Which Way Does the Money Go?

Lore Sjöberg has a new column up at Wired. It’s tongue-in-cheek, but “How to Get Published and Avoid Alien Bloodsuckers” does make a point that I think every writer should consider tattooing somewhere visible.

It’s called Yog’s Law and it’s been around for a while.

Money flows toward the writer.

Yog’s Law is the simplest explanation of why the likelihood of making money from a book published with a vanity press is nil. But I’ve found the same holds true for writers beyond book authors. There are thousands of scams targeted towards freelancers, like companies offering lists of leads — for a price. There are also plenty of well-meaning people that offer to publish writers for free — offering them exposure and such.

I don’t think those ‘opportunities’ are any better than scams. There are always chances for even the newest writers to earn money. It may be a tiny sum, but there are still plenty of paying opportunities out there.

I occasionally write for free. I write pieces that I consider my volunteer work, a donation of my time. I help a friend or a family member out by writing something for their business. I write for my own projects.

But why should I give someone I don’t know content for free? Why should I let someone else make money on my work without rewarding me?

I believe that money flows toward the writer. I believe that I shouldn’t have to pay to make a deal happen, no matter who’s getting the money. I believe that my hard work should be rewarded. Don’t you?

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