E-zine accepting submissions

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Frank

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Jun 25, 2005, 12:05:03 PM6/25/05
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"A Cruel World," an e-zine that began publication in January of 2005,
is accepting submissions.

If you like your mystery or crime fiction with an edge, read it here
(or submit yours).

Any genre of fiction is considered, including science fiction. The
power of the story trumps genre.

A friend of mine is the editor (he conned me into being the associate
editor, to help read and review submissions). He's looking for authors
at any experience level.

Check out the site, read the submission guidelines and if you have
something that fits, send it in. Or just hang out and enjoy the
stories.

acruelworld.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We now return you to your
regularly scheduled newsgroup.

S. Palmer

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Jun 25, 2005, 1:30:36 PM6/25/05
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Frank wrote:
> "A Cruel World," an e-zine that began publication in January of 2005,
> is accepting submissions.

Hmmm. In the guidelines:
"we still want our contributing authors to write and act professional."

_professional_, as defined by Websters:
adj. 1) following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.

Thus, one would logically expect that a market who declares that they
want professional (ie, paid) writers to submit to them would, in return,
*pay* said writers.

Alas, I could find no mention of payment anywhere on their site.

-Suzanne

Dorothy J Heydt

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Jun 25, 2005, 1:50:14 PM6/25/05
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In article <42BD94BC...@speakeasy.net>,

Hmph. They expect to receive professional behavior and offer
none in return.

They deserve to get the kind of writers they will get: those who
believe that just to be published in any kind of medium is a
delight in and of itself, and contrariwise, that any medium
should be delighted to get any kind of content.

My line has generally been "If I wanted to throw something away
by putting it on a website, I could put it on my own."

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Eric Jarvis

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Jun 25, 2005, 2:01:13 PM6/25/05
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Dorothy J Heydt djh...@kithrup.com wrote in <IInIv...@kithrup.com>:

> In article <42BD94BC...@speakeasy.net>,
> S. Palmer <cic...@pobox.com> wrote:
> >
> >Alas, I could find no mention of payment anywhere on their site.
>
> Hmph. They expect to receive professional behavior and offer
> none in return.
>

Well yes, but you see we are writers. People who spend years honing a
difficult craft and learning to create something that will entertain and
enlighten others. Whereas they are a bunch of chancers who hope to make a
bit of money by exploiting other people. So it's quite obvious that they
are going to need to keep hold of any money they might make from the e-
ine, whereas we';; only spend it on doing things that will keep us from
writing, such as buying, cooking and eating food.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"

Brian M. Scott

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Jun 25, 2005, 2:32:12 PM6/25/05
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On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 13:30:36 -0400, "S. Palmer"
<cic...@speakeasy.net> wrote in
<news:42BD94BC...@speakeasy.net> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> Frank wrote:
>> "A Cruel World," an e-zine that began publication in January of 2005,
>> is accepting submissions.

> Hmmm. In the guidelines:
> "we still want our contributing authors to write and act professional."

Are they competent to tell? Surely a professional writer
would have known to use 'professionally' here.

[...]

Brian

Dorothy J Heydt

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Jun 25, 2005, 2:30:39 PM6/25/05
to
In article <MPG.1d27ac39f...@news.dircon.co.uk>,

I think I'm going to keep from writing by taking a nice long nap.

J Cresswell-Jones

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Jun 25, 2005, 3:32:40 PM6/25/05
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"Brian M. Scott" <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote in message
news:gd1w2rhm0iqr$.4gjlgrbbu541$.dlg@40tude.net...


ObSecondCity: "Six Gun Justice" western serial parody...

Boss: We better cut 'em off at the gulch, real quick-like.
Blackie: Boss, I don't think you should use them adjectives like adverbs.
Boss: I don't take criticism from my henchmen!
*BANG!*
Blackie: You winged me, Boss! (clutches arm, grins in relief) Real
superficial-like.

--
Jonathan CJ


Jackdaw

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Jun 25, 2005, 4:59:49 PM6/25/05
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"Dorothy J Heydt" <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote in message
news:IInIv...@kithrup.com...

I "do" the craft fairs and sell in a few galleries in the U.K.
Myself and others on various craft ngs / and in our association, often get
"Let us sell your craftwork on our new on-line gallery for only "!!WHAT!!"
dollars / pounds a month.
Sorry m'dear, but the "Dot-Comm. " crash taught us all a lesson.
The Line " "If I wanted to throw something away by putting it on a website,
I could put it on my own." is right on accurate.
--
Jackdaw collector of junk, trivia and bright twinkly things.
Foiled on http://www.jackdaw-crafts.net


Frank

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Jun 25, 2005, 5:25:45 PM6/25/05
to
First of all, no need for everyone to be so cynical.

My friend is the editor of this e-zine and is not perfect. No one is.
So he misused the word professional. Big deal. The oversight of not
posting the payment is another matter and I intend to talk to him about
it so it'll be fixed.

For clarification, there is no payment. This is the case with many,
many e-zines.

For further clarification, the goal of the e-zine is not, as someone
stated earlier, to make money. There is no charge for being published
there and there is no advertising of any kind, including banners and
pop-ups. The editor pays for the web hosting himself and the costs for
that are not overwhelming. There's a donation option there if someone
wants to donate to help defray costs.

The purpose of A Cruel World is to give writers an opportunity to
showcase their work. Particular emphasis is on the type of work that
might be too dark or edgy for other venues.

The e-zine is a labor of love on Colin's part. It is a little
disturbing to see people jump to conclusions like this and even to make
accusations. What's wrong with a writer like Colin giving other
writers a chance to showcase their work?

Those that have pointed out the missing information regardng what ACW
pays for stories have a valid point. I'm sure that was an oversight
and will be corrected.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Jun 25, 2005, 5:50:34 PM6/25/05
to
In article <1119734745.6...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

Frank <fran...@msn.com> wrote:
>First of all, no need for everyone to be so cynical.
>
>My friend is the editor of this e-zine and is not perfect. No one is.
>So he misused the word professional. Big deal. The oversight of not
>posting the payment is another matter and I intend to talk to him about
>it so it'll be fixed.

OK, you get him to fix that.

And misusing the word professional IS a big deal. We are people
who sell our written work for a reasonable price, or aspire to do
so when we get good enough. Your friend is not the first, nor
yet the hundredth, who has appeared on this group offering to
post our work for free (meaning, not only we don't pay him, but
he doesn't pay us) and expecting us to like it.

>
>For clarification, there is no payment. This is the case with many,
>many e-zines.

Then you will find that many, many of us are not interested.

>For further clarification, the goal of the e-zine is not, as someone
>stated earlier, to make money. There is no charge for being published
>there

I should flipping well hope not!

>The e-zine is a labor of love on Colin's part. It is a little
>disturbing to see people jump to conclusions like this and even to make
>accusations. What's wrong with a writer like Colin giving other
>writers a chance to showcase their work?

Your friend perhaps doesn't realize how many other e-zines there
are out there already, offering to post other people's work
(which, as I said upthread, they could do on their own websites).
There are too many. Nobody's going to notice one more. Putting
one's work on one more website is not going to get it any
attention.

Julian Flood

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Jun 25, 2005, 6:11:51 PM6/25/05
to

"Jackdaw" wrote

> Jackdaw collector of junk, trivia and bright twinkly things.

Right there is the error. The point is not to collect them. You are
meant to sell them.

JF

Julian Flood

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Jun 25, 2005, 6:12:03 PM6/25/05
to

"Frank" wrote

> The purpose of a cruel world is to give writers an opportunity to
> showcase their work.

www.floodsclimbers.co.uk

Thank you. You have made my day.

Orbis would be even more grateful.

JF

Alma Hromic Deckert

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Jun 25, 2005, 6:29:08 PM6/25/05
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On 25 Jun 2005 14:25:45 -0700, "Frank" <fran...@msn.com> wrote:

>First of all, no need for everyone to be so cynical.

Cynical? Dear heart, we've been round this block before. It isn't
cynicism, it's weary recognition.

>My friend is the editor of this e-zine and is not perfect.

Strike one AND strike two, all in one. If it is your friend's project,
why are YOU shilling for him? ANd if there is nothing to be defensive
about, why are you?

>No one is. So he misused the word professional. Big deal.

Um, yeah, it rather is, when he (or you) post that to a newsgroup full
of writers who not only ARE professional but also know how and when to
use the word...

>The oversight of not
>posting the payment is another matter and I intend to talk to him about
>it so it'll be fixed.

Oh, so he WILL be paying his writers?...

>For clarification, there is no payment. This is the case with many,
>many e-zines.

*ah*.

You're right. There are many, many ezines.

Not many of them are publishing "professional" work. Professionals get
paid/

>For further clarification, the goal of the e-zine is not, as someone
>stated earlier, to make money. There is no charge for being published
>there

<cough, splutter> good for you there wasn't because you would have got
responses a lot less civil than the ones you DID get!

