Neil Gaiman’s Speaking Fee Enrages the Minneapolis Star Tribune

And Gaiman explains the situation on his blog:

I’m off writing a long way from the internet right now, but just learned I’m being used – for, I’m pretty sure, the first time – as a political football, with Questions Being Asked and everything.

So. To bring everybody up to speed:

About a month ago I was asked if I’d go and talk in Stillwater Library on a Sunday afternoon. The request came in from Greater Talent Agency, who book my speaking engagements. I was asked to give an hour-long talk, which would also be broadcast on Public Radio. This would the first in a series of talks by local authors in libraries outside of the Twin Cities.

As anyone who’s read the FAQ (which was written in 2002, thus the Clinton reference) or has been reading this blog for a while knows, if you want to hire me to come and talk somewhere, and people do, I’m expensive. Not just a bit pricy. Really expensive.

The main reason I got a speaking agency, ten years ago, was because too many requests for me to come and speak were coming in. And the speaking requests were, and are, a distraction from what I ought to be doing, which is writing. So rather than say no, we’ve always priced me high. Not Tony Blair high, or Sarah Palin high (last time I read about them, they’re about $400,000 and $150,000 respectively). But I’m at the top end of what it costs to bring an author who should be home writing and does not really want a second career as a public speaker to your event.

So if you want to pay me to come in and talk, it’s expensive.