Friday, February 23, 2007

Selling My Soul for Five Dollars or Less

I have just made a bargain with the devil. With sulfur on his breath and lies on his lips, he asked for my soul in exchange for five dollars (or less) and I gave it to him. Let me explain.

I'm broke. In fact, I'm worse than broke - I'm in debt. I owe so many people so much money that my paycheck, the one I thought would be noticeably substantial now that I've started my new job, is gone before I get it. I just got paid today, and guess what - I'm broke.

So after receiving a lecture from my most ruthless creditor, my grandmother, on the error of my spendthrift ways (and this is after I told her I've been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner), I decided it was time to investigate some supplemental income options. Surely someone is willing to pay me for my witty insights and educated opinions on literature. Right? Right.

And while I was building the courage to send a query email to some of the more respectable publications, I happened to come across What do I see at the top of the web page? "Enter a book review or reviews online (click here) and make $5!" Oh, man. This is too good to be true, I thought. They're willing to pay me five dollars outright for my review, samples unseen?

I'm no sucker (at least, not most of the time), so before I got too excited I surfed the site looking for anything that screamed "Scam!" As it turns out, there is no scam. The editors of will pay you five dollars or less, depending on how much they like your submission, but there's a catch. The catch is they don't want a review, they want a summary a la high school book report-style. They want their "reviewers" a.k.a. "paid scholars" to give away the book's every detail except the ending.

Oh, the horror! What an insult to reading! Don't they know the journey is just as important as the destination? Who would read such a site ("Over 2,000,000 monthly visitors!")? Who would contribute to such a site? Sigh...That would be me. What can I say? I'm desperate.

I've just finished writing a plot summary (oh, god) of Angela Knight's Master of the Moon. I feel terrible. I feel cheap. I've gone against every bookworm bone in my body for a measly five dollars; if the editors don't like my review I might get even less. I don't know what's worse: having my plot summary rejected by the editors of a site I despise or having it accepted, knowing that if it is, I'll be writing another.