Copify Review

***They got me in the end. Copify boss Martin Harrison sent me a reasonable e-mail asking me to take down the name of the company other than Copify mentioned in this post (three letters long, hopefully you’ve all memorised it), so I am. I have requested that he inform the-company-who-shall-not-be-named how bad their employees’ behaviour was. I’d like to bet that he won’t.

I was originally really impressed with Copify as a way to make beer money on a day to day basis.

However, it seems that the low rates attract the kind of client who doesn’t mind being openly rude to writers, and can evidently do the job themselves. One wonders why they bothered to outsource the work in the first place.

One company wanted SEO pages designed to make people conduct job searches via their site. They wanted certain keywords included, as well as company mottoes and values.

Well I included all the keywords and I got one word back. Spammy. Just that word. So I took them out and left the motto in. I got - please re-write so it’s 100% original. I really couldn’t win with these people. Bearing in mind that I was being paid £2.00 per page, they wanted a hell of a lot. They also marked all the criteria for each page as ‘poor’, which looks very bad on my writer profile (which up until now has had nothing but 100% fabulous reviews.) One ‘professional’ sent me a narky message telling me which words were unnecessary – maybe they should have just paid their tuppence and edited it themselves.

I certainly won’t be writing for Copify again. The fact that it’s cheap, with a fast turnaround, attracts entirely the wrong sort of client, who think that they can be rude to writers because they’re paying a couple of quid. Well they can’t, and quite frankly, we’re all too good for that.

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Penelope Inbetween free download

Alright dudes?

My new short story Penelope Inbetween is free until the 31st of October.

Head over to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/363158 to download it. The coupon code is CP77E.

Enjoy!

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Copify

I don’t like most content mills or those sites where you get to ‘bid for real writing jobs’. Content mills are a bunch of cowboys for the most part, and bidding sites are littered with the kind of person who wants fifty good quality articles for free (if you use Elance, don’t work for a man named Seth. He usually wants 450-500 word articles about dating, career, finance, online marketing and social media. He will bang on about how ‘all titles must be 100% original and pass copyscape’. He will frequently send shitty messages about originality, and refers to the articles you send in as ‘batches’ as if you are baking cakes. He will also not pay you, because he is a scumbag, and Elance will do jack all to help. End of rant.)

However, there is a content mill (they’d be horrified to hear me call them that) which may just fit into the schedule of the skint jobbing writer.

Copify.

Don’t get me wrong, the pay is just rubbish. £0.01 if you’re on the crap – average scale, and a whopping £0.04-0.08 if you’re a pro. 

However, there is no bidding involved. The articles are short, due to the company policy of a 24 hour turnaround, and therefore need little research. So if you can type fast enough, you can just about earn minimum wage.

It’s not the job of a lifetime, but it will make you a few quid extra on those days where the muse has pissed off to talk to someone else, and all your poetry sounds like something a boy band made up of twelve-year-olds would come up with. 

You can withdraw anything you earn straight away, so it’s even handy for paying for fags, petrol, a pint etc.

To sign up you need a picture, a CV and the ability to complete a 200 word sample article. You don’t even have to come up with the topic for the sample yourself, so if you can’t make a few quid out of this lot then it’s all a bit sad. Give it a whirl.

Toodles,

 

 

 

 

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Shamelessly Promoting My Own Twaddle

It’s what this website was originally designed to do after all – I only started posting about how to make money on the internet because I’m a nice person.

In a dramatic break from tradition, this post is all about how to spend money on the internet, and I don’t mean buying nail kits, vibrators, dresses that look nothing like the picture or rugs for ponies. I mean my new e-book.

It’s a short story, so it won’t take you long to read, and it won’t cost you much money. $0.99 in fact (somewhere around £0.77) so there really isn’t any excuse for not giving it a burn. Or just read the sample and make the rest up.

Remember that film rights to my stuff is free for students (you don’t have to be studying film, you just have to be studying), and this one is pretty cinematic, so you just might want to have a go. All I ask is that you let me know about the project, and invite me to see it when it’s done. I will require a copy of your student ID, otherwise I will sue you so hard you’ll have to sell all your internal organs and both legs just to pay me off.

Penelope Inbetween is about the space in the human psyche that get neglected until they are so full of baggage that penny actual cover!!!you can’t ignore them anymore, because the baggage is walking around and doing unkind impressions of you. It is therefore largely about prescription medication, particularly anti-depessants, because the drugs that are supposed to make the baggage lie down and go to sleep is the same stuff that can make reality slide into…Inbetween. Inbetween is just behind the door. Inbetween is the mirror you don’t want to look at, when the lights are all out and it’s just you in the house. Inbetween is sitting in the back of your car on a dark night. Inbetween is the sound of floorboards at midnight.

