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Paid Surveys And Nefarious Publishers

Apr 27, 2008
There is a publisher that indicates they give new authors a fair shake at a traditional writing contract. This company promises royalties and insists their standards are high.

The common perception, however, is that this company will publish anyone. Elaborate publishing experiments have been launched to try to prove that anyone can be published by the company no matter how horrible the manuscript and, at least the satisfaction of some, the experiments have proven true.

Some authors indicate there hasn't been ample support for editorial considerations and many object to the small royalty payments and higher than average retail book prices.

So, why am I talking about book publishing when the title suggests this is an article about paid surveys? Well, perhaps because the premise for one is a close kin to the other.

I know there are book companies that treat their writers fairly and offer honest payment for honest quality. I am equally certain that there are paid survey companies that will pay actual money for surveys taken by members, but I am equally convinced those companies are few and far between online.

If you've read any of my other articles on this subject you know I have not been very supportive of the business of paid surveys. This was settled for me when I conducted personal research. However, to really get a feel for paid surveys I conducted a more personal scrutiny on the subject.

I approached the subject from the standpoint of researching the best online paid survey companies. After extensive research I subscribed and filled out multiple survey profile requests. During the extent of my month long investigation I was given multiple chances to participate in sweepstakes at the end of a survey. I was also offered as much as $20 to fill out a survey (as long as I made a purchase first) and when I was offered a survey worth $200 it was clear in the first two minutes that I would need to make purchased that were nearly equal to $200 to get my $200. So, in a strange way I guess I could have received the value of $200 although it was nothing I wanted (certainly not the anticipated funds).

In some cases I was offered $1 per survey, but the anticipated time to complete these surveys was about 15-25 minutes, which amounts to less than minimum wage. Furthermore I couldn't receive the money until there was $30 in the account. So I would have had to work 8-15 hours before I could request payment and that was only if I qualified to complete the article, which was never a given.

With some surveys I was offered points to use in a raffle type setting to earn prizes. I amassed hundreds of points and missed winning on everything I was interested in. It simply felt like I was in Vegas for the weekend hoping I had enough gas money to get home.

Like the publishing scenario above if individuals will take the time to fully read terms and conditions they will find that the inference suggesting the best possible outcome does not routinely happen.

I did not start this series because I have a vendetta against paid surveys. I started writing about paid surveys because too many people have already placed their trust in something that does not really pay in the way any members expect.

If this series of cautionary tales prevents someone from following rabbit trails then my research will have been worth it.
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