I received a Facebook message the other day from someone I didn’t know. No big deal, I like hearing from people. Except this person wanted me to write for their new magazine. For free. This is an increasingly common thing, expecting authors, artists of any type really, to provide you with their work for free. Promising them exposure is not payment.
Here’s the thing, I’m not saying I might not contribute a piece to something I felt worthwhile or release a free short for my readers. Heck, The Making of Michael Bishop has been free for a year now. But I would never ask a stranger to give me their work for free. I wouldn’t even do that to someone I know. This is no different than me asking an architect to design a building for free. I mean people will see their building right? That’s exposure for him, right?
People for some reason tend not to see the correlation between creative products and tangible ones. Maybe it’s because when we publish a book, or paint a picture, or sing a song, in some manner we’re selling an idea. But I work hard for those ideas. And if I’m going to spend my time writing, it’s going to be on my next story or book, not an article for a magazine that someone else will make money from.
That’s my musings for today. What do you think? Do you have a different take? Please share.