Over the last week you may have seen advertisements you may have seen me post links to articles I had written for the Examiner. Funny story how I got involved in all this. I’ve been trying to put myself out there for more freelance work recently, and stumbled on this ad while combing for jobs for a “Graphic Novel Critic”. I thought “I’ve got a degree in comics on top of writing and drawing my own! I got this down!” So I replied and they accepted me.  I had never heard of the Examiner before.  I wish I had.

If any of you are trying to be writers and stumble upon ads from the Examiner, DO NOT REPLY TO THEM.  It seems like a professional organization, but not once do you speak to someone directly (either on the phone or through e-mail) who surmises your skills and qualifications and decides you’re right for the job.  I have a feeling I could have just applied out of the blue WITHOUT my comics degree and they still would have taken me. Not only that, but they have no one checking or verifying anything that’s put into the articles written.  And since you’re basically writing about “whatever” your resources are often for crap.  All they care about is if this is “localized” for the particular city.  I get the feeling typing “Chicago” over and over about about a paragraph would’ve satisfied them.

Oh, and they say they determine your pay by a complex formula or algorithm, but here’s what it boils down to: they pay you a penny per view.  That means if you want to make say $100 from this, you have to get 100,000 views.  And you have to advertise all by yourself.  You’re basically writing for free.

I’m not making a living off my art yet, but I’m more hungry for it than ever.  If and when I do that though, it will not be through scam artists like this, and I encourage you not to sell yourself for less out of ignorance or desperation like I did.  I deserve better for my talents, and you deserve better for yours.