Something For Nothing

Posted by Rita Lorraine


Hi Everybody,
Breezing through to offer some advice to newbie writers who feel uncertain about their own writing capabilities: Don’t try to get something for nothing!

Here’s what I mean: There seems to be a trend in the publishing business: aspiring writers who want to be known as published authors, but who don’t actually want to write their books themselves. They want to put their names on books they pay someone else to write for them.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this practice. I’m told people do it everyday. What I’m writing about is when writers penny-pinch on this practice yet still expect to get a runaway best-seller in the process.

The writers I’m talking about are often newbies who post writing jobs and breeze past the realistic quotes (which are often higher — and for good reason) for the cheaper quotes. But since it has always been true that you can’t get something for nothing, it never quite works out. The cheaper work is often full of typos and redundant paragraphs. It’s also usually poorly organized and has MIA (missing-in-action) grammar and composition.

Case-in-Point: A writer posted a job for a ghost writer to research and write about a topic. The job included conducting skype interviews, building a bibliography, including a “for further reading” section, and even including relevant photographs. All this data and information was to be turned into a 200-page ebook within a 3-week turn-around, at which time the writer was supposed to take their kill fee and fade off into the woodwork like a good and obedient writer, never to be heard from again. The employer’s budget? Less than $250; however, the employer hinted that he was looking for “competitive bids,” and would seriously consider only those writers who could bring it in for under $100!

Again, I’m not putting down the employer or the writer, but…can you imagine the so-called quality of the so-called book this employer received?

So that’s why I’m writing this article. I run into hundreds of writers who have done exactly what you’ve read above, only to end up with “word salad” for a manuscript. The lesson in this article? If you need help and you decide you’re going to pay “nothing” to get it, the odds are that you’ll get absolutely nothing in return. Except word salad.

I hope this helps you in your quest to become a published writer!

Best wishes,
Rita Lorraine

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