1. Jabby J

    Jabby J New Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Tonawanda NY

    How much is appropriate?

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by Jabby J, Nov 2, 2011.

    Well I have some finished short stories ready to farm out for publishing but before I get started on the grueling process of rejection, I thought I would ask first...

    If I have never been published before, how much should I expect for a short story around 5 thousand words?

    Should I be sending out material even if it doesn't pay just to get my name out there? I do feel I should make something due the time I have put into each story and I don't want to get "taken" for my hard work. But I understand that sometimes the process of building yourself up is essential.

    All of this assuming I've done my homework in regards to submitting to the appropriate genre oriented magazine and/or journal, or course.

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Mar 31, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Reading, UK
    I'd aim for paying markets before unpaying ones, because why not? If you're lucky, you get paid. If not, you haven't lost anything.

    Payment is usually done per word (and, mostly, in dollars/cents). 5+c/word is considered "professional" pay level. 3-5c/word is "semi-pro". Anything beneath that is "token". Sometimes payment will consist of/include contributor copies of the anthology/magazine.

    I'd underline that it's highly unlike that your first story will get 5c/word. But that shouldn't necessarily stop you from trying (my first submission- and rejection- was to a pro market). What should guide you as much, if not more, than pay is whether your story would fit the magazine/anthology in question.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    I don't recommend submitting to non-paying markets, even to just get your name out there. Think about "how" your name is getting out there. By appearing in a non-paying market you've just put your name out there as someone whose work doesn't merit payment. At least, that's how many will see it (including some editors at top-paying markets who have expressed this very view to me).
  4. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Ohio, USA

    Nothing wrong with getting paid for what you write. Yes, the competition is stiff, but if you don't submit it to paying markets, you cannot get your work accepted. Start with the best paying markets that seem to be a good match for your work and then work your way down the list to the lesser paying markets.

    Pro rate is considered 5 cents a word, so multiplying that out (5000 words) that'd be $250. Of course some magazines pay better. Some pay 3 cents a word, 1/2 cent per word, a flat rate of $20 per story. It all depends. And of course, there are the non paying markets. It's all up to you and what you target. If a market non-paying market is pretty obscure, then there is no value with respect to 'getting your name out there' via that market. But it all depends on your goals with the story and your writing.

    Good Luck!
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto all of the above!

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