No more writing freebies.

I got my first piece published in a magazine when I was 19. The rag isn’t around anymore, it was a glossy avant-garde monthly called Black & White. But they took my first piece I ever submitted to any publication and they did me the big favor of giving me the last page, which is actually a big deal. The last page is what the reader ends on so they want it to be good.

The piece was something about me riding a motorbike or something, I can’t really remember. They didn’t even tell me that they were publishing it. The first I knew about it was when one of my colleagues in the bar I was working at came up to me with the edition and a big grin on her face.

It was a great feeling to be published but maybe the reason why they didn’t tell me that the piece had been successful was because they never intended to pay me for it. I got a spiel about how it would be good for my exposure, and how I was just starting out, and fuck off, kid – we’re not giving you a dime.

25 years later and nothing has changed. You would think that I would have wised up by now, but nope. I’ve had pieces published in magazines and newspapers on four different continents, but one thing that they all have in common is that none of them ever paid me for the privilege of filling their pages with my fine copy.

Then today I discovered that my fellow Aussie alt right writing buddy in arms, Moses Apostaticus, got published in the Australian Spectator with a piece called The Democratic Socialist People’s Republic of Australia. Just so you know, for us writing guys the Speccie is a big deal. So I flipped Moses a line of congratulations, and then I leaned on him for an editorial contact. Hell, if they’re publishing alt right writers now then the worm is turning, right?

Wrong. I also asked Moses what they paid him for the piece.

Nada. Zip. Crickets. Zilch. A big bucking of empty.

I couldn’t believe it. But then I really could believe it. Because I’ve heard this so many times before. I bet they reckon that it will be good for Moses’s career or something.

Well let me tell ya something, you ain’t got a career if no money is coming in the door.

I know that I’m good enough to get published in The Spectator, and I know that if I send them something that they’ll use it. But this really pissed me off. If the Speccie doesn’t pay then what hope have we got? None, I tells ya. None at all.

So that’s it. I’m making a stand. Apart from the guys at XYZ Magazine and Men of the West who publish my pieces because I approached them and I support what they do, from now on no publications whether online or in print get my copy unless they pay me first. I’ve had enough of hearing that it’s good exposure for me or whatever the latest excuse is. If I want that kind of exposure then I’ll lube up and head down to the bathhouses in Amsterdam thank you very much. At least they’re up front and honest about what is going to go down, or I assume they would be.

I had this shit for years as a musician, as did every other muso that I knew and worked with, and it’s been exactly the same as a writer. I’ll continue to blog, I’ll continue to write my books, but I’m not giving away my stuff for free for other people to make money off it because somewhere down the line there might be some sort of reward, someday. And if you want to support me then buy my books. And if you’ve already purchased them then leave a review and then buy them again and give them to your friends. And if you haven’t got friends then buy them for your dog or something.

That’s it, rant over. Normal service with hawt chicks will resume tomorrow.

10 thoughts on “No more writing freebies.

  1. John Coe

    Adam, been there done that and agree [sympathise] with you completely. Fortunately I am retired and now am able to write for my own pleasure and indulgence. As a former academic I don’t know how much commentary I’ve written gratis. Still, it is what we do. I’ll make a point of buying one of your books!! Blessings.

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  2. I couldn’t agree more. I write on my blog and on Catallaxy Files for free because I enjoy doing it as a pastime (and because the bastards shall not get away with it).

    Beyond that, I’ll cheerfully write just about anything for anyone for $360 per hour plus GST (and that’s a bloody good rate for someone with my experience and abilities, so suck it up).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. areukittenme

    What are you going to write about when you catch up with your present day life? Maybe you could be a conservative thriller writer? The bad guys could be Antifa or any of those angry peeps of the left who have adult hate tantrums over a different opinion. You could have a hero who rafts and, in the off season, goes and solves sociopolitical crimes! He could be a right-wing, cardigan-wearing crusader thwarting plots; loved by all the normal people of the world & despised by globalist weirdos!

    Watched this series on Medical Marijuana recently and did you know that people in California legally take tinctures & things before work to make them more creative? No ‘pull cones’ high, just mind-opening inspiration. An antidote to writer’s block? An interesting aside…

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  4. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 07.06.17 : The Other McCain

  5. A thing’s value is what someone is willing to pay for it. If someone isn’t paying you for it, well, there you go. You write very well, and I consider that I got good value for my money. BTW, would you care to mention sales?

    If you find truth let me know, I set mine down somewhere, and I’ve been looking for it everywhere.

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  6. I remember B&W magazine when it came out.
    Still have some copies in a cupboard somewhere, with stacks of 1980’s Playboy magazines.

    The wonderful gift to writers these days is that you may self publish/blog, with a potentially unlimited internet audience around the world.

    Adam, how about a book on Hawt chicks of the Netherlands, before they are all gone from the race mixing epidemic ?

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  7. Good points.

    You might appreciate this site:

    nospec dot com

    It’s for graphic designers, but the point applies to any freelance work.

    “Why is spec work unethical?
    The designers work for free and with an often falsely advertised, overinflated promise for future employment; or are given other insufficient forms of compensation. Usually these glorified prizes or “carrots” appear tantalising for designers who are just starting out, accompanied by statements such as “good for your portfolio” or “gain recognition and exposure.”

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  8. BWV

    This was very interesting. I had no idea the writing world operated like that, although I have had the same line of BS run on me in the construction world – as in:

    “This intricate scaffold we want you to build that will require numerous adjustments as the job progresses needs to be nearly free because our budget is small… but it’s right in front of a big building downtown and you can put a sign on it and get tons of advertising!”

    I told them what it would really cost a real customer… and stopped answering any communication that didn’t include a copy of my quote – signed.

    For me, this was harder than it sounds because the main attraction to that kind of work was solving the problem.

    Like

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