How much is your writing worth?

Over at The Awl, Noah Davis just wrote a hell of a piece about the status of freelance writing and — oh, that age-old question — whether or not writers should be paid. As a writer myself, I’ve always sided with Harlan Ellison on the subject, but Davis offers a far more nuanced take on what producers and consumers can and should expect from the (online, mostly) marketplace. Among the more noteworthy revelations:

  • that it’s nearly impossible for paid online content to recoup the expense of production
  • the number of hits needed to offset payment of writers, editors, and staff is a little staggering
  • pointing to Condé Nast’s new move to the WTC in particular, that it’s a little silly for industry big wigs to claim empty pockets, not without first scaling down.

It’s damn shocking and impressive that Davis put this thing together in only twenty hours. (The Awl paid him $250 total at what he reveals is $12.50/hour… I did my math right, right?) Then again, maybe that’s why he’s so successful.

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Jake Zucker is the Editorial Assistant for Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and wears sunglasses on the net.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Flood G.

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