Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bad Signs and a Gripe

Like most freelancers, I notice that my query letters and applications over the last couple of years merit fewer responses. Yay or nay doesn't matter--lately, there's just no answer at all.

There is no good excuse for this lack of professional courtesy--a form email would do. But let's face it, we get zilch, and get over it.

I do realize that editors are busier than ever, and wearing more hats than before.

When I compare the author names from front-of-the-book pieces and articles with a magazine's masthead, I see that more and more, editors and staffers are producing the stories. They're probably overworked already.

A month ago, I answered an ad for freelancers for an online publication. The editor who responded (bless him! he took the time to respond!) professed surprise at the writing quality of the applicants, and wondered why so much of what he read online was poorly written.

Well, criminy--his company was offering decent pay! A lot of what appears online is written for free or for very little pay.

Look at Wikipedia. Some of the articles are awful or inaccurate; others detailed and well-researched. But you can't bank on any of their so-called facts without verifying them elsewhere.

You get what you pay for. I wonder how long it's going to take for this iota of conventional wisdom to permeate through the internet.

Hats are available at or The Writers' Store.

No comments: