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  #1  
Old 04-10-2006, 12:58 PM
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Default A solution to a problem.


When you get into submitting regularly it can be hard to keep track of what story you sent where, and when, and outcomes.

My friend Kaolin Fire, web guru, the man who made NFG possible (with one of the first automated submission sytems that made it possible for editors on 4 continents to collaborate as if sharing an office) and one of ther founding triumvirate of the soon to be announced new lit magazine, has built an online organiser for writers to keep track of what they've done. It also has market listings you can add to. The site's still ubder development, but take a look at www.writersplanner.com and see what you think. The service is completely free.

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Old 04-10-2006, 01:23 PM
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Interesting idea for a website.

I lose track of where I have submitted short stories and when (since I have 77 to choose from.) Not that I care about simultaneous submissions to non-paying magazines. Editors who demand exclusive rights but don't pay contributors need to be throttled in their sleep.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
Editors who demand exclusive rights but don't pay contributors need to be throttled in their sleep.
Not always so. Some (not many, admittedly!) of the most repected mags are non-paying. For many it's a struggle to survive, as evidenced by the collapse of NFG which I worked on. If every author who submitted had bought a copy (about $6 if I remember rightly) Not only would NFG have survived, but could have doubled the rate it paid authors, which was already well above average (about $75-$100 for a story, depending on length). As it was, the Editor-in-Chief sank a horrific amount of money into it, and finally closed it rather than become a non-paying mag.

Unless you get into the top 1% of magazines, the pay is peanuts, and really pretty arbitrary. If you're building a reputation you should be looking at who you submit to, not how much they pay.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
If every author who submitted had bought a copy (about $6 if I remember rightly) not only would NFG have survived, but could have doubled the rate it paid authors, which was already well above average (about $75-$100 for a story, depending on length).
It's not the responsibility of contributing writers to financially float a magazine. That's the editor/publisher's job. Writers should write and submit their best work -- period.

Originally Posted by Mike C
As it was, the Editor-in-Chief sank a horrific amount of money into it, and finally closed it rather than become a non-paying mag.
Good for him. If you can't afford to pay contributing writers, your magazine is a facsimile, not the real thing.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
It's not the responsibility of contributing writers to financially float a magazine. That's the editor/publisher's job. Writers should write and submit their best work -- period.
That's facile. You expect to hold your hand out and take, take, take. Let me let you in on one of the harsh realities. Almost without exception, the only reason lit mags stay in business is because writers buy them. There are very few 'civilian' readers. You expect it all on a plate, without you offering any support? You obviously have absolutely no idea what it takes, financially, to launch and run a magazine. Before you make idiotic statements, try thinking about what you're saying. It's not the same as cobbling together a DIY ebook and calling it published.

Good for him. If you can't afford to pay contributing writers, your magazine is a facsimile, not the real thing.
Her. And again, you try funding a magazine. Look at print and distribution costs. And try really, really hard not to let your ignorance show. It's embarrassing to see it, god only knows what it's like to be in your head. Quiet, probably.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
Almost without exception, the only reason lit mags stay in business is because writers buy them. There are very few 'civilian' readers.
Very true. A fact that most writers seem to be unaware of. Besides, how are you going to know the sort of stories they accept (quality, style, genre) if you don't read the thing in the first place?
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
You expect to hold your hand out and take, take, take. Let me let you in on one of the harsh realities. Almost without exception, the only reason lit mags stay in business is because writers buy them. There are very few 'civilian' readers. You expect it all on a plate, without you offering any support? You obviously have absolutely no idea what it takes, financially, to launch and run a magazine.
What a whiner! Your magazine folds and all you can do is blame the contributing writers for not doing YOUR job.

Originally Posted by Mike C
Before you make idiotic statements, try thinking about what you're saying.
Take your own advice.

Originally Posted by Mike C
...you try funding a magazine. Look at print and distribution costs. And try really, really hard not to let your ignorance show. It's embarrassing to see it, god only knows what it's like to be in your head. Quiet, probably.
I have been a paid professional writer since before you were born. You should be so lucky to eventually learn half of what I know.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
I have been a paid professional writer since before you were born. You should be so lucky to eventually learn half of what I know.
How does peddling e-books constitute being a paid pro? And Having seen your profile pic, Starrwriter, our ages probably aren't too far apart; please don't make assumptions. As to learning half what you know... I guess I'll risk it.

I don't intend getting involved in a flame war with you, but if you knew as much about the publishing business as you claim to you'd know that what I'm saying is correct.

And as for NFG folding, I wasn't whining, I was telling you what happened to give an example. The magazine was mismanaged, but not by me. Life goes on; I'm involved in a new mag launch later this year.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
How does peddling e-books constitute being a paid pro? And Having seen your profile pic, Starrwriter, our ages probably aren't too far apart; please don't make assumptions.
Again, you should take your own advice and not make assumptions.

