Unpaid/Royalty-only Writing Markets

“Give me your stories,” they said.soitbegins
“We’ll give you exposure,” they said.
What I say is crap on that.

Who else works for exposure?
Tradespeople don’t. Doctors don’t.
Plumbers sure as hell don’t work on the premise of free labour if you show your pipes to all your friends, do they?
Doctors getting you to share your scars all over the Internet in exchange for free surgery?
I don’t think so.

Unpaid markets benefit one side of the equation, and only one side.
The publisher.

I hear all the time about the wonderful gift of exposure, but let’s face it, unless you have some name authors in the anthology, the only exposure you’re likely to get is to the other writers and their friends and family.  There are a million for-the-love (FTL) markets out there, with more springing up every single day. These days, anyone can publish through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Createspace (CS). You don’t even need to register as a business, although many of these fly-by-night outfits do so to try and make themselves appear more legitimate.

Fuck that shit. Just fuck it. nope

Yeah, many of these LLCs and sole-operators are decent people who really believe in what they are trying to do. Sure, they are giving upcoming and emerging authors a chance to get their work out there.

Sure, the world of publishing is hard to get a foot in.
Sure, FTL markets seem the way to start off. A way to get your work out and to build up a fan base. A way to validate all your hard work, and to be able to say “Hey look! I’m a published author.”

Well, guess what? Anyone can do that.
I’m not saying that all FTL markets are shite. Just that most of the ones I’ve seen are shite.
And you know why they’re shite?

Because anyone can create them, trained and experienced or totally new to the publishing world.
ANYONE can start up a Blogspot or WordPress or Wix site (all free, of course) and call themselves a publisher.
And they don’t have to risk a goddamn cent to do so.

Let’s break them down, economically, shall we?

10406557_699987173407352_4173397671221668235_nWebsite/blog = no cost
Facebook page/Twitter account = no cost
Microsoft paint/online graphic design tool (to create ugly logo/banner) = no cost
Authors willing to work for exposure or royalty shares = no cost
No editing/editing by founder (no experience or training) = no cost
No proofing/proofing by founder (no experience or training) = no cost
Cover design by founder or their sibling/partner (no training or experience) = no cost
Upload badly-designed Word document interior to KDP/Smashwords/CS = no cost
Spam all the social media book groups = no cost
TOTAL = NOTHING/NO COST/ZILCH

Risk = nothing

See the problem here?
Well, that’s not all, folks.
You might say that it’s worth it for the exposure writers get.

WRONG!

Let’s look at what a writer DOES get from this.

All their hard work gets no reward except being published, most likely in ebook form, and maybe in print.
That’s good, right?
Nope.

no

All of a sudden that story is no longer an original. It’s only valid for reprint markets.
Many of the better anthologies (paid ones) don’t want reprints, and even if they do, they pay MUCH less for them.

So… the publisher gets free stuff, and the writer gets exposed to about twenty or thirty people.

So, what else is in it for the publisher? Surely there’s more, isn’t there?

Yep. There’s more.

Remember what writers are like. We all love to see our shit in print.
We love to have a few copies of anything we appear in on our shelves.
Boasting material.
Bragging rights.
“Yeah… that book there? I’m IN that.” Struts over to the shelves and pulls it out.

So, the usual crap deal with FTL and royalty-only anthologies is that the writer gets a free e-book copy of the volume.
“Wow!” you say. “That’s cool.”

Well, the truth is, no it’s not. They cost the publisher nothing to send out. Another layer of no-cost for the publisher.
Another layer of false legitimacy for the publisher.

Print copies is where it’s really at. Writers want hardcopies. And they usually buy them.
From the publisher.
The same publisher who isn’t paying the writers.

So, the writers are now, instead of getting paid, actually PAYING the publisher to get their stories published.
Likely at least two or three copies.

mathI could do the maths, but I hate numbers, so suffice it to say that 20-30 writers, each buying at least two books, means the publisher has now sold 40-60 books. At likely $15-$20 each.
They may have made five bucks a book, so there’s $200-$300 right there.
From the WRITERS.
The people who should have been paid, but instead are paying.

If you say “well, the publisher is giving each writer one print book,” then that’s something, but I betcha that most, if not all, of the writers will still go on and buy two or three books on top of that. Presents for family and friends.

So… let’s look at this so far.
Writers = out of pocket around $50-60 to have their story published.
Publishers = average profit of $250 AND the beginning of a company. If they do this often enough, they have a bit of an income stream.
I’ve seen publishers like this put out 100 anthos a year. They get authors to move in and act as editors, putting together the antho and having their name on the cover as editor.
All for free, of course, because God forbid anyone but the publisher making a cent out of the whole thing.