>and there is no advertising of any kind, including banners and
>pop-ups. The editor pays for the web hosting himself and the costs for
>that are not overwhelming. There's a donation option there if someone
>wants to donate to help defray costs.

In other words, someone's hobby site for which he wishes other people
to provide content.

>The purpose of A Cruel World is to give writers an opportunity to
>showcase their work. Particular emphasis is on the type of work that
>might be too dark or edgy for other venues.

Please note, that word "showcase" has many connotations, most of them
negative. Please also note that professionals seldom showcase. They,
as I already pointed out, get paid.

>The e-zine is a labor of love on Colin's part.

That's great. You fail to respond to the question as to why
professional writers should offer charity in supporting that labor of
love. Nothing stops your friend from doing whatever it is that he
loves doing, whether it involves labor or not. The moment he solicited
contributions and started talking professionalism and showcasing, he
opened a whole new can of worms. Sorry, but them's the breaks. Perhaps
he should have done a litle more research. Did he think that this was
an original idea?... Or did he just like the title "editor" a whole
lot?...

>It is a little
>disturbing to see people jump to conclusions like this and even to make
>accusations.

Well, it seems to me that the conclusions that people here "jumped to"
- i.e. that there is no payment involved - have been royally borne
out, which makes them, er, true, no?... And what accusations have been
made? That your friend's labor of love is nobody else's business
(especially if they're professionals in their field)? Sorry, but the
truth of it is that this kind of enterprise always gets precisely the
kind of contributions it aims for - from people who are desperate to
be "published" in any way shape or form and do not really care how,
people who could not get published anywhere decent and have decided
that this is somehow the fault of the world and not of their own
possible inadequacy or inexperience, people who think they are
mistreated or misunderstood, teenagers who write what they fondly
imagine is wonderful and tearful poetry concerning the Senior Prom and
the tragic date they had for it. You get what you pay for; in this
instance, you get what you don't pay for, as it were, because not only
will you not be getting GOOD stuff, you'll be deluged with bloody
AWFUL stuff.

And besides, you're so right - there are SO many ezines out there -
and there USED TO BE even more. What do you think the lifespan of a
labour of love such as this is, on average?

>What's wrong with a writer like Colin giving other
>writers a chance to showcase their work?

There it is again, that little niggling word, "showcase".
Professionals do not showcase. THose who put work online do it on
their own websites, in order to promote their own work. They do not do
so in order to support your friend's dreams. In that way, yeah, it IS
a cruel world.

>Those that have pointed out the missing information regardng what ACW
>pays for stories have a valid point. I'm sure that was an oversight
>and will be corrected.

By paying for said stories...?

No?...

Pity.

A.

Zeborah

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Jun 25, 2005, 6:35:05 PM6/25/05
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Frank <fran...@msn.com> wrote:

> For clarification, there is no payment. This is the case with many,
> many e-zines.

But many many other e-zines do offer payment. Oddly enough, I prefer to
submit to them.

Zeborah
--
(No facts were harmed in the making of this post.)
http://www.geocities.com/zeborahnz/

S. Palmer

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Jun 25, 2005, 6:58:42 PM6/25/05
to
Julian Flood wrote:
> www.floodsclimbers.co.uk

ah, see, the things we never knew about each other!

all my clematis chose today to flower, in some bizarre cross-yard
synchronicity. the wisteria, alas, is already done.

-Suzanne

S. Palmer

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Jun 25, 2005, 7:33:53 PM6/25/05
to
Frank wrote:
> First of all, no need for everyone to be so cynical.

I wasn't trying to be cynical. I was pointing out an untenable
incongruence between the level of work your friend's e-zine expects to
get (high), versus what they give in return (zero). Unless you are
extraordinarily naive (which, I grant, is a distinct possibility),
you've got to understand that your presentation here is not only
ludicrous and sadly unoriginal, but actually vaguely insulting.

Plus, the blatant grammar error suggests a level of editorial sloppiness
that is a significant deterrent to you being taken seriously.

> There is no charge for being published
> there

And this statement is supposed to attract us? The novelty of not being
charged FOR our work? I must admit, so far I've only had publishers pay
ME.

Look, I didn't respond in order to make you feel picked on, though you
deserve what you get (and have hopefully found it instructive). If this
really is just cluelessness on your part, and you really want to try to
be a successful e-zine, do yourself a favor:
1) go to www.ralan.com
2) look at the various market listings, under "Pro", "Paying", and "For
The Love"
3) go look at the various e-zines listed under each category, and the
quality of work they post.
4) decide which is most representative of the quality of work you hope
to get.
5) pay what they pay.
6) market yourself appropriately, according to above.

If you want to be a "For The Love" (ie, no payment) market, then that's
fine -- there are reasons that they exist. Just drop the whole
"professional" bit, because you aren't. Thinking you're gonna get
professional authors to give your anonymous website their hard work is
like me thinking I'm gonna date Brad Pitt. It's a nice dream, but really
doesn't cut it by the light of day. Harsh, maybe, but it IS a cruel
world.

-Suzanne

Dorothy J Heydt

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Jun 25, 2005, 7:14:42 PM6/25/05
to
In article <42BDE1A2...@speakeasy.net>,

Wisteria's been flowering all over Berkeley for at least the past
month and shows no sign of stopping. I don't know offhand of
anyone who has any clematis.

(Well, I could always go look at Berkeley Hort and I'm sure they
have tons.)

Jim Campbell

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Jun 25, 2005, 7:49:29 PM6/25/05
to
in article 1119715503.5...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, Frank at
fran...@msn.com wrote on 25/6/05 5:05 pm:

> If you like your mystery or crime fiction with an edge, read it here

Hoo-boy - did _you_ pick the wrong newsgroup to spam with this ...

FWIW, I understand the trawl for submissions, because I've just _been_ to
the site and attempted to read not one, but the first SEVEN stories on
offer.

This, bub, is what happens when you don't pay your writers. You get writers
who aren't good enough to get paid. I didn't get more than seven lines into
any of these stories. Maybe it's because I just got back from seeing 'Sin
City' and I'm all noir-ed out, but more likely it's just that these stories
just plain suck.

I'm sorry if you weren't ready for some of the bristling hostility you've
been on the end of, but I'm close to the bottom of the food chain on this
NG, and even _I've_ been paid cold, hard cash for writing.

Perhaps you'd better stick to spamming
alt.creative.hopelessly.untalented.amateurs with this stuff ...

Cheers

Jim

Dorothy J Heydt

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Jun 25, 2005, 8:09:42 PM6/25/05
to
In article <42BDE9E1...@speakeasy.net>,
S. Palmer <cic...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
>....Thinking you're gonna get

>professional authors to give your anonymous website their hard work is
>like me thinking I'm gonna date Brad Pitt. It's a nice dream, but really
>doesn't cut it by the light of day. Harsh, maybe, but it IS a cruel
>world.

Nice. "My end is my beginning...."

Frank

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Jun 25, 2005, 9:03:27 PM6/25/05
to
Well, rather than respond to one biting comment after another, let me
just make this general reply.

I'm sorry that anyone was offended by the post I made. I didn't
realize that this was a newsgroup comprised strictly of professional
writers. I didn't realize that an offer like this would offend anyone.


I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that many
of you exhibited. The world is made up of writers at many different
stages of development and ACW is an opportunity for a Single A player
to get some game time. My mistake seems to have been unaware that I
was posting the opportunity in a Major League dugout. For that, I
offer sincere apologies. But I think a tad more patience and less
vitriol would have been more professional on the part of some of you.

I'll gladly respond to any specific questions or statements, if anyone
wishes, or we can consider the subject dead.

Eric Jarvis

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Jun 25, 2005, 9:19:16 PM6/25/05
to
Frank fran...@msn.com wrote in
<1119747807.3...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>:

>
> I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that many
> of you exhibited.
>

How can you possibly be surprised that when you ask people to give you
something for nothing they take offence at being told you are doing them a
favour. Dress it up however you like, you are trying to be a parasite, and
there are few more unpleasant sights than a self righteous parasite.

Alma Hromic Deckert

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Jun 25, 2005, 9:49:33 PM6/25/05
to
On 25 Jun 2005 18:03:27 -0700, "Frank" <fran...@msn.com> wrote:

>Well, rather than respond to one biting comment after another, let me
>just make this general reply.
>
>I'm sorry that anyone was offended by the post I made. I didn't
>realize that this was a newsgroup comprised strictly of professional
>writers. I didn't realize that an offer like this would offend anyone.
>
>I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that many
>of you exhibited. The world is made up of writers at many different
>stages of development and ACW is an opportunity for a Single A player
>to get some game time. My mistake seems to have been unaware that I
>was posting the opportunity in a Major League dugout. For that, I
>offer sincere apologies. But I think a tad more patience and less
>vitriol would have been more professional on the part of some of you.

Oh for the love of...

Okay, I'll say this once and then I'll just shut up over here.

