Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting Paid for Your Creative Work

Tim Kreider writes about creatives not getting paid in his "Slaves of the Internet:, Unite!" piece in the NY Times. 

It was the topic of conversation pretty much all weekend, with the digital version coming out Saturday and the print yesterday (top of the fold in the Sunday Review section). 

The old "we love your work but not enough to pay you" line has been around forever and Kreider tells some good stories. 

After a while in this "content provider" business, we all have some harrowing stories.

One thing that Tim notes, and that has happened to me, is that major companies approach with a query -- but leave out the money talk. 

Example: "Dear Sir/Madam: We are looking for the owner of this cartoon (attached). Are you the owner? Do you own the rights? We would like to use it in --------- (name of new book, etc.). If so, please send us a 600dpi TIF ASAP, etc." 

What's missing from that query? There is no mention of compensation. 

When I send my chirpy reply that their cartoony rights holder quest is at an end and I am indeed the owner of the cartoon, then I tell them that upon compensation, I will send them a hi res version. 

Anyway, read Tim Kreider's piece and start talking about it. 

I think the important thing to remember is that there will always be people who want something for nothing -- and you just need to say no thank you very much -- and move on.

Unless you want to give it away for free. In which case, you cannot make a living. 

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