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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: JMS: Re: Babylon 5 Universe Novels?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 10/19/2005 12:00:59 AM  

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(7 messages)


Jan wrote:

> More recently, over at B5TV.com, a Tony Lee posted that he's going to be doing
> the first of the novels and that (unnamed) DC had prevented the previously
> announced comics so his novel would be based on one of proposed comic outlines.
> The thread he posted to is here
> http://www.b5tv.com/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/303831/page/0/fpart/8/vc/1
>
> JMS, if you're reading, any chance you could comment?
>

Mongoose asked me to consult with them, since they are doing just a
couple of books and as I understand it ONLY for release in the
UK...asked if I could help come up with some stories for them, or
provide material from myh notes, proofread the manuscripts, make
corrections, maybe write an intro, and do lots of other stuff...and I
said okay, great, what are you going to pay for my work?

At first, silence. As if they were stunned that I would actually ask
to be paid for my time and work. Then finally, they came back
with...five hundred bucks per book.

To which I responded, "You have GOT to be kidding me."

I have, subsequently, washed my hands of the Mongoose books. I haven't
seen anything, don't know what they're doing, so sure as hell it ain't
canonical.

This is getting annoyingly commonplace. I got an email from the Warner
Bros. division handling the German DVD superbox, for instance, wherein
they said, very happily, that they were figuring on getting maybe six
to ten million bucks for this new edition, and would I help them to
make sure everything was right, to consult with them on the design, the
packaging, the text, the artwork, the docs, a bunch of stuff. So I
said, again not unreasonably, "And what is WB's standard fee for this
consultation?"

To which WB responded that they don't pay people for the honor to be
involved in these DVDs. But he's getting paid, the guy who did the
artwork is getting paid, the only person who's not getting paid is the
guy who made it. So I declined. They replied with ominous words
suggesting that it would be bad if I let the fans down...but I don't
bow down for emotional blackmail.

Writing is a job no less than being a carpenter. All a writer has, at
the end of the day, is time, energy and visceral material. And right
now, there's an awful lot going on career wise, and my free time is at
a premium. You pay for someone's time if you have them consult, or
write, or research for you, or if you otherwise engage their
professional services. That is pro forma for every profession on the
planet...except, it seems, for writing, where they think you're so glad
to be asked to the ball that you'll go along with being treated
unprofessionally.

Pass.

jms

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