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Authors: Get Paid!

Not so much a rant as an observation.

People’s work has value.

If that person punches a time clock, or if that person is a salaried employee, if that person works as a contractor, or if they work for themselves. That work has value. I haven’t said anything wildly out of line there. Sort of a ‘no duh’ statement right?

Why, then, do we have such a hard time paying people what they’re worth?

Or better yet, why do we expect certain work to be done for free?

I’ve seen so many posts in the last couple of years about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, teachers salaries, wallstreet screwing over the little guy videos, antilobbying videos, pay equality in the workplace, and on it goes.

Yet, people are working harder and harder for less and less. I always hear people put it off on bloated corporations like Walmart – but I am starting to think that that isn’t the case.

I am starting to think people believe they are entitled to more, for less.

Well, There is no such thing as a free lunch, is still a valid economic observation.

Someone is paying for that shortfall.

However, it’s not just the consumer at fault. Someone had to have come along and devalued work for a reason. That reason is to jump ahead of the competition. However, take books for an example, someone came in and sold their book at 99 cents and suddenly they have best seller status . Then another one does it. Then another. Soon you have 60,000 plus word novels being sold in their entirety – months worth of work – for the cost of a bag of Doritos at the gas station.

That isn’t the end of the story, now readers who’d been buying up these dollar books now that the trend is set, balk at 6.99 for a novel. It’s not their fault. Why would they?

Then comes KU and for less than a paperback a month, you can read till your head explodes. The author is paid 0.0046 per page. Amazon publishes 3,000 books per day. I was reading other people’s sharing of the blog from the author who announced she was leaving KU. One commenter replied, “I know these people are being short changed BUT without KU I couldn’t read all I want.”

I’d been working for a company for a little while. Was hired in, excited go work for them, excited to work with them, we’d agreed on a salary and I set off – full steam ahead.

I poured everything I had into making this thing work, late hours, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes all nighters. Project after project. I worked as a troubleshooter, liaison, Public Relations, head hunter, you name it.

Yet, before too long the emails started rolling in. At first they were pleasant enough, then they started being a little more curt, then brash, then demanding. Not only was I doing all this stuff over here, now I’m dealing with multiple personalities and that was just from one person.

However, the work was finished. Everything planned out for a year, signed, sealed, delivered. Yet through all this they pay started to diminish before it disappeared entirely.

Yet work remained, maintaining and daily ops work remained, but I couldn’t stay.

I quit.

My time and effort was worth something to me. The work I had done was worth something to me. Yet like the KU lady – the work I had done became something they were entitled to.

Even after three months of not getting paid.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. People are NOT entitled to it. You are ENTITLED to get paid for work you do. Stop selling yourself so goddamn short. Your work has value. Make them pay for it.

This isn’t about money at a certain point it becomes about self respect.

P.S. I think I may have been a Union boss in a former life.

3 thoughts on “Authors: Get Paid!”

  1. Brilliant! I can’t count the number of times someone wanted me to work for them to “expand my resume” or “gain more exposure.” Yet if I asked them to do their job for free, they would think I was insane. Thanks for saying all the things I have been thinking.

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