Interesting email today
They want me to write a 2000 word article for free
They want me to come to London at my own expense
They want me to sign over the copyright to them
Their offer 'Great exposure for a young writer"
"Is everyone on this project working for free ?
Someone is up early,
"No, you don't understand how the media works. Young writers like yourself should not expect to get paid when they are starting out. In fact it's quite selfish of you to mention this when you get a great offer like ours. Suggest you rethink your karma"
"I am not a 'young writer starting out', I am an established historian with numerous books and articles to my name something you would have known if you had done even the most basic of research but even if I was not I still
DESERVE TO BE PAID YOU CHEAP BASTARD"
"Chill dude, it's just not realistic to expect to be paid, where have you been for the last ten years ? Besides the exposure we offer is far more valuable that money - you should really think about that"
"Of course, what was I thinking? In fact when the good people from EDF ask me to pay my electricity bill I will instead offer their CEO "exposure" in a forthcoming book. I am sure that will be fine. In conclusion
"PAY PEOPLE YOU GIT?
He's not giving up,
"You just don't understand how the world works dude, you need to get up to date and appreciate the value of what we have offered. The old money for writing business model no longer exists, we can offer massive social media exposure for you. See the value"
I wrote back,
"I see now. I have spoken to your boss and explained the value of 'exposure' rather than payment and he agrees from now on a proportion of your monthly payment should also be via exposure. I understand this will be via likes of your social media posts- good luck"
O Jesus he was enough of a twat to think that was true,
"Dude, that is not cool !!!!!!! I have bills to pay every month, you think I can buy food with facebook likes ???? Do you really? Thanks for screwing up my job, I have to tell my girlfriend now"
Irony lost on him
I felt I had to respond,
"You just don't understand how the world works dude, you need to get up to date and appreciate the value of what you are now getting. Peace out"
I followed up,
"I just went to your facebook page and gave you a large number of likes. Hope that will be enough for you to buy some lunch today, if not come back to me and I will like some more"
He's really annoyed now,
"Likes ??? Likes ??? How do I buy food with likes, tell me how does that work ?? You think my cafe here takes likes for sandwiches - do you, do you ?
I have a meeting with my boss in an hour to get this sorted, do not call him again dude, bad, bad"
Thought I would turn the screw,
"Good news - Your boss liked the idea so much the company is going to extend it too all the staff and they are going to name the scheme after you so everyone will know who thought of it. You must be really pleased, well done"
His response may have been in written in haste,
"are you fuckin kidding me, do you know what sort of damage you have done dude i can't take this, i can't take it. Peeps are going to kill me, this is serious dude, these R real lives you are messing with, we need to get paid!!!"
His email continues,
"you need to make all this stop, these people have morgagees (sic) and lots of bills, likes and that shit dont pay those bills. What you've done is shitty, this is not a joke these are real people with kids and stuff. I'm seeing 'X at 1130, you call first"
I will not post the full email here as it's just basically him swearing at me but the edited highlights are that his boss thinks him a "gullible fool" and that is my fault.
I asked if he had learnt any lessons from the exchange. He said he had no idea what I meant.
Clearly the penny has still not dropped because he just wrote another email. It's very long and tedious but I will give you the edited highlights.
"The joke is actually on you because we were offering a great opportunity to you which now we are not"
"You think you are clever but in fact all this shows why you will never succeed as a writer because you don't understand how the process works. You are old and have old thinking, people like you never do well in life, I know this and you don't so I win again"
"We could have given you massive social media exposure, all over the world, Europe and America but now you've lost it for all time. Ha Ha Ha. In fact my boss says I handled all this really well and I'm going to get a new project next month so that's me winning again and you not"
I'm not usually vindictive and if he had not sent the last email I would have let it go but he annoyed me so I looked up the CEO of the publishing company, found his email and forwarded the entire exchange to him together with my current list of published works.