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Thread: [eZine] The Rag

  1. #1
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    [eZine] The Rag

    I responded to a Craig's List ad headlined: "Writers: Short fiction & poetry needed for new magazine (Chicago)". It had an email address to request their submission guidelines, so I used it.

    Got a reply today, leading to their website:
    The Rag. It's an electronic magazine, aiming at the e-reader market.

    What made me start this thread was this: In the email they sent me,
    they say:
    It costs $3 to submit to The Rag. Why do we charge a fee? The reason goes back again to the notion sustainability: it costs money to run a website and a submissions management platform, and if we were to allow an open, free email-based submissions process, we'd be overloaded with spam and other junk that would be too time-consuming to sift through—believe us, we’ve tried it before.

    A fee is fairly common among literary magazines that accept online submissions these days and the way we look at it, the classic alternative of mailed submissions ends up being more costly than what we charge to submit. With our current method, the money isn't going to pay for printer ink, paper and postage; it's instead going to support the literary community.
    This sounds unlikely to me, especially the line I've bolded. A lot of online 'zines don't pay for publication, but actually charging a fee? No, those other publications manage to deal with electronic submissions without charging writers for the privilege of submitting.

    I seriously doubt they'll get enough high-quality submissions this way to get any significant e-reader revenue. Which suggests the possibility that their main revenue stream will be from writers submitting work.

    Has anybody had any experience with The Rag? The editor is Seth Porter, in Portland, OR.
    Last edited by Manuel Royal; 09-15-2011 at 12:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    My only experience with this mag has been them spamming an author's loop for another publisher with disparaging remarks about that publisher's magazine. Not sure what they expect to accomplish. Do they really think that makes the authors on this loop want to submit to them?

    Not only did their lack of professionalism make me NOT want to submit to them, it made me not want to read their magazine.
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  3. #3
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    Sounds like a scam.

  4. #4
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    I came across The Rag posting in my local Craigslist writing gigs section, just like the OP, and wrote for guidelines as well. I had checked them out before when I saw one of their open postings that had included what magazine it was for, rather than the flag-avoiding mystery posting gambit they are currently using.

    I had a bit of an e-mail exchange with one of the editors on there, just because I'm kind of a curmudgeonly, old-school type who tends to call a horse-apple what it is.

    I wrote:

    To: Dan Reilly, The Rag

    Greetings:

    As someone who has written professionally for almost 30 years at this point, and worked as an editor for more than 20, I have to say, the "paying to submit" farce never loses its amusement value. I've worked on staff for about a dozen magazines, and as a publication consultant for more than a hundred more, many of them electronic publications in more recent years, and we've always found ways to pay our writers without resorting to that sort of scam. Making writers pay you to provide you with the material that your magazine wouldn't exist without is laughable. It's one thing to run a contest and charge an entry fee, but what you're doing is akin to charging a reading fee, something no reputable editor, publisher, literary agent, et cetera would ever consider doing. Trust me on that; I've been doing this since I was a teenager in the early '80s, and as far as I know that standard hasn't changed. Nope. I just checked; still the same.

    You're already getting an online rep in writing circles for this kind of thing: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6545939

    Preditors & Editors has this to say about your magazine: 6 Sep 11 - The Rag: Not recommended. Charges submission fee. An online quarterly subscription literary magazine. http://invirtuo.cc/prededitors/pemr.htm

    I've also heard about your publication from other writers I know personally, and saw your posting for The Rag on Craigslist, before it was apparently flagged off. I suspect that is why your most recent and repeated posting calls for submissions don't include your publication's name and require writers to contact you to get your submission information; otherwise those postings would be flagged off, too.

    I am aware that the new paradigm for publishing is rather challenging, and as a result most new publications don't survive due to the scarcity of revenue. Alas, thus is life. However, what you're doing is pretty much going to guarantee that few reputable writers if any submit to you. I can't imagine any of the many pros I know ever being willing to pay to have someone read their writing.

    Good luck with that.
    I actually didn't expect to hear back from them, but imagine my surprise when I got a rather manifesto-length defense in reply:

    We have read your remarks and find them interesting, and we're sorry that you dislike our submission process. We do of course realize that it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time.