In the end, the writer gets little to no promotion, somewhat out of pocket, and a few badly-edited books with crappy cover art.stop
I think I’d rather die of exposure than be subjected to this type of exposure.

To me, it seems way too much like vanity publishing.
Writers PAYING to be published.
I guess that’s because it’s exactly what it is, thinly disguised as some crap where the publisher says “You should be doing it for the love of writing.”
Yeah, fuck that.
What about the love of building a reputation instead of tearing it down in crappy anthologies.

What about that?

Next post, I take a look at royalty-only stuff, which is just as bad.
For now, check out my mate Alan Baxter’s take on that shit:
http://www.alanbaxteronline.com/royalty-anthologies-writer-exploitation/
arseholes

 

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Paying Art Forward | Author, editor, caffeine-addict, wannabe ninja

Fantastic chance to get in on the ground floor.

“Those who know me know how much I love books. My bookcases are overflowing, my bedside table is stacked high, and my desk is a library of novels and comics and reference books. And let’s be honest, the book and comic-buying isn’t going to stop.My other love is art; be it paintings, illustrations, sculptures, carvings… anything that ‘speaks’ to me and by speaks, I mean screams: buy me! Now!”

via Paying Art Forward | Author, editor, caffeine-addict, wannabe ninja.

Amazon, Hachette, and flaming bullshit | Jay Kristoff – Literary Giant

Beautiful people, a moment of your time, if you will.

I won’t bang on at length about this (there are many who will), but there’s some important stuff you should be made aware of.

If you are a book lover, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

If you are a reader, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

I presume you’re one of these, because you’re on my blog. So please take 5 minutes of your day, and read on.

 

In short:

* There is a big French publisher called Hachette. They publish many amazing authors (not me, har har, ego joke) and many incredible books. If you look at your shelves, you’ll find books from Hachette or its imprints.

* Amazon.com is currently engaged in “business negotiations” with Hachette, and is seeking “more favourable terms” in their new contract. In short, Amazon want Hachette to lower their prices, so Amazon can buy Hachette books cheaper, and thus, make more money when they sell them to you (for the same price they were selling them before – you will not save a CENT from this).

* Hachette do not want to sell Amazon their books cheaper. They sell them plenty cheap already.

* As a result, Amazon have begun listing Hachette books as “unavailable” for order on Amazon.com. They have begun delaying the shipment of Hachette books, citing a 3-5 week delivery time (note, the books are IN Amazon’s warehouses, Amazon just aren’t shipping them).

READ MORE AT:  Amazon, Hachette, and flaming bullshit | Jay Kristoff – Literary Giant.

Amazon notifying Kindle book purchasers of upcoming refunds from class action suit | ZDNet

Several major publishers were sued in a class action by the Attorneys General of a number of states due to collusion resulting in price fixing. The court has approved a settlement granting refunds to buyers of ebooks from those publishers. Amazon is sending notifications to purchasers of qualifying ebooks that two other publishers have now joined the settlement, which should result in bigger refunds for its customers.According to the Amazon notification, customers dont need to do anything to qualify for or receive the refund. The court will conduct a hearing on December 6 of this year to approve or reject the two new pubishers joining the settlement. If approved, Amazon customers should expect an estimated $0.73 to $3.06 for every qualifying ebook purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. The refund can be used to purchase ebooks or print books. In lieu of a credit to the Amazon account a paper check can be requested as detailed in the Amazon notification.The publishers joining in the settlement are Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan. The refunds are being paid out of a $162.25 million pool the publishers have established for the refunds.

via Amazon notifying Kindle book purchasers of upcoming refunds from class action suit | ZDNet.

Four Sleepless Nights – new fiction available

Just this week a new (long) short story of mine was published through Apokrupha Publishing.

Four Sleepless Nights is a collection of four novelette-length tales of horror.

Authored by Gerald C. Matics, Michele Mixell, G.N. Braun, and William Meikle and edited by Jacob Haddon, this looks to be great value at $12.99 for the print and $3.99 for the ebook.

PRINT HERE

KINDLE HERE

EBOOK (SMASHWORDS) HERE

Four novellas. Four sleepless nights for you to enjoy.