For many of us, bub, this is a *job*. It's a career, one we take pride
in, and one that we do (yes, indeedy!) for the love of it because
often we don't get paid a LOT. But we do get paid to write, or at
least we aspire to get paid to write. This is not a "Major League
Dugout" (when you're throwing out that "condenscencion" tag, hon, look
a little closer to home...). There are a couple of people here whose
names are instantly recognizable, and at least one of them has been
tragically absent for a while because of other factors (anyone heard
from Mary yet, anyway...?) The rest of us range from high midlist to
mid-midlist to barely weaned-midlist to wannabe-midlist, and most of
us are quite happy with the diversity - but we have one thing in
common and that's (here's that pesky word again) professional attitude
to our work. When you find me a plumber who's willing to fix my pipes
just for the price of my smile of shining admiration, then I'll
consider your particular game feasible. Until then, you do what you
have to do, and you're perfectly correct that there are writers at all
levels out there - but the ones who aspire to "professionalism",
unless they are VERY young and naive and inexperienced, will
concentrate their efforts on becoming better and better at their craft
until someone offers them a reward for their skills. "Showcasing" on
someone else's "labor-of-love" website is just not one of the stepping
stones in that scenarion. You'd better get your ezine's head around
that. Fast.

>I'll gladly respond to any specific questions or statements, if anyone
>wishes, or we can consider the subject dead.

We can.

Fiat.

A.

lclough

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Jun 25, 2005, 10:16:00 PM6/25/05
to
Frank wrote: The world is made up of writers at many different

> stages of development and ACW is an opportunity for a Single A player
> to get some game time.
>


You think so? Or could it be that non-paying internet
publication is a dry hole, a dead end leading nowhere? And that
newbies are well-warned, to avoid hamstringing their careers?

I always advise young writers that free markets should be the
very last resort of "publication".

Brenda

--
---------
Brenda W. Clough
http://www.sff.net/people/Brenda/

Recent short fiction: PARADOX, Autumn 2003
http://home.nyc.rr.com/paradoxmag//index.html

Upcoming short fiction in FIRST HEROES (TOR, May '04)
http://members.aol.com/wenamun/firstheroes.html

Brooks Moses

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Jun 25, 2005, 11:00:17 PM6/25/05
to
Frank wrote:
> I'm sorry that anyone was offended by the post I made. I didn't
> realize that this was a newsgroup comprised strictly of professional
> writers. I didn't realize that an offer like this would offend anyone.

It's not strictly professional writers; there are a number of people
like me who aren't really writers at all, but are here for the
conversation.

> I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that many
> of you exhibited. The world is made up of writers at many different
> stages of development and ACW is an opportunity for a Single A player
> to get some game time.

This, I think, is the key objection.

First, all of the professional writers here were beginners once, and
they remember being beginners. A fair portion of their objection comes,
I think, from the fact that they feel that what you offer is not a good
deal even for beginners and amateurs.

What you are offering, as a hobbyist e-zine, is a trade: I give you the
rights to put my story on your website, and you give me the benefits
that come from having it on that website. This, of course, is only a
good deal if those benefits have some value to me. At the very least,
you haven't established that they do; what's bothersome is that your
"press release" appears to assume that you don't need to.

The only things that you can really offer authors, besides money, are
readers and fame -- you give them the prestige of being selected to be
published in your venue, and you give them a venue where their works
will be read. So, the natural question is: what prestige do you offer?
What readers do you offer? What, in all honesty, makes you any better
than 20MB of webspace on Geocities (not to mention all the other
non-paying websites)?

Well, right now, you're a non-paying online story collection, and a new
one. That's basically the equivalent of being on "GO" before the first
die roll in a Monopoly game -- you've got nothing (though at least not a
dishonorable nothing); the best you can offer is potential.

So, potential: What sets you apart from the hundreds (thousands?) of
other online story collections? How many readers do you have now? How
do you intend to increase that number? What are you doing to increase
the real prestige of your site among readers -- to make it into a place
that people have heard of, and that people will come back to and send
their friends to? What's your plan for the making this site a success?
What concrete parts of that plan do you have in place now, besides a
name and a url?

Or, in short: if you think you're offering "Single A" writers the
opportunity to "get some game time", what makes your game a "Single A"
game rather than another Geocities sandlot pickup game?

- Brooks


--
The "bmoses-nospam" address is valid; no unmunging needed.

Frank

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Jun 26, 2005, 12:30:28 AM6/26/05
to
Brooks:

I want to thank you for making your points in a civil manner. Your
points, which mirror those made by others, are well-taken.

I readily admit not knowing my audience. I haven't frequented this NG
for very long and mis-judged the membership. That was an error on my
part.

However, I stand by what I said regarding the reaction. Many of the
members' responses were arrogant and rude. An explanation/response in
the tone that Brooks just made gets the point across. The "how dare
you!" response from many was not necessary, even if it was deserved.
If I made a mistake, which I just admitted, it was not done
maliciously.

Anyway, for those of you who took the time to explain things without
the arrogance and self-righteous indignation, thank you.

Julia Jones

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Jun 26, 2005, 1:01:28 AM6/26/05
to
In message <1119760227.9...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Frank <fran...@msn.com> writes

>Anyway, for those of you who took the time to explain things without
>the arrogance and self-righteous indignation, thank you.

Um. Yes. Arrogance and self-righteous indignation are definitely present
in this thread, although possibly not quite where you believe them to
be.

Another bit of free advice.

When in hole, stop digging.
--
Julia Jones
"We are English of Borg. Your language will be assimilated."

Julian Flood

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Jun 26, 2005, 1:18:32 AM6/26/05
to

"Frank" wrote

> I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that
> many of you exhibited.

Arrogant? You call that arrogant? Nah. You should see them on
semi-colons.

JF
I once edited a small magazine, about 1200 to 1500 readers, free and
distributed to workplaces, no payment to writers. Getting copy was
like pulling teeth, apart from sports reports: people, for some
reason, love being sports reporters. Before I took over as editor I
once wrote for it a piece about Red Flag, full of 'cold eyes scan the
horizon. Fingers like steel bands tighten on the control column. The
enemy is overhead' sort of stuff. It went down so well it was publicly
burnt in the bar, which I considered recognition enough. We once
made up a crossword on the night shift which had the word 'oolitic',
but I forget the clue apart from the fact it had 'Ooze a pretty mud
then?' or somesuch.


Alma Hromic Deckert

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:47:19 AM6/26/05
to
On 25 Jun 2005 21:30:28 -0700, "Frank" <fran...@msn.com> wrote:


>
>Anyway, for those of you who took the time to explain things without
>the arrogance and self-righteous indignation, thank you.

perhaps we should have tried the Travis Tea approach.

A.

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:52:30 AM6/26/05
to
In article <J8yvgLOo...@jajones.demon.co.uk>,
Julia Jones <julia...@gmail.com> wrote:

> In message <1119760227.9...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> Frank <fran...@msn.com> writes
> >Anyway, for those of you who took the time to explain things without
> >the arrogance and self-righteous indignation, thank you.
>
> Um. Yes. Arrogance and self-righteous indignation are definitely present
> in this thread, although possibly not quite where you believe them to
> be.

I don't think that's entirely fair:

Eric wrote:

---


Well yes, but you see we are writers. People who spend years honing a
difficult craft and learning to create something that will entertain and
enlighten others. Whereas they are a bunch of chancers who hope to make a
bit of money by exploiting other people.

---
He had no evidence at that point, at least so far as I could see, that
the e-zine was intended as a money-making proposition. I think
"arrogance and self-righteous indignation" fairly describes his post.

Sharon wrote:

---


Hmmm. In the guidelines:
"we still want our contributing authors to write and act professional."

_professional_, as defined by Websters:
adj. 1) following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.

Thus, one would logically expect that a market who declares that they
want professional (ie, paid) writers to submit to them would, in return,
*pay* said writers.

Alas, I could find no mention of payment anywhere on their site.

---

Expecting someone to act chivalrously doesn't imply that you expect him
to be a knight, only to act like one. Similarly, expecting someone to
act professionally doesn't imply you expect him to be a professional.

Sharon later wrote:

---


> There is no charge for being published
> there

And this statement is supposed to attract us? The novelty of not being
charged FOR our work? I must admit, so far I've only had publishers pay
ME.

Look, I didn't respond in order to make you feel picked on, though you
deserve what you get (and have hopefully found it instructive).

---
There have been lots of complaints in this ng about vanity presses and
the like that charge you to be published, so pointing out that this is
not run that way was a perfectly legitimate point--especially after
Eric's comment. "You deserve what you get" is a self-righteous statement.

And Jackdaw wrote:

---


I "do" the craft fairs and sell in a few galleries in the U.K.
Myself and others on various craft ngs / and in our association, often
get
"Let us sell your craftwork on our new on-line gallery for only
"!!WHAT!!"
dollars / pounds a month.

