Friday, September 9, 2011

Things I won't do...

I do a lot of what I call 'sign painting'. Re-writing somebody's 'About Us' page for their web site isn't nearly as exciting as working on a novel, but it pays some of the bills.

Today, though, I saw a proposed gig that made me think of what I won't do. So, here's what I won't do for money:

1. Work for insulting rates. I know of one guy who has been trying to get 2,000 words for a dollar for, to my knowledge, the last year. Every time a writer accepts rates like that, it drags the price down for everyone else. I won't write non-fiction for less than a penny a word, and that's only if I don't have anything better. Fiction is a little different, but I generally only submit to places that pay less than 1 cent per word if I'm struggling to sell a piece. My goal is to try and sell all of my non-fiction for about 5 cents a word.

2. Promote illegal activities. I've seen people looking for writers for the bad kind of discount pharmacies and recently to write articles advising people on how to find prostitutes in an Islamic country (I'm not kidding...or touching that one with a pole of any length. There isn't a pole long enough).

3. Sell sleazy or scammy products like get rich quick ebooks or schemes. Will I help you sell boat trailers or tree cutting services? Sure.

4. Work for jerks. If I don't get on with a client, then goodbye. Fortunately, I've managed to mostly avoid people who treat writers like dirt (except in the area of pay).

5. Write erotica. I'm no good at it, I have no interest in it, and I'd rather leave it to the experts.