My Freelance Nightmare

I get a lot of emails from people asking me about freelance writing. Freelance writing is a fabulous way to earn extra money, but there are many hidden factors writers tend to overlook.

I have had a lot of amazing opportunities. One of my favorite companies to work for was Basement Systems. In addition to working with large companies and small businesses, I have helped many people from various backgrounds tell their stories from the homeless in West Virginia, victims of domestic violence, and child abuse survivors. Each was wonderful to work with but early in my career, I had a bad experience.

A bad experience is putting it mildly.

When someone hires you and you sign a contract, you sign away any rights you have to the work. You must tell their story in their words. If they lie. Ultimately, you lie. In that contract, if you do not protect yourself and get what you want in writing; such as an editor, payments, etc — you have absolutely no say in the end result. The person who hires you can lie, cheat and steal and it’s okay… you must remain quiet. Their faults, lies, and poor decisions become yours.

Then after you bust your ass to move past their diaster and the biggest regret you ever made trusting the wrong person — then someone ten years down the line calls you out and publicly slanders you. They make ridiculous statements and comments about you (without any proof or facts) when in fact it was not you at all. I know firsthand. It happened to me.

I would like to tell you my whole story. Hell, I want to share my experience with the world to prevent others from experiencing what I did but as I am reminded by the publishing company; I am not allowed to say a word about him, the book, his fake ass editor girlfriend, the publisher, or the many lies he told.

If you are going to tell anyone’s story. Be sure to research. Research! Research!!

If you decide to write a book (freelance work or for yourself) make sure you hire an editor or demand one in your contract. I never edit my own work.

Remember, when you Google someone there can be more than one person with the same name and people can steal their identity. People can create fake documents, fake certificates, fake accounts, and fake profiles. They can photoshop photos to make you think they are legit.

I researched and I thought I did my homework.

I held documents and photographs in my hand, sitting at my kitchen table, that looked legit and they weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. I made phone calls to verify the information provided to me. I googled him and found there to be a ‘man’ with the same name and he convinced me it was him.

I did everything in my power to verify the information he provided me with.

He was dishonest with all the fake documents, certificates, photographs, profiles, and websites, but his family, friends, and girlfriend were equally dishonest. They all verified his story.

He promised to hire a professional editor. Then he refused and used his then-live-in girlfriend. ‘Why pay for an editor when I live with a professional editor, he said.’

It was one lie after another.

I repeatedly called the publisher in tears asking them to help me and there was nothing anyone could do.

After the book was published, Mr. Charles C. Hardin gave a detailed review and his fellow colleagues called him a ‘fraud.’

Since it was fraud, I asked the publisher to remove my name and the book from the shelves.

I was told I could not have my name removed, but I could opt-out.

They could not remove my name from the book cover or listing but they could add an ‘Editorial Review’ that would explain the entire situation and take the burden off me. I agreed.

Even with the ‘Editorial Review’ I still have people making ridiculous statements and placing blame on me. They can think they are funny and make jokes, but they do not have a clue what really occurred. These kinds of people are just looking for a way to humiliate people.

By cutting all ties with him the book would be ‘out of print.’

I would not be eligible for any future monies. I lost money that was to be paid to me upfront and I wouldn’t receive any payments for the sale of the book but I was okay with that. I wanted out from under his nightmare.

I won’t make any excuses. I take full responsibility for accepting the job. I was fresh on the scene and eager to work, but I never expected to be lied to or have someone take advantage of my kindness.

If you choose to accept any kind of freelance writing position, please be very selective and learn from my mistakes.

Happy writing!!

One thought on “My Freelance Nightmare

  1. Pingback: Writers discuss falling short | Donna Speaks

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