July 15, 2009
Letters To The Editor For July 15th
Large Overseas Book Order? Don't Get Excited...
Thank you for your article on Large Overseas Book Orders.
I feel that if the freelance community is to know the truth about Examiner.com, then the chest-thumping supporters of Examiner.com who send you e-mails about it should be subject to some thoroughgoing investigative journalism.
Given that Examiner.com continues to advertise for writers and says that it pays them a "very competitive" rate, asking for Examiner.com to draft and actually issue a standard writer's contract is not too much to ask.
Where is that standard contract from Examiner.com?
Furthermore, where are the cancelled checks or some other proofs of payment from Examiner.com that its supporters are writing to you about? Upon request, I will furnish proof of payment from various publications. If the alleged circumstances involved in a story are true, the company and its supporters should have no trouble cooperating with some fact-checking.
Also, it wouldn't hurt for somebody to investigate whether some of these Examiner.com supporters, apart from being freelance contributors, are not also connected to the site in some other way.
Then too, what is Examiner.com's gross annual income from advertising? A standard-issue report on the business would include that information.
Examiner.com continues to publish misleading help-wanted ads where it is still able to do so on the Internet. People claiming to work as Examiners are also publishing misleading help-wanted ads, hoping to collect referral fees from Examiner.com
I myself fell victim last week to an Examiner who had not identified herself as an Examiner, while posting as though she herself were a publisher with work available for freelance writers. That came on top of my having been victimized directly by Examiner.
The truth about Examiner.com should be coming out, reported as rigorously as any other news story.
Unsubstantiated claims from supposed Examiners supposedly having no non-freelance writer connection to the company are not adequate as reporting.
What Is Happening to Editors' Manners?!
First, not all editors have bad manners. I've worked with some remarkable editors who proved honest and prompt in their business behavior.
Second, a lot of writers lack professional ethics, often making demands without understanding the pressures placed on editors.
There are good and bad eggs amongst editors and writers. I am not fond of stereotyping either side. Basically, everyone should note those who are difficult to deal with and move past them instead of having thoughts of getting even. There are editors I will no longer return to. I've conversed with writers who I'll never recommend or hire again.
If an editor hasn't paid for services rendered, that's one thing. By all means pursue collection. However, if an editor doesn't reply, take it as a no and move on. I reply to all the queries I receive, giving a reason why the piece didn't fit my needs. I usually reply within 48 hours. Some editors, however, are so swamped with queries that they don't have the time. In these days when everyone with a computer fancies himself a writer, editors and publishers have their hands full. When you also consider the layoffs and dwindling budgets of these publications, I imagine editors are having to do more with less.
I usually advise my readers to note the difficult publications and editors on a "will never work for again" list and invest their efforts in finding new markets in lieu of stirring confrontation with those that suck their energies dry. But don't place all editors in the same category and consider them mannerless. It's just not so.
C. Hope Clark Editor,
ANGELA CHIMES IN: I agree that writers should refuse to work with troublesome editors. However, in my opinion, editors who can't handle the query overload shouldn't be placing help-wanted ads seeking writers. Also, it takes mere seconds to respond to a query with a copied and pasted "I'm swamped and will respond within a month" or "I'm sorry but your submission is not something we're interested in." If a company doesn't have enough money to staff their editorial department with conscientious people who are willing to treat writers like humans, not objects, they shouldn't be in business.
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