Friday, March 18, 2016

Thoughts on submission fees

I thought I've talked about submission fees before, but a cursory search didn't turn that up here. Whatever. I've talked about how I only submit to paying markets, and that hasn't changed.

I've been thinking about submission fees lately. Ploughshares charges a fee ($3) to non-subscribers, and apparently Glimmer Train now charges a $2 processing fee.  This is not a "reading fee", but rather intended to defray the cost of using Submittable, I assume, and run the website, etc.

I'm not against magazines being able to make some money; I really want them to be making lots of money, actually, so they stay open and they keep paying contributors. So in theory, I'm not even really against paying a submission fee. I've paid a contest submission fee, certainly (which, I believe, is intended to go to paying the judge, paying the contest award, etc.), and those range from $5 to $25, depending. But that feels like a one-off, and also like what could be a lucrative gamble. It is also worth mentioning that if you submit to, say, the Plougshares Emerging Writers contest, the submission fee also gets you a one year subscription. And, arguably, you should be reading the markets you submit to, so you're not wasting your time and theirs with what they don't want.

But if it isn't a contest, even an acceptance from a market that pays pro rates wouldn't necessarily defray the cost of all those submissions it took to reach "yes". Take my two acceptances for example; "Adventuring" actually got accepted at its first time out, so my payment for that would purely have been profit with no submission fees paid out. "The Lion and the Dragonslayer", which will be in the Mosaics 2 anthology (Kindle preorder for Mosaics 2 here, Mosaics available both in paperback and on Kindle.), was rejected 11 times. So I could conceivably have reached $33 before getting to "yes", which isn't a lot of money, but it adds up, right?

So, ultimately, I don't know how I feel. Ploughshares and Glimmer Train aren't markets I submit to a whole lot anyway; it seems more of a "literary" thing, these submission fees. F&SF doesn't charge, nor Strange Horizons, nor Asimov's, etc. etc. and my stories more often line up with what those markets are looking for. I'll just decide on a case by case basis, and the world will move on.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

February 2016 goals roundup

Well, it's March already. How'd that happen?

In February, I wrote not 1 but 2 first drafts. And already wrote March's story. So I'm up to having written 4 new stories this year, one story ahead of goal. Plus, the writing workshop I run at the library has started again, and I wrote what might be the beginning of a longer piece, or might be a "finished" flash piece. So we'll see how I feel about that. When I look it over after it has some time to cure.

I've read 4 more books, with the 5th drawing to a close. I of course have more in the "To Be Read" pile. I always have more in the To Be Read pile.

I have not worked more on any of my novels. I had an irritating setback where Open Office decided the document was "locked" at one point, and so a full day's worth of edits were lost.

I have not sent out more queries for The Last Song. My other full request came back as a Revise and Resubmit, so I'm going to let that mull over while I wait to hear back on the other queries. The comments were good and make sense, but I don't want to plunge hastily into anything.