Sunday, January 8, 2017

Post 3364 - Sunday

Nearly 10pm.

A day spent doing not much. I did transcribe three audio files (five longer ones to go!) in the next true crime article for Frank. Once they're done, I can write the actual article, later on this week.

I have to get something off my chest. People have asked me why I don't put those articles on my blog. I am paid by Frank Magazine to provide this content for them, and it is theirs to do with as they wish, not mine. I, of course, have a copy for my records, but am not at liberty to share it with anyone else. And I wouldn't share it with anyone else, because I am paid to produce this work. If you are too cheap to buy the magazine at newsstands every two weeks, you can save $ by subscribing. The annual subscription drive is on until the end of January. You can save even more $ by subscribing now.

You might think you have the right to have the news provided to you for free, but it doesn't work that way. I got into a near screaming match with someone about it last Summer. It was that jive turkey, Rob Wolfe, who started going on about it, if you must know. He somehow got it in that pretty little head of his that the good feelings I get from the people whose loved ones were murdered or who went missing, should be enough remuneration. That people have the right to this information, gratis.

Sure. Right. I will explain that to the people who hold my mortgage or who provide the crazy expensive insurance I have on two houses and a car. I will tell them that I get plenty of gratitude from people who are the loved ones for missing and murdered people, and can that cover my mortgage or insurance this month, please? They will look at me, smile, and write off this month's payments. In my dreams.

It took me many, many years to get to the point where I can sell some of my writing. If you are too F word cheap to purchase that work, don't come complaining to me or expecting me to fork it over to you at no cost, 'cuz I'm not gonna. Doesn't work that way. That which has no cost, often has no value.

(He said, blogging away...)

Oh, a couple other people have asked me why I don't collect these true crime articles and put them in a book. Well, once again, it is not my work to collect. AFAIK, it belongs to Frank Magazine in what is likely a work-for-hire model. But let's suppose for the sake of argument that the work reverts to me after a period of time. It doesn't, but let's pretend.

I would then have to interest a local publisher, such as Nimbus, that I have the Next Great Idea in Nova Scotia publishing, which is a collection of articles about missing and murdered Nova Scotians, which had already been published elsewhere. I can just imagine that pitch session. Once he had heard the relevant portion, the editor would stop the meeting, take off his glasses and summon the publisher. "Get in here now!", he would bellow. The publisher would run in breathlessly, catch the essence of my pitch; and once we had applied smelling salts to revive him from his dead faint, he would dash down the hall to the comptroller, who would cut me a cheque for a cool hall mill advance against future sales. I'd just dash off the typescript, update a few things here and there, maybe write an introduction, and spend that advance money on hookers and blow.

Yeah. That's exactly how it would work.

I know a few local writers. They all have to hold down full time jobs doing something else. Jodi DeLong, I think, writes full time, but she is literally the only local writer one I know whose primary income derives from writing.  The rest of them, work a job and steal time from their families and other activities in order to produce the work they feel they must. They receive laughable advances, paltry royalties, and are expected to sell their own books as much as they can by going to every local bookstore, those that remain, where they are largely ignored by customers who don't know who they are, and don't care. Does that sound appealing to you? Me, neither.

I am content to do what I am doing for Frank. The true crime series gives me enormous satisfaction. I get some money for writing them. They are all a product of original research that I do entirely on my own, and I would not have it any other way. Buy it in Frank every two weeks, or don't. Up to you. But don't expect me to give it away to you for free. You insult me, and contribute to the ever-downward spiral of journalism where fewer and fewer can make a living at it.

Didn't mean to go on and on about this, but this has been brewing for a long time.

Thanks for listening.

See you tomorrow.



Unknown said...

You could start writing for Rick Mercer ......

Bevboy said...

Just saw your comment. Thank you!