Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reading Fees?

Apparently we write more than we read.  Indie publishing is being crushed by submissions, but we don't pay for their products.

I recently did some online market research for a few adult fiction pieces I wrote.  I noticed a trend that I never saw before.  More and more publications require a fee for reading submissions.  Some charge as little as $2 and others charge as much as $20!

I have only been writing for about two years and have only been actively submitting to adult publications for the past year.  I've personally only heard of paying reading fees for contests.  Understandably, the fees pay for judges and prize money. 

But, bear in mind that some of the publications charging reading fees for submissions do not offer monetary payment for publication.  Your reward for a perfectly polished piece is the inclusion in their magazine.  Some of the literary reviews are well-known and quite hard to get into, but without payment, how will writers fund themselves?

On the other hand, the argument is that their editors are overwhelmed with submissions and by charging a reading fee, the quality of submitted material will be at its best.  True, the odds of a single piece in a slush pile of 200 submissions are better than in a pile of 2000 submissions, but it won't stop lousy writers with hefty bank accounts from submitting. 

I suppose having to fork over $2-$3 a pop will force me to be certain a piece is the best it can be, but I try to do that anyway.

What are your thoughts on reading fees?  Would you submit if a magazine charged one?  What will you do if every magazine began charging reading fees?