Collaborators vs. Leeches

A friend hit me up for a collaboration two nights ago. I want to do it for three key reasons:

  1. I trust this guy.
  2. I know he’d put in the effort.
  3. He was up front about the terms of the contract and the split.

This is what makes a good collaboration. This is why I was happy to work with guys like Brian Keene, Jesus Gonzalez, and Mike Huyck in the past.

Leeches make me cringe. These are the idea guys, but a notch worse.

These guys tell you they have a killer idea that will make a fortune, and they want you to write it for them, gratis.

Of course, in their eyes, it’s not gratis. They think their idea is gold. They think it will make a fortune for you both and you’re stupid for not dashing off to the keyboard with all speed. Of course you’ll still get rich only getting 10%; this idea is gold, remember, dumbass? It doesn’t matter they have no production/editorial input other than to encourage your keyboard jockeying skills.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Again, writers are passionate about their own ideas, or they get paid to be passionate about others’ ideas. As cynical as that may sound, that’s how the business works. “For the love” doesn’t put food on the table, and writing someone else’s stuff for the love takes us away from things that may potentially put food on the table.

If you have an idea, make it happen. Sit down and write. Learn the craft.

Do the work.

If that idea is really golden, congrats! You’re published. If not, you’ll have learned something for the next idea.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. Lee Thompson says:

    Good post, Mike! I can only think of a few people I’d collaborate with. And the leeches can go hump a flying walnut.

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