>So good, but no pay

>I was market-searching the other day and came across American Chronicle, which bills itself as a family of online magazines. Submitted articles are reportedly syndicated nationally and appear in all the major search engines. They list a bunch of major metro dailies that receive their stories. They publish the writer’s bio, photo, and web site address. Plus, the writer can write about almost any topic he or she wants. You’d be assigned your own individual page featuring your articles. Oh, there’s more. They’ll give you your own private email manager and a tracker to see who’s reading what you write.

Dang. Finally, a market that will treat you right. Just one little detail: They don’t pay. You do it for the exposure, for the clips that they promise will impress editors of other publications. So, here’s my question, one that has been asked many times over the years. Should you write for free? When is it worthwhile to do a freebie, keeping in mind that these articles will require research, interviews, and writing time? What do you think? I’ll tell you my thoughts on the subject tomorrow.
P.S. Has anyone had experience with American Chronicle?

UPDATE 2016: American Chronicle appears to be defunct, but the issue of writing for everything but money still exists. What do you think?


3 Comments on “>So good, but no pay”

  1. >Oh wow, I was all ready to sign up until you said “free.” Hmmm… That would be a lot of exposure–it’s very, very tempting!I’m not sure what a writer should do, though. I can’t wait for your opinion!By the way, I hope you don’t mind I’ve tagged you for the Random 8 Meme. I think it will be great fun, enjoy!Find out more here:http://writingthecyberhighway.blogspot.com/2007/10/8-things-that-make-me-me.html

  2. Suelick says:

    >Michele,Exactly my reaction. It is tempting. Actually, opportunities to write for free are everywhere. I just turned one down yesterday. It would have been a lot of work and the subject didn’t excite me. However, I recently applied for a non-paying assignment that I really want. It would give me a chance to do something that will stretch my skills and exposure, and I think it would be very satisfying to do. It has been argued that writers who will do it for free make it harder for others to find paying jobs, that writers who work for free are in a sense traitors to those trying to make a living with their words.I think we have to look at each opportunity. I say no to American Chronicle for myself because I have been there, done that. I have years of experience writing for community newspapers and deserve to get paid. On the other hand, I don’t have much experience doing the job I applied for last week. I want to move more in that direction in my career. Plus, the job is short-term and should not take much of my time. Every time this comes up, weigh the possibilities. Can I sell stories just like this for money? Would other venues be more likely to advance my career? Does this sound like what I need at this point to gain experience and practice my craft? Or is it an easy way to avoid pitching to the scarier markets?

  3. >I don’t think it’s for me. I’ve already found that words sell!Smiles,Michele

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