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  1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Semi-pro and free markets

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Steerpike, May 31, 2011.

    I've run across advice from established authors, more than once, saying stay away from these. Most recently in an interview with science fiction writer Mike Resnick (MR):

    I tend to agree and only submit to markets that pay pro rates. If no one takes it, I shelve it or revise.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    I've never published a thing (but am interested in writing - and looking to publish in the future).

    I never thought about it like that before. I suppose because I'm such a newbie that I'd expect to give things away for free, or I'd feel like I was impossing myself on a professional organisation etc... Saying that now however, I'm too poor not to demand money! The woes of being a student. And in actual fact we are always being told to demand money for any work we do. Which is totally true because we don't want people thinking they can get creativity for free - sort of cheapens it.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not only cheapens it in general, but cheapens your own name specifically. Resnick is also an editor (and was, with Baen's Universe, editor of the top paying science fiction and fantasy market). His view seems to be that if you submitted a story there with reference to your prior publications and you listed a bunch of free or low-paying amateur markets, it tagged you as an amateur immediately, and hurt you. This, of course, varies from editor to editor, but I can see how racking up a bunch of amateur sales tells people that even you, as the author, don't believe your work is of professional quality.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think new writers should shy away from magazines who offer semi-pro rates. If you're unpublished you want to take anything you can get, and many of these semi-pro magazines are very respectable and accept high quality work. I don't see the purpose of having your work published for no payment at all though, and agree with you in that respect.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Semi-pro rates are also good, especially for a new writer. I do agree that it's better to start at the top (i.e. pro rates) and work your way down.
     
  6. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It would be better to start at the top and stay there. But it's not easy to break into those markets. So if you have start at even token rates and go up I'd say that first submission was a worthy one.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Depending on the genre, it can be very hard to get accepted in pro rate markets. For example, if you're a new writer who writes general/literary fiction, then you pretty much have no chance of getting published in The New Yorker.

    You have to start somewhere, so IMO it's better to publish in a semi-pro rate market than no market at all.
     

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