Gerald C. Matics, Michele Mixell, G. N. Braun, and William MeikleFour_Sleepless_Nights_ebook_cvr-682x1024

‘Double Vision’ – Gerald C Matics

Henry has been having problems with his sight. What his doctor calls ‘floaters’ instead seems to be something much more sinister.

‘End of the Night’ – Michele Mixell

It is the ’60s, and a young girl leaves her past to find the ocean. She finds something else on the way first.

‘Chimera’ – G.N. Braun

The Cantrell Company has a dark secret on Chimera Island and when the alarm sounds, and the communications stop, a small group of elite soldiers is sent it to find out what has happened.

‘The Auld Mither’ – William Meikle

David returns to his father’s estate after a brutal murder. David looks to finally rid himself of his father’s legacy, only to find it went deeper than he knew.

Four Sleepless Nights

Publication Date: Oct 13 2013
ISBN/EAN13: 1492979236 / 9781492979234
Page Count: 178
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Fiction / Horror

Welcome Author Tom Ufert

As a special blog post, and as part of his blog tour to promote his book Adversity Builds Character, I’m honoured to host a short piece about Tom Ufert.
I won’t make a big introduction, as the piece itself introduces Tom more than adequately, but I would like to say it’s great to have this chance to help Tom get his message out there. He is a remarkable man, who has overcome many challenges in his life.

Welcome, Tom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Article here:

Tom Ufert, a 46-year-old quadriplegic afflicted with three different disabilities, is an inspirational voice in our troubled times. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History as a scholarship recipient from Centenary College of Louisiana.
Tom is a former Rotary International graduate Fellow who attended Australian National University in Canberra, ACT, specializing in East Asian political affairs and was a White House Fellow nominee. He is a former Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern and constituency aid for two former United States members of Congress. His past services for eleven political campaigns on both sides of the aisle were highly valued by former Louisiana Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Henson Moore, the former assistant chief of staff to U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush, and the present U.S. Trade Ambassador, Ron Kirk.

1060808_480908945324130_1422305362_n

At age 23 he was the youngest artistic Board Chairman in the United States as head of the Shreveport Summer Music Festival.
Over the years he has acquired extensive customer service experience in the food and beverage, hotel, insurance, home security, and pharmaceutical industries. Mr. Ufert has served as a member of two other 501(c) three charity boards including his beloved fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as the community advisory board for his former rehabilitation hospital. His professional memberships include Phi Alpha Theta, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Worldwide Who’s Who. In recent years he has worked tirelessly as a volunteer fundraiser for numerous AIDS charities in his community and served briefly as the community affairs liaison for Legacy Founders Cottage.

Tom, a native of Louisiana, now resides in Texas.

Here, for your pleasure, is an excerpt from his book Adversity Builds Character.

