Sunday, January 31, 2016

SPEC WORK

     
                                                         





   I have written before about my dislike of free books here, for example.  Writers deserve to be compensated for their time and effort like other artists and tradespeople.   I try to be diplomatic in my posts and comments because everyone is entitled to their opinion, right? Some authors advise that making the first book in a series free has boosted their sales considerably.   Readers get a chance to try out the author's style and story-telling without risk.   I only wish I could do the same for a new restaurant in the area.

    I was interested to come across this youtube video done in response to the emergence of crowd funding which I learned involves people like artists, architects, personal trainers and framers, doing work for nothing in the hope that if the customer likes it he will buy more.   A variation on that theme involves doing a set piece, for example, logo design, in a competition with other applicants.   If the business/employer likes one, they will pick and pay for that one.   The others can go home.  It is explained as part of the job application process.  Something like a logo is probably a one use item, not able to be re-used by the artist for another purpose.

    As Nospec.com  states:

"Apart from promoting free labour, you impede the designer from earning a proper salary. Would you work for free with the hope of possibly being compensated?"


In this on line post in the Independent it is detailed how the Society of Authors in the United Kingdom is calling on payment to be made when authors are asked to  give workshops or speak at literary festivals.   The author typically gets lunch and not much else but the promise of 'exposure' and perhaps the right to put out their books for people to purchase is considered sufficient inducement.   The festival expects to pay for catering or people to set up the stands and tents not to mention bring in the portable toilets but somehow authors, the people who make the entire event possible, are considered above petty concerns like compensation.   It seems like a throwback to the English class system in some ways.   Proper ladies and gentlemen don't discuss matters as crass as money.

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