Monday, February 22, 2010

Free book for free labour? - Denyse O'Leary

On a journalists' blog recently, a question arose about a Canadian newspaper - which shall remain nameless - that was giving out a free book for the prize-winning travel article. And that's it. A free book.

My own comments were:

1. re giving books instead of money: Any retail business that has very little money will try to give inventory instead of money - if they already own the inventory and cannot return it to anyone for money. Chances are, a public relations firm sent the book to the paper.

So there it is on a shelf. But that book could be spun into a free article. Hmmm, making it into a contest means there could be several free articles ... not bad for one little book.

2. No one should pay any attention to claims that a writer should be pleased just to be published because it helps one's reputation.

My local handyman doesn't think like that, you better believe. He has a good reputation and has served me well. But he lives on money, not reputation. So do we all.

It is true that I manage a "free book" contest for blog commenters, but the situation is quite different. Commenters do not make a living from commenting. It is equivalent to offering a free book for "Best Letter to the Editor of the Month."

Yes, newspapers are in bad shape, but this is getting a tad ridiculous.

Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.


Peter Black said...

As perky, practical, and poignant as ever, Denyse! You've certainly brought us an exposing insight into this scheme. Thank you.

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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