E-books are a very minor and recent part of my experience as a writer. I was a reporter for a daily newspaper at age 19, assistant city editor of a larger daily at age 22, and a travel writer for several years. Three of my fiction books have been published as paperbacks. A total of 28 of my short stories have been published by print and online magazines. In 2004 an article I wrote for Honolulu Magazine won a first-place award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

You, on the other hand, helped edit one litmag that went belly up. Pardon me if I'm not impressed by your vast experience. And don't bother insulting me any further because I will use my discretion as a global moderator to delete your post.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:05 PM
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Congratulations on your illustrious career, starr. Like I said I don't intend to get into a flame war with you, I'm sure we both have better things to do with our time. I won't bore you with my bio but I have managed a little more than editing one litmag.

I have no intention of insulting you, but if you feel driven to censorship, so be it.

You're entitled to your opinion on non-paying mags; you submit to them or not as you see fit. But to dismiss all non-paying mags as worthless demeans you, not the mags you're criticising. There are exceptions to every rule, and there are a small selection of non paying mags I would rather appear in than the majority of paying.

By all means, express your opinion, but please don't state it as fact.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
Congratulations on your illustrious career, starr. Like I said I don't intend to get into a flame war with you ...
Good, because flaming is not allowed in this forum.

Originally Posted by Mike C
I won't bore you with my bio but I have managed a little more than editing one litmag.
I wouldn't be bored. Feel free to list specifics.

Originally Posted by Mike C
I have no intention of insulting you, but if you feel driven to censorship, so be it.
No need as long as you avoid personal insults like declaring I'm emptied-headed or stupid.

Originally Posted by Mike C
You're entitled to your opinion on non-paying mags; you submit to them or not as you see fit.
That's exactly what I do. A short story and non-fiction piece of mine were recently published by the non-paying litmag ShatterColors (http://www.shattercolors.com/). I submitted them because I trust the judgment of publisher Robert Scott Leyse, with whom I have a long-standing literary relationship. But I still say the vast majority of non-paying mags are cheapskate productions run by amateurs for their own ego amusement. Writers shouldn't waste their time on them.

Originally Posted by Mike C
By all means, express your opinion, but please don't state it as fact.
I won't if you won't.
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
But I still say the vast majority of non-paying mags are cheapskate productions run by amateurs for their own ego amusement. Writers shouldn't waste their time on them.
Indeed - you have a point, I think. It is easy for anyone to set up a non-paying lit mag / ezine. It's just one step up from "send me your best stories, and if selected, I'll feature them on my website where they'll be available for thousands of editors and publishers to view."

Paying or non-paying begs the further question: if you can sell your work, why would you give it away? I accept there may be one or two lit mags whose prestige affords them credibility, but then if a lit mag is that good, why isn't is paying?

Or am I just being naiive?
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
That's exactly what I do. A short story and non-fiction piece of mine were recently published by the non-paying litmag ShatterColors (http://www.shattercolors.com/). I submitted them because I trust the judgment of publisher Robert Scott Leyse, with whom I have a long-standing literary relationship.
Then we're saying the same thing - It contrasts with your initial elitist statement:

Originally Posted by starrwriter
If you can't afford to pay contributing writers, your magazine is a facsimile, not the real thing.
It's unhelpful to assert one thing while doing another. We all know that, regardless of pay rates, some mags carry more kudos than others. A blanket dismissal is obviously at odds with how you really feel.

I would hesitate to lump any print mag in with the majority of e-zines, where the set-up costs are zero and the quality is often poor (although again there are exceptions). To produce a print mag of even semi-respectable quality costs money, and they're often a labour of love more than anything else. Whether you or I would submit work to them is another matter, of course.

It's nice to see that we do actually agree on something, Mr Starr!
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
Then we're saying the same thing - It contrasts with your initial elitist statement ... It's unhelpful to assert one thing while doing another ... A blanket dismissal is obviously at odds with how you really feel.
Not a bit. I feel all magazines should pay contributing writers as a matter of fairness and legitimacy. But since very few do this, I occasionally submit work to non-paying mags simply to get reader feedback.

What really burns my ass is a non-paying mag that charges a fee to read their issues. The publisher of that kind of rag should be castrated with a rusty pair of pliers so he doesn't pass his genes on to future generations.

I think we understand each other, so let's move on before one of us bursts a blood vessel in his head.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by doolols
Paying or non-paying begs the further question: if you can sell your work, why would you give it away? I accept there may be one or two lit mags whose prestige affords them credibility, but then if a lit mag is that good, why isn't it paying? Or am I just being naive?
No, I think you are exercising good judgment as a writer. Writing a good short story or non-fiction article is a lot of hard work, so you shouldn't be eager to give it away. Freebies tend to demean the whole writing profession.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:05 AM
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I agree that all mags should pay. And they should all sell in huge quantities enabling them to pay big, making it possible for those of us who prefer to write shorts to novels could earn a crust in doing it. Unfortunately we live in the real world.

I'll also agree on mags that charge a reading fee - everyone involved in them should be horse-whipped out of town.

I'll disagree on your last comment though. I prefer to submit to paying mags, and have a reasonably good strike rate. There are exceptions, though. I submitted to and was accepted by Aesthetica last year. They don't pay, and rely heavily on Arts Council grants to survive at all, but I support what they do - they have high quality and production standards, and they're one of the few lit mags in the UK which I can go into a store and buy over the counter. I traded pay for wider readership in a mag that's highly regarded.

Anyway I think in the final analysis we agree on more than we disagree on, so as you say, let's move on, blood vessels intact.
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