49 PM   #125 
     - And keeping a copy at the same time?  Spike89   May-06-11 01:32 PM   #171 
  - Funny thing is, that is basically our mission!  Spike89   May-05-11 02:27 PM   #5 
  - It's flattery  Aerows   May-05-11 04:10 PM   #34 
  - It's flattery  Aerows   May-05-11 04:09 PM   #33 
  - Flattery don't pay the bills.  progressoid   May-06-11 04:01 PM   #180 
  - +1  geardaddy   May-06-11 01:49 PM   #174 
  - I'm sorry to hear that.  MineralMan   May-05-11 02:07 PM   #2 
  - Unfortunately, you knew it had to happen...  TreasonousBastard   May-05-11 02:21 PM   #4 
  - Yeah, we'd hoped being "fringe" would help  Spike89   May-05-11 02:42 PM   #13 
     - I think you'll be all right with this  mainer   May-05-11 04:52 PM   #59 
  - Welcome to the club.  tinrobot   May-05-11 02:30 PM   #6 
  - Can I ask what makes ebooks so expensive to create?  Betty88   May-05-11 02:31 PM   #7 
  - Theoretically, nothing.  TheWraith   May-05-11 02:49 PM   #14 
  - Thank you  Betty88   May-05-11 02:53 PM   #16 
  - Very concise and good explanation!  Spike89   May-05-11 03:55 PM   #25 
  - If most of your costs are in distribution why not just offer it for free for download?  Kurska   May-06-11 02:08 AM   #150 
     - Most of our costs are NOT in distribution  Spike89   May-06-11 01:41 PM   #172 
  - That logic only works for mass market books.  tinrobot   May-05-11 04:31 PM   #42 
  - Again, please read the actual content of my post before responding.  TheWraith   May-05-11 04:44 PM   #49 
     - I did read it.  tinrobot   May-05-11 04:58 PM   #64 
        - You seem to have skipped the area where I made the entire point about market size.  TheWraith   May-05-11 05:03 PM   #69 
  - Except for an author's labor for a year or more.  mainer   May-05-11 04:42 PM   #47 
     - Maybe you should actually read my post. nt  TheWraith   May-05-11 04:43 PM   #48 
     - "theoretically, nothing"  mainer   May-05-11 04:47 PM   #54 
        - So you responded to the title without reading or understanding my point. Okay. nt  TheWraith   May-05-11 04:50 PM   #57 
     - You need to look up marginal cost. All digital media has zero marginal cost...  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:48 AM   #148 
  - Glad you asked...  Spike89   May-05-11 03:23 PM   #22 
  - Unfortunately, I cannot download the world's smallest violin... nt  Modern_Matthew   May-05-11 02:31 PM   #8 
  - Right. Have you ever spent 4-6 months of your life writing a book...  tinrobot   May-05-11 02:32 PM   #10 
  - Yet if they're reading it. . .  themadstork   May-05-11 04:20 PM   #38 
     - A win for the reader, perhaps.  tinrobot   May-05-11 04:21 PM   #39 
        - I write books to be read  themadstork   May-05-11 04:30 PM   #41 
           - So you think some workers don't deserve to make a living?  mainer   May-05-11 04:49 PM   #56 
           - Writing  themadstork   May-05-11 04:57 PM   #63 
           - You can value yourself however you want.  tinrobot   May-05-11 04:51 PM   #58 
           - People who work for free...  mainer   May-05-11 04:53 PM   #60 
           - Sounds about right.  tinrobot   May-05-11 04:58 PM   #65 
           - A nicely pithy statement. . .  themadstork   May-05-11 05:06 PM   #71 
              - Making a living and striking it rich are two different things.  tinrobot   May-05-11 05:35 PM   #90 
              - Poetry is a different kettle of fish. A very small audience.  mainer   May-05-11 08:50 PM   #126 
                 - It is precisely these areas in peril  Spike89   May-06-11 01:58 PM   #175 
           - It's not an ego boost  themadstork   May-05-11 05:01 PM   #68 
              - I write to make a living.  tinrobot   May-05-11 05:28 PM   #86 
                 - I'm not saying you shouldn't be doing this  themadstork   May-05-11 05:37 PM   #93 
                    - Totally agree with you.  tinrobot   May-05-11 05:47 PM   #102 
                    - The industry used to be this place where only the most elite would get a publishing deal...  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:40 AM   #146 