---
So the fact that it was zero dollars/pound a month was relevant.

Pointing out to Frank that what he is offering is unlikely to prove
attractive to people here is a legitimate response, and suggesting
reasons why the project may not work even a helpful one. But attacking
him for making an offer that we don't happen to be interested in, and
making fun of him for someone else's grammatical error--or possibly
typo--were, I think, overdoing it.

--
Remove NOPSAM to email
www.daviddfriedman.com

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 2:07:49 AM6/26/05
to
In article <6ulrb1lgq618l7fn1...@4ax.com>,

Alma Hromic Deckert <ang...@vaxer.net> wrote:

> On 25 Jun 2005 14:25:45 -0700, "Frank" <fran...@msn.com> wrote:

...

> >My friend is the editor of this e-zine and is not perfect.
>
> Strike one AND strike two, all in one. If it is your friend's project,
> why are YOU shilling for him? ANd if there is nothing to be defensive
> about, why are you?

Because he is being attacked, of course.

> >No one is. So he misused the word professional. Big deal.
>
> Um, yeah, it rather is, when he (or you) post that to a newsgroup full
> of writers who not only ARE professional but also know how and when to
> use the word...

It might be a big deal if we were editors considering whether to buy his
friend's work. Under the circumstances, it is a weak signal that his
friend may not be as competent as he thinks, which is a reason not to
submit to his journal but not a reason to be angry at being invited to.

> >The oversight of not
> >posting the payment is another matter and I intend to talk to him about
> >it so it'll be fixed.
>
> Oh, so he WILL be paying his writers?...

"It" clearly refers to the oversight, not the payment.

> >For clarification, there is no payment. This is the case with many,
> >many e-zines.
>
> *ah*.
>
> You're right. There are many, many ezines.
>
> Not many of them are publishing "professional" work. Professionals get
> paid/

And professional writers ought to be able to distinguish between "write
and act professional" and "be a professional writer." Lots of amateur
writers attempt to write and act professionally--i.e. to the standards
expected of a professional.

> >For further clarification, the goal of the e-zine is not, as someone
> >stated earlier, to make money. There is no charge for being published
> >there
>
> <cough, splutter> good for you there wasn't because you would have got
> responses a lot less civil than the ones you DID get!

He in fact got a response, from Eric, which assumed that the e-zine was
a money making venture.

...

> >The e-zine is a labor of love on Colin's part.
>
> That's great. You fail to respond to the question as to why
> professional writers should offer charity in supporting that labor of
> love.

He said nothing at all about professional writers, and pretty clearly
does not expect writers who can sell their work to contribute. He is
proposing an arrangement that he hopes is in the mutual interest of him
and amateur writers. That's no more a request for charity than the posts
here by people asking the rest of us for advice on writing--indeed
somewhat less.

> Nothing stops your friend from doing whatever it is that he
> loves doing, whether it involves labor or not.

You, and several other people here, are however happy to browbeat
Frank--his friend not being available--for his doing it.

...

> >It is a little
> >disturbing to see people jump to conclusions like this and even to make
> >accusations.
>
> Well, it seems to me that the conclusions that people here "jumped to"
> - i.e. that there is no payment involved - have been royally borne
> out, which makes them, er, true, no?...

Eric's accusation was rather stronger than that.

> And what accusations have been
> made? That your friend's labor of love is nobody else's business
> (especially if they're professionals in their field)? Sorry, but the
> truth of it is that this kind of enterprise always gets precisely the
> kind of contributions it aims for - from people who are desperate to
> be "published" in any way shape or form and do not really care how,
> people who could not get published anywhere decent and have decided
> that this is somehow the fault of the world and not of their own
> possible inadequacy or inexperience, people who think they are
> mistreated or misunderstood, teenagers who write what they fondly
> imagine is wonderful and tearful poetry concerning the Senior Prom and
> the tragic date they had for it. You get what you pay for; in this
> instance, you get what you don't pay for, as it were, because not only
> will you not be getting GOOD stuff, you'll be deluged with bloody
> AWFUL stuff.

All of those are reasons why his friend may be disappointed in his
plans. None of them are reasons to attack either him or his friend.

...

> >Those that have pointed out the missing information regardng what ACW
> >pays for stories have a valid point. I'm sure that was an oversight
> >and will be corrected.
>
> By paying for said stories...?
>
> No?...
>
> Pity.

So far as we can tell, the e-zine is not a money-making venture. You are
indignant at the idea that the authors should pay the editors but
perfectly willing to demand that the editors should pay the authors. The
world is--fortunately--full of projects done by people for their mutual
benefit, without some participants paying others. This newsgroup is an
example.

Jackdaw

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 3:03:17 AM6/26/05
to

"Julian Flood" <j...@floodsoopsclimbers.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:d9kksq$1u3$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk...
Picky!!
;¬)
I get stuff from skips, charity shops, etc, then sometimes sell them.
You can see what they look like at........
http://www.jackdaw-crafts.net
I was going to add a "BUY ME NOW" button for each article, but after a few
buttons I couldn't be bothered as "Real Life" ( tm ) got in the way.

I am thinking of changing my logo to "Foiled Again" but think it's too twee.
( Or would that be "Mimsy"? )

I also write prose, but out of compassion and good taste, will not show it
on my web site.
I used to write sonnets for fun once, but my mind threatened me with
migraine if I continued!
Nuff about me... please carry on as if nothing had happened.
Go on... shoo!

--

Jackdaw collector of junk, trivia and bright twinkly things.

Foiled on http://www.jackdaw-crafts.net


Neil Barnes

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 3:23:40 AM6/26/05
to
and lo, on Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:47:19 -0700, Alma Hromic Deckert scraped
chalk on slate and produced:

Heh... Atlanta Nights got reviewed in this month's Analog, with our very
own Brenda Clough listed as one of the perpetrator^wauthors :)

Neil

--
The nixies toll the Neil of parting day, that on All Shallows' Eve doth walk ...

Brian M Scott

Neil Barnes

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 3:43:44 AM6/26/05
to
and lo, on Sat, 25 Jun 2005 21:30:28 -0700, Frank scraped chalk on slate
and produced:

> Brooks:


>
> I want to thank you for making your points in a civil manner. Your
> points, which mirror those made by others, are well-taken.
>
> I readily admit not knowing my audience. I haven't frequented this NG for
> very long and mis-judged the membership. That was an error on my part.

Frank, that was the first problem. You didn't misjudge the membership;
you misjudged the reason for this group. The snag is that what seems
reasonable at a first glance - need authors, go to composition group -
would have been seen, by some prior observation, to have been
unnacceptable *in this group*.

There has long been a policy here of 'no adverts'; this may not have been
immediately obvious since it's been a while since there have been any.
However, your post doesn't suggest that you hung around long enough to
find that out - it's the first post I can recall seeing from you.

Had that first post been along the lines of 'Hi, I'm representing an
e-mag, is it ok to ask here for contributions?' then you would have most
likely received a polite 'no, but hang around and chat a while' or an
enquiry concerning your rates.

Instead, you did the on-line equivalent of crashing into a group of
strangers (to you) and handing out advertising fliers... and you don't
even want to pay them.

Others have pointed it out, but I'll repeat - many of the contributors
here are professionals; they earn their livelihoods writing. Others sell
occasionally to magazine ore-publishers; still others, myself included,
either simply like the company or are trying for their first professional
sale. You see why non of these are likely to want to give their work away?
I won't even go into the potential problems of first publication rights...

>
> However, I stand by what I said regarding the reaction. Many of the
> members' responses were arrogant and rude. An explanation/response in
> the tone that Brooks just made gets the point across. The "how dare
> you!" response from many was not necessary, even if it was deserved. If
> I made a mistake, which I just admitted, it was not done maliciously.
>
> Anyway, for those of you who took the time to explain things without the
> arrogance and self-righteous indignation, thank you.

Now here's the bit that might get me shot for heresy :)

I wonder if, in the reasonably near future, the on-line editor might not
become a celebrity in his own right? Thus: there has always been a sight
more stuff written than can reasonably be published in paper form. The web
allows the effectively free publication of pretty much anything... but
no-one has time to check it and most immediately zap advertising spam
irrespective of source or interest.

So I suspect that there will arise editors who are prepared to wade
through the enormous piles of virtual slush... people effectively doing
the same job as Stan Schmidt at Analog, or any of the other magazines.
They will select stories they like, which meet their standards for plot
and style and action and spelling and grammar and all the rest of it, and
they'll be consistent. They'll reject *far* more than they accept, because
face it, most of the stuff out there isn't worth the magnetic domains it's
store on. But if they can get that consistency, then perhaps they can get
the audience? And once the audience trusts their taste, perhaps they'll
pay to listen to it?

But it's going to be a long, hard, slog...

