Pay the Writer - Harlan Ellison

In my other world, I am also a novelist. One problem writers suffer a lot (as with any freelancer) is being asked to provide free work for the “exposure”. There is a debate if this exposure is worth it. But the fact of the matter is, most of the companies that ask for free labour are huge corporations worth billions that could afford to pay.

Some groups like Huffington Post’s entire business model is based on this. Others like the Atlantic and Entertainment Weekly have also asked people to provide free labor.

I wasn’t sure what to make of it, when I saw this delightful interview by Harlan Ellison:


Among other things, I’m a nature photographer, and I’ve gotten a number of requests for gratis image use “for the exposure”, as have my friends in the community. I don’t recall where I read it, but my favorite response is, “You know, an artist can die of exposure…” :smile:

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