Today in my inbox was an enquiry from an editor asking if I’d be willing to submit an article for a new online publication. At first I rubbed my hands together with glee thinking this could be a new opportunity to have some new work published and a new revenue stream.
The email went on to say that he/she (gender unknown) had read several of the articles I’d written in the past for various publications both online and print. Also the sender talked about my years as a writer for Italy Magazine and how they were looking for some Italian travel and culture related articles. I was pleased that he/she hadn’t just chosen to copy and paste past features. (This has happened before and leads to threats of legal action and unpleasantness.)
I read through the email and am thankful that the person writing to me has done some research and knows a little about me, including having knowledge of my other blog https://intheflatfieldidogetbored.wordpress.com/ I looked for the part of the message that mentioned fees and came across a statement that told me that no payments will be made, but I can be content in the knowledge that my work has been published and it could bring me more readers.
This got me thinking about how many emerging writers will write for no payment. Now my opinion is, if it’s for something prestigious that will look good on your CV then yes go for it. But if it’s for an editor who’ll be making money from readers’ clicking on adverts etc then say no. You can always sell your copy to a publication that will pay you for your toil, all it takes is determination and drive.
So as I reply thanking him/her for the message I decline saying no, but if in the future there’s payment for the copy then do contact me again.
Never feel guilty about saying no, just remember that your energy supplier won’t give you free electricity just so you can tell everyone how great they are. And restaurants don’t hand out free meals hoping it’ll gain them more diners. If you work then you deserve to be paid.