Nice Chunk of Change for Neil Gaiman

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, approved by voters in 2008, was a financial windfall for supporters of the state’s wildlife and wetlands, drinking water, arts, history and cultural heritage. And for Neil Gaiman.

The 2009 Newbery Award-winning author earned $45,000 — all of it coming directly from so-called legacy-amendment funds — for an appearance a week ago at Stillwater Junior High School in the kickoff event of Club Book, a project of the Metropolitan Library Services Agency. The project brings well-known national and regional authors to Twin Cities-area libraries by tapping into the arts and cultural heritage fund portion of legacy-amendment funds.

Chris Olson, director of the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MLSA) and one of those who helps oversee the $4.25 million in legacy amendment funds that were allocated to the state’s regional public library systems, admitted last week that he was somewhat taken aback when he learned the amount of Gaiman’s fee for the Stillwater event.

“Frankly, yes, I was surprised,” Olson said. “That was my immediate reaction.” Politics in Minnesota.


So how does that compare to the fees demanded by former elected parasites who take up lecturing?

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Instead of comparing the 45000 to what a politician makes for a speech why not compare it to what the teachers earned for that same day.

There's something off tasting about charging that much for an appearance at a Junior High. Former Presidents on the "circuit" usually appear at colleges and other places that charge a lot for a ticket to see them.

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Makes me wonder what he charged for all that National Library Week promotion.

Gaiman's response--cited above--makes this pretty much a non-story. The man's a writer. Writers need to write. That takes time and typically solitude. If he's speaking, he's not writing.

So he does lots of pro-bono speaking, mostly to library groups--but he also sets a Hired Speaking fee that's very high (although not by politician/guru terms) as a form of self-protection. That's sensible. He's not a professional speaker; he's a professional writer.

In a way, it's a shame that he felt he needed to add that he gives the speaking fee he notes, that's really none of our business.

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