I’m a largely self published Indie author of YA books in Speculative Fiction, which is to say all genres that push the boundaries of reality.
That means that I work with a lot of people to make my books happen- developmental editors, line editors, copyeditors, narrators, cover artists, and formatters.
Occasionally special projects require a graphic artist, social media professional, virtual assistant, blurb editor, or some other professional to come in to work on a project.
I prefer working with someone long term over many projects and developing a relationship rather than having a one-and-done approach.
As far as payment goes, I prefer to pay anyone I work with upfront rather than paying with the promise of future royalty shares. I also prefer paying in cash rather than with “experience” or “exposure”, though I am willing to provide both for free with repeat vendors I have cultivated a relationship with. I cannot pay for guest posts at this time, and though I will consider if offered I do not approach others to give me “free work”.
In general it is difficult to be a fair trade employer in the gig economy because people set their own prices and it is difficult to determine if they are setting fair wages for themselves, but I do tend to avoid hiring hubs that are notorious for providing too much value for too low wages. Additionally, if I work with the same people over a long career, that provides the opportunity for them to raise their prices as they gain experience and competitiveness in the field, which hopefully will balance out any lowballing they may have done early in their career.
Sadly, I don’t think US Federal laws in place to protect workers from discrimination on the basis of being part of a protected demographic cover non-traditional employment, like unbiased hiring of freelancers, especially if the company is smaller than 15 employees, which mine is as a solo business. (On account of, you know, I’m the only person writing my books.)
That said I do my best to follow the standards of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which bans discrimination against others on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
I may have unconscious biases that do not support my goal in this, but I try to actively pursue hiring the right person for the job regardless of all of the above, and I am implementing measures to try to look for more diverse highly qualified people to hire for jobs I don’t already have a go-to person for.
I also try to reflect diversity in my books, both because of the influence in my own life growing up in a neighborhood that did not have any one race take up more than 50% of the population, and because in general it’s the right thing to do.
If you would like to contact me about pitching a guest post on this blog, use my Contact Page. I am willing to accept guest posts on the book worm/book dragon lifestyle, or posts in response to my books or characters. I do not accept ghost posting pitches. I can only offer unpaid guest posts at this time.