Okay! So, I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus, BUT I saw this post on Robert Paul Weston's blog and just had to jump in here.
The gist is that James Frey wants Creative Writing students to send him one-line pitches and full manuscripts for high-concept paranormal books, which he will buy exclusive rights to for the low-low-price of...
Yeah, I know. It gets better!
Then he'll rewrite it, and market it under a pseudonym, and keep 60% while giving you 40%.
Right. Does this say "turd" to anyone else, or is it just me?
Here's my take. If James Frey wants my ideas so he can write his own stories, fine. He can have them for $250 each, because the ideas are the easy part. But for me to do all the work, and then let him rewrite it and sell it under a pseudonym, and not get any credit whatsoever for my work? Thanks, but - no, actually, not even thanks. Just "no".
Look. This type of assembly-line-style writing is not for me. But even if it is what you want to do, don't do it this way. Go to a publishing house that does this type of thing and at least pays you decent money and puts your name on the cover of your work. Go get hired by James Patterson, who will at least list you as co-author on the cover.
But please, for the love of print, don't sell your work for peanuts to some guy with an inflated ego and a big name so he can rewrite it and pretend it's his. Surely the publishing industry isn't that far gone.
(More on this over at KT Literary's blog, in New York Magazine, and in The Globe and Mail. Enjoy. Or, throw things at your computer. Whatever takes your fancy.)