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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What type of compensation would you expect to be published in eFiction magazine? (If you're unfamiliar with the magazine, we serve a thousand readers a month and publish strictly indie fiction)

Monetary, promotional, etc. If monetary, how much per story or per word or per page would you expect, realistically.
 

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I don't write for promotion/exposure.  My plumber doesn't fix my sink for free so I don't offer the end results of my effort for free either.

At this point in my career I would expect to be paid $0.10 per word for a short story of under 10,000 words.

(I'm not familiar with eFiction Magazine, I'm just quoting my standard rates.)
 

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To be considered a "pro" market, you generally need to pay at least 5 cents a word.  Semi-pro markets pay 2-4 cents a word.  Below that is "token payment."  And then there are the "for the love" markets.

The question is not what we want, but what you can afford to sustain.  The higher your rates, the earlier you are in everybody's submission pile -- which means if you are too low down, the better paying magazines will have picked off the best stories before they get to you.  

However, most writers also consider the age of the publication and the kind of company they will appear in.  Also a consistent vision of the editors -- not just everything under the sun, but a reader-centric idea of what the flavor and type of story suits their audience.

Age of publication is an issue because new pubs tend to disappear as fast as they show up, and sometimes tangle up your rights for a while if you sell first rights and they forget to use them or release them.  So if not paying for submissions at first helps you be more reliable, that can be a good thing, even if you don't get the best submissions at first.

Reliability is important.

Camille
 

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DougLance said:
What type of compensation would you expect to be published in eFiction magazine? (If you're unfamiliar with the magazine, we serve a thousand readers a month and publish strictly indie fiction)

Monetary, promotional, etc. If monetary, how much per story or per word or per page would you expect, realistically.
I'd like my name to be shaved into the side of a small to medium sized goat which is then released into a mall containing no less than 200 people.
 

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mathewferguson said:
I'd like my name to be shaved into the side of a small to medium sized goat which is then released into a mall containing no less than 200 people.
ROF...Oh my God! I almost fell off my chair!
*We really need a laughing icon here.
 

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Also, if you want to keep your tagline as the "premiere" indie magazine, I'd have to go with Jnassise -- 10 cents a word or more.  

Camille
 

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Doug,

Nothing personal; after all, I'm not very familiar with eFiction magazine, but when I see something like this these days, I think to myself, "Why?"

What I mean by that is this:

If I'm going to craft a 5,000 word or longer story, my first thought these days is to make it at least 15,000 words or longer, and self-publish it for $0.99. Or collect a dozen or more shorter stories, and put them out in a collection myself, for $2.99.

With the lifetime potential income from that approach, I just am not sure I'd be that drawn to getting even $0.10/word in exchange for being in an eMagazine.

I mean, mathwise... lets just imagine a 7,500 word story. Let's say that even though that's a bit short, I decide to put it out there for $0.99. So I'm getting about $0.35 per copy.

For $0.10/word, I'd get paid $750, which would be very nice under the old DTP model.

But if I put it out as an eBook, I only have to sell 2,145 copies (approximately) before I'm making more than that. And even after I pass that benchmark, the book could still trickle in sales for a long time after that.

Let's complicate matters.

Let's say over the course of a year or two I were to submit and have accepted for publication four short pieces. Let's say the average length of those pieces is close to 10,000. So, 40,000 words all together. Now, $4,000 would be a pretty sweet bit of income at $0.10/word to be sure.

But by contrast, I can collect them into a Stephen King/FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT kind of ebook and price it at $2.99. And let's say I invest $150 in a nice cover, and invest the same amount in some banner ads and such to promote the book, and have $300 in editorial fees, getting the book in shape for ePublication.

So I'm stacking the deck against me now, right?

To do better than what the magazine might pay, I'd have to make $4,600, just to offset investment costs AND what I'd get from a magazine at a premium rate of $0.10/word.

But I'm getting $2.09 on that $2.99 eBook.

I just need to sell 2,200 copies at that royalty level to make $4,600 and any sales after that would be doing better. And I'd be getting money off it for as long as there are eBooks.

By the time I hit 2,500 copies, I could even cut the price of the short fiction collection to $0.99 and still be doing better.

Now, I'm not saying it's easy to sell 2,000+ copies of anything... but it's also something that's very do-able and not out of the range of possibility.

So... this is way I ask myself "Why?" in terms of submitting a story to an eMagazine. Because the more titles one has on the market under their own name, the better all of them sell.

