Friday, July 09, 2010
This Editor Thought Zero Payment Was . . . Charitable
Here was her initial request (paraphrased a bit to cover my behind):
I am contacting you in regards to a piece which I came across during my research for a product our company produces. Here is a snapshot of our company: (***mission, vision statement included, both extolling family key values). Our business philosophy: (***success is measured by the ability to live in a humanitarian way in order to contribute to charity). We launched our first edition last fall and received amazing feedback (see attached Media Release). Your story captures the essence of this product so I am requesting reprint permission. 20% of the purchase price of this product is going to charity.
I'm sure she felt in her heart she was performing a marvelous task, aiding this company assist charities through the publication of products. But when I stated I was a fulltime writer, earning a living, and that my words were my income, she responded as follows:
As a new business owner, I am in debt from last year's start-up costs and can’t afford to pay a contributing author. Call me callous, but that means she used funds that could have paid writers, to pay charities and to start up a business she wasn't financially prepared to proceed with. My guess is that the webmaster, hosting service, printer, post office and distributor received compensation. None of the writers who made that business possible, received a penny.
That's like me telling the guy who sells me mulch for my garden that I need his mulch, but can't pay him because I'm donating 20% of my vegetables to charity.
If she finds this blog post, she'll be disappointed in me. But I was disappointed that she wanted me to work for nothing. It's like telling me that my work is not worth a dime, so I should be willing to give it away. If she were a nonprofit/charity, that would be different. But she's attempting to earn a living with her company.
So why shouldn't I?