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inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #51 of 79: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 21 Sep 00 18:24
    
Wendy, that was back in the dark ages. I stopped being a journalist in
1987. 
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #52 of 79: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 21 Sep 00 23:23
    <scribbled by fsquared Fri 22 Sep 00 14:51>
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #53 of 79: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Fri 22 Sep 00 14:53
    
Just a reminder to everyone reading along on the Web: if you have
comments or questions, e-mail them to inkwell-hosts@well.com and one of
the hosts will post them for you!

In the next 2 posts, I'm going to hide some information about lawsuits
currently underway. Picospan users, type "o 54" and "o 55" at the OK
prompt to read them. Engaged users, click on the links and the full
posts will pop up.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #54 of 79: Author's Guild suit (fsquared) Fri 22 Sep 00 14:56
    <hidden>
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #55 of 79: Bass lawsuit (fsquared) Fri 22 Sep 00 15:01
    <hidden>
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #56 of 79: Wendy M. Grossman (wendyg) Sat 23 Sep 00 04:59
    
Going back to Fawn's original question ot how we can convey the issues were
deal;ing with to the public, I'm not sure it's possible.  The publics images
of writers are Stephen King, "overpaid" Hollywood screenwrights, and
whoevers book/column offended them most recently.  I mean, the *general*
public.  I'm a *writer* and I dont notice bylines most of the time.

wg
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #57 of 79: Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 23 Sep 00 13:43
    

I wonder if it's because we don't "hear" their voices?
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #58 of 79: Neil Glazer (neil-glazer) Sat 23 Sep 00 13:47
    
Re: <54>, that's my case.  Michael Boni (the guy mentioned in the
press release) is my colleague.  The Laney case is a "companion" case. 
There's a third which was filed in the Northern District of
California.  A motion to consolidate the three cases for pretrial
purposes has been filed, and will be heard in November by the Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

BTW -- The information in the August 15 press release is now somewhat
dated.  We filed an amended complaint in the Southern District of New
York on Friday, adding several additional class representatives,
including E.L. Doctorow, and naming new defendants, including
Contentville.

There have been one or two other developments which I am not yet at
liberty to disclose, but I think I'll be able to some time early next
week.

If you are a freelance writer, there's a good chance that you will be
affected by these related cases.  We are seeking disgorgement of past
profits, and an injunction requiring the defendants to pay writers
going forward for syndications, republications, second serializations,
or any other use of their works.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #59 of 79: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sat 23 Sep 00 21:39
    
And, as a side note, the overpaid Hollywood Scriptwriters (of whom I
am occasionally one) (and 90% of whom do not earn a living wage) are
rumoured to be going on strike in May, mainly over internet rights.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #60 of 79: Wendy M. Grossman (wendyg) Sun 24 Sep 00 04:42
    
I hope you heard the tongue in the cheek when I said overpaid.  I was
thinking of William Goldman's constant insistence on the undervaluing and
underappreciation of writers in Hollywood.  I hadn't heard the incipient
strike was over Internet rights; more that it was about the right to
residuals, etc.  And tyhat the studios were trying to stockpile shows.

wg
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #61 of 79: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Sun 24 Sep 00 09:33
    
Residuals, electronic rights, reprint rights...still the same concept of
someone else continuing to profit from my work.

Go screenwriters!
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #62 of 79: Martha Soukup (soukup) Sun 24 Sep 00 11:35
    
Internet would be part of it.  Hollywood is always asking for all rights,
for all eternity, in all media now existing and yet to be invented,
throughout the universe.  When I got my only Hollywood contract, I imagined
the short film based on my story being enacted with butterflies for pixels
on the planet Mars.  Covered!
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #63 of 79: Wendy M. Grossman (wendyg) Sun 24 Sep 00 16:09
    
I once had a helluva time getting a photo of a guy from ILM that I
interviewed; the film (Terminator 2) was no longer on general release, the
studio sent me to the home video dept, which said the company had been sold,
which said...  eventually I went back to ILM and said, Look, this is
ridiculous, they don't own the *guy*, just give me a picture.

wg
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #64 of 79: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Sun 24 Sep 00 22:17
    
Literary agent Richard Curtis explains why all this stuff is important
thusly: "To keep profits up, [publishing] houses have had to resort to what
someone once called The Blockbuster Mentality, paying more and more money
for superstar authors and abandoning their commitment to new and promising
voices. Not only are authors discouraged, editors are too, because they are
thwarted from achieving their mandate to help authors produce interesting,
entertaining, and compelling works of literature."

