Authors Behaving Badly: Give it to Me Free!

I’ve been fortunate to get my manuscripts picked up by publishers. Not that I don’t want to dabble in self-publishing. I just don’t have the money to invest and you really have to be careful with claiming a loss too often or your writing career becomes a hobby.

What I do realize if I should self-publish that I will pay an editor and if I don’t do the cover art myself, I will pay to get a cover made. I fancy myself a part-time artist and have working knowledge of a few graphics programs. Plus there’s the whole Wacom tablet that makes working on a computer so much smoother, especially when I’m left handed yet use the mouse righty.

rumpledbetweenthesheets1lSomebody insanely talented made the cover art I’m featuring in this post. If I was to hire someone to do my cover, I’d save my dough to have her do it. Seriously amazing work. She got to do something I never had the money to do–go to art school to really perfect her technique. I’m still a jack of all trades and probably will always be. I love bouncing from one task to the next. And rambling. Lots of rambling. *cough* I want to finish something just to get her to do my cover.

So now imagine, if you will, you’ve spent countless hours and funds to not only go to school for your craft but decided this was going to be your bread and butter in the world. Just like it’s a writer’s dream to make a living on their work, so goes for an artist and even editors.

So what is that worth to you?

Free is a great promo tool if you’re starting out, I suppose. Yet I’m not really sure on the return on investment. How does tossing your work out like candy net you the funds to pay for the next cover or editing? I can see a short story or two on a blog but a whole novel on your first shot? If you’re the artist, are you going to give the impression your all for pro bono work? Editors could give the illusion that for a few dollars they’ll spend countless hours for peanuts.

I’m here to say doing this is total bullshit. You got to pay the piper in more ways than one. Cutting corners or thinking yourself above doing the right thing is going to have you go into a potential shark tank in a string bikini–on your period.

Don’t have the perception that offering a free copy of your book is equal to what a cover art does is insane. If I’m getting that email, I’m thinking if they wanted free cover art, they didn’t pay an editor as well. Yikes. Who wants to read that hot mess? Please, just get over yourself in thinking what you do is worth something for free.

I’ve done artwork twice for money or the equivalent. One was a book cover art and she paid me with something I agreed on. It wasn’t green money but for me, it was gold. The other was beer logos for my brother in law. He paid me hard cash for it and paid well. If my family values my work, then a complete stranger should pony up too. I’ve tried doing free work and it’s just not worth it. The time sink alone was taking away from interests that actually make me money so, yeah, no more.

So, my rambling point to all of this is stop asking for free shit. If you don’t want to pay for it, there are plenty of free programs out there but bear in mind you have to pay for photo stock–just like a professional. Steal someone’s stuff and you’re going to be in a world of hurt like nothing else. It’ll make passing cover art for 150-300 dollars each seem like the biggest mistake of your life.

Pay your dues means more than the countless hours at the keyboard. Fucking learn it.

I See You Have a Knee. Do You Jerk it? Part 2 of 2

This is a continuation of this post.

To briefly overview, I was briefly involved–because I can only take so much opinionated dumb–in a conversation on Facebook. The post concerned how LGBT marriage could tear the same cloth fabric of the sacred marriage. Panic ensued, misconceptions ran amuck. Onward, shall we?

Rtard #3

Ah the argument of separation of church and state. Because, you know, marriage=church always. How does one have an adult conversation with a person running around a pool of water screaming they’re on fire but refuses to believe that anything but the fire department can put out the flames? Let’s breakdown why equating the SCOTUS decision to your rights as a Christian being violated holds no merit. With, you know, facts. This is also going to cover this ignorant statement though considering the source ….

Rtard #4

Yes. Very scary that you hold this hack in any high regard.

The Constitution has been changed from it’s original drafting (read: Amendments). Strange concept, I know. Just like the Bible, it’s open to interpretation. If there’s a dispute between state and federal, it’s generally settled on the federal level. Whereas the Bible remains unchanged with the exception of bad translating from the original language of Hebrew. The Constitution, however, was written in English. While some bemoan the addition of LGBT rights to the Civil Rights side, there’s others you might want to consider that people wailed and gnashed about in the past. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery or involuntary servitude. This lead to the Jim Crow laws in 1896 that stated that segregation was just fine so long as the facilities were equal. We all know how that worked out. Finally in 1964 we got it right. Again, this wasn’t popular to everyone. Women’s voting rights anyone?

How quickly we forget where we’ve come from as a nation while we point our finger and scream the equivalent of “That’s not fair!” to the world. The astounding fact that people can’t draw parallels between discrimination then and now. Even if we argued the procreation part, can we not also see all the children in the foster care system or the overpopulation of our planet? We’re not in danger of dying out as a species–until we kill the planet we live on but let’s stay on the current subject, shall we?

It wasn’t until 1563 that the church got involved in marriage. Thanks, Council of Trent! Let’s not mention the whole thing between 1545 to 1563 was because the Protestants rubbed your robes wrong. Yet according to the Bible, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. So, again, we see evolution in the way marriage is regarded. Feel like I’m beating a dead horse here? This is much the same feeling I had during this conversation. We, in western culture, practiced monogamy more than anyone else in the earlier years.

