Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Publisher Asks Prospective Writers To Pay To Get Their Submissions Read

I was going through the submission guidelines of a lliterary magazine that really sounded impressive. Until I got to the part where they explained that they're a non-profit and charge a reading fee of $20 to cover their admin costs.

Having worked with a number of non-profits over the years, I completely understand funding challenges. As a writer, I also understand the passion that can drive one to do whatever it takes to get your own material, and material that you deem as "good" out there to the reading public.

Still, I was floored by the suggestionthat a writer would pay a potential publisher to evaluate whether their work is suitable for publication. Isn't that a whole new low even for this very challenging industry?

What do you think? Would you pay a reading fee to a publisher??


tiah said...

All the books, articles, advice columns I've read on getting published - via through a publisher or an agent - the request for money is always said to be a red flag. You usually have to include your own SAS (self stamped envelop) and fees need to be established (photocopies, phone calls) but an initial reading fee has always been frowned upon. I know one agent when brand new did this. But when it was brought to her attention that this was something that tends to send the message of "scam!" she dropped it.

In the meantime, there are many worthy publications out there, traditional and online. They struggle enough doing their business honestly without this crazy-ness. No way would I submit there. Can't imagine any "names" would, either.

Tamara said...

Wow. That would put me off a bit, I must admit. It's like magazines that refuse to publish content unless you're an advertiser in their publication - makes me doubt the editorial integrity.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

I'd paya free-lance editor to read and crit my work. I'd pay an independent publisher if ever I decide to go the self-publishing. but I don't think I'd pay a publisher who sneaks a reading fee into their submission guidelines.

po said...

I know I am not a writer, but at my classes we were told to never do that. Even if they make it sound amazing, probably it is all marketing speak and dodgy. I wouldn't do it.
I am one suspicious girl!

Damaria Senne said...

@you're all right. You know, the most disappointing apsect of it for me is that the job lead was published by one of favourite web sites, which is supposed to help writers get published and make money at it. And I hhad to ask myself; shouldn't they know this? Shouldn't they make sure that offers such as these are not promoted to their writers? Because ultimately, they are considered a reputable source, and if a newbie thinks they have no problem with the arrangement, he/she may very well think it's OK to pay.

Copyright Notice

With the exception of entries specifically credited to individual authors, the content on this blog is copyrighted by Damaria Senne and may not be reprinted without permission.