Friday, October 2, 2009

The $25 Offer and the Controversy - Did AC Pull a Fast One?

From the onset of the $25 upfront article assignment, there's been a scattering of approvals, lower offers, etc. etc.

When I claimed the assignment, I was completely aware, as I'm sure others were, that there was a great chance that my article could be declined for reasons that I don't completely understand. Do I ever really understand why a subject matter that I write on one week will be accepted for upfront but the next week it won't? Why do I get close to $5 upfront on some articles but as low as $2 on others? The feedback AC gives doesn't necessarily cover all crossings. As I've proved in past posts, AC isn't always consistent or precise. Nothing I've ever done with AC has always made sense to me. Sometimes you shoot and make it, sometimes you don't.

But getting back to the assignment, I was surprised to find other contributors reporting that they were being offered $6 to $10 for the assignment; in other words, the article was rejected on AC's end for $25 and so the contributor was being offered another dollar amount. Since I'm sure others were expecting rejections like I was, I'm sure the lower offers were quite a surprise and may have been even a welcome surprise by many.

But then Michelle Devon (aka Michy) announced in a thread in the forums that she was leaving AC. She's been with AC since May of 2006, someone with almost 800 fans and inching towards 2 million page views. She's an experienced AC writer, who newbies looked up to and asked for advice. She was respected. It was a shock to a lot of people to say the least. But apparently she must know more then I do because I do not find her leaving disturbing. If that's what she wants to do, that's her. But I'm not compelled to follow. Even if my $25 article was offered a lower amount, I would've been happy with the lower offer because even $6 to $10 is higher then the standard upfront pay. But that's just me. There's a lot of variables here and many theories that I will prefer to keep to myself in relation to this move.

I will say this... essentially what I've said before; no matter how long I'm with AC or think I have things figured out, I don't. I don't know of anyone who can say they do know everything - every reason AC declines one article but then turns around and accepts another article on a similar subject or premise for upfront - and I don't know of anyone, no matter how long they've been writing online that knows all the reasons.

But what if AC really did pull a bait and switch like Michy claims? Of course, I would shame, shame them. But I don't know that for certain. What I do know is that I'd had a weird feeling from the moment the hype on this assignment started. I stated as such in the forums which is why I started blogging about it to begin with. Was it right to change the wording on the assignment after the fact? No. As legal as AC tends to be, they should've have seen the liability in their choice of words to begin with. Did they do it on purpose? I don't think so but again, I don't know. And come Monday, I'm taking a ton of links that other contributors have provided to me and I'm going to try to make some sort of sense out of the ones that were rejected compared to the ones that were accepted. So look for that post here next week.

In the meantime, I really don't see the need to threaten AC with leaving. They have thousands of people who write for them and I'm only a little face in the crowd. They could probably care less. I could scream conspiracy theory if I wanted, adding to all the hype in the forums. I actually butted heads with another contributor a couple of weeks ago because he was sour about losing the short story contest, accusing the contest of being rigged. Sheesh.

But that's enough of that.


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