Read it here.

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Get paid $100 to write a list

Whoa! Look at all those interested faces!

There’s nothing like the promise of money to make a blog suddenly more popular is there? It’s not me that’ll be paying you though – sorry kids, I will when I can – but the lovely website Listverse.

Listverse, which was founded by Jamie Frater, publishes lists about all sorts of random trivia. It’s edited by people who got their breaks writing for Cracked, so you guys are bound to love it. You’ll find articles such as 10 Ways Evolution Made Humans Worse, Top 10 Evil Serial Killers and 10 Sea Creatures that Belong in Outer Space, etc. and the site has categories involving anything and everything.Obviously it’s not as easy as writing a top ten list, sending it in, and suddenly seeing your paypal account fill out a little. For one, they have to be original lists – so no you can’t just take someone’s list and write it a little better than they did. That is called plagiarism, and no one likes a copycat. You also have to write well, so 10 Fings What I Fort Was Cool will not cut the mustard.

But a well-written, factually accurate, original list will stand you in good stead to be a) read by over 15 million people and b) paid. The good news is that Listverse will source any images needed, so you needed worry about e-mailing ten different websites asking for permission to use pictures.

So go on, write a list. You might even learn something…………

Toodles,

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Self publishing vs. Traditional publishing

Whether to take the indie route or to pursue a traditional publishing contract is a decision that all new writers have to address. While self-publishing was once seen as a way forward for those whose work was not of sufficient quality to find favour in a publishing house, this is certainly no longer the case. Many good writers have found success via self-publishing, and there are many things to recommend it. I’m not writing this to debunk publishers as a load of hocum – there are pros and cons to each.

The first myth to expose is the ‘publishers take care of everything’ idea. They don’t. Unless you are a household name (and Michael Connelly doesn’t read this blog) then marketing is still largely the writer’s responsibility, even if you are being published traditionally. A lot of people don’t know that. So therefore it makes little difference whether you publish your book or someone else does – you’re probably going to be the one who has to tell people about it.

Publishing contracts do not mean you are going to be rich. J.K. Rowling had written three Harry Potter books before anyone paid any attention, and they had been around for some while. A space on a shelf in Waterstone’s does not a millionaire make. It takes hard work and consistency before sales start to go up, and you have to provide plenty of product for consumers to enjoy. Also, if you just want to make money, go and work for a bank. Words are still art, whatever E.L. James says.

If you publish traditionally, there is a possibility that you will earn less. Some publishers pay writers a tiny royalty. Don’t get excited about advances either – advances are not free money. That £12,000 advance is twelve grand that you owe the publisher. If your book doesn’t sell, then you still owe the publisher. Self-publishing royalties are higher because there are no middle men with bills to pay.

However, if you are going to self-publish, then you need to be able to critique your own work. You need to be able to spot what’s good, what isn’t, which bits need to be cut, etc. The other side of the coin is that no one can make you compromise on your work with unecessary re-writes.

E-books still need front covers. So as an indie publisher, you will have to provide a good quality front cover. A blank page with My Book by A Person, will not cut it. If you cannot source original graphics, and format them appropriately, then you will need to pay for a front cover. The plus side is that these are not that expensive.

It seems that I come down on the side of indie publishing. The main issue that I have with publishing houses is that they have to publish what will sell, for their own survival. This often means that they publish yet another vampire porn-fest, over a valid cultural work which would have sold less copies. It’s a shame.

Marketing books takes work, but it’s not as scary as you think. Also, as you publish more and more books or stories, they will begin to advertise themselves. Never do anything artistic for the money. And remember that it takes a long time to be an over night success.

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Calling all fan-fiction writers

Amazon, the website that the modern world can’t function without, want to pay hard working geeks for their fan-fiction. Fan-fiction, for the uninitiated, is the practice of using worlds and characters already in existence to write original stories. The usual targets of fan-fiction authors are outer-reality works, think Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Vampire Diaries, you got it. The new platform is called Kindle Worlds, and is set to change the way that we access our fan-fiction.

The absolutely atrocious yet yet outrageously succesful Fifty Shades of Shite (sorry, Grey) started life as Twilight fan-fiction, until the authors changed the names and made a mint. It seems that the potential for fan-fiction is endless.

One thing though – I know that a lot of you fan-fiction hacks like your sex scenes a lot. There won’t be any of that on Kindle Worlds. The six things that are absolutely banned are;

1. Porn. Sorry slashers, you’ll have to wait.

2. Offensive content. This one could be tricky – who decides what is offensive?

3. Illegal/copyright infringeing material. I love this one – after all, fan-fiction is fairly copyright infringeing by its very nature.

