A Note to You, Should You Be Thinking of Asking Me to Write For You For Free

John Scalzi in Whatever:

1. No.

2. Seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

3. Did you wake up this morning and say to yourself “You know what? A New York Timesbestselling author who has been working full-time as a writer for two decades, who frequently rails at writers for undervaluing their own work in the market and who is also the president of a writers organization that regularly goes after publishers for not paying writers adequately is exactly the person who will be receptive, through lack of other work or personal inclination, to my offer”? And if you did, what other dumb things did you do with your morning?

4. If you didn’t know that I was that guy in point three, and just asked me to write for free for you because, I don’t know, you heard I was a writer of some sort, although you couldn’t say what kind or what I had done, then what you’re saying to me is “Hey, you’re a warm body with an allegedly working brain stem and no idea of the value of your work — let me exploit you!” I want you to ask yourself what in that estimation of me would entice me to provide you with work, starting with the fact that you didn’t do even the most basic research into who I was. Rumor is, it’s not hard to find information about me on the Internet! Just type “John Scalzi” into Google and see!

5. If you try to mumble something at me about “exposure,” I’m going to laugh my ass off at you. Explain to me, slowly, what exposure you possibly think you could give me with your Web site or publication. Please factor in that this Web site gets up to 50,000 visitors on a normal day — with spikes into the hundreds of thousands when I write something particularly clicky — and that it’s regularly ranked one of the top ten book sites and top 100 entertainment sites on the entire Web by Technorati (at this moment, number five and sixty four, respectively).

More here.

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