1. eliza490
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    eliza490 Member

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    Asking about pay

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by eliza490, Jul 29, 2010.

    I have recently started submitting to magazines. I was wondering about when I should ask about pay. Let's say for example that I see in Writer's Market or Duotrope that they pay a certain amount. On the submissions page they say nothing about pay. Would it be better to send a message asking about pay first or should I just submit my work and wait for them to mention pay?

    ~Eliza
     
  2. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I would say submit your work and see if it is accepted. If they accept it, then you can discuss payment. They'll themselves tell you about payment once they like your work, if they don't check if they are a legit publication.
     
  3. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    The market listings give you information about their pay range. The fact that you're submitting means you find that range acceptable. It's bad form to mention payment before acceptance. On that happy occasion (acceptance) the editor will say something like: "We'd like to run your piece in our November issue. We need it trimmed by 200 words and will pay $200 upon publication. If that's acceptable, I'll mail a contract."

    You can either accept or reject at that point or you can wait to study the contract. If you have questions about payment or rights, talk with the editor about them before signing the contract.

    Generally speaking, most new writers don't have a lot of negotiating room. If you're unpublished, a decent clip or three is worth gold. Once you're something of a known quantity and your byline has appeared in a few decent venues, your bargaining position will improve.

    Good luck.
     
  4. eliza490
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    eliza490 Member

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    I didn't think it would be very professional to ask about that upfront, but I think you two are missing my real question here. I'm mainly concerned about a market listing being inaccurate. In other words, I submit somewhere that I think pays X amount because I saw it in a listing, but the reason they don't mention that on their website is because they don't pay. I only find that out after I have submitted and waited for a response for two months. There is obviously great value just in a publication itself, but at a time when I need to prioritize submissions to paying markets this is a concern for me.
    ~Eliza
     
  5. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Third party listings can certainly be wrong. Perhaps the magazine has changed its policy since the third party listing was printed, or maybe they just got it wrong. Never rely on third party information without verifying it at the source.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    In that case you have to go with what their website says. If they don't mention payment then most likely they won't pay. But make sure to check out their FAQs and search for questions related to payment, usually if they are not paying such informations are buried under FAQs. Also, you can use their 'contact us' as a curious writer and ask if they pay before submitting your work.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There are some magazines that don't list payment on their submissions page but still pay. From my experience (and the experience of a few others), duotrope is accurate in its payment listings. You can also google the market to see what others saying about it. That might give you what you're looking for.

    However, if it really bothers you, submit to another market you know pays for sure.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Payment ranges are guidelines only. Submit your writing where you feel you have a decent chance of acceptance, and aim high. Acceptance is worth more in the long run than the dollars and cents you get from that one story. If you're disappointed with the compensation, aim higher with your next piece of writing.

    Payment discussions are only appropriate after the piece of writing is accepted.

    Better yet, get yourself an agent. Let him or her worry about getting you the most money possible. After all, your agent is highly motivated in that regard.
     
  9. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    I'm assuming Cogito skimmed and didn't realize you're trying to break into mags. No reputable agent would be interested in trying to place articles for a newbie.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agents don't rep magazine submissions at all, unless it's work by an established client whose books are making them tons o' money...
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I was in a bit of a rush. Sorry about that. Still, the time to discuss payment is after you've secured an acceptance. If you don't like the offer, you aren't obligated to sign the contract.
     

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