Neil Barnes

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 3:48:40 AM6/26/05
to
and lo, on Sat, 25 Jun 2005 18:58:42 -0400, S. Palmer scraped chalk on
slate and produced:

> Julian Flood wrote:

Our wisteria bloomed and went about the time the first of the clematis
flowered, but the clematis (Warsaw Nike) continues with just three or four
dark purple flowers at a time.

The Famous Mushy Pea[tm] experiment continues with great excitement; from
the original box of 'Batchelor's Bigga Dried Mushy Peas' I now have a
hundred and twenty cubic feet of pea trees; the bees must have bean busy
as it is absolutely bursting with pods. They're still at the edible pod
stage, so I'm waiting for them to fill out; I'll probably have some fresh
and try ripening the others till they dry on the vines.

No sign of boxes or cans growing, though. Maybe that's later in the
development :)

Helen Hall

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 4:52:03 AM6/26/05
to
In article <ddfr-9B1750.2...@news.isp.giganews.com>, David
Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> writes

>
>It might be a big deal if we were editors considering whether to buy his
>friend's work. Under the circumstances, it is a weak signal that his
>friend may not be as competent as he thinks, which is a reason not to
>submit to his journal but not a reason to be angry at being invited to.
>
If his had been the first such proposal this group had ever received
then I'm sure we would not have been so scathing. But it's the umpteenth
and after a while, patience runs thin. Often the umpteenth instance of a
stupid proposal receives all the pent up emotion generated by the
previous instances. This is not really fair, but it's the way things
often go.

>
>He said nothing at all about professional writers, and pretty clearly
>does not expect writers who can sell their work to contribute. He is
>proposing an arrangement that he hopes is in the mutual interest of him
>and amateur writers.

The reason those of us with more experience are responding to this so
vehemently is to ensure that the beginners reading this group get the
message that you don't just give your work away for nothing. The reward
for a decent story may not be hard cash, but there should be *something*
for the writer, eg a guaranteed readership. If this is a brand new ezine
then it is unlikely to be able to provide even that.

Thus if a beginner's story is *not* good enough to be published in any
of the existing pro, semi-pro or "for love" ezines, then that beginner
will most likely get more readers by putting it on their own Geocities
page and telling all their friends and family to look at it or by
posting it to a blog/LJ and having their on-line friends read it than by
having it up on a brand new ezine.

What is more, if that beginner has already submitted to the semi-pro
ezines and had the story rejected, they are better advised to join
Critters or other online workshop and *find out what is wrong with it*
before submitting it to somewhere that will accept anything.

It's hard to admit when you're a young and beginning writer, but when
your precious story is rejected and rejected and rejected, there could
just be a good reason for it. I know, I've been there; done that. I used
to be convinced that my stuff was as good as the published stuff and
wonder why a magazine had rejected mine when they published tripe. But
oh, boy! Looking at it years later, apart from the juvenile stuff that
has a certain sentimental value, the rest of my early writing was awful
and has been destroyed. When I cleared out the bottom of the wardrobe
last year and found the MS of the first novel I finished and submitted,
I threw it in the paper recycling, because that was all it was fit for.

Fortunately the web wasn't around when I began so my embarrassing early
stuff is safely hidden away in folders in a drawer and cannot come back
to haunt me in the way that a webbed story in an ezine might.

>That's no more a request for charity than the posts
>here by people asking the rest of us for advice on writing--indeed
>somewhat less.
>

But those of us who feel we've reached the stage of being able to help
newcomers had help from others when we were beginning. It's just a case
of now taking our turn to the helper instead of the helpee. Also there's
a lot of mutual benefit. Even well-established pros like Mary and
Charlie post questions here and receive useful answers. Someone coming
in from outside with an offer that's all one-sided is bound to get a
rough ride.

>So far as we can tell, the e-zine is not a money-making venture. You are
>indignant at the idea that the authors should pay the editors but
>perfectly willing to demand that the editors should pay the authors.

People selling a product usually pay the producer in some way. Even when
I donate an item to a charity shop, I am paid with the small glow of
satisfaction at feeling that a few UK pounds will go to a good cause. I
would not donate that item to someone who just wanted to set up a stall
giving away items so that they could play at being a shopkeeper. I'd
rather give the item away myself.

At one time, it was more difficult to set up a website. One needed to
know HTML and be able to sort out a host for the site and various other
things. In those days offering to put stories on the web for nothing was
a fair trade. However, now anyone can put up their own free website and
no technical knowledge or skill is required, so a beginner writer might
as well put their early efforts on their own web page. Thus they can
retain total control over that story and can not only put it on the web
but can also take it down whenever they like.

Helen
--
Helen, Gwynedd, Wales *** http://www.baradel.demon.co.uk

Eric Jarvis

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 8:21:35 AM6/26/05
to
lclough clo...@erols.com wrote in <Adove.2449$mw1.12@trnddc09>:

> Frank wrote: The world is made up of writers at many different
> > stages of development and ACW is an opportunity for a Single A player
> > to get some game time.
> >
>
>
> You think so? Or could it be that non-paying internet
> publication is a dry hole, a dead end leading nowhere? And that
> newbies are well-warned, to avoid hamstringing their careers?
>
> I always advise young writers that free markets should be the
> very last resort of "publication".
>

I may be new to writing, but I've worked professionally in music, theatre
and dance. I'm assuming the same is true in this field as in the others.
If you want to be an amateur then you can simply do what you do and show
it off to friends and family. If you want to be a professional you have to
keep honing what you do until you can break in to the professional market
at a professional level. No amount of amateur exposure will help with
that. You have to get used to being criticised on the same basis as the
best in the business.

Eric Jarvis

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 8:33:07 AM6/26/05
to
Neil Barnes nailed_...@hotmail.com wrote in
<pan.2005.06.26....@hotmail.com>:

>
> Now here's the bit that might get me shot for heresy :)
>
> I wonder if, in the reasonably near future, the on-line editor might not
> become a celebrity in his own right? Thus: there has always been a sight
> more stuff written than can reasonably be published in paper form. The web
> allows the effectively free publication of pretty much anything... but
> no-one has time to check it and most immediately zap advertising spam
> irrespective of source or interest.
>
> So I suspect that there will arise editors who are prepared to wade
> through the enormous piles of virtual slush... people effectively doing
> the same job as Stan Schmidt at Analog, or any of the other magazines.
> They will select stories they like, which meet their standards for plot
> and style and action and spelling and grammar and all the rest of it, and
> they'll be consistent. They'll reject *far* more than they accept, because
> face it, most of the stuff out there isn't worth the magnetic domains it's
> store on. But if they can get that consistency, then perhaps they can get
> the audience? And once the audience trusts their taste, perhaps they'll
> pay to listen to it?
>
> But it's going to be a long, hard, slog...
>

Some blogs are starting to be taken quite seriously, and there ate web
sites that people follow pretty much on a daily basis. I think it's
inevitable that eventually some e-zines will become important players.

The problem is that we wouldn't necessarily know if there was an e-zine
operating on that level. To me it seems very like the problems faced by
the independent record labels in the late 70s early 80s. It was easy to
make the record, it just wasn't all that easy to get it publicised and
distributed. It took a while before that problem was cracked and a lot of
labels never did.

Joann Zimmerman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 10:50:39 AM6/26/05
to
In article <pan.2005.06.26....@hotmail.com>,
nailed_...@hotmail.com says...

> and lo, on Sat, 25 Jun 2005 18:58:42 -0400, S. Palmer scraped chalk on
> slate and produced:
>
> > Julian Flood wrote:
> >> www.floodsclimbers.co.uk
> >
> > ah, see, the things we never knew about each other!
> >
> > all my clematis chose today to flower, in some bizarre cross-yard
> > synchronicity. the wisteria, alas, is already done.
>
> Our wisteria bloomed and went about the time the first of the clematis
> flowered, but the clematis (Warsaw Nike) continues with just three or four
> dark purple flowers at a time.

#$%^&* deer ate all our everything last night in a daring midnight raid.

Goodbye to the deerproof star jasmine. Goodbye to the monkey grass.
Goodbye to the stuff with the little red flowers that we didn't know
what it was.

--
"I never understood people who don't have bookshelves."
--George Plimpton

Joann Zimmerman jz...@bellereti.com

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 11:29:37 AM6/26/05
to
In article <MPG.1d28b0d91...@news.dircon.co.uk>,
Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote:

> Some blogs are starting to be taken quite seriously, and there ate web
> sites that people follow pretty much on a daily basis. I think it's
> inevitable that eventually some e-zines will become important players.
>
> The problem is that we wouldn't necessarily know if there was an e-zine
> operating on that level.

That's true of authors at present. There are far more sf books published
than I am going to read, more even than my wife, who does a lot of the
pre-filtering for me, is going to read one chapter of. Being published
by a reputable publisher is only the first cut.

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 11:30:50 AM6/26/05
to
In article <MPG.1d28ae29c...@news.dircon.co.uk>,
Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote:

Even if the amateur exposure doesn't help you, isn't it a natural
context in which to do the honing?

