As a freelance writer, just recently I got a invite in eLance to write a “How To Guide” of 20 pages, formatted for Kindle, for 20 dollars. The person specifies that the eBook would be on any subject that she selects.
I know that many people will say “if you don´t like the offer, don’t answer it,” but that is not really the problem; the problem is that some other people will answer it, lowering the bids for all of us.
I have several problems with the ad, besides the slave payment they want to give you:
- Who could seriously accept to write an ebook on any subject? My guess is that, at 1 dollar per page, the writer will not spend much time researching the subject and will pull together a bunch of stuff found on the Internet. If you wanted to spend your time reading 20 pages on any subject, say Teenage pregnancy, would you rather read it from a prestigious psychologist who has spent the last 20 years working with teenagers or with a writer who spent 20 minutes doing research? Well, the bad news is that, sometimes when you download the ebook, you cannot really tell who wrote it. I think serious writers only write on subjects they have truly mastered or lived and therefore, cannot accept writing a How to Guide on any possible subject in the universe.
- The book is to be formatted for kindle. Formatting a book for kindle is a project in itself, done by a professional, and it should be paid as a different task; again at a much better rate.
- If this kind of book is put in Amazon, it will just lower the quality of all the books we writers put and try to sell everyday there. These “instant” books just give ebooks a bad name and it hurt us all.
- Finally, the person paying the 20 dollars, will turn to the market and say “Oh, I am an expert in Teenage pregnancy; look at the book I wrote; buy my services. By the way, I have also written other 200 ebooks on all kinds of subjects.” I wonder if that doesn’t bother the real experts.
eLance moves a lot of money and helps a lot of freelancers. It is something that is needed. Shouldn´t eLance spend a little time looking at the offers and trying to dignify them?
Am I wrong?
Let me know your thoughts.
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