I mis-read your original post, Julian.
It really doesn't matter whether your client thinks he's asking for free work, because if you give him a complete document then free work is what he'll be getting.
Your work is very different than what I do, so this isn't a problem I have to deal with.
Can you provide the client with a portion of a finished piece? Maybe the first and second pages of a 10-page work? Or a randomw 10% of the pages of a larger document?
Sure I can, but he's not asking for that.
"The price is a placeholder, we can discuss further once I have read through it."
So, he get's it for "free/ very little" as part of the proposal stage.
Which is why I'm still struggling, despite what everyone said above, that he/she is not asking for the submission of work as part of the proposal process for very little money. And I quoted that section of the TOS in the OP.
The client does not want a book to be written as a part of the application process.
The client wants to buy an unpublished book (that has already been written), and discuss the price with the author after seeing the material.
Still not a violation of the terms of service or anything to get excited about.
Christine A wrote:
You evidently don't understand what "placeholder" means. I'm not sure how else to get through to you, so you'll just have to take the word of the experienced freelancers who have already tried to explain this: it is NOT a TOS violation.
It could be a gig post that will trick a dozen freelancers into sending someone their completed books and then none of them will be paid. Violation or not, I wouldn't do it.