“I am looking for someone to help tell my story. I have no idea where to begin, so I need help putting it in a book/short story format. I am willing to share the profits once the story is published. I just need some direction and help putting it in a format that will sell. If interested please respond with your writing history and we can talk to see if it is a fit for you andyou are willing to work with me.”
If you really believe in your story and feel it needs to be told to the world, you may want to actually pay someone to write it. Nobody is going to have your buy-in and you are not going to attract the highest quality talent possible with a promise to pay if your story actually sells.
I understand, people are dealing with shoe-string budgets, if anything at all. Times are tough all the way around. But it really is a matter of if you do or if you don’t have the ability to make something happen. I’m my own publisher, if I had a printing press, I just might make a WHOLE lot of money. But I don’t have the cash flow to buy the equipment and software to necessitate a printing press. So I’m not going to go on Craig’s List to put out an ad for someone to give me a printing press with the promise that we’ll split the profits after I start cranking out books.
Essentially, these people are asking for a loan without having any concrete plan to repay, save for a promise ‘in case’ they 1) get a publisher/agent/producer; and 2) the book/screenplay actually sells and makes a profit. And that’s on top of if the person the writer is actually dealing with is honest and makes good on said promise and makes good on sharing the profits.
I don’t mean to come off harshly to the poster of this ad, I’m sure he/she wasn’t aware that’s how this ad comes off. I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of posts just like it. But just like these posters are struggling and don’t have cash, people cruising Craig’s List for jobs are in the exact same situation.