Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Pay & Low Pay - Your Opinion?

While some writers are firmly against this, I have no problem submitting and publishing with no pay or low pay markets.

My reasons are: 1) It's fun to write for them; 2) It boosts my confidence; and, 3) It sharpens my skills. The biggest reward? Reaching readers, which is one of my writing goals.

Until I read this by Nancy I. Sanders, I hadn't considered submitting to low pay and no pay markets. Now, I embrace them and appreciate the opportunities they provide.

What's your opinion?

And while we're on the subject, I'm happy to report two recent publications. If you're interested, you can check these out:
  • My article "Ready to Ride!" won first place in Imagination Cafe's nonfiction contest.
  • Susie Magazine published my article about the health benefits of laughter. You can view "A Spoonful of Laughter" here.
Both articles were fun to write, so viewing them on a site is the hot fudge on a scoop of vanilla bean. And the whipped cream on top? Reading the girls' lively comments below my article on Susie Magazine. They made my day.

43 comments:

  1. I wrote fanfiction for years, and I agree that the fun of writing and getting feedback was worth the effort. However, I put more sweat into my original novel than I ever put into a fanfic. Without the incentive of selling it, I wouldn't have put as much effort into it.

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  2. Julie, I'm with you. There are many reasons to write for publications that won't pay you much, if at all. I think the confidence-boosting is invaluable. The practice and credibility are also wonderful. Heck, as a public school teacher, I'm used to the low pay anyway :) Thanks for the post!

    Marissa

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  3. Mary, that's a great point. Knowing it might earn some cash is definitely an incentive.

    Marissa, writing for these markets has been a lot of fun, and has truly helped me learn along the way. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Writing for low or no pay is still a great way to gain valued experience, as well as build writing credits. So to an extent, I'd say I'm for it. And congrats on placing first in the nf contest, and publication of your humor piece. Contest wins are another reason to submit to no pay avenues, the winning credential can carry weight too :)

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  5. Not many writers go from no-pay to $$MILLIONS$$ with their first out-of-the chute novel.

    It happens. It just won't happen to you. Or to me. Or to you or you, and yes, I'm talking to you, sit down and hush. It won't happen, sorry.

    Best to get some publications where you can. I'm against giving them away for ~free~, but low-pay markets, even if they only send you a dollar, i.e. $1.00, it's still a sale that you can mark up as part of your overall credits.

    Get a few of those first, then start putting your nose up. Heck, send them your hack-work and save the good stuff for later. It'll get published.

    - Eric

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  6. Julie..I think that just getting published is a high by itself.And as we are writers who want to be read, its okay to go for the low pay which will slowly lead to more pay.
    Congratulations for both your articles.

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  7. I've never written shorter works - just the novel length. I think these markets would be very worthwhile though!

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  8. I'm not against it. In fact, I should try to do it. But except for my blog, I don't write short pieces.

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  9. i def have to agree with you -- but i also think it depends on the writer and their socio-economic situation. i think there might be a lot of writers who'd love to write for free, but simply can't afford it.

    BUT CONGRATS on your articles!!!

    so proud of you!!

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  10. I agree with you. The only time money comes into the equation is if you're trying to pay your mortgage. Otherwise, you get practice, you get work for your portfolio, and you build your name recognition.

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  11. Having worked with artists for cover art, I just have to chuckle. Artists will not do anything for low or no pay. Yet writers think nothing of it, while I know it takes more time to write the damn novel than it does to draw the cover art, the artists walk away with money up front even from a small press, and the writer may never earn a dime. I know I'm not talking about the same thing you are, but it just got me thinking of how it is. I love writers and our willingness to do whatever it takes to get a readership.

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  12. congrats on the published articles, Juls, and your attitude about being in the business for the pure joy and not just money is also a great one :)

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  13. Joanne, Eric, Rachna, Jemi, Theresa, Tahereh and Vicki, thanks for adding your two cents to the subject.

    I agree, that some folks can't afford to NOT get paid. I certainly wouldn't quit my day job (if I had one) in order to support a family with my writing. But earning publishing credits and building a resume has been nothing but positive for me.

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  14. Karen G, I didn't know that about cover art! Not experienced with that (yet, I hope). But I do know that I'm willing to do the work for low pay, confident that more pay will follow!

