Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Aspiring Writers > General Writing Discussion

General Writing Discussion For aspiring writers of science fiction and fantasy to discuss issues of writing.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 27th November 2013, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
J-Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA:
Posts: 2,732
Blog Entries: 11
Congratulations on Your Raise!

Break out the champagne and go buy that yacht! SFWA Raises Qualification Standard Payment Rates for Short Fiction

Um. I think Asimov's paid 5.75 cents a word in the mid-80s (and, thus, I'm sure Analog did, too). And Analog and Asimov's had already just raised their rates from "6-8 cents per word to 7-9" (way to keep up with inflation/the cost of living). So who exactly does this compel to raise their rates and by how much? Do FSF and Interzone and other major markets not already meet 6 cents? Either way, minimum wage in the US rises like molasses being blown up through a straw and the rate of the rise of payment for SF stories is lagging a few light years behind that.

But I suppose it's better than not doing it at all. And given how the magazines are barely surviving, you could hardly raise it to a quarter a word or anything. But it doesn't take much to figure out why the focus in the market is on novels.

What do folks think?

(Note to mods: this should most strictly go in the magazine subforum but I thought it was also relevant here and might get more eyeballs. But feel free to move (not that you wouldn't anyway ).)
J-Sun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
Keith A. Manuel
 
BetaWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 517
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

I was looking into publishing some short stories before committing to writing novels, but it seems that many of the online SF writing communities are focused on e-book publishing longer form fiction.

The old mainstays like Asimov's are joined by newer online-only markets like Daily Science Fiction. But how much is the short story off to the wayside?

I know this isn't precisely the point of the thread, so I'm sorry if I'm derailing things.
BetaWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Mr Orange's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southampton
Posts: 391
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

at the threat of derailing the thread even more (but betawolf started it, honest!), is there a market / is there any point in trying to write short stories and get them published?

also, for us not in the states, are there difficuulties in submitting to the US mag's?
Mr Orange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
roar
 
Mouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Somerset
Posts: 8,541
Blog Entries: 50
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

I guess it's about time rates for short stories were raised, really. Makes sense. Maybe I should ask the mags I write for to up my pay...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Orange View Post
at the threat of derailing the thread even more (but betawolf started it, honest!), is there a market / is there any point in trying to write short stories and get them published?
Yes. There's a pretty big market - it gets your name out there and for myself, I've earned more money from short stories than anything else.

But, I've been quite lucky in that I've managed to get myself commissioned by a couple of mags. It means I have to write what they want, and not what I want, but I get paid so can't complain!

I've currently got 9 stories to write for one publisher, and 11 to write for someone else. These are thousand word stories only, and I get 3 cents a word. (There is leeway - I'm allowed to be over/under word count).

Quote:
also, for us not in the states, are there difficuulties in submitting to the US mag's?
No.
Mouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
Keith A. Manuel
 
BetaWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 517
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

That's great, Mouse. It's good to have a steady gig.
BetaWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
roar
 
Mouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Somerset
Posts: 8,541
Blog Entries: 50
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

Ta. I'm very lucky really.
Mouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2013, 04:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
Purveyor of Nerdliness
 
Nerds_feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,702
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

The whole "professional rate" thing is a bit of a mirage, as no one can live on $0.06/word. Say the average story is 4,000 words, that translates to $240/story. So you'd have to sell 64 stories/year to get the equivalent of yearly income working full time at minimum wage ($.7.70/hour in the US).

If you publish short stories, you do it primarily: a) out of love; b) to get your name out there; c) to join SFWA.
Nerds_feather is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29th November 2013, 06:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
J-Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA:
Posts: 2,732
Blog Entries: 11
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

Yeah, the "professional rate" is not so much to establish that an author can live on it (because, after all, nobody's guaranteed to sell any specific number of stories whatever the rate) but to separate the amateur fly-by-night payment on lawsuit kinds of places from "respectable" professional markets.

Re: the whys and markets of it, as mouse hints, Asimov's and Analog (and presumably most everybody else) accept digital submissions so there's not even a postage/time barrier and the short fiction markets get your name in print, get you Nebula and Hugo awards in three categories (not to mention Sturgeon awards and others), and get you into the various "Year's Best" anthologies and others and, in either the mags or anthologies, I'll read you and, if impressed, will buy your books. If not, word of mouth might happen to get me to take a chance on you but it's much less likely. Besides which, short fiction is a great art form and you can craft something that quickly and fully exploits an idea without having to devote months of time padding out a thousand page doorstop.