Whereas if I submit a piece to a magazine, sure, I get some short-term exposure, but it does nothing to build out my list of "Books By Craig Hansen..."

So I wish you well, but I think there would need to be some hook beyond money to get most indies to contribute.

Like, (as Camille mentioned) if every issue had one story by a huge-name, trad-pub author.

For example, if you did an issue themed around thrillers... and had a James Patterson story headlining the issue.

Or a themed issue on horror and had a Stephen King story included to draw audience.

Or a themed urban paranormal/romance and had a Stephanie Meyer or Amanda Hocking story headlining the affair...

Names guaranteed to draw a HUGE audience... that would make indies want to be in that issue, for the "rub" from being alongside such a huge name.

The huge names would guarantee that your magazine sold huge, huge numbers. Some of us might sacrifice some potential income for that kind of deal.

But if the only lure is pay? Long term, self-pubbing via Amazon, PubIt, and Smashwords pays better than you could probably afford and have a working business model.

Food for thought, and just my own opinion on the concept....
 

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Craig:

A magazine would only be buying first rights.  It would not preclude you from publishing the short story yourself a little later. And even publication in a small magazine enhances the value of the story on Kindle. ("Previously published in" is a magic phrase.)

Camille
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really appreciate your input. I don't take anything personal. I am here to learn.

eFiction is a small operation, that, while being profitable, is no where near where it could be. It would be marvelous to have a headlining writer like King or Patterson, but the necessary compensation for writers such as they is far outside my current realm of possibility. The prestige of my little magazine is not high enough to attract many names. Our subscriber numbers are growing steadily, though. We are growing and I hope soon to be able attract some bigger names.

As it is now, the magazine operates from contributions generously given from authors. Mostly, our community runs on goodwill and other motivations beside money.

We've toyed around with different payment plans with my small group of editors like paying % of royalties for the month in which their story is published instead of a flat fee or paying writers a certain amount, irrespective of word count.

Does it change your opinion, Craig, that the magazine would only purchase first rights?
 

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To answer the question, I'd say 5 to 10 cents per word. My experience with short fiction is not great enough to make it seem like a viable option for me though.  :D

But on another note, I wouldn't want to see King or Patterson in such a magazine. After all, you said it was all about indies.

A big name indie, on the other hand, would be something worthwhile and fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ryne Billings said:
To answer the question, I'd say 5 to 10 cents per word. My experience with short fiction is not great enough to make it seem like a viable option for me though. :D

But on another note, I wouldn't want to see King or Patterson in such a magazine. After all, you said it was all about indies.

A big name indie, on the other hand, would be something worthwhile and fitting.
I'd love a big name indie even more. But having King publish in my magazine would give me worldwide attention and enough subscribers to attract the names I really want like Konrath, Hocking, etc.
 

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DougLance said:
I'd love a big name indie even more. But having King publish in my magazine would give me worldwide attention and enough subscribers to attract the names I really want like Konrath, Hocking, etc.
I can't deny that King would bring a lot of attention to it.

I know I'd be more than willing to try my hand at short stories if it meant getting my work in a magazine with Konrath. :D
 

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daringnovelist said:
Craig:

A magazine would only be buying first rights. It would not preclude you from publishing the short story yourself a little later. And even publication in a small magazine enhances the value of the story on Kindle. ("Previously published in" is a magic phrase.)

Camille
And, if the magazine has some circulation, it's an ad for your writing. If you can get $750 for a 7500 word story, jump on it. I'd be happy with $100 and a six month exclusive for the magazine. Chances are you could get a nice blurb out of the editor as well.

One of the biggest problems for self-publishers is achieving visibility. If you can sell a story and get some visibility and some cash to boot, seems like a good deal to me.

To me the real downside of trying to publish in mags is the lag time. You submit and wait, and wait, and wait, and all that time your story is tied up. With self-pubbing you write it, become happy with it, and publish it.

You want to make your e-mag more attractive? Be willing to accept works that have been previously published as self-published stories on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Asher MacDonald said:
And, if the magazine has some circulation, it's an ad for your writing. If you can get $750 for a 7500 word story, jump on it. I'd be happy with $100 and a six month exclusive for the magazine. Chances are you could get a nice blurb out of the editor as well.

One of the biggest problems for self-publishers is achieving visibility. If you can sell a story and get some visibility and some cash to boot, seems like a good deal to me.