The origin of the word ‘marriage’ comes from the Latin marītāre which means “to provide with a husband or wife” and also from the word marītāri which means “to get married”. Notice how it doesn’t say husband and wife? Sure you could inject your opinion here to say that the translation is meant to pertain a man taking a wife or a woman taking a husband. Just as I could twist that love has nothing to do with marriage. Somewhere around the 17th or 18th century, people wanted to marry for love not status or land deals daddy had set up. Forward thinkers perhaps? That compounded between the 19th and 20th century when women decided they weren’t property.

That is what we should do as a people. Evolve. Have forward thinking. We are allowed our opinions.

Rtard #6

Again our lovely person from the original post is claiming that the government is butting in on marriage. Please believe me that you will not sway this person into any other type of ‘opinion’. The point I finding amusing is “there needs to be a way to separate the religious aspect of marriage from the legal aspect of marriage” and then goes the rambling of forcing churches to marry LGBT people. I can’t even begin to explain that ridiculous statement. As history proves, marriage isn’t a religious institution, just one the church decided to buy into. I’ll get into the rights to refuse service on a later date. This post is getting looong.

The last statement in that last graphic says it all for me. That’s what kind of society we’ve morphed into. For all our forefathers want to break free from tyranny as they saw it, we continue to move toward that same state. We can talk about our religious rights, our personal beliefs, but none of those should devalue the human life. Before you start bible thumping again, remember there’s also the Vedas, Quran, Kalpa Sūtra, Torah, and so many more. This country had founding principles of liberty. I’m going to quote one:

Principle 6 – All mankind were created equal. The Founders knew that in these three ways, all mankind are theoretically treated as: 1. Equal before God. 2. Equal before the law. 3. Equal in their rights.

*mic drop* I’m out.

I See You Have a Knee. Do You Jerk it? Part 1 of 2

Where do I begin? This whole Supreme Court decision has had some terrifying results. I’m not talking about finally granting the LGBT community the right to marry. The kneejerk reaction to this monumental decision is quite baffling to me. Aren’t we all entitled to civil rights or are we going to pretend that 1964 never mattered? Let me introduce you to one of the many discussions on Facebook. I participated in this one, and my comments are the ones with the rainbow avatar. I’ve blocked out the identities of the ones involved for, I hope, obvious reasons. I even shared this conversation with my son. At his 21 years, he’s got more wisdom and understanding. It’s all I can hope for with the generation growing up. Intolerance still is deep-seeded in a country ‘known’ for it’s stance on freedom. It’s a bit hypocritical when we try and suppress others.

Rtard #1

Ah ….. so it begins.

Marriage as a religious thing is an opinion and not fact. This article was published in 2014 but still rings true. Sorry, folks, I’m going to have a lot of links throughout. PS: The early Christians passage is particularly interesting. The Council of Trent didn’t make marriage a sacrament until 1547–fifteen hundred years after Jesus’s water to wine bit in Cana. Which is kind of amusing since some modern day Catholic institutes point to that particular part of Jesus’s life to to uphold the modern Christian version of marriage. Amazing how things can get twisted for a purpose. Oh and a ban on polygamy in the Catholic church didn’t happen until the 18th century or haven’t you read your bible closely lately on how many wives the men within had? Chew on that for a bit.

Sooo … what was marriage before then? Basically, the early stages of marriage were for political reasons and had little to do with love. Alliances, peace treaties–you name it. Wife not a baby making machine and like plowing a barren desert? Toss her to the side and get another model! Or you could test drive one of your many slaves. Right, Abraham?

Fun Fact: Marriages in the West were originally contracts between the families of two partners, with the Catholic Church and the state staying out of it. In 1215, the Catholic Church decreed that partners had to publicly post banns, or notices of an impending marriage in a local parish, to cut down on the frequency of invalid marriages (the Church eliminated that requirement in the 1980s). Still, until the 1500s, the Church accepted a couple’s word that they had exchanged marriage vows, with no witnesses or corroborating evidence needed. ((SOURCE: History of Marriage: 13 Surprising Facts))

That we can marry who we want should be a milestone, right? Oh we are a fickle bunch when it comes to our opinions. Now back to the conversation I mentioned previously.

Rtard #2

So marriage should be out of the government’s hands–though it’s been a political standpoint long before the church dipped its hands in the pool. This goes along the lines of what I was saying before how the church will bend things to their own purpose, much like those who clutch the bible tight want to purge the passages that don’t gel with their current lifestyle. Old testament exists and you can’t just sweep it under the same cloth rug. Like wives being property, for one (Exodus 20:17). Or how about being raped and then sold to your rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)? I suggest looking up these lovely passages too: Exodus 21:7, 1 Kings 11:3, Deuteronomy 22:20-21, Number 31:17-18, Leviticus 15:19-31, Leviticus 12:1-8, Numbers 30:1-16, Corinthians 14:34, Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Corinthians 11:2-10, Revelation 14:3-4. Those just scratch the surface. Women have no authority. FYI, Pope Benedict VIII banned marriage not so priests could get closer to God but so the wives and children couldn’t get property/money when the priest died. Gasp! It was all about money! Shocker! Celibacy is unnatural, not LGBT marriage.

I will continue this on Wednesday as long posts are something I try not to do. See you then!