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 11:43:22 AM6/26/05
to
In article <tSXHhKAz...@baradel.demon.co.uk>,
Helen Hall <mh...@baradel.demon.co.uk.please.delete.this> wrote:

...

> The reason those of us with more experience are responding to this so
> vehemently is to ensure that the beginners reading this group get the
> message that you don't just give your work away for nothing.

That may be one reason. Reading the responses, some sound rather more
like offended status. "How dare you treat us as amateurs who might be
willing to write for free. I'll have you know that we (well, some of us)
are professional writers, even (well, a very few of us) pretty
successful professional writers."

> >So far as we can tell, the e-zine is not a money-making venture. You are
> >indignant at the idea that the authors should pay the editors but
> >perfectly willing to demand that the editors should pay the authors.
>
> People selling a product usually pay the producer in some way. Even when
> I donate an item to a charity shop, I am paid with the small glow of
> satisfaction at feeling that a few UK pounds will go to a good cause. I
> would not donate that item to someone who just wanted to set up a stall
> giving away items so that they could play at being a shopkeeper. I'd
> rather give the item away myself.

That's your choice--I wasn't objecting to people not submitting things
to his journal, or even advising other people not to. But you start your
point with "people selling a product," which is irrelevant to the
present case, so far as we can tell.

You then shift to "a stall giving away items." Organizations giving away
their services quite frequently produce those services with donated
labor. I've done three or four SCA demos in the past few weeks and
received no pay for any of them. I don't know if the people who
organized those demos got the satisfaction of "playing at" being
teachers, or performance producers, or whatever--I did them because they
served what I considered several desirable objectives.

S. Palmer

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 12:30:07 PM6/26/05
to
David Friedman wrote:
> Sharon wrote:
[quoting things I said]

Just correcting the misattribution. AFAIK, there aren't any Sharons on
this NG (or at least not that post regularly), and I've been here for
years and years.

As far as the first thing I said, did you happen to read the submission
guidelines on the site? Did you notice how they managed to be
phenomenally condescending towards SF & Fantasy? ("Crime Fiction and
Mysteries are what we?re after, but that doesn?t mean we will close our
eyes to exceptional works in other fields. Science Fiction is accepted
if it?s mean and doesn?t contain some stupid singing Ewoks. Fantasy can
be accepted but it better not feature magicians in white robes spouting
off about grand adventures.") To claim that you're only willing to
accept "exceptional works" in the genre of the newsgroup you're posting
your advert to implies even further that he's looking for submissions of
the quality that would signify someone capable of making pro or semi-pro
sales.

But you'll note I didn't drag him down for any of that, I just pointed
out that he didn't appear to be paying. I was correct.

> Sharon later wrote:
[again, this is me here]

> > There is no charge for being published
> > there
>
> And this statement is supposed to attract us? The novelty of not being
> charged FOR our work? I must admit, so far I've only had publishers pay
> ME.
>
> Look, I didn't respond in order to make you feel picked on, though you
> deserve what you get (and have hopefully found it instructive).
> ---
> There have been lots of complaints in this ng about vanity presses and
> the like that charge you to be published, so pointing out that this is
> not run that way was a perfectly legitimate point--especially after
> Eric's comment.

> "You deserve what you get" is a self-righteous statement.

Yet, not the entire statement.

Still, I stand by what I said. I do think he set himself up for the
responses he got (and the escalating unpleasantness largely[1] followed
upon his own increasing defensiveness). I hope he did find it
instructive in a positive way. I also hope he follows the (I thought)
very useful suggestion I gave him about doing a little research about
markets and e-zines and such. I also hope he takes the time to learn a
little bit about a particular newsgroup (like checking the FAQ, and such
-- I believe we do have it in our FAQ that adverts are a no-no, right?
If I'm wrong on that, I'm sorry) before jumping in.

([1] though not entirely, to be fair. I think some of the more
aggressive early responses can be directly attributed to this not being
the first or the third or the twenty-second such person to jump blindly
into the group and post a solicitation looking for freebies. The
frustration *does* accumulate. It's rather like that child's game where
everyone takes turns adding plastic beans into the pot, and at some
point the whole thing overturns and dumps all the beans on one unlucky
player. He just happened to have the unlucky bean, is all.)

-Suzanne

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 12:24:24 PM6/26/05
to
In article <tSXHhKAz...@baradel.demon.co.uk>,
Helen Hall <mh...@baradel.demon.co.uk.please.delete.this> wrote:
>
>Thus if a beginner's story is *not* good enough to be published in any
>of the existing pro, semi-pro or "for love" ezines, then that beginner
>will most likely get more readers by putting it on their own Geocities
>page and telling all their friends and family to look at it or by
>posting it to a blog/LJ and having their on-line friends read it than by
>having it up on a brand new ezine.

Or by putting it back in the drawer and not letting it be seen at
all. Then after a space of years hauling it out again and seeing
if it can be improved to the point of readability.

And if it can't, then it can be tossed.

Alma Hromic Deckert

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 12:37:44 PM6/26/05
to
On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 23:07:49 -0700, David Friedman
<dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:

>
>So far as we can tell, the e-zine is not a money-making venture. You are
>indignant at the idea that the authors should pay the editors but
>perfectly willing to demand that the editors should pay the authors. The
>world is--fortunately--full of projects done by people for their mutual
>benefit, without some participants paying others. This newsgroup is an
>example.

David, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about? Yes,
I am willing to demand that editors pay the writers. The writers are
providing the product. If nobody is paying the editor to do this work,
that's something else entirely - but there was that niggling
"professional" in the original post which assumed that writers would
be more than willing to hand over their hard-won work hand over fist
to someone who has an ezine that isn't a "money making venture". Well,
that defines it as Someone Else's Hobby, and if they're gonna come in
whining they're being hard done by if they're told that, I really
cannot help it.

By all means, hand over Harald to someone without expecting anything
at all in return except the heartwarming joy of watching someone edit
it for the "love of it". Then let's talk.

A.(mutual benefit? WHAT mutual benefit?)

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:03:09 PM6/26/05
to
In article <m7mtb15e1umco4ah5...@4ax.com>,

Alma Hromic Deckert <ang...@vaxer.net> wrote:

> On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 23:07:49 -0700, David Friedman
> <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote:

> >So far as we can tell, the e-zine is not a money-making venture. You are
> >indignant at the idea that the authors should pay the editors but
> >perfectly willing to demand that the editors should pay the authors. The
> >world is--fortunately--full of projects done by people for their mutual
> >benefit, without some participants paying others. This newsgroup is an
> >example.
>
> David, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about? Yes,
> I am willing to demand that editors pay the writers. The writers are
> providing the product.

The writers, the editors, the webmaster, are all providing their
product. A story by me sitting on my hard disk isn't product yet for
anyone but me.

> If nobody is paying the editor to do this work,
> that's something else entirely -

We have no information suggesting that anyone is paying the editor, and
a good deal to suggest that nobody is--read the original post. If your
angry comments were based on the assumption that the editor was paid,
and that assumption was false and baseless, do you think you owe someone
an apology?

> but there was that niggling
> "professional" in the original post which assumed that writers would
> be more than willing to hand over their hard-won work hand over fist
> to someone who has an ezine that isn't a "money making venture".

The word "professional" wasn't in the original post, as you can easily
check for yourself. It was quoted by someone else from the web site the
quote referred to, and in the context quoted it clearly meant that they
wanted their writers to behave in a professional manner, not that they
expected their writers to be professionals.

> Well,
> that defines it as Someone Else's Hobby, and if they're gonna come in
> whining they're being hard done by if they're told that, I really
> cannot help it.

The original post did no whining at all. The poster later objected,
legitimately, to several hostile responses he got.

> By all means, hand over Harald to someone without expecting anything
> at all in return except the heartwarming joy of watching someone edit
> it for the "love of it". Then let's talk.

That's not where Harald is going. But I have published essays and
poetry, for free, in a variety of publications over the
years--publications that, unlike the e-zine, actually charge their
customers. And I currently have all of one self-published book, all of a
commercially published book that went out of print after the second
edition, all of a commercially published book currently in print in
several languages, all of a not yet published book, and as much of two
other books as my publishers would permit, up on my web page, for free.

> A.(mutual benefit? WHAT mutual benefit?)

The benefit they are offering writers is a chance to have people read
their stories. Writers who don't regard what they are offering as a
benefit won't submit, writers who do will.

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:07:56 PM6/26/05
to
In article <42BED80F...@speakeasy.net>,
"S. Palmer" <cic...@speakeasy.net> wrote:

> David Friedman wrote:
> > Sharon wrote:
> [quoting things I said]
>
> Just correcting the misattribution. AFAIK, there aren't any Sharons on
> this NG (or at least not that post regularly), and I've been here for
> years and years.

Sorry--don't know where I got that from. Maybe a Sharon in a thread I
was in elsewhere?