                       - Well, there are still some editors that sell authentically great books at a loss for the prestige  themadstork   May-06-11 10:08 AM   #163 
           - There is nothing good for a writer in having their material illegally obtained.  mythology   May-05-11 04:55 PM   # 
              - Being read is undeniably good for the writer.  themadstork   May-05-11 05:07 PM   #73 
                 - But being paid for it is what feeds him  mainer   May-05-11 05:38 PM   #95 
                    - Does not change the fact that being read is still good for him/her  themadstork   May-05-11 06:05 PM   #108 
  - I'm sure you could... you'd simply try to get out of paying for it is all.  LanternWaste   May-05-11 03:11 PM   #19 
  - Excuse me for finding humor in seeing this other thread right next to yours on page 1  Electric Monk   May-05-11 02:32 PM   #9 
  - Sorry.  progressoid   May-05-11 02:36 PM   #11 
  - Which pirate site is it and what format is it in? Like a pdf or a special format?  cbdo2007   May-05-11 03:15 PM   #20 
  - Yeah, a cracked PDF, can't tell at a glance which format was  Spike89   May-05-11 03:49 PM   #23 
     - Also, have you checked their takedown policy?  cbdo2007   May-05-11 03:54 PM   #24 
  - Welcome to the club. It happens to every author.  mainer   May-05-11 03:20 PM   #21 
  - "...most pirates don't really read the books... They just do it to be pirates.  Leftist Agitator   May-05-11 03:58 PM   #27 
  - Thank you for  Aerows   May-05-11 04:05 PM   #32 
  - It's what authors and publishers have noted to be true  mainer   May-05-11 04:38 PM   #44 
     - And you think  Aerows   May-05-11 06:20 PM   #112 
        - My point is that piracy doesn't matter as much anymore  mainer   May-05-11 08:40 PM   #122 
  - Offer it at a fair price  Aerows   May-05-11 04:01 PM   #30 
     - Like Wal-Mart prices?  tinrobot   May-05-11 05:00 PM   #67 
     - It is hard to beat free  Freddie Stubbs   May-06-11 10:59 AM   #168 
  - Keep writing  Aerows   May-05-11 03:58 PM   #26 
  - You believe one necessarily denies the other?  LanternWaste   May-05-11 04:14 PM   #35 
  - I don't  Aerows   May-05-11 04:18 PM   #37 
     - Who other than the author determines if profit of creativity has the higher priority...  LanternWaste   May-05-11 05:12 PM   #75 
        - I didn't direct the comment of  Aerows   May-05-11 05:19 PM   #81 
           - Frustrated by justifying theft? Yes. Rather.  LanternWaste   May-05-11 05:23 PM   #83 
              - I don't see it as theft  Aerows   May-05-11 05:32 PM   #89 
                 - I imagine we all justify our own sins to one degree or another...  LanternWaste   May-05-11 05:37 PM   #94 
                    - Justifying a sin?  Aerows   May-05-11 05:40 PM   #98 
  - Yeah. Eventually I think 95% of all books will be sold at either pay-as-you-wish or  themadstork   May-05-11 04:26 PM   #40 
  - I am too :)  Aerows   May-05-11 04:37 PM   #43 
     - I think it's in the nature of books and reading to  themadstork   May-05-11 04:48 PM   #55 
        - Wish there were a lot more people like you!  mainer   May-05-11 04:59 PM   #66 
        - I've read things by amateurs  Aerows   May-05-11 05:16 PM   #78 
        - Asmimov, Shakespeare, Dickens, Douglas Adams, HC Andersen, Sauraute, Golding, Kafka worked for free.  LanternWaste   May-05-11 05:31 PM   #88 
        - Did they do it only for the money?  Aerows   May-05-11 05:36 PM   #91 
           - You appear to be avoiding a question.  LanternWaste   May-05-11 05:38 PM   #96 
           - I'm sure they did  Aerows   May-05-11 05:47 PM   #103 
           - But everyone needs to eat.  mainer   May-05-11 05:39 PM   #97 
              - And I guess  Aerows   May-05-11 05:43 PM   #101 
                 - No. But they do get paid for it.  mainer   May-05-11 08:54 PM   #128 
        - You haven't read enough work by amateurs, then  mainer   May-05-11 08:51 PM   #127 
           - Most professional work is dreadful.  themadstork   May-05-11 09:18 PM   #130 
