ORGANIZATION TIME: COME ON!

Sing those words to the tune of “Celebration Time” as you contact all your writer friends and call them to action. According to blogger and great supporter of writers, Jane Friedman, here’s how a call to action might sound:

“I want all authors to stand up for each other, ask for better pay, fairer terms, saner contracts. This only works if writers of all stripes get together and do what the screenwriters were able to do when Hollywood digitized. That should be our model.”

I grew up in a union household. My mom was president of her local for 22 years. When she first went to work at Rawlings Sporting Goods in Newburg, Mo, there was no union. She was an amazingly fast and accurate worker. She was doing piece work (paid by the piece) but the week she made over $100 when the average wage at the factory was less than $40 a week, they changed her to hourly. Before long the factory workers were out on strike. They picketed all summer. My younger sister and I often ate our meals down at the factory where the workers were earning no money, but pooling their resources. It was potluck every day and when we ate down there, we ate better than we usually did at home. 

The strikers won and the union came in. It was the AFL, later to join with the CIU. They were all paid a dollar an hour. It was 1956. Mom retired in 1980 and received a pension from the union for the rest of her life — the next 32 years. 

People banding together to support each other in their work is a powerful thing. Most of the unions have been busted now. Times change. This is a new time, and we indie authors are doing a new thing: we’re succeeding while the Big 5 publishers are struggling. 

This is the time for all authors to come together and make our voices heard in the publishing industry. Let’s do it, and do it right.

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