    Dezmond, thanks so much. Writing is a joy for me, so I'd be doing it whether I got paid or not. Might as well gain readers too!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Hi Julie,
    Once upon a time I might have objected to it - back when I dreamed of making a living writing. Now I'm doing a job that I love (teaching) so writing is more for fun so I have no problem writing for low or no pay. We do that when we blog, don't we? I agree with everyone else about the intangible rewards, plus you're building an audience for yourself.

    Congrats on the writing credits.
    Mary

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  16. They could pay me in chocolate and/or ice cream and I'd be a really happy girl. Plus, I could eat the chocolate and/or ice cream while celebrating my success in being published. :)

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  17. Mary C, it's nice that you're writing for fun. That's the way it should be, right?

    Karen, paid in ice cream and chocolate...now that's payment I could get used to!

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  18. Good for you! You had fun and you have credits to your name. And every reader you add means you're adding to your platform.

    Straight From Hel

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  19. It has to be all about building a platform. I'm doing a lot of guest posting at the moment, I guess that's kind of the same, and some of those articles take me a day to write. I don't mind. I'm honing my craft and finding my voice, and the best bit, people like my writing. They like my stories. In time I'll be doing more workshops and seminars, and blogging less, and it's the writing that's creating that. You're doing a good thing.

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  20. Congratulations on your publications! How fun to read the girls' wonderful comments on your "Spoonful of Laughter" article. :)

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  21. Helen, Simon & Susan, thanks for your kind comments. If we're going to write, it's nice to have readers!

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  22. I agree with you 100% Honestly, the pay doesn't matter as much in this instance as the reward of feeling satisfied, adding credentials to your background and, let's not forget, feeling validated to some degree (see guys, I can write!!) Have a great week:-)

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  23. Lindsay, the credentials are definitely a nice bonus. I realize some credits have more weight than others, but still, it's nice to be "read."

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  24. It wouldn't deter me from submitting to them. You have to start somewhere! Sometimes getting your work out there is worth it!

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  25. Heather, that's kind of what I thought. What the heck?

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  26. Congrats on the publications, Julie! I'm sure it's a huge confidence builder, not to mention a few pub credits for you! Always a good thing.

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  27. Carolina, thanks. Yes, it's definitely a confidence booster, and I'm proud of my growing credits!

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  28. Congrats on your publications!
    I think that when you write for the love of it, who cares about the money?! Your still getting your works out there and the love of writing is such a joy...

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  29. Alexis, thanks so much. It's nice to write and reach readers, regardless of the money. Some day it would be nice to earn some money, but until then....

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  30. I wrote for very low pay when I was first starting out, for an e-zine called Suite 101. (They stopped paying altogether a couple of years later.) I then moved on to True Story, True Romance, etc. and those paid VERY well back in the 90s. I found it was all a great way to build up my query letter. Any publishing credit is good if it's a reputable source.

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  31. Stephanie, it's nice to see that your hard work and dedication paid off!

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  32. Before blogging, that's exactly what I did. I wouldn't do it again today, mostly due to the lack of time in my schedule.

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  33. J. Kaye, it's nice that blogging gives you an outlet for words outside of your current wip. All of this does require juggling of time, you're right about that.

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  34. Julie,
    Thanks for stopping by, and for your sweet comment.

    Have a great day!!
    Doris

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  35. I think it's a great way and incentive to keep writing on a regular basis. I've often submitted for no pay, it's great to get your stuff out there too:)

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  36. Doris, it was my pleasure.

    Olive, that's nice to know! Seems like it was a good springboard for you.

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  37. I like to follow writer’s blogs as I feel I learn from each one. I have a book of Communion devotionals at the printers which I authored, although I don’t consider myself an accomplished writer. I am a follower on your blog and invite you to follow mine as well…and please leave a comment when and if you visit.

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  38. Stan, thanks so much for stopping by! I think it's wonderful that you've created a book of Communion devotionals, and I wish you much luck with your project.

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  39. Julie,
    I saw a picture of a Turky with a bikini on my Dashboard and was very curious to read your post! When I got here...there was no turkey.
    Enjoy your weekend:)

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  40. Alexis, um, that would be me trying to cleverly schedule tomorrow's post. Fail!

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  41. Some times i hate the low paying writing assignments. But, i realize that the diverse experience it can give is immense and in future it can help in tackling difficult assignments. As you said, enjoying the writing without the worry of money or anything else, but just one motive of reaching out to people can reward in longterm.

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  42. Nithin, the way I see it, it's all experience, which I can sure use. It would be nice to get decent money, but that will come!

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