> But you'll note I didn't drag him down for any of that, I just pointed
> out that he didn't appear to be paying. I was correct.

Yes. But you also implied that there was an inconsistency between not
paying and expecting "authors to write and act professional." That was a
wisecrack, not an argument, since acting professionally isn't the same
thing as being a professional. In ordinary usage, when you say that
someone has done a very professional job, you are commenting on the
quality of the work, not whether he was paid for it.

Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:25:35 PM6/26/05
to
"Neil Barnes" <nailed_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:pan.2005.06.26....@hotmail.com...

> I wonder if, in the reasonably near future, the on-line editor might not
> become a celebrity in his own right? Thus: there has always been a sight
> more stuff written than can reasonably be published in paper form. The web
> allows the effectively free publication of pretty much anything... but
> no-one has time to check it and most immediately zap advertising spam
> irrespective of source or interest.

Oh, I think that's inevitable, to some extent; it's happening in some venues
already, I hear. But...

> So I suspect that there will arise editors who are prepared to wade
> through the enormous piles of virtual slush... people effectively doing
> the same job as Stan Schmidt at Analog, or any of the other magazines.
> They will select stories they like, which meet their standards for plot
> and style and action and spelling and grammar and all the rest of it, and
> they'll be consistent. They'll reject *far* more than they accept, because
> face it, most of the stuff out there isn't worth the magnetic domains it's
> store on. But if they can get that consistency, then perhaps they can get
> the audience? And once the audience trusts their taste, perhaps they'll
> pay to listen to it?
>
> But it's going to be a long, hard, slog...

Exactly.

And it's not at all clear that things will develop this way in the long run.
There are already legitimate, paying, electronic publishers like Fictionwise
growing up in a somewhat different (and somewhat more
consistent-with-traditional-paper-print-publishers) direction. It is
conceivable that ultimately the way the web works will be very much like the
way print publishing in the SF community works: there will be publishers
who pay writers, in varying amounts depending on their market share and/or
reputation for quality (ranging from major to regional to small-press
equivalents); there will be fanzine editors who don't pay writers but who
have a reputation in their particular communities as good editors; and there
will be fanzine editors who don't pay and who aren't particularly good at
editing or choosing stories. It's also conceivable that things will go in a
completely different direction; there are fanfic-download sites that not
only rank stories by number of downloads (which gives some vague indication
of possible quality, or at least reader-appeal), but also let readers review
and rank stories. The more sophisticated these tools get, the easier it
gets to find decent interesting fiction *without* needing an editor to pick
through things first.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:32:17 PM6/26/05
to
"Julian Flood" <j...@floodsoopsclimbers.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:d9leqq$mcq$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk...

>
> "Frank" wrote
>
>> I am surprised, however, at the condescension and arrogance that
>> many of you exhibited.
>
> Arrogant? You call that arrogant? Nah. You should see them on
> semi-colons.

*splork*

Hey, I resemble that remark!

(I've been *trying* to do better, honest, every since my editor asked
sternly, "Does your husband know about this love affair between you and the
semi-colon?" Of course, that was before the divorce...)

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:29:31 PM6/26/05
to
"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-3108CD.0...@news.isp.giganews.com...

This is, to some extent, one of those "mileage varies" things, but as a
general rule...not really.

It's like the whole conventions-as-publicity thing. There are lots of
useful and interesting things you can do at SF conventions, but if you look
strictly at the numbers, the ROI just isn't there -- you can't justify going
to an SF con purely on a business/monetary-return basis. You have to do it
because you love cons, and consider the business stuff a nice bonus, or it
just doesn't make sense.

In the case of non-paying zines (e- and otherwise), the return on investment
has to be in the form of some sort of non-monetary benefit gained for the
effort involved. And this is where it really, really depends on the writer
to figure out what the benefits are and whether they're a good trade-off.
For most writers, and most non-paying venues, it isn't. You don't get any
"honing" from such publications because the editors are usually not
professionals and therefore neither edit as a professional would nor run
their business in a professional manner. (This is not necessarily to imply
that the particular people who are trying to start this website have these
problems; I'm thinking of specific horror stories that include amateur
editors publishing stories when they had been specifically denied permission
to do so "because it's too good not to publish," and other similar things.)
It isn't having your stuff read by X-many people that hones your craft; it's
a) practice, and b) good editorial feedback, and c) practice, and d) did I
mention practice?

It is not impossible, of course for a *specific* zine to have a really good
editor who runs things professionally. They usually get a reputation and
aren't that hard to find (though they may be hard to "sell" to). In some
fields (which I suspect is where this guy is coming from -- this wasn't put
forward as an SF website, but as one of "high quality writing" regardless of
genre, which sounds very much like someone coming out of a literary
background), there are magazines that pay only in copies, or not even that,
but which are very highly regarded, so much so that there is considerable
competition for publication in them. The return the writer gets is in
prestige and credibility, not in cash.

The trouble these folks are having is two-fold: first, the sort of zine
that pays in prestige has to be built over time, and it's a heck of a lot of
hard work, and there aren't any shortcuts. No matter how good one's
editorial skills or how solidly based one's professionallism, one must
demonstrate them repeatedly in the quality of one's zine in order to earn
the reputation that pulls writers in; one cannot just say "I am going to
start publishing a highly selective, high-quality magazine that will only
publish the best of the best" and expect to *get* only the best of the best,
right from the start. There are far too many would-be editors who crop up
every year spouting that line, who turn out to not know what they are doing,
for anyone who's been around for any length of time to believe such
assertions on the strength of a flyer, ad, or e-mail assertion alone. Even
in the literary market, where pay-in-copies high-prestige zines are more
common, it's the product itself -- a high-quality zine, issue after issue --
that earns the reputation, not simply the ambition to achieve such a thing.

Which brings me to the second point: SF is a genre market, and genre
markets tend to be a much tougher sell when it comes to high-prestige,
no-pay markets. This is because there *are* plenty of paying markets, at
pretty much all levels and lengths. Why should *anyone* send a story to a
non-paying market, if they can get even 1/4-cent/word somewhere else?
$25.00 isn't much, but it'll still buy a better-than-fast-food dinner out,
and it's a lot more than $0.00. Furthermore, there are lots of professional
genre writers around who will give newcomers to the field the very sensible
advice that they should start marketing their stories by sending them to the
top-paying magazines and anthologies, and work their way down from ANALOG
and F&SF and ASIMOV'S to the two-cent markets and the half-cent-a-word
markets and the quarter-cent-a-word markets. And only then, and only if
they really don't think the story will ever sell anywhere, give it to a
nonpaying market. Because $25 ten years from now is *still* more than $0.00
today. (And I've sold several short stories ten years after they were
written, which wouldn't have been possible had I given them away to
nonpaying markets at some earlier time.)

In short, the culture of genre fiction-writing is predicated, as Alma said,
on the fact that most of us see writing as a paying job, a way to make a
living. This tends to be true even of those who aren't yet doing so,
including folks who haven't yet sold anything at all. The *only* types of
stories that are commonly seen as suitable for nonpaying markets, from a
genre perspective, are those that *cannot* be sold to a legitimate paying
market -- primarily fanfic, and occasional things that are "too weird" for
the current market (and usually a lot of the "too weird" stuff goes back in
the trunk, because odds are excellent that in a year or ten somebody will
pay for it after all).

Frank gets extra points for continuing to read the discussion and engaging
with the debate, instead of doing the usual post-ad-and-never-return thing
that such send-us-your-stories ads usually do. I think he can be forgiven
for getting cranky; a lot of the early responses were, I suspect, predicated
on the assumption that this *was* yet another fly-by-night,
never-going-to-see-him-again posts, so people were more or less venting
rather than expecting actual responses, and were thus less civil than usual.

Patricia C. Wrede

Helen Hall

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:31:43 PM6/26/05
to
In article <ddfr-0E9813.0...@news.isp.giganews.com>, David
Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> writes
>

>That may be one reason. Reading the responses, some sound rather more
>like offended status. "How dare you treat us as amateurs who might be
>willing to write for free. I'll have you know that we (well, some of us)
>are professional writers, even (well, a very few of us) pretty
>successful professional writers."
>
That's not how I read it, though obviously it was how you interpreted
it. On this we will just have to agree to differ.

>
>That's your choice--I wasn't objecting to people not submitting things
>to his journal, or even advising other people not to. But you start your
>point with "people selling a product," which is irrelevant to the
>present case, so far as we can tell.
>
It might be apparent now; it wasn't apparent from the original post.

>You then shift to "a stall giving away items." Organizations giving away
>their services quite frequently produce those services with donated
>labor. I've done three or four SCA demos in the past few weeks and
>received no pay for any of them. I don't know if the people who
>organized those demos got the satisfaction of "playing at" being
>teachers, or performance producers, or whatever--I did them because they
>served what I considered several desirable objectives.
>

I would be interested to know what the chap's motivation is for setting
up the ezine. Is that motivation likely to last beyond a couple of
issues? What's going to keep him wading through the slush in 12 months
time? Your SCA example is not comparable at all as it's an organisation
to which you and the others doing the demos belong. Presumably the aim
is to raise the profile of the organisation and bring in more members,
thus ensuring the long term health and survival of a group you get a
good deal of pleasure from.

I have no problem with people putting effort into hobbies and activities
without getting any financial reward, but there must *be* a reward of
some kind. What reward will the ezine publisher have for his efforts?

Helen Hall

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:36:51 PM6/26/05
to
In article <ddfr-3108CD.0...@news.isp.giganews.com>, David
Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> writes
You do the honing in private in crit groups. In the case of musicians
it's in private in rehearsal rooms. You don't hone your skills on stage
in front of an audience.

Which is not to say that published writers don't improve as they
continue to write more, but there is a certain bar below which people
should be advised to keep their creative efforts to themselves and not
seek an audience before they're ready.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:46:57 PM6/26/05
to
On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:52:30 -0700, David Friedman
<dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in
<news:ddfr-D1A366.2...@news.isp.giganews.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

[...]

> Pointing out to Frank that what he is offering is unlikely to prove
> attractive to people here is a legitimate response, and suggesting
> reasons why the project may not work even a helpful one. But attacking
> him for making an offer that we don't happen to be interested in, and
> making fun of him for someone else's grammatical error--or possibly
> typo--were, I think, overdoing it.

On the contrary, it *is* funny, in the same sense that a
misspelled spelling flame is funny -- a sense that perfectly
suits the site in question, too! For the rest, you
misrepresent the objection of at least some folks here
(e.g., Brenda): not just 'we don't happen to be interested',
but 'this is an offer apparently aimed at people who would
generally be better advised not to take it'.

Brian

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 1:49:49 PM6/26/05
to
In article <11btprf...@corp.supernews.com>,

"Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:

> "David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
> news:ddfr-3108CD.0...@news.isp.giganews.com...
> > In article <MPG.1d28ae29c...@news.dircon.co.uk>,
> > Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >> I may be new to writing, but I've worked professionally in music, theatre
> >> and dance. I'm assuming the same is true in this field as in the others.
> >> If you want to be an amateur then you can simply do what you do and show
> >> it off to friends and family. If you want to be a professional you have
> >> to
> >> keep honing what you do until you can break in to the professional market
> >> at a professional level. No amount of amateur exposure will help with
> >> that. You have to get used to being criticised on the same basis as the
> >> best in the business.
> >
> > Even if the amateur exposure doesn't help you, isn't it a natural
> > context in which to do the honing?

...

> In the case of non-paying zines (e- and otherwise), the return on investment
> has to be in the form of some sort of non-monetary benefit gained for the
> effort involved. And this is where it really, really depends on the writer
> to figure out what the benefits are and whether they're a good trade-off.

I entirely agree.

> For most writers, and most non-paying venues, it isn't. You don't get any
> "honing" from such publications because the editors are usually not
> professionals and therefore neither edit as a professional would nor run
> their business in a professional manner.

I assumed that Eric was referring to honing you do yourself--getting
better at your art by doing it, and trying to do it better and better.
That doesn't depend on input from the editors, although obviously such
input could help. My point was that if you are trying to make yourself a
better actor, you need plays to act in. You can make yourself a better
writer without any readers, but for many people the existence of readers
may help.

...

> The trouble these folks are having is two-fold: first, the sort of zine
> that pays in prestige has to be built over time, and it's a heck of a lot of
> hard work, and there aren't any shortcuts. No matter how good one's
> editorial skills or how solidly based one's professionallism, one must
> demonstrate them repeatedly in the quality of one's zine in order to earn
> the reputation that pulls writers in; one cannot just say "I am going to
> start publishing a highly selective, high-quality magazine that will only
> publish the best of the best" and expect to *get* only the best of the best,
> right from the start. There are far too many would-be editors who crop up
> every year spouting that line, who turn out to not know what they are doing,
> for anyone who's been around for any length of time to believe such
> assertions on the strength of a flyer, ad, or e-mail assertion alone. Even
> in the literary market, where pay-in-copies high-prestige zines are more
> common, it's the product itself -- a high-quality zine, issue after issue --
> that earns the reputation, not simply the ambition to achieve such a thing.

Clearly true. But one has to start somewhere. My guess is that this
project, like many projects, will fail--but that's no reason why people
here should attack them for trying.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 2:00:31 PM6/26/05
to
On Sun, 26 Jun 2005 08:43:22 -0700, David Friedman
<dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in
<news:ddfr-0E9813.0...@news.isp.giganews.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> In article <tSXHhKAz...@baradel.demon.co.uk>,
> Helen Hall <mh...@baradel.demon.co.uk.please.delete.this> wrote:

> ...

>> The reason those of us with more experience are responding to this so
>> vehemently is to ensure that the beginners reading this group get the
>> message that you don't just give your work away for nothing.

> That may be one reason. Reading the responses, some sound rather more

> like offended status. [...]

Your imagination is running away with you. The first post
that I can find that even *might* fit the description is a
response to Frank's *third* post.

Brian

David Friedman

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 2:41:03 PM6/26/05
to
In article <GakNTKA$ZuvC...@baradel.demon.co.uk>,
Helen Hall <mh...@baradel.demon.co.uk.please.delete.this> wrote:

> In article <ddfr-0E9813.0...@news.isp.giganews.com>, David
> Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> writes
> >
> >That may be one reason. Reading the responses, some sound rather more
> >like offended status. "How dare you treat us as amateurs who might be
> >willing to write for free. I'll have you know that we (well, some of us)
> >are professional writers, even (well, a very few of us) pretty
> >successful professional writers."
> >
> That's not how I read it, though obviously it was how you interpreted
> it. On this we will just have to agree to differ.
> >
> >That's your choice--I wasn't objecting to people not submitting things
> >to his journal, or even advising other people not to. But you start your
> >point with "people selling a product," which is irrelevant to the
> >present case, so far as we can tell.
> >
> It might be apparent now; it wasn't apparent from the original post.

Your post wasn't a response to the original post. And nothing in the
original post implied that he was selling a product.

> >You then shift to "a stall giving away items." Organizations giving away
> >their services quite frequently produce those services with donated
> >labor. I've done three or four SCA demos in the past few weeks and
> >received no pay for any of them. I don't know if the people who
> >organized those demos got the satisfaction of "playing at" being
> >teachers, or performance producers, or whatever--I did them because they
> >served what I considered several desirable objectives.
> >
> I would be interested to know what the chap's motivation is for setting
> up the ezine. Is that motivation likely to last beyond a couple of
> issues? What's going to keep him wading through the slush in 12 months
> time? Your SCA example is not comparable at all as it's an organisation
> to which you and the others doing the demos belong. Presumably the aim
> is to raise the profile of the organisation and bring in more members,
> thus ensuring the long term health and survival of a group you get a
> good deal of pleasure from.
>
> I have no problem with people putting effort into hobbies and activities
> without getting any financial reward, but there must *be* a reward of
> some kind. What reward will the ezine publisher have for his efforts?

An interesting question, with a variety of possible answers. But that
doesn't justify posters here assuming one of them and then attacking him
on the basis of that assumption.

S. Palmer

unread,
Jun 26, 2005, 2:57:38 PM6/26/05
to
David Friedman wrote:
> Yes. But you also implied that there was an inconsistency between not
> paying and expecting "authors to write and act professional." That was a
> wisecrack, not an argument, since acting professionally isn't the same
> thing as being a professional. In ordinary usage, when you say that
> someone has done a very professional job, you are commenting on the
> quality of the work, not whether he was paid for it.

I think we're getting down to semantics here. If I say someone did a
professional job, what I mean by that is that the quality of their work
is at a level at which they could be paid for it (whether or not they
are). As writers, if our work is at a level at which we could get paid
for it, why would we give it away free to strangers? Thus, I think in
this instance the difference between being a professional and producing
professional-level work is too miniscule to make my argument any less
effective.

For example, in my day job I'm a system administrator -- I fix people's
computers all day long for pay. Sometimes, friends and family call me up
and want me to come help, and I'm happy to do what I can for them (which
is I think equiv. to your SCA analogy, because that's an organization
that you're invested in socially). If a stranger came up to me and
wanted me to fix their personal computer for them, when such a fix would
take substantial effort and be time-consuming (as writing a
professional-quality story is also time- and energy-consuming) and I
don't know them from any other random person on the street, then I'm not
going to do it, particularly if they're going to be vaguely insulting
about asking ("I'm looking for a Windows person to help me out, but I'll
be willing to consider a Unix person if they're exceptional at their job
and they don't smell funny"). If I think they're just being clueless,
I'll give them advice and try to direct them to somebody else they can
take it to, but that's all they get. And I don't think that's in any way
unreasonable on my part.

-Suzanne

S. Palmer

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Jun 26, 2005, 3:03:15 PM6/26/05