You can read his entire long (but funny and informative) screed on why
control of content is control over the entire book industry here:

http://www.elibrarybook.com/articles/curtis.htm
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #65 of 79: Wendy M. Grossman (wendyg) Tue 26 Sep 00 07:04
    
http://www.greenmagazine.com/2000/09/000925a.asp

is a survey of online payment rates, which are substantially lower than the
$1 a word "gold standard" that has held sway since 1965.

wg
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #66 of 79: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Tue 26 Sep 00 21:33
    
Who did they survey, though?
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #67 of 79: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 6 Oct 00 00:18
    
there's also an issue that 'writing' has for some people come
to mean 'the loss leader i create so i can get on the lecture
circuit/consulting track'. these people create 'books'...
which are often, well, we dont need to elaborate on what they are.
advertorial/white paper/business plan/documentation is more
like it.
there's that great running motif in 'get shorty', about how
anyone can write...
another tweak to this (heard this from a former freelancer)
is that since the economy is roaring along, publications
have created more full-time inhouse editorial postions so
dont need to rely on freelancers as they did.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #68 of 79: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Fri 3 Nov 00 08:42
    
That's a really good point. Books can be many things to many people,
and unfortunately authors are now expected to earn their shillings
talking to people. I'm one of those people who has learned to do
that--giving lectures to college students that I find interesting and
meaningful (paid guest lectures on American history and media
education). But I have other friends who HATE to do public speaking. So
what happens to them? 

I also love the process of incubating a book. I spent two years
traveling around the country at considerable expense for my last one. I
know other people who can pop 'em out every year, some excellent, some
not. (My first book is arguably better, though it took a shorter time
to write, so who knows?) 

In any case, the whole issue of writing has become very much
market-driven, even for academics, even for poets, for everyone. And
all the time spent cultivating an image usually takes away from writing
time.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #69 of 79: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 3 Nov 00 09:19
    
That makes sense.  To be marketable, you are better off as a celebrity. To
be a celebrity, you have to invent a public self to then become a 
caricature of.  Not everybody's cup of tea.

I'm surprised about the idea that the money is in speaking.  My main
interaction with authors on speaking tours has been with people who would
show up anyplace for free to promote a book.   (But my view may be warped,
since I am pretty far on the fringe of loving to do public speaking and
I often talk for free or for transportation.)  

How much crossover is there?  Do writers agents book speaking gigs nowadays,
for example?
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #70 of 79: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Fri 3 Nov 00 15:09
    
I have a separate lecture agent, and for the kinds of books I do,
which sell well to the college/academic audience, I'm booked mainly to
colleges, which tend to be steady (and rewarding, but exhuasting) work,
but lower paying in general than corporate speeches. 
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #71 of 79: Neil Glazer (neil-glazer) Tue 7 Nov 00 11:44
    
For those following the legal front, the Supreme Court granted
certiorari this week to review the Tasini case.  Which means at least
four justices probably have some problem with the second circuit's
decision upholding the rights of freelance writers.  Of course, minds
can be changed, but this is not a good development.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #72 of 79: another goddamn latte-swilling caribou (mattrose) Wed 7 Mar 01 23:50
    
I had to post this somewhere.  Harlan Ellison is again spitting mad. 
This time it's at the wrong people...
http://www.speculations.com/kick.htm
the site's been slashdotted, see here 
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/03/08/0159200
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #73 of 79: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 8 Mar 01 05:03
    

Wow.  That's something to see.  And it references "information wants to be
free," a slogan which, uh, got itself free.
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #74 of 79: Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Thu 8 Mar 01 11:05
    

  Uhm, this is news?   I mean, I guess there are people who haven't heard
about it before now, but really.... 
  
inkwell.vue.87 : "Haven't had a raise since '65" - Writers Fight Back!
permalink #75 of 79: Angus MacDonald (angus) Thu 8 Mar 01 12:36
    
"503 Error : Traffic Level Exceeded

This web site has exceeded its traffic allowance.

Please try visiting this site again again at a lower traffic period,
and/or contact the site maintainers and suggest that they increase their
traffic threshold."
  

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