The New Writer’s Ruse: The Bemused Will Not Work for Hire

The bane of any hopeful professional author — one who writes for money to feed a family and a future fortunate — is the old “Work for Hire” kludge-as-cudgel and it is wielded against unwitting amateur authors, and even published, working, authors, by publishing houses as a “proper payment system” that is both fair to each side and an early warning windfall for the writer.  Unfortunately, none of that is true.

Publishers love to force writers into Work for Hire contracts because the benefit is all on their side of the dyad, and while initial risks are shared, the goal of good fortune tomorrow is not.

I warned of this impending trend way back on September 7, 2007 in my article: “Work For Hire is a Bad Idea” —

If you get royalties you are in partnership with your publisher.  If you are “Work For Hire” you’re used up when you’re done writing.

Publishers live to exploit that hungry author desire for fast money now — and in the process of the “Work For Hire” hiring — the author not only loses a potential profit bonanza, but also sells out their self-respect, self-worth, and fellow authors.

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The Best of Urban Semiotic Now Available on Amazon Kindle Direct!

After the glowing success of publishing our Hardcore American Sign Language Learning series via Amazon Kindle Direct, I started thinking about other ways to more permanently preserve the record of the best of what has been written.  Hurricane Sandy, and the death of Howard Stein, have made me consider worst case possible scenarios that led me into thinking about what if WordPress.com went down forever or something happened to me, or my Pair Networking hosting woke up and died.  How would the writing survive?

I decided having access to multiple article resources was becoming paramount in moving forward in a treacherous world, and so I thought to finally do something many readers have been asking me to do for many years:  Create a “Best of” series of writing that they can purchase and read in their own time and on their own devices.

Since the break of the New Year, I have been whittling down this Urban Semiotic Blog into its best, redacted, stories that I alone have written.  It was a long and sweaty job and the results are interesting.  There are no images or hotlinks or reader comments or quotes from outside sources.  It’s just me and my word against your eye.

The results of that effort are twofold:  The Best of Urban Semiotic, Volumes 1 and 2 on sale now on Amazon as Kindle Direct Publishing books!  You can read these books on your smartphone, Kindle, tablet or computer!

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The Scary Military State of the United States

As a child of Romanian immigrants from the brutal era of communism, I heard quite a number of stories told about how people were routinely arrested and put into prison for the most unreasonable reasons — anything from protesting against the government to just not being in the right place at the right time. My parents were very happy that we live in a country where, as they said at the time, a person could march up and down the streets carrying signs denouncing President Clinton (I suppose this dates me pretty well) and they would never be arrested.

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We Elect People to Take Things From Us: The Start of Dreams

Here at the Boles Blogs Network, we get hundreds of promotional emails a day asking us to write articles about people, products and issues.  Sometimes we act on a tip that catches our fancy, but more often than not, we can’t abide the coverage request.  Last week, I received a spectacular request from Byron Horne of THB Films and this article is the result of that inquiry.

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Banning the U-Word while Promoting the Federal Pelvic Exam

Today is April 1st, but what I’m about to tell you isn’t a joke. A woman’s uterus has taken on the stigma of “The N-Word” — at least in Florida — and that part of the, verboten, unspeakable, female anatomy shall heretofore, and ever-after be referred to, in a hushed voice, as: “The U-Word.”

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Here is a McGraw-Hill Warning for Authors and Content Providers

In this WordPunk blog, we bluntly talk about the publishing industry, and on being an author, and how to value your work and why you must get paid on time.  Publishers don’t like authors and content providers to talk about contractual specifics because they prefer boilerplate contracts where everybody is paid the same — and nobody should ever blindly sign a boilerplate contract “as is” because there are always protections you need to ask for, and enforce, as an author and content provider that are not included in a boilerplate publisher’s contract.

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A Dangerous Lack of NYPD Interpreters

When there’s no money to fuel a City or feed a State, the first things to get axed are the everyday necessities of living, as well as proper access to protection and equal communication facilitation in the system.

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