1. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Readers Fees

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jewels, Sep 14, 2011.

    I have been looking into magazines that take short stories and also some competitions and I was amazed to discover how many competitions charge an entry fee - usually between $5 - $20. I also came across one magazine that charges a readers fee to consider submissions to the magazine.

    I would like to hear other people's experiences / opinion on this, especially the readers fee, as it seems a bit outrageous to me that you have to pay someone to possibly be published in their magazine.

    Are readers fees / entry fees legitimate or a big con?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd say con. I know for a fact it's a con when it happens with an agent or publishing agency.
     
  3. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I would avoid the ones that charge submission reading fees. Now the contest entry fees are mostly okay in my experience. A lot of these literary journals and such are hard to keep afloat, and their contests usually pay out pretty well (if you win). They hold the competitions to help support the publication financially ... it's kind of like playing the lottery really, for the writer. :)
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Cardinal Rule: Money flows to the writer, not away from the writer.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I've seen entry fees quite a bit in competitions, though I've never actually paid to enter so I don't know if they are legit.

    Paying a magazine to submit, however, has SCAM written all over it in big red letters. Leave well alone.
     
  6. topeka sal
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    topeka sal Senior Member

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    Yup, competition fees are ok. Yes, as Raki said, they're a bit of a lottery but they help support literary journals in a poor economic climate, esp. for the arts. If the mag/contest in question is reputable and I'm happy to contribute then I have no qualms about the fee. But reader fees just to submit for publication? Nope. Besides, most good journals I read don't charge for regular submission, which I think speaks for itself.

    Some journals charge an optional fee if you want to receive specific comments on your piece. I suppose it's another avenue of revenue for them and could be valuable if a writer desires it. I don't think I'd bother with it, though.

    As for agents who charge? Run away!!
     
  7. jimr
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    jimr Member

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    I've run across literally dozens of competitions and publications that required a fee, my favorite is the type that urges you to pay for an electronic submission because their non-fee postal submission will cost you money. Some of these are semi-scams and some are not in my opinion. It's especially common to see this in poetry publications, I assume because the poetry business is tougher to break into and writers are desparate for exposure. Should you pay money to have your work considered? Why not? Plenty of these situations are simply a matter of the way a particular publication augments its revenue, and not a scam at all I think. Don't spend the milk money, but if you see a publication you truly want to appear in I say go for it. As to the contests, I suspect many of these are not truly aboveboard (in fact I learned of one contest where the promoter awards prizes only to her aquaintances), so to speak. Myself personally, I would never spend a penny to have my work considered, I can't afford it and I compare it to charging me for a job interview, which of course I would not pay for.
     
  8. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    I got a question. What actually is a good literary magazine?
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That depends on what you mean by good.
     
  10. james crofoot
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    james crofoot Member

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    Yeah i've paid submission fees to contests and even critique fees, but never heard of reading fees. My experience isn't extensive, but i'd be thinking real hard about paying readers fees. Maybe you want to check with the better bus. bereau if you think that fee is worth a chance.
     
  11. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I peruse Poets and Writers site frequently - they list many, many contests from various universities and journals - almost to a one they charge an entry fee. BUT - the entry fee is usually minimal compared to the prize. If you're being asked to pay $50 entry fee and the prize is $500, it's not a good deal. But typically the fee is $15 and the prize anywhere from $1000 - 2000, plus publication, of course. Check out who's running the contest, compare the entry fee to the prize, and use a little common sense.
     
  12. Jewels
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    Jewels Member

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    Thanks for the replies. The journal that charges readers fees is <name removed>....but when I re-read it I noticed that the $25 fee covers a four issue subscription for people in the US (which doesn't apply to me), but I guess it's a good way of drumming up some new readers and making a bit of money too.
     
  13. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    What bothers me more than entry fees is when they have a clause saying that they have permanent right to use your work in any way they like, whether you win a prize or not.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    those are contests one should not want to enter!
     
  15. CULLEN DORN
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    CULLEN DORN Member

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    Beware of readers fee!
    It is a con job, a scam, another way of saying: "STICK 'EM UP!!"
     
  16. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    Amen!

    Always read the fine print.
     

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