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Chapter 13 – Rehabilitation for My Body and Soul
The day I woke up with a sudden change of heart and a renewed sense of purpose can only be explained as an act of God. Having seen what happens when the human spirit gives up, in my mom’s case — an overpowering sense of hopelessness, was not going to happen to me. The drive, the determination, and the sheer will to live could not have been possible without my faith in God and the loving encouragement of Brandon and all of the medical personnel at PRH. That bastion of support girded me for the physical and mental struggle rehabilitation was going to require. Knowing now that the HIV virus was streaming through my veins instilled in me the mental, physical, and emotional drive to overcome those physical challenges I could conquer. In essence, my thought process concluded that it would be impossible to survive the effects of HIV if I did not first master my new physical challenges.
Physical rehabilitation is no easy task. Furthermore, learning how to cope with physical challenges does not come readily. In fact, it is a long arduous process of trial and error, measured in a seemingly endless cycle of success and failure. Rehab of any kind does not come quickly and literally tears at the very fabric of your soul. I am living proof, however, that in God’s infinite creative wisdom there is no greater miracle than the adaptive and ever-healing human mind and body. I was most fortunate to have been given rare insight into this rehabilitative process by the individuals most closely associated with my care: my physical therapist, occupational therapist, my personal nurse, and my recreational/pool therapist. Their thoughtful and inspiring dedication to my recovery was invaluable to my positive mental outlook. The encouragement I received from these miracle workers of modern medicine made the difference between self-pity and the sheer will power to overcome my adversity. For example, the staff at PRH was enthusiastically supportive when I chose to comically decorate my titanium halo for the Halloween and Christmas holidays. Furthermore, my efforts to spread humor and good cheer to my fellow patients by regularly surprising the nursing staff with my wheelchair horn were met with smiles rather than frowns. Herein lies a prime example of the incredible healing power of a strong positive mental outlook. In many ways, my successful recovery was similar to the philosophy of actor Robin Williams in the movie Patch Adams: You must treat the patient, not just the illness. However, the gathering of such a collaborative team spirit did not come overnight.
My first physical therapist was a relatively young girl who was both dedicated and blindly determined. However, her “bedside manner” left a lot to be desired! For the first six weeks of my therapy even the basic task of getting out of bed and into a wheelchair was exhausting. The extra twenty-seven pounds of metal screwed into my skull made every movement precarious. Physical therapy requires several different routines of exercise to rebuild stamina and balance. Primarily, the patient exercises on a padded table referred to as an exercise mat. One of the exercises that are initially attempted is simply to sit on the side of the table with your legs hanging over the edge and your feet on the floor. Daily routines call for a series of bends at the waist with your arms outstretched to help orient your body for stability. Normally, for a “partially paralyzed” patient, this is a fatiguing endeavor. My situation was exacerbated by the additional weight upon my head which made orientation and equilibrium almost impossible. My PT became increasingly impatient and condescending towards my fears of toppling over onto the floor. Granted, every precaution was taken by the therapist and her assistant to ensure that this did not occur. However, insurance and guarantees never totally erase fears of the unknown. Under normal circumstances, such exercises were understandably difficult and tedious, but my titanium halo only magnified the strain. At one point my PT lost her patience and said in an accusatory tone, “I am sick and tired of blaming the halo for your resistance to the necessary exercises of your recovery!” For me that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The very next day I requested to meet with my entire therapy team at the end of the week to voice my concerns. At that meeting I strongly expressed my desire to change therapists, arguing politely that the present arrangement was counterproductive. I requested another PT who had shown great interest and compassion for my condition. Over time, our conversations had been enlightening, and she reassured me that she was more capable of producing results while acknowledging my limitations.
If there is one lesson that I learned from years of listening to Chuck and Karen tell stories from their work at the hospital, it was that patients needed to be their own advocates. As the healthcare profession has grown, patients have increasingly become mere case numbers and charts of endless statistics. Medical personnel are overworked and hospitals are understaffed resulting in a dehumanizing effect on the profession as a whole. No one is at fault. It is just the simple truth about our modern healthcare industry. Therefore, patients and their families must be vigilant and proactive to prevent improper care, careless mistakes, and a desensitizing approach to medical treatment. I am eternally grateful to Chuck and Karen for teaching me to be my own advocate!
Personal advocacy requires a personal responsibility. This means one must take the initiative to be well informed and educated about your own health and treatment. Such a direct approach to your own health and well-being does not condone rudeness or blind arrogance in the face of expert medical opinion; it does require an honest self-appraisal of your medical condition. Therefore, you and you alone must have the mental wherewithal to take care of yourself and a positive attitude in your recovery. There are centuries of historical examples demonstrating the miraculous healing power of the mind over the body. With the right support and encouragement, a strong positive outlook can literally turn disasters into miracles. I’m living proof of that fact.
My new physical therapist (PT), Layne, proceeded to teach me more about my own body than I ever knew before. By way of her instruction and suggestion, I discovered that the human body can adapt remarkably to permanent injury. She taught me how to utilize “spastic energy” caused by my MS as a means to overcome irreversible neurological damage to the spine. She was patient and supportive, all the while being determined and persistent in our daily physical therapy. Her methods were creative and open minded to alternatives such as biofeedback in a constant effort to help my body adapt to its new life altering condition. Many of these previously nontraditional methods required coordinated assistance from other members of my therapy team.
