Friday, September 18, 2009

"I sell my soul, but at the highest rates."--Harlan Ellison

Crazy busy today, so I just wanted to pass along this epic rant--accompanied by a NSFW warning!--by legendary sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison: "Pay the Writer." He's got a bit of a reputation as a cranky guy, as you can see from his wiki entry, and it comes through loud and clear.

Nonetheless, what he says is absolutely on point. Writing is a business. Writers deserve to be paid. People who work for nothing are fools. Companies that want something for free should be scorned. (That's my G-rated version.)

Rinse. Repeat.

And did I mention the link is NSFW?

H/T to Liz Craig for the find, and for a darn good rant in her own right.


  1. "There's no publicity value" for somebody taking your stuff for free. Amen.

  2. I agree to a point. I have a new e-book and doing guest posts on other blogs to promote it actually has a lot of value. In Harlan's enjoyable example, his free stuff would be going out to a market that is NOT going to help him. That doesn't mean there is no value EVER if you target your free efforts properly. Of course, blogging is a completely different medium than what Harlan was talking about.

  3. Yo, I'm with you. There are times and places for it, and I do my share, no question. (It can be very powerful, as Chris Anderson examines in Free.)

    My bone of contention is when *clearly* it should be a paid job and the person works for free or a trolling client asks for it for nothing or next to nothing. That's what drives me nuts, when it's an absolutely-no-benefit free.

  4. We had a client who had us come up with concepts, then balked at paying the bill because they never took the project to market. Like we sit around doing pro bono work for the fun of it... Grr...

  5. Good post. You might get a kick out of this video about the vendor/client relationship if you haven't seen it before: