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Please do not EVER pay to have your work published.

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jonmaxwell, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. jonmaxwell

    jonmaxwell New Member

    Hi. Jonathan Maxwell here.

    I've been out of the writing game for a while, but recently came across an ad that encouraged literary submissions. I submitted my website link, then received an email of which comes the following classic scam...

    "[email protected]

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for your interest in submitting to The Rag, a new literary magazine specializing in the publication of short fiction and poetry. The Rag is an electronic publication, but unlike online literary magazines we target the e-reader markets, exclusively (i.e. Kindle, Nook and any other e-reading device or app) rather than publishing content on the web. The overall goal of our publication is to create a sustainable magazine that can afford to pay its writers, while also producing a competitive product in the literary marketplace. You can find out more by visiting our website raglitmag [dot] com/

    So, how much do we pay? Short answer: as much as possible. We paid between $100-150 per piece for the publication of our first issue, which was when our magazine didn't yet exist, so that would be the minimum payment for subsequent issues, and for our next issue we hope to pay more within the range of $150-200 for each piece, and possibly more depending on the level of support we can drum up over the next few months.

    Our submissions process is as follows. Click on the "submissions" link on our website, and that will take you to raglitmag [dot] submishmash [dot] com/submit. We use a company called Submittable to manage our submission process, which requires no cover letters, bios, synopses or special formatting.

    There is a $3 fee for online submissions..."

    Boy does this make my blood boil! I had forgotten about these myriad con-artists such as "Dan Reilly of raglitmag,com" that prey on the hopes of starving aspiring gentle writers.

    In short: If your writing is worthy enough to be read by wider audiences, then real publishers will either happily publish it for free, or pay you accordingly. THERE EXISTS NO HONEST SITUATION IN WHICH YOU SHOULD PAY TO HAVE YOUR WORK PUBLISHED.

    Furthermore, please inform your friends accordingly.

    You are all beautiful, please don't be scammed.

    -Jonathan Maxwell
  2. FictionQuest

    FictionQuest Scribe

    Jonathan, I could not find your website link in your profile. I'd like to take a look.
  3. I was looking for an editor and got hit up by Uverse or some other such place. They wanted 4 grand! :eek: I was like WTF! ROFL.
    All I wanted was an editor to help me with my punctuation or lack there of, not a vanatiy publisher which is what they are. Can we say "Pass!!"
  4. Hans

    Hans Sage

    in the field of science it is normal to pay for publication, and no small amounts. So I could imagine someone used to the peer review process to fall for this.
    But in the field of literature I fully and completely agree with jonmaxwell. Don't pay for publication. The publisher has to make money by selling your story. Where is the inventive to sell, when he already has been paid (by you)?
  5. sporter

    sporter New Member

    Do you know what makes my blood boil, Jonathan? When people spread misleading information about my magazine on the internet. In the email you received that you quote from above, the very next line stated, “This is one of two options.” What is the other option? To mail us the submission, i.e. the way writers have always submitted their work to lit mags, and in which case there’s no extra fee.

    You aren’t paying The Rag $3 to have your work published, you’re paying us $3 if you want to take advantage of online submissions. I notice most people who vocally complain about the online fees preface their complaints by saying something akin to your “I’ve been out of the game for a while, but …” I imagine that when you were in the game, there weren’t a whole lot of lit mags that took online submissions, free or otherwise, so it’s possible you misunderstand the current market. Look, we’re not out to screw authors over, we’d certainly LIKE to offer free online submissions, but it’s not remotely feasible for a publication our size. The volume would be overwhelming. There are good reasons why many lit mags still only accept mail-ins. It limits volume, and increases the overall quality of submissions you receive, because if an author takes the time to print and mail their work, it likely means they’re fairly serious about it. On the other hand, if they just need to upload a file from their computer to a website, you’ll get a lot of submissions from people who aren’t necessarily serious about their writing, and managing submission volume is a big concern with any lit mag.

    So for us and many others, free online submission is not an option, but we feel there’s also no reason to require mail-in only. The $3 online fee is in lieu of the postage and printing cost that authors have always paid. Yes, we’re capturing some revenue here, but it’s revenue that otherwise would’ve left the literary community and gone to the USPS, HP or Epson; why do you think this is a bad thing? We use this revenue to increase what we can pay our contributors. Collecting $3 submission fees isn’t a way to enrich ourselves, currently we pay out about $2000 in each issue to the writers and artists we publish. As our revenue goes up, we’ll increase those payouts. We’ve already doubled our payment rates from the first issue. We obviously still need to sell magazines if we want to make any money for ourselves as the publishers. If you want to submit only to literary magazines that take free online submissions, and ignore the mail-in and online fee-based markets, that certainly your prerogative, and completely understandable, but you should also understand there’s a reason why not every magazine can offer this. Should a magazine only do business if it offers free online submissions? I guess this is what you think, but it’s not exactly a recipe for a vibrant literary community.

    Consolidation among mainstream publishers and monopolization of publishing outlets is an increased threat to writers. It’s become more difficult for new voices to get recognized and get to get paid. We think independent publishers need to step up their game. We have to come up with creative ways to increase our revenue, so we can stay in business, grow and provide our contributors with something more than a token payment, so they’ll be encouraged to keep doing what they’re doing. Many lit mags already are doing something similar, and it’s likely this will be increasingly common, and I don’t see that as a detriment to writers. The only change from the pre-internet days of mail-in only, is that authors now have another option when submitting, and I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

    -Seth Porter
  6. Graham Irwin

    Graham Irwin Sage

    This is extremely interesting. I'll make popcorn.
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Nice to have two people who's only contribution to the web site, ever, will likely be these two bickering posts. Clearly, Jonathan's post was misleading, so I feel some sympathy for Seth trying to correct it. But it's still all spam in the sense that we'll never see these two people beyond this dispute (which doesn't belong here to begin with).
  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    It would cost you $3 just to put it in the mail, assuming you sent it presentation-style and didn't just fold it up to mail like a letter.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  9. Graham Irwin

    Graham Irwin Sage

    I didn't notice that they were the only posts! Excellent work. Perhaps they are BOTH the editor of the magazine, trying to justify their $3 charge and lure people to their site?!

    The plot thickens.
  10. If its just a $3.00 fee for using online submission instead of mail submission then I honestly don't get why the OP is so uptight about it. If this company asks for a fee for publication then yes that's out of order. But honestly, making such a fuss over $3.00?
  11. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    Rest assured I'm working to fix this problem.
  12. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    This thread has run it's course.
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