To me the real downside of trying to publish in mags is the lag time. You submit and wait, and wait, and wait, and all that time your story is tied up. With self-pubbing you write it, become happy with it, and publish it.

You want to make your e-mag more attractive? Be willing to accept works that have been previously published as self-published stories on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
I do accept previously published stuff. We turn around submissions in weeks, a month tops. Our Terms and Conditions state that you own the rights to the work, you're just letting us print it once for the issue. My whole ethos is to provide for and serve the writers of my magazine. We've had success promoting our authors and other publisher's books so far. Selling books with coupon codes is very effective, I've found.
 

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Doug,

I certainly understand the position your magazine is in.

All I meant is, pay was the focus of your topic headline... "How much compensation would you expect..."

So, I'm not saying I'd demand $0.10/word... what I'm saying is, that is kind of the top rate for the best magazines these days... and in the era of eBooks, money is not a sufficient motivator.

Writers who contribute to magazines, even eMagazines, have to have a focus on a benefit beyond a money motivation. Because if it's a question of money, even the best-paying magazines probably can't outdo the money to be made by self-pubbing.

Getting big name writers to headline themed issues (whether traditionally-pubbed or indie) is just one example of how to motivate indies.

In other words, if you pay, great... but that can't be your selling point for contributing. It's more of a nice side-benefit. The big selling point has to be something else.

Like, "Hey, we're doing an issue on horror... and we've secured a David McAfee story for the issue, so you'll appear next to him.... next month, it'll be romantic suspense and our big headliner is Vicki Lieske.... and the month after that, it's an all-fantasy issue with two guaranteed stories headlining the issue from David Dalglish and Daniel Aronsen. Want YOUR story to appear alongside theirs? Submit before XXXXX for the horror issue, by XXXXX for the romantic suspense issue and by XXXXXX for the fantasy issue... and your story, if selected, will get exposed to all the fans of McAfee, Lieske, Dalglish and Aronson! Oh, and we'll pay you $50 for one-time six-month-exclusive first NA serial rights, with all rights reverting back to you after that six-month period from publication."

Or however you would want to word it...

This way, you have at least one big-name writer each issue, and having one's story appear alongside a very successful indie is the appeal... not the money.

I'm sure there are other approaches, but having one's story "rub virtual shoulders" with big indie names might be the best approach...

But money? That can't be your selling point. Not these days. :)

DougLance said:
I really appreciate your input. I don't take anything personal. I am here to learn.

eFiction is a small operation, that, while being profitable, is no where near where it could be. It would be marvelous to have a headlining writer like King or Patterson, but the necessary compensation for writers such as they is far outside my current realm of possibility. The prestige of my little magazine is not high enough to attract many names. Our subscriber numbers are growing steadily, though. We are growing and I hope soon to be able attract some bigger names.

As it is now, the magazine operates from contributions generously given from authors. Mostly, our community runs on goodwill and other motivations beside money.

We've toyed around with different payment plans with my small group of editors like paying % of royalties for the month in which their story is published instead of a flat fee or paying writers a certain amount, irrespective of word count.

Does it change your opinion, Craig, that the magazine would only purchase first rights?
 

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I don't even consider submitting to a magazine unless they pay pro rates, unless the magazine has a name, which a new magazine does not.

Because if they don't pay that much, I might as well fling the story on Amazon myself.

Also... selling more than 2000 copies of a short story is pretty unrealistic, ans a figure most short stories out ther will never attain. It's better to sell to a name magazine, and then self-publish after the rights run out.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
Also... selling more than 2000 copies of a short story is pretty unrealistic, ans a figure most short stories out ther will never attain. It's better to sell to a name magazine, and then self-publish after the rights run out.
If you sold 5 copies of a single short story a month for 30 years, you'd be over the 2000 mark. That's ONLY five copies every month. 30 years is a pretty solid writing career. If the author continues to put out good work, there's a pretty good chance he/she would be selling more than 5 a month by at least the 15 year mark.
 

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From 1994, until I moved to Spain, I wrote short stories for British glossy magazines. I was paid the equivalent of almost 2 dollars a word for them. The problem with those sort of publications, readers rarely notice who the author is - it's the mag they go for - so you don't gather a fan-base to take with you - and there is no residual income.

I'll take the lower starting income but longer potential residual of Kindle. any time
 
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