A bit of research uncovered the identity of the site I found. It’s a front for a filmmaker named Saul. I called him during the day – no answer. I got him at home at night.
Right away, I identified myself, mentioned that I was a freelance journalist, and told him that it appeared that his Web site had used the article I wrote for 101squadron.com. I could tell immediately that he knew what I was talking about.
I think I surprised him when I suggested that he could buy it instead of removing it.
I might have surprised myself. I had found the word count of the article to be 2,338 words. You’d think a guy who did that would do so to sell the words, and then price those words, but I didn’t. I know what a good per-word rate is and I know what isn’t, but I hadn’t evaluated just what I wanted as payment.
So Saul surprised me by asking how much I would sell for.
I thought quickly. I knew that a decent rate of $1 per word was out of the question, and I figured even half that was exorbitant in this situation. So I decided on 25 cents per word, and then dropped to a $400 flat fee. I didn’t want to cross the mental barrier of $500.
He agreed that $400 was a fair price, but said he would have to discuss it with his partner. He told me I had done a good job on the biography, and he sounded sincere. He seemed like a really nice guy.
We spent a good 20 minutes after that just chatting. We talked about flying, about Lenart, about the squadron in general. He is still looking for funding for the Lenart documentary. I told him that if he gets it and needs a researcher to give me a call. He thought that was a great idea.
He also mentioned that David Mamet had written a feature script based on the Operations Velveta, and was waiting for cash to do that. Good thing I don’t care if it’s my version of the story that gets made. Maybe I should have chosen a tight focus like that Mamet guy did….
Saul promised to call me back tomorrow with the decision to pay me or not for the bio.