What is the Solution to Authors Not Getting Paid?

For some background on this post, I’d like to point you in the direction of Brian Keene’s website, author extraordinaire. In his Friday Frenzy wrap-up, you can read the latest and greatest on the Dorchester boycott debacle along with several other links. I’m deeply saddened by this event; in order to support a group of authors, you have to refrain from buying their books. That sucks. Incidentally, if you want to help Brian out or any of the other authors affected, follow up and ask them where to legitimately buy their latest and greatest.

My question for you today, folks, is not about the boycott. Instead, I’d like to ask you about what the solution might be. If you knew you were walking into an industry where there was a chance you could be a) plagiarized and b) not paid for your work — what would be your approach? (Note: both these things can and do happen. Even to people like myself.) However, these occurrences don’t happen to every publisher or author. I have very strong feelings about bashing publishers, agents or authors. Want to see my eyes glow red? Yeah… Let’s not go there.

Several websites and pro organizations exist to help provide communication on when deals go bad, but as far as I know pro authors don’t have groups like the Hero Initiative or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Is it time we started a similar group to support authors? Work more with pro groups like RWA, SFWA and the HWA to move in this direction? Should we place the onus on literary agents beyond the inking of the deal? Or, do we need to educate readers to ensure the money is flowing to the writer?

I’m not sure I have an answer. What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: I totally spaced. There is the Author’s Guild. Thanks, Yasmine!

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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