Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paying market versus non-paying market.

There was a bit of a debate on some writerly websites on what writers should get paid for their work. I won't go into it in detail, but here is a link to a rather lengthy post with comments that gives you a good idea of both sides. If that really gets you going there's another post here with more.

If you don't have the time or desire to read either/both of those I'll boil it down. One side says writers deserve to be paid a decent wage for their work. The other says, I'll take publication where I can get it -- even if that means getting paid nothing or next to nothing for their work.

This is the internal debate I am dealing with right now. I am having trouble finding a market for the summer story. The one paying market I'd found didn't pay much but I liked what they published. A good mix of well-written stories. Well, I posted the other day that in the time I had decided on them and the time I was ready to send them my story they had closed to submissions. They don't have the money to pay writers right now so they were taking a hiatus until their financial situation could clear up. I respect that so I am not upset at them. It happens.

So I started the search again, and I can't find a paying market for this story. I can find some non-paying markets that I like. I like the stories they publish. They are well-written and by authors that have multiple publishing credits. But in the end they don't pay. And I'd like to get paid. Gina talks about making our millions and that can't start by giving away my writing for free.

On the other hand, and there is always an other hand, this story is one that I spent all of an hour on. The rewrites took about another hour total. It's only about 1,200 words long. It's not like I have a lot of time invested in this story. And it would be great to get a publishing credit. Of course, that assumes these free markets have an interest in my story.

So that's my little internal debate right now. I'd appreciate advice anyone has.


  1. I say get your stuff out there. Nobody will know what you have to offer if you don't start somewhere.

  2. I agree with Gina. Getting your name and work out there can lead to other opportunities. Especially considering how much time and energy was in invested in the story you can "afford" to give this one away. Perhaps the right person will read it at the right time and it'll turn into bigger things.