Although I’m not a screenwriter, a writer is still a writer and I support the men and women of the WGA on strike.
There would be no shows, no movies nor the trendy “webisodes”, without writers. And yet you don’t hear of any who get $20 million per picture. That kind of money goes to the guy who memorizes the lines and walks the red carpet.
Authors have their complaints as well. In my experience, it takes months for a contract to be drawn up, signed and then a few more months later – to add to the suspense – I get a check. I wonder how many people work jobs that compensate them six months to a year later?
Furthermore, what’s up with the used book thing? I realize books are pricey but does Amazon have to put the used book price in bold print over the regular price? For TV or movie writers, if a piece is re-run, everyone gets a residual. Authors don’t make residuals on used copies of their books because there is no system to track those sales. I agree with the striking writers that they deserve a cut from the advertising dollars a network makes when a show is downloaded and watched online. Too bad, something can’t be done for those of us who write books.
By the way, if you support writers, don’t watch TV shows for free online. And if you can help it, try not to buy a used copy of my book. I’d much rather you check it out at your library because at least they bought it and give it a good home.
Also, when an author writes a book and then jumps through all the hoops to get it through copyeditting, etc., the publisher doesn’t advertise it. Have you noticed that? All the major brands advertise in magazines and on TV, but publishers don’t, which is probably why editorial book coverage space is really small if non-existent in most magazines. Occasionally you see an ad for a major New York Times best-selling author but what about all the other writers who are future best sellers? I would think that as a business, a publisher would want a maximum return on every dollar spent to acquire, produce and distribute all of its products.
I’m lucky in that Avon has one heck of a publicity department with professionals who love books and authors. Also, we’re backed up the editorial team who have created the Avon Romance blog, which allows us writers to brag about ourselves.
But I’m really, really lucky in that I have a PR, web writing and journalism background and can do a lot of my own promotion. Until I’m at the level of Nora Roberts (who by the way, worked darn hard for the last 26 years to get where she is and deserves every perk she can get!), you won’t see me in a commercial between segments of Oprah or Good Morning America. But one day … oh yes, one day you will!
So now you know how I feel about the strike. But you should also know that there is no other job that gives me greater pleasure than writing. (In other words, I’m one lucky bee-yotch!)
How do you feel about the strike?