Monday, May 4, 2009

Mathiplication

I was just cleaning up my aging rejections spreadsheet to log response times, and when I went to log American Short Fiction, lo and behold, Duotrope has them listed as, well, Delisted.

I checked their website, whaddayaknow, they now charge a $2 fee to submit. My first thought was Holy Shit, if American Short Fiction, a seemingly reputable literary mag, can charge what amounts to a reading fee, who's next? Granted, $2 isn't much, but take that thought out a little bit: if everyone starts charging $2, or $5, or $7, multiply that by the many, many submissions a lot of writers keep out (off-hand, I know Mercedes keeps around 30 alive at any given time, for example). That's $60 in reading fees, in a world where most of us don't make that much in revenue from short stories in a month. I would happy-dance if I sold a single $20 story in a month.

My next thought was: I wish them luck getting writers to submit after getting kicked off of Duotrope.

My third thought was: no, I really don't wish them luck with that. At all. As much as I don't like seeing magazines fold under financial stress, I like even less for it to get harder for writers to get paid. So, I wish them bad luck with that, and hope they find a way to make more money with subscriptions and advertising.

Be interesting to see how this little experiment works out...

11 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

Sticking my tongue out at them and looking forward to reading of their demise.

Barry Napier said...

I'll go a step further and HOPE that they fold. Soon. What nerve!

Jamie Eyberg said...

I don't have a problem with a reading fee if you get something in return. Like access to online content, or a sample issue. Just to do it is selfish and sounds like a ploy to me.

Aaron Polson said...

Dirty...I don't usually mind contest fees (although i don't enter many). But reading fees?

Up yer arse, ASF!

Natalie L. Sin said...

Charging just to have a story read is ridiculous. Rather than generate new revenue, I suspect it will send writers elsewhere in droves.

Josh Reynolds said...

I'm with Jamie on this 'un. If they hand over special access or a PDF of the current issue or some such, it's not all that bad. But if it's a straight up reading fee...well, frankly, I ain't got the two bucks. I wish 'em well and all, but I won't be submitting.
...
Not that they asked me to. Or care if I don't, mind.

Robert said...

Yeah, the reading fee was a huge turn-off for me. Their reasoning behind it, from what I understood, was to help pay for their new online submission manager ... but almost every other journal uses the same kind of manager, and THEY don't ask for money. Pure bullshit, plain and simple.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

I'm guessing this is the one they use. If so, it cost them between $330-$660 (sliding scale). Sucks, yeah, but it's all part of doing business. We ballerinas don't like paying to audition, and we haven't started charging "Tutu Recovery Fees" for editors to have the privilege of witnessing our talent (or lack thereof).

K.C. Shaw said...

Pay to play in any field is just wrong. I'm glad Duotrope delisted them.

abrokenlaptop said...

*weeping bitterly*

Although the lot of us in tutus certainly is a cheery thought. Horror Writing: The Musical!"

My "I'm going to track you down and flay you alive, Editor!" solo shall be exquisite.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

KC: agreed...

Mercedes: yeah, it's like Sweeney Todd, except you get me instead of Johnny Depp...so, um, apologies in advance.