Are They Kidding? ~ Writers, Stop Writing for Free

I was thinking that an opportune way to make some extra cash, since I’m still unemployed in the great sunny land of Arizona, would be to write, specifically to write magazine articles. So I started looking for magazines that would fit my topics of expertise.

First, I found several very enthusiastic, colorful, glossy even, new-age periodicals that proclaim to prospective contributors… “We don’t pay, but you’ll receive 2 (or 3, or 4, or 5) copies of the magazine; or you’ll receive one PDF; or online copy, etc. etc. Well, shiver me timbers, am I supposed to be all dewy-eyed with the honor of acceptance into an elite (and very underpaid) group of creative enthusiasts?

Some of these periodicals back up this offer to work for no pay with a lucrative (?) offer of free advertising in their periodical. One such magazine cheerfully states, “This is a $30.00 bonus!”

I know, I know, I can hear the happy free-lancers, thrilled to see their names in print, declaring that these small new-age periodicals could not afford to pay writers for the articles they submit. Well, you know what? If they didn’t have your FREE articles to publish in their magazines, they wouldn’t have any magazine to publish… period. And I might add that these magazines can be expensive for the public to purchase. I know of one that charges $16.00 for a single copy.

Would you work at McDonald’s for free? Would you work in retail for free? Would you spend hours doing any job… for free?

Well, writing is a JOB. Writer’s have to pay bills, just like everybody else. Writers need to make a living, and we’re not going to be able to do that when miserly opportunists rip us off.

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