They tell me I am weird.
A new magazine is being launched in my country.
They seek stories (no genre specified, but that’s all right), up to 15.000 characters – which is more or less 3000 words.
And I am always looking for new markets, so… why not?
They are willing to read our stories, they say, but they don’t mention any payment. So I ask what rate they are paying.
The answer arrives pretty fast…
We do not have funds to pay for the stories.
But they will sell the magazine.
Of course the money will go to cover printing expenses.
There’s no mention of a digital version, but they do talk about “friendly bookstores” – meaning they’ll handle the distribution through personal contacts.
But apparently that’s all right because “they are just beginning.”
They tell me I’m weird.
But I still can’t figure out while I should give my story for free so that someone else will be able to sell it. I can’t figure out why anyone should do it.
But, apparently, I’m weird.
There are two problems, here.
Three, if you are one of those weirdos that hope to pay their bills by writing.
The first problem is that if you start giving away your stuff for free, nobody will ever pay you. Why should they?
And of course it’s perfectly all right to donate stories to charity projects or other friendly initiatives – but give your story free for somebody else to sell it and keep the profit? Why?
The second problem is, a publisher that asks you to work for free has no respect for your work, and will do nothing to improve, expose, divulge and sell your work.
Why should they?
Why spend money on the editing of a story that came for free?
Why invest on an illustration?
Why publicize it?
They can just take it and throw it on the street and see if it walks.
Should the story sell, every cent of it is a return.
Should it be a disaster, who cares? It didn’t cost a cent.
But, hey, I’m weird.