Sunday, June 21, 2009

New York textbook "word factory" leaves freelance writers in the red

The “About New York” column by Jim Dwyer in the New York Times, Sunday, June 21, 2009, p. 26, has a most disturbing story about the way freelance writers and book contributors get paid (or don’t get paid), “A Factory of Words in a Sea of Debt,” with the link here. The company at interest is Inkwell Publishing Solutions, which hired freelance writers, editors and illustrators to put together the components of textbooks. And some writers have not been paid, and some face severe financial hardship themselves. Inkwell works with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The Inkwell story certainly sounds like its 180 degrees from the world of self-publishing and blogging for recognition and political discourse. But this is the real world where writers and authors make a living.

Curiously, the Inkwell contact page lists the National Writers Union as a resource. I wonder what NWU would say about this.

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