dear budding freelance writers
first off: i’m not a lawyer. this is all accurate to my knowledge but i’m not formally educated or trained in most of this, i just work around it and pick some stuff up
look i’m currently suffocating under crushing debt so i was like ‘hey i’ll see if there are any magazines taking submissions’ cause i may or may not get chosen but at least its something i’d be doing anyway and timelines and genre restrictions never hurt a girl
i ended up on this page (upwork) looking for “ghostwriters” and it’s laughable to downright insulting.
such as: “Hello,
I produce [REDACTED].
So if you are looking for a recurring job as a freelance writer you came
to the right place!
Here is what I need: Someone who can be a good researcher.
Don’t plagiarize. All books are run through plagscan and copyscape. They
need to be 100 percent original.
Timeliness - The faster you produce these (with quality) the more jobs
you will get.
This job will be recurring if you do a good job.
I will pay a maximum of $10 per 1000 words.
Lastly, by accepting this job, I will own all the rights to the book.
This includes characters, places etc. I own all the rights.
there were SO MANY OF THESE. look. i work in intellectual property for my day job. so here’s the thing: if you, a creative, does a “work for hire” agreement, like the one above, that means anything you produce under this agreement does not belong to you. you have effectively “sold” your intellectual property aka the story and all is defining characteristics - people, places, plot.
WORK FOR HIRE AGREEMENTS ARE NOT BAD! i see a lot of pushback against them on tumblr which is baffling to me because in the real world they’re how many creatives make money - by selling their creativity. with tv shows, for example, their characters and plots and what not do not belong to the creator of the show. they belong to the network of the show because they paid for them. writers of episodes don’t own the creative content of those episodes - the network does. because the writers are “work for hire” aka they’re getting paid specifically for their creative content.
work for hire agreements are usually the most advantageous when the payer is hiring the creator for the execution of a project rather than the creation of it. for example: hiring a writer to create a story out of a detailed outline, or an artist to draw something under strict specifications. the more creativity aka intellectual property the creator must generate and ultimately sell the rights too, the higher the pay should be for the work. (should. i’ve seen instances where pay is less but something else is gained - like different rights or credits - and that’s equally as acceptable as long as it’s what the creator wants. the creator should gain something equal to the value of what they are selling. obviously)
so the idea that $10 per 1000 words of pure original content is in any way shape or form acceptable is absolutely ridiculous. most literary magazines, which pay way more, get some form of publication rights but you the author retain all ownership rights. they’re not paying you for your intellectual property, only their right to display it without you suing them for infringing on your rights as a creator and owner of original content.
know your worth. know your value. i don’t know how many of these ridiculous ads actually get takers, but please do not answer any of them.
your ideas and writing and talent are worth more than pennies