Seriously - short fiction isn't as big a theater as novel writing these days but it's still a living and important form and certainly opens all kinds of doors even if you don't take it as an end in itself. And, regarding writing only stories, payment per story won't get you rich but they can turn into royalties on anthologies and turn into collections and can keep earning money for decades. A really prolific and successful author can make a go of it after awhile and, even as a novelist, a flow of short fiction sales will help make you a less desperate novelist.

Oh, and as far as the on/off-topicness, I don't much care - I was curious about folks' reactions to the specific news but a conversation on short fiction generally, and making a living and so on, is all good, too.
J-Sun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th November 2013, 07:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
all hail zombiecat!
 
ZombieWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 194
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

I find it discouraging simply because print journals are going more the way of the dodo here in the US and paying markets seem to be dwindling. But maybe I'm wrong? I haven't done much with the short pieces in genre (though had a few published in literary magazines).

I guess if I qualify someday for membership, so be it, but if not, it certainly won't deter me from pursuing my dream.
ZombieWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th November 2013, 10:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
Purveyor of Nerdliness
 
Nerds_feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,702
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Sun View Post
Seriously - short fiction isn't as big a theater as novel writing these days but it's still a living and important form and certainly opens all kinds of doors even if you don't take it as an end in itself. And, regarding writing only stories, payment per story won't get you rich but they can turn into royalties on anthologies and turn into collections and can keep earning money for decades. A really prolific and successful author can make a go of it after awhile and, even as a novelist, a flow of short fiction sales will help make you a less desperate novelist.
Agree. I actually read a lot of short fiction, though this year it's been less than in 2012 or 2011. I'll probably have to catch up via the Strahan and Horton Best of books.
Nerds_feather is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29th November 2013, 11:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
J-Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA:
Posts: 2,732
Blog Entries: 11
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerds_feather View Post
Agree. I actually read a lot of short fiction, though this year it's been less than in 2012 or 2011. I'll probably have to catch up via the Strahan and Horton Best of books.
Now I'm definitely going off topic - but no Dozois?
J-Sun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th November 2013, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
fairies come at dawn
 
jastius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 995
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

flat iron is paying three cents a word for 1500 to 3000 words.. thats forty five dollars to ninety dollars a story.
in fact here is a whole list of submission places for stories.. if you submit to all of them and get paid you might be able to afford a monthly transit pass with all the paychecks.. maybe. most of them pay around twenty bucks for a story.

http://www.newpages.com/classifieds/calls/

(springs could probably pay the electric bill)
jastius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th November 2013, 02:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
Purveyor of Nerdliness
 
Nerds_feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,702
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Sun View Post
Now I'm definitely going off topic - but no Dozois?
I don't have time to do all three anymore, and I've found that I consistently read more of the other two. Part of that is how they curate their volumes--Jonathan is my favorite overall, and the most consistent, but Horton sometimes picks stories with a literary bent that the other two neglect. And part of it is that Dozois uses a small font so he can pack more content in, which is cool, but the small font hurts my eyes.

Dozois is also, I think, still very "big 3" oriented. That's fine, but these days I tilt towards the bigger ezines, like Clarkesworld, Lightspeed and BCS.
Nerds_feather is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th December 2013, 04:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
J-Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA:
Posts: 2,732
Blog Entries: 11
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

There's the Hartwell, too, so four (or two and two halves would make three). As far as the big three (I guess you mean Asimov's/Analog/F&SF), in Dozois' latest he actually only picked five from Asimov's and just one each from Analog and F&SF, while he got three from Eclipse Online, two from Lightspeed and one from Clarkesworld. I'm guessing BCS is "Beneath Ceaseless Skies" and he didn't take any from there but I gather they're not SF. And that leaves about 17 from various other sources. I wish he was a little more big three oriented, myself.

Anyway - makes sense - not being immortal (and generally not rich), we all have to pick some things for some reason.

This got me to thinking about annuals but that would take this even further off-topic so I made a new thread. One of the questions I was going to ask was how much fantasy vs. SF there was in the Horton and Strahan since they have SF & F in both their titles and - not that I don't like some fantasy, but I have to make choices, too - I avoid them because when I want an SF annual, I want an SF annual.
J-Sun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th December 2013, 04:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
Purveyor of Nerdliness
 
Nerds_feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,702
Re: Congratulations on Your Raise!

There's a good deal of fantasy in both Strahan and Horton, probably only 40%. But it tends to be very good fantasy, and about half of that is fantasy of the Ken Liu rather than George R. R. Martin variety.
Nerds_feather is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.