We live in a world of OVER EXPOSURE! Look at twitter. Your exposure, if not generated properly, because let’s be honest, how many of you actively look at the name/credits of an article, won’t net you a damn thing!
Properly generated exposure comes from YOU being in control. Giving away your work at discount or free, to the RIGHT parties. Not, well, we’re a big million dollar company, and want to use YOU to generate revenue. Do not mistake this for an unpaid internship with another sort of business. The creative industry in many regards is different than other businesses. I know someone who interned at an investing firm, unpaid. Why?
Their employees actively, ACTIVELY, took time out of their own schedules (not paid hourly) to help newbies. Meaning, they were investing in employees at the cost of possibly generating revenue in the hopes that new employees would stick with them, and generate MORE revenue!
In the creative industry, more often than not, unpaid interns aren’t just learning skills, they are being used to produce material that is being SOLD for profit. Meaning they are working and generating revenue and essentially are being convinced to give their consent in working for without pay under the guise of internship. They’re not being invested in. They’re being told, make content for us, you get exposure to build your career, no pay.
Any traditional publisher pays even the newest and lowest author in their totem poll AND GOES INTO LOSS on that author. A small percent of new authors generate bombastic sales to offset the investment cost a publisher takes on an unknown newbie. That’s rare. Yet publishers still pay. You are an investment for their future. They hope in 5-10 years you will be a top tier author earning them 50 percent of their operating costs back, (the other 50 earned by mid tier authors that earn not extra revenue for the pub) as well as pure profit after that. They take huge risks and still pay.
Companies aren’t always taking a risk on a new writer. They’re tricking new writers. You DESERVE, to be paid! If you make it, and it earns revenue, you get a piece. STOP BEING SUBMISSIVE ABOUT IT.
You earned it! Go into any other field, new employees make some sort of wage, they do. Unpaid internships exist, normally with some other benefit than…exposure! Most are tie ins into securing a PAID position in the company.
And the sad thing is, authors, many, are accepting this crap. Like it’s normal. And because of that, many readers and other people are feeling like they are ENTITLED to someone’s intellectual property, creations, for free.
The hell they are! They need a cactus colonoscopy!