Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pay to be Paid Scams and Other Stuff

I’m having a disagreement with another writer—the owner of a newsletter for writers—
about what programs to promote to our respective memberships/subscribers, and which ones to tell our members to run away from as fast as they can.

It started a little over a week ago when I received his weekly newsletter. It usually has some good information for a wide audience.

This edition, the whole content was devoted to selling his subscribers a “lifetime” membership to freelance markets for only $49.95, with a $10 discount if we “were clever”. What we would get from our $50 included the opportunity to earn $10 each for articles, and a bunch of assorted “freebies”.

I should add that the owner of the newsletter made it clear we would be buying this wonderful opportunity to work from home from someone other than himself.

I gave it a few days to fester before responding.

See, my view, and one shared by the TWC team is that if we are to hold ourselves “out there” as providers of “help” to writers of all genres and writing aptitudes, we have a responsibility to provide good information; to attempt to prevent our members/readers from being led down a rosy path of publishing heartbreak; and to, generally, be good guys even if we aren’t wearing white hats.

Ask any of us. Depending on who you ask, the wording will be different, but the message will be clear. TWC exists to help writers write.

By “help”, I certainly don’t mean to offer up another “Pay to be paid” scam. And … while it’s perfectly all right for the newbie writer to write for peanuts (at first) to gather up those all-important publishing clips, seasoned writers don’t work for $10 an article—unless it’s for a good cause—or for a friend (and sometimes they’re one and the same).

Well, I didn’t like his first response. I emailed back. I didn’t like his second response either. I emailed back.

He’s been offered the “opportunity” to quote anything I’ve said in said emails. He’s promised to do so in Friday’s newsletter. He’s also been asked to justify just why in hell this is a good “opportunity” for anyone.

If he fails to deliver as promised: he will be named, all copies of the back and forth emails will be posted right here, and another article will be written about this “great opportunity” and the person or persons behind it.

I’ve got my gloves on. Stay tuned.



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