One of the advantages of the team model approach to rehabilitative care is that every aspect of the patient’s therapy is carefully integrated. Meeting weekly, each member of the team is able to update their colleagues about the specific developments in their sphere of the therapy. This routine intercommunication perfectly enhances joint cooperation for the patient’s total care. For example, my PT was able to provide relevant medical evidence to my social worker showing the therapeutic benefits of biofeedback that justified its insurance coverage. Similarly, thanks to the coordinated progress reports and projected cost benefit analysis of both physical and occupational therapy, my insurance carrier approved the purchase of both manual and electric wheelchairs. Traditionally, insurance will cover one or the other but never both! Remarkably, my therapy team’s magnificent group effort successfully garnered over one quarter of a million dollars in benefit coverage. Repeatedly, the PRH therapy staff stressed that it was their job to secure every possible benefit so that I could focus on recovery.
For five and a half months I resided at Plano Rehab progressing steadily towards discharge and my return home. During that period of time my strength and stamina steadily improved. Due to the excellent dietary care I easily recovered the nearly twenty-five pounds that had been lost following the accident, embarrassingly gaining nearly six waist sizes by the end of my inpatient status. Shortly before my discharge in early 1993, the titanium metal halo was removed to reveal the miraculous healing of my spinal fracture. However, one of the metal screws did weaken and become loose just after Christmas. I have never felt more intense pain in my life. This experience did require massive amounts of pain relievers to endure the agony. Though I do not recall much of the week long ordeal, I have been told that the medication-induced euphoria resulted in my ironic observations of three humorous clichés; one, that it was absolutely true — I had holes in my head; two, that I really did have a screw loose; and three, I had finally lost my halo! Laughter heals the world.
Careful attention was also given to the goal of my successful reintegration into life after rehab. For example, one week before my discharge, I resided independently in a preparatory “apartment” without supervision for a full twenty-four hours. This therapy technique helps the patient cope mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically with the rigors of returning home. Though medical assistance was only an emergency button away with periodic spot checks to insure my safety, I was solely responsible for dressing myself, bathing, meal preparation, independent transfers from my wheelchair to the bed and toilet. The experience was terrifying, but essential for a successful reintegration into “normal life.” My occupational therapist (OT) and social worker cooperated closely with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission (TRC) to ensure the acquisition of necessary equipment required for independent living and my return to work. Their joint efforts provided adaptive computer equipment and a fully equipped handicapped van that predominately insured a successful return home.
I would be remiss if I did not properly recognize the invaluable service of both my doctor and my employer. Dr. R. expertly coordinated every aspect of my rehabilitative therapy. His expert care and deeply compassionate demeanor made the difference between success and failure in my recovery. As for my employer, Mr. H. at Sister Insurance Company, Inc. was no less than a miracle worker. His generosity and heartfelt concern were endless. In fact, had it not been for a direct phone call personally to the CEO of the insurance carrier, I probably would not have been fully covered. As it turned out, a policy technicality would have prevented full coverage for my injuries and medical care. However, because of Mr. H’s financial holdings as a major stockholder in the insurance carrier, his wishes carried a great deal of weight. I learned later that he had instructed the carrier that “I was to be fully covered without any questions.”
All of this support and encouragement from my therapy staff, employer, co-workers and friends greatly enhanced the recuperative process. That core support group would have been inherently inhibited were it not for the further blessings of understanding, forgiveness and unconditional love from my “adopted” family. Words cannot adequately describe the shame and humility I felt at the moment of confession to the Campbell clan. In one fell swoop, they discovered the extent of my physical injuries, the depth of deception I had contrived to conceal my lifestyle, and the overwhelming sense of final doom with the announcement of my HIV status. Their eyes conveyed disappointment, but their hearts demonstrated true love. So many afflicted with HIV never know such compassion. I will be forever humbled in the light of such a divine blessing.
Finally, I have to express the deepest amount of love, respect, and admiration for Brandon. Throughout this entire ordeal he continued to work full time at Plano Rehab striving to fulfill his employment obligations for the hospital while simultaneously keeping tabs on my therapy and recovery. Despite any hidden feelings of hurt or anger, he demonstrated an unquestionable loving devotion towards me. The daily anguish of watching me struggle through my rigorous rehab regimen must have been doubly grueling for him because he would then have to go home to an empty apartment. The undeniable cause for my injuries, my infidelity, must have been like a dagger driven into his back right through his heart. However, his overwhelming love seemed to give him reason enough for forgiveness. He never offered any words of complaint, though fatigue and stress were clearly visible in his eyes and upon his face. I am deeply grateful for his love and he will always hold a special place in my heart.
In the end, my life, my recovery, and everything I am since September 28, 1992 are living proof that miracles happen every day. Furthermore, your life can change in a split second, but through the grace of God and the love and friendship of people in your life you can overcome any hardship. Accepting that reality unquestionably leads me to know in my heart and soul that Adversity Builds Character. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the dedicated love and friendship of all these remarkable people. Their determination to help me succeed is deeply humbling and only further demonstrates the incredible healing power of another person’s faith in your character. I thank God for their belief in me, for it has made me a better person.

Thank you very much joining us on the tour. This was the final stop… for now. I would like to take a second to thank everybody for following the tour, whether you read the posts, hosted Tom or helped share his message. You have played a wonderful part, and have helped to make this tour the success it was.

You can connect with Tom on Facebook or grab your copy of Adversity Builds Character here.