Monday, March 22, 2010

What Are We Worth?

I received a message from the publishers of an anthology that targets a select group. Their books include stories that appeal to senior citizens, sometimes known as the silver-haired population. The publishers were in great need of more stories for a new book with a grandmother theme. That's music to a writer's ears. They need stories. I write stories. Hurry up and get something written to send. Those are the first thoughts.

I clicked on the link to the guidelines for submissions. They would accept reprints or never published pieces. Definitely a  plus. The word count was reasonable. But then I came to the payment section. They were offering $5 for a poem and $10 for prose. That is 1/20th of what /Chicken Soup offers. 1/10th of what Cup of Comfort Offers. 1/5th of what Guideposts anthologies offer. Is it any wonder they have not received enough stories for their newest volume? And of what quality will the ones they have received be?

As writers, we have to ask ourselves what we are worth. Is the possibility of being published enough to warrant such low pay? Sometimes the answer to that is yes. And like in most things, we need to weigh each situtation as it comes. How much exposure have you already had? Is this publication going to give you more?
How well do you like the publication? Do you want to do it as a favor to them? Or are you wanting to write only for the bigtime, big pay publications?

I must admit that I do write for a senior newspaper that pays almost as poorly as the anthology I mentioned, but I like the newspaper a lot, and so every now and then, I send something, which they nearly always publish. As mentioned above, weigh each situation and make your decision. I definitely am not writing a new grandmother story for the anthology that sent out the call. Chicken Soup has a grandmother book in the works, so I'll send any Granny stories I might write to them. My chances of getting in there are fewer, but the reward is greater. Not only in dollars but in exposure as well.

1 comment:

  1. I actually sold a story to an anthology and got a fairly good paycheck, but haven't heard anything else from them about publication. It has been 3 1/2 years since I first submitted the story and almost 2 years since I received the royalty check. I'm still waiting patiently...