           - Most amateur work is even more dreadful  mainer   May-06-11 10:58 AM   #167 
           - So true! Also true, 1/2 the "professionals" can barely write  Spike89   May-06-11 04:21 PM   #182 
        - I think there are  themadstork   May-05-11 05:16 PM   #79 
           - This is quite true...  Dappleganger   May-05-11 05:37 PM   #92 
        - Lemme jump in here  timtom   May-06-11 06:33 AM   #152 
  - How do you make a living at it if you don't get paid?  mainer   May-05-11 04:40 PM   #45 
  - I guess you want to be one of those "privileged" writers  Aerows   May-05-11 04:46 PM   #52 
     - It's a "privilege" to be paid for one's labors?  mainer   May-05-11 04:55 PM   #61 
     - I work my ass off  Aerows   May-05-11 05:13 PM   #76 
     - What do you do for a living?  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 05:07 PM   #72 
        - I'm a writer first  Aerows   May-05-11 05:12 PM   #74 
        - But your income, your profession, is engineering?  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 05:17 PM   #80 
           - Yes, to both  Aerows   May-05-11 05:20 PM   #82 
              - And you should be aware that there is not a money earning artist  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 05:50 PM   #104 
                 - I had a hard fight to even be an engineer  Aerows   May-05-11 06:05 PM   #109 
                    - There's also the fact that the "theft is theft" position is very much the pro-corporate position  themadstork   May-05-11 06:11 PM   #110 
                       - No, you are correct, my friend  Aerows   May-05-11 06:13 PM   #111 
                       - buddy  Aerows   May-05-11 06:55 PM   #117 
                       - Theft from me is theft from me  mainer   May-05-11 08:42 PM   #123 
                          - Conflating theft of goods with copyright infringement  themadstork   May-05-11 09:15 PM   #129 
                             - +1, the corporations love that normal citizens fall for this meme.  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:25 PM   #135 
                                - Yeah. I saw once where a middle school had a recording industry rep come in  themadstork   May-05-11 09:39 PM   #138 
                                - It is a pure invention, last 10-15 years or so.  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:56 PM   #140 
                                - I just got my first reuse fees for digital media this week.  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 10:00 PM   #141 
                                   - I would never take money from you.  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:34 AM   #144 
                                   - And if you pirate a self-published e-book?  mainer   May-06-11 07:06 AM   #154 
                                   - If you wanted your work to remain "yours," you should have kept it to yourself.  themadstork   May-06-11 10:25 AM   #164 
                                      - Does the inventor of a new drug lose all rights to the formula?  mainer   May-06-11 10:49 AM   #166 
                                         - That doesn't disprove anything I said.  themadstork   May-06-11 12:11 PM   #169 
        - Because writing is the only work I can do?  themadstork   May-05-11 05:13 PM   #77 
           - Thank you for expressing it so well  Aerows   May-05-11 05:25 PM   #84 
  - Well, art isn't everything (though it is important!)  Spike89   May-05-11 04:55 PM   #62 
  - Huge fallacy to think most writing is fiction/mass market  Spike89   May-05-11 06:21 PM   #113 
     - The same rules apply though  themadstork   May-05-11 06:33 PM   #116 
        - So you're offered the product at a price or for free (stolen)  mainer   May-05-11 08:44 PM   #124 
           - Make a really good product. Treat people well. Stay involved in the specialist community.  themadstork   May-05-11 09:33 PM   #136 
              - Better idea: write until your fucking fingers fall off. Write so much about so much...  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:36 AM   #145 