4. Poor customer experience (Amazon speak for ‘make sure it’s good’.)

5. Excessive use of brand names. Other rings of power are available.

6. Crossover. This means that you can’t take characters from one world and use them in a story based in another reality, i.e. The Cullens do Startrek would not be ok.

Stories over 10,000 will attract a royalty of 35%, which is very nice money. Authors of works between 5-10,000 words will be paid a royalty of 20%, and will be priced at $1. It’s doesn’t sound like a fortune, but with a big enough readership it’s not bad at all.

Amazon have not yet said when the new platform will launch, but I’d get scribbling now if I were you. Or dig your old lotr smut out and clean it up.

Toodles,

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3, 2, 1, Panic

There comes a time in every professional’s life where the game suddenly changes, and one is left realising that one is, in fact, winging it. The sheer audacity that lead you to apply for the job that is now yours has evaporated, leaving behind only gut trembling fear, and in this instance, for the very first time, writer’s block.

I’ve never suffered from it in a big way in the past – whenever I have had a bout of what may pass as The Block, it’s really been because I’m a lazy little toe-rag, and couldn’t really by bothered – but now I have it, big time. Just as proper professionals are giving me the nod and saying “Yeah, cool, we’d love you to write for us”, I have run out of words, ideas and courage. I want to crawl into a corner, underneath a large sign with which reads ‘DON’T JUDGE ME’, and scribble away in my own private darkness. Occasionally I will push a piece of writing, in pencil, on grubby lined paper, underneath the cardboard, so that someone can take it and publish it, and I will sit under the safety of my sign, a pair of furtive eyes in the gloom.

However, when writing to editors and begging for work, I can apparently be quite convincing. So I suppose it serves me right to be in this situation now. Instead of the bright but to the point e-mails extolling my virtues, I should have written something like;

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Adie Rose, and I’m a bit of a prat. I don’t mean it, but no one has told me otherwise. I can use a full stop to good effect, and would please like to earn some money. Can haz column?

Kthnxbai.

It would have been more honest, is all I’m saying. In any case, I’ve got to go and write three articles that I haven’t a clue about now, so good luck everyone. In six months I’ll either be on TV or down the Jobcentre, and I know which one my money’s on.

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It gets cold at night in the desert…

Alright dudes?

Being a creative can be a lonely life. It takes a long time to write a book/film/play, create a painting or sculpture, and most of the communications we receive are from publishers or galleries, inviting us to kindly f*** off.

It’s not right, I know, that E.L James is a multi-millionaire, whilst most of us talented lot are resorting to self-publishing in order to get our work out there. While we spend our time diving for pearls amongst the raging sea of humanity, some little twerp writes a crap book full of sex scenes and makes a mint. It’s a lonely job.

Networking does two things – it makes sure that you don’t go through a whole day talking only to the dog. It also means that other creative people know your name, and as Fifty Shades of Shite proves; it’s not what you know, but who you know.

Making new friends is always nice too. Meetup.com is a cool network where you can ‘meet up’ with likeminded people. There are groups for creatives where you critique each others work, groups that meet up and go for a run/coffee/pint etc. There are groups for everyone. I joined the group for London and Hampshire that includes creative people, and I’m looking forward to going.

IdeasTap is really cool – I know I go on about it all the time, but let me remind you why. It’s a social network, creative showcase, job market and funding provider all rolled into one. How can you not love them?

There’s another one called YCN. I’m a little sceptical, to be honest, because the services on offer depend on how much you pay for your membership. It’s an attractive site though, with job listings, portfolio hosting, and member groups.

A word about online portfolios – do not put up your best work. Hosting things online is risky, and so you should put up what is good, but not what is great. Then, when you apply for a job, make sure you tell them that the really good gear is for their eyes only.

Toodles,

 

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Get your creative grants here.

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

- Virginia Woolf.

 

Money isn’t everything, but it dunnarf ‘elp.

If you are 16-25 years old (sorry to everyone else, I’ll be joining you next year, and then the posts will become more relevant. There is a grant, called the Young Writers’ Enabling Fund – and it might just be what you are looking for.

The grant is for young creatives, and provides £1000 towards ‘literature activities’. This either means a creative project, or an event which allows others to access the creative arts. The grant isn’t just for writers, it’s also available for:

  • Promoters
  • Presenters
  • Curators
  • Producers

Students are not eligible, if their project relates to the course they are studying.

To apply e-mail w.brown@nawe.co.uk

If you don’t want the grant, but wouldn’t mind getting some stuff published in a magazine, then you are also in the right place. The Young Writers’ Hub run a magazine called Myths. The magazine publishes high quality fiction by young writers. They take anything that is of literary value. Manuscripts, alongside a 100 word bio, should be e-mailed to myths.youngwritershub@gmail.com

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