The following article is the uncut version of that which was published the week of July 25, 2016, in Red Dwarf Newsletter, owned by Red Sun Magazine. And y'all thought I only wrote dirty romances.
This week I have nothing really coherent to impart. Lucky you.
Those of you who know me personally know that I "do the 4-H thing." Last week was punctuated by club members getting those last-minute tasks and reviews in before heading off to the county fair. The Clark County (Ohio) 4-H llama and alpaca show occurs on Saturday morning, so stall decorating was scheduled for Thursday. For the first time in years, I was not able to be there because a last-minute editing project came in with the client paying for expedited delivery. My younger son graciously volunteered to serve in my place. (Yes, I delivered the project on time.)
Brutally hot and humid weather affected showmen, animals, and parents--not for the better. Animals were hot, tired, scare, and most definitely grumpy. Kids were hot, tired, nervous, and most definitely grumpy. Parents were hot, tired, anxious, and most definitely grumpy. See a theme here?
Monday morning dawned with more grotesquely hot and muggy weather. Today it cooled down. It's till humid, but the temperature never hit 90 degrees F, so it feels comfortable in comparison. Comfort's important, especially when you work in an environment without air conditioning.
So...projects this week. I hope to begin working on revamping the website content for a new client. I finished ghostwriting a short book for another client. I restarted ghostwriting another book for another client. Don't ask. The upshot is that I haven't gotten any of my own writing in. As always, I'm hunting down other freelance gigs. So it goes.
The house is quiet, except for the radio. The station I favor has been playing a really good selection of oldies today: Queen, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffet, Eagles, Kansas, etc. Last night the quiet was broken, which startled me. A vehicle in our driveway was burgled last week, so I'm being extra-vigilant. My Beretta Tomcat lies on the table next to me during the day. Yes, it's loaded. Yes, I do know how to use it. The laser grip makes a fun cat toy.
I broke another glass yesterday. I've been on a roll with those and soon we'll be out of glasses. Of course, they only break when I'm barefoot (which is most of the time anyway).
SALE ANNOUNCEMENT: Ulfbehrt's Legacy goes on sale the first week of August. Get the e-book version of newest release for only 99 cents on Amazon!
I came across an interesting conundrum this week with a prospective client who posted a solicitation to develop his screenplay into a 75,000-word novel. My fee for the work covered the anticipated 150 hours of work that the project would entail. He replied that he liked the writing samples provided to him, he admired my credentials as a writer, and that my fee was way too expensive when other vendors were offering to do the project for $200 - $300.
My response: You get what you pay for--people who are willing to work for $2 per hour or less.
He acknowledged that the quality of writing at that bargain basement rate would likely be poor; however, it made better financial sense to him to hire a cheap (re: poor quality) writer and pay an editor a few hundred bucks to fix it, than it would to pay for top quality writing and still have to pay an editor.
Egad. I may have to raise my editing rates if that's the sort of thinking to which buyers subscribe. Of course, an ultra-cheap editor can also be counted on to perform poorly. (See my blog on that little experiment last month.)
What gets me is that this guy is a writer--he writes scripts. He knows the time and effort that goes into building a good story. And still he opts for the lowest price option.
On the upside, I did start on a project for another playwright who does value good writing. Bless his heart. Really, I'm not delivering a southern insult.
This week's blog will be short: it's time to wash llamas.
With blood pressure soaring and temper fraying, I'm using this little forum to vent my frustrations. It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.
Today's rant focuses on the unreasonable expectations of people who want to hire freelance writers and editors. Hey, I know budgets are tight, but that doesn't mean we write or edit for free. People who write/edit for free are called volunteers. Following are some solicitations I came across this morning. Egad.
Each of these--trust me, I didn't have to look hard to find them--expects a great deal of work and skill. But let's break 'em down.
And people wonder why I'm cranky.
Coming out this week is my newest romance novel, Ulfbehrt's Legacy. The novel falls within the categories of #contemporary romance, #new adult romance, and #military romance. Here's the book summary:
Fleeing horrific abuse and an uncaring legal system in the USA, Zoe lands in Norway to study archeology, specifically pre-Viking civilization. With the nightclub where she worked closed down and her apartment building condemned, she needs a new job and a new place to live.
Her roommate and fellow student Tabetha comes to the rescue and invites her to move in with her family. Zoe’s grateful for the offer and the warm welcome Tabetha’s family extends to her, even though Tabetha’s oldest brother discomfits her.
Wounded in battle against eco-terrorists who attempted to wrest control of an oil platform, elite sailor Lars moves back in with his family while he recuperates. Upon seeing his sister’s roommate, he discovers that his father’s “pow” theory of love isn’t just a cute story: Zoe stirs his blood like nothing else.
Zoe’s not looking for a relationship, but Lars’ gentle persistence shows her that she can trust him. However, an enemy wants to make Lars suffer by harming what will hurt him most, and one of Zoe’s abusers wants her back. She saved herself once, she’ll have to do it again.
As with most of my books, this contains mature content not suitable for readers under 18 years old.
The school of hard knocks never quits teaching. For the past couple of weeks, I alienated several potential clients by sending proposals for service at what I consider fair fees. I explained how fees are broken down to a potential client today, who (I hope) now understands the value of a good writer.
Let's say that "Joe" wants to earn $25 per hour for content generation and can produce 500 words of good content per hour. (Good content means well-written content that needs little or nothing in the way of editing or revision.) That works out to $0.05 per word.
Now let's say Client X wants Joe to write a 100-page book for $25. Estimating an average of 250 words per standard manuscript page, that's a total of 25,000 words. If Joe can produce 500 words of good content per hour, then writing the book will take 50 hours, not including any time spent on conducting research or editing the content once written. That works out to an hourly rate of $0.50, which is both insulting and offensive to expect.
I'm fighting the good fight to educate people that good writing takes time, effort, and skill that there's value the writer's time, effort, and skill; but, I fear that I can't win the battle, much less the war.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is wanting to Blog Swaps in 2018. For more information:
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