                 - Write your fingers off for free?  mainer   May-06-11 07:11 AM   #155 
                    - It's also the nature of freelance writing.  themadstork   May-06-11 09:58 AM   #162 
                       - I make my living as a writer. Of course I understand its economy.  mainer   May-06-11 10:45 AM   #165 
  - Welcome to the 21st century musician's and filmmaker's world.  MilesColtrane   May-05-11 03:59 PM   #28 
  - Or you could have Neil Gaiman's outlook on piracy.  Dappleganger   May-05-11 04:04 PM   #31 
  - It's the focus on the short term  Aerows   May-05-11 04:17 PM   #36 
     - Gaiman is also a fabulously wealthy author who has sold many  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 05:03 PM   #70 
        - That's what you got out of what I posted?  Aerows   May-05-11 05:27 PM   #85 
        - Wow.  Dappleganger   May-05-11 05:30 PM   #87 
        - I'm not talking about him, I am talking about using him as an  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 06:25 PM   #114 
        - There are authors on Amazon who are making thousands of dollars...  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:19 PM   #131 
           - I'm not a writer for a living.  Bluenorthwest   May-05-11 10:29 PM   #142 
              - No, they got lucky. Look at Amanda Hocking.  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:30 AM   #143 
  - Report it here  geardaddy   May-05-11 04:40 PM   #46 
  - Trying to take them down is like whack-a-mole  mainer   May-05-11 04:46 PM   #51 
  - So how is a pirated ebook any different than...  Lucian   May-05-11 05:43 PM   #100 
  - Thank you  Aerows   May-05-11 05:51 PM   #105 
  - You should go to jail you thief!  Lucian   May-05-11 05:57 PM   #106 
  - Oh, you want value loss? How about buying books from a library?  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:24 PM   #134 
     - This is a great example of how in the book world tremendous intellectual/artistic value can be  themadstork   May-05-11 09:45 PM   #139 
        - Yeah, from my POV the more people I touch the better, it has nothing to do with profits.  joshcryer   May-06-11 01:44 AM   #147 
           - Fine. You're free to give it away. No one's stopping you.  mainer   May-06-11 07:13 AM   #156 
  - Well for bought the book  Spike89   May-05-11 06:32 PM   #115 
     - What if I took said hypothetical book...  Lucian   May-05-11 07:16 PM   #119 
     - Actually that would be infringement.  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:21 PM   #133 
     - hehe. I do the bookstore thing all the time.  themadstork   May-05-11 09:37 PM   #137 
     - Yes. That is not a grey area at all. n/t  BzaDem   May-06-11 01:50 AM   #149 
     - Not if each 7 billion people legally made a copy of said book.  joshcryer   May-05-11 09:21 PM   #132 
  - You know there's a lot of sites claiming lots of really good free downloads, except if you actually  Shagbark Hickory   May-05-11 06:00 PM   #107 
  - What about books I have moldering away up in the attic  Puglover   May-05-11 07:37 PM   #120 
  - It certainly is not wrong.  Mariana   May-06-11 03:11 PM   #176 
  - But you bought a VHS tape,  Codeine   May-06-11 03:59 PM   #179 
  - To be honest, yeah, wrong, but grey area  Spike89   May-06-11 03:54 PM   #178 
  -'re right. Hawaii isn't available.  MineralMan   May-06-11 04:01 PM   #181 
  - What kind of book is it and who is the intended audience?  octothorpe   May-06-11 08:12 AM   #157 
  - I don't understand why e-books would cost you so much to distribute.  fasttense   May-06-11 08:35 AM   #159 
  - Answered above, but here it goes again...  Spike89   May-06-11 03:36 PM   #177 
  - This is such an informative thread--I'm a writer/publisher and my press will be releasing  Mrs. Overall   May-06-11 09:47 AM   #160 
     - Thanks, and good luck to you and your publishing adventure! nt  Spike89   May-06-11 01:07 PM   #170 

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