Recently, an RPF (the repurposed version of RFP), said puttiing together someone else’s e-book with extremely precise formatting was a ‘trivial’ task.
Yesterday I saw another job post wanting all-singing, all-dancing research skills and one-a-day articles (long ones) for a fixed price which would allow me to buy a few cappuccinos after a half day or so’s worth of effort.
What’s Wrong With People?
What rock do these people crawl out from? And, more importantly, why are there so many of them? I’ve been working the job boards for writing for a few years now and I can’t honestly fathom why the general public doesn’t understand writing is a craft that takes time and effort.
When you get to the point you have reached an acceptable modicum of pace to go with your skills, it takes roughly one hour to hone the simplest of blogs, articles, or rewrites. Simple jobs. And I mean simple. Like write about bathroom shelving, or give me 400 words on the London Eye.
Is Writing Worth it? Judge for Yourself
Writing thoughtful letters to your grandmas, teachers, and agents, takes thought. Composing dating-site quizzes involves lateral-thinking. Personal trainer website copy is not a “simple task for someone who knows what they are doing” and turning half-cooked novel ideas that are so good – you need to get someone else to write them – into masterpieces of fiction that will make you millions – takes more time than ONE HOUR‘s wages. Yet, I can honestly tell you the amount of people wanting 5000 to 10,000 word e-books for the generous price of between $60 to $180 US dollars is astonishing.
I’ve put below six extracts from genuine job postings of this type that I see every day. These were all posted today, 27th of May, 2015 on one of the biggest job boards for writers in the world. I only had to read the first two pages of listings to get these six extracts. This gives you some idea of the dross writers have to wade through. All this effort is required to find the odd good job sitting among the piles of muck posted by psychopathic dreamers.
THESE LISTINGS ARE REAL!
“First of all, this will only take a few minutes of your time per day. So don’t expect a big pay.” For one or more articles (because you are so interest in the topic – obviously) place your bids. Budget: Unspecified.
“I’m willing to pay $1 per 100 words and am looking to build a longterm relationship with someone who can provide …” (don’t hold you breath here, dear readers) “… An e-book on the topic of Day Trading Investments … 3500 to 5000 words long.” Budget? US$35 to $60.
(Ed note: I must rush out to get a finance degree right now. Clearly there’s money to be made writing books about how to make money. My student loan will be paid off in approximately 3000 months on this pay rate, assuming I can write the books that fast and can come up with 3000 original ways to recycle my degree).
Just when you thought a degree would save you check this one: “Long term writers with verifiable University Degree in Linguistics from any known UK/USA/Australian University … to write (sic – really complicated stuff that we can teach our uni students with and steal as essay examples) … Budget: US$60 per 1000 words. UK £35, AUSSIE $95
Before you are even hired? How about you … “prepare and send me a 12 month digital content marketing plan with time lines and budgets, including strategies and tactics around driving and increasing traffic to our commercial website …” Please note: “Replies that do not fit the requested description will not be responded to.” (Ed note: there are many variations of this type of strong-arming job post. The goal of it is to get free work, free ideas, and free concepts out of others and THEN he/she will use them in their job and you “will not be responded to” …)
Fancy a bit of copyright infringement? Write a book of 10K to 12K in length “I’ll give you a book title and the $ to buy it, then I’ll need you to write a sidekick to it. All I need from you is maximum depth and creativity.” (Ed note: someone pass me the crack pipe please. Two USA writers have bid on this post already. No integrity!)
“I need a 25K word story written, and I will pay a generous bonus for fast delivery“ Budget US$240 to $260.
(Ed note: It took me one year to write my first romantic comedy novel and it was 25K long. Here is the link to it in case anyone wants to help me out with a few quid and buy it. If this link is not in your Amazon country account it is available worldwide so search the title and author name under your own account when signed in – if you can’t find it. Sorry for all the detail, but as a little author I’d have to pay Amazon a fortune to have one link that linked any worldwide reader or buyer to my book. One reason it is so hard to promote or article market your book – in case anyone out there is wondering).
It’s called “The Tax Protest Love Romp in London”. They can’t even get the title correct in the hyperlink (sigh).
The Truth About Writing: The Sites Will NOT help
If I can scroll through and find these six job descriptions on page one and two, out of twenty job descriptions, why haven’t they been deleted or disallowed? Is there such a thing as protecting the idiots who bid on or take these low rates? I thought that was why we had a union movement all those years ago.
People will underbid, undercut and lowball and at the moment the writing profession is really suffering. I’m all for a free market, and so are all the websites who are creaming off billions, yes, billions in commissions from every writing transaction like these.
… consider if this was happening in another trade industry like construction. Imagine a boss could drive his/her car to a depot and pick up the cheapest labourer possible to do a job that cannot achieve minimum wage standards because by any level of skill it takes a lot longer? Oh hang on a minute, when that happens it is called exploitation. It’s illegal. It is slavery. People get arrested.
Next time you watch the TV and you think to yourself that these days there’s so many re-makes and re-boots consider this. The world has stopped investing in writers, and we are too tired to invest much in you.
As I mentioned before, please buy my book on the link above. I could do with the money and if you read this article to the end please consider it. I’m a good writer. I’d also love your thoughts. I’m still investing in being a writer and honing the craft, but honestly, sometimes, I think there’s a larger issue here. The slavery of writers is very, very real and it is happening everywhere. I’m very concerned. Are you?