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In amongst last Friday's 'Interesting posts' collection, was one about non-paying markets, by my friend, aalford. in which, he lists some of the non-paying sites that he enjoys reading.
 
The question of why many writers look down on these types of publications also came up, as well as one about whether or not his readers would ever submit to one.  I gave him my answer (for me, some form of cashy-money payment, however small, is a matter of principal), but it got me thinking about this from the other side. 

Assuming the publication or e-zine is attempting to make money - even if it's just to cover costs - I'd say they darned well ought to pay their writers, just as they no doubt pay their printer/site designer/web-host etc.  I really can't see the downside of offering (say) $5 per story as opposed to a big fat zero.  Unless writers don't care if they get paid or not, in which case, why bother offering, right?

There's certainly all manner of non-paying markets, so maybe it's just me.  Maybe most other writers submit to paying and non-paying markets alike.  If they don't, then I'd say the non-payers are making a mistake, 'cause their paying competitors are getting first dibs on all the good stories.

How about you?

Is asking for free materiel a good business strategy for a publication?

Do you ever submit your work to non-paying markets?




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Comments

karen_w_newton
Nov. 4th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
People moan about the death of the short fiction market but it seems to me short fiction is like the cockroach-- it used to be much bigger and it survived by getting smaller. If you think it's bad in genre, try looking for mainstream short fiction PAYING markets. There pretty much aren't any except The New Yorker, occasional stories in women's magazines (if that counts as mainstream), and maybe The Atlantic runs a fiction piece once a year. A friend has been published multiple times in small literary journals that print two or three issues a year of lovely, well written stories. She has not, however, been paid in anything except copies. The difference, I suppose, is that since there is virtually NO paying market the non-paying market actually commands some respect.

I write very few short stories; I have submitted the few I have done to some paying markets but not to non-paying markets. It sounds perverse to say it, but I don't want to get published in a non-paying market until I have been published in a paying one.

jongibbs
Nov. 4th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I guess there are a lot more people trying to get their short stories in print than there are book writers.

Thanks for the input :)
asakiyume
Nov. 4th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention non-genre literary magazines, too. It's high-quality stuff, and I'd submit to such a place if I had an appropriate piece.
jongibbs
Nov. 5th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
Interesting. I wonder why the editors of those high-quality non-genre magazines feel they didn't need to offer even a token payment for stories.
asakiyume
Nov. 5th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
I wonder too ....

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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