    It's interesting that you stress your 30 years of experience in dealing with “paying to submit.” The Internet as we know it has only been around for about 20 years, and has only become the common medium for content distribution that it is now in the past 5-10. Even now, many literary magazines still only take paper submissions. In the brave new world of the Internet, we are your paper, your printer, your ink and your post office. Ifthat’s not worth $3 to you, then fine. Don’t submit. But you cannot possibly think that the classic method of submission, the printed, double-spaced, mailed submission with a SASE included, costs less than $3 for the writer. You are comparing apples to oranges. It’s not a “reading fee”, it’s a processing fee. We could take mailed submissions, it would support other goals we have as far as limiting submissions is concerned,but it benefits no one, limits the flexibility of our author payments, and creates massive waste. One thing the $3 fee doesn’t do is personally enrich us, the publishers: that is simple math.

    As a writer, I have always actually appreciated places that offer online submissions for a small fee. I certainly preferred to support a lit mag rather than the post office and Epson. It’s a matter of trade-offs either way, and it’s not something to get offended about if you prefer one method to another. If you submit to a magazine that requires mailed submissions, then you deal with the printing, the trip to the post office, etc, and you pay quite a bit of money, certainly more than $3. Or, alternatively, you can submit to a magazine that takes free electronic submissions: in which case, you are dealing with the slow response times and un-thoroughness that’s inherent when a magazine receives 20,000+ submissions/year that they undoubtedly will receive--if they’re doing their promotional job. Or, you can submit to a magazine like us that’s a middle ground: you pay a little less and than when you mail a submission, and more than you would for a free electronic submission, but it’smore convenient than mailing and offers advantages to free submissions, e.g.faster response time, a deeper reading of your work by the actual editors rather than an army of “readers”, and you’re getting paid more than “contributorscopies.” Or, you have an agent and you’re submitting to the New Yorker and the like, butthat’s another matter altogether, isn’t it?

    You are making quite a few other assumptions here, and you may be familiar with the problem with assuming. You assume that our content,and ability as editors, stinks, though obviously you have not even read the issue that we have already published. That’s offensive to us and to the writers we publish; if you read our work and it isn’t your cup of tea, fine, but to summarily dismiss something that you have zero knowledge of reeks of ignorance and intolerance.

    As for guaranteeing that “few reputable writers” will submit to us, well, the whole point of starting our magazine is that we feel particular kinds of good writing get dismissed by the literary establishment, such as it is, and that there’sa bias towards those who’ve been previously published that has nothing to do with quality. We could care less whether a writer who submits to us is “reputable”,a “pro,” or not; all we care about is their actual work they’re submitting. A list of previously published work is absolutely meaningless to us: as it should be. And here you are vastly underestimating the size of your competition. You express concern about our ability to produce a quality magazine, assuming that we won’t get quality submissions, again, without ever having read anythingwe’ve published, and with us having existed for all of 3 weeks. However, fear not, 3 weeks into our existence, we are on pace to receive roughly 4000submissions in a year. Contrary to your opinion, most submissions we, or I’m sure any literary magazine receive, are of pretty decent quality. We see no reason at all to fear that we won’t be able to publish a magazine of the quality we desire due to a lack of quality work. On the contrary, there’s much deserving work we won’t be able to publish, since even if we’re unable to cast a wider net over the next 11.3 months from what we have in the first 0.3, we’ll still publish less than 1% of what’s submitted to us. 100%of the submission fees from those 4000+ submissions will go into the pockets of our contributors, or into the cost of running the post office/printing shop that is our online submission process.

    Again, if this is not for you, fine. However, please don’tmake assumptions, or denigrate us and the authors we publish because of a simple disagreement over our business model. If there are others that have found a way to operate as a completely independent, built-from-the-ground-up publisher that pays its contributors from the start, takes free online submissions, and has the time and energy left over to actually edit the work they receive, respond in a timely manner to all submitters, and not operate Ianthe red or depend on independent wealth or benefactors, then more power to them. We are not them; we are our own magazine, not just another rag but The Rag,and this is our method.
    I particularly liked the doublespeak "processing fee" label, as well as the nicely convoluted explanation for the fee that essentially adds up to "well, you'd spend the money anyway, so why not give it to us?"

    I think I must concur with Soccer Mom on this one. I got my start essentially apprenticing under old-guard publishing types to whom such con-games were not to be tolerated.

    If nothing else, methinks the fellow doth protest too much.

  5. #5
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Reilly, The Rag
    But you cannot possibly think that the classic method of submission, the printed, double-spaced, mailed submission with a SASE included, costs less than $3 for the writer. You are comparing apples to oranges.
    Yes, that is apples and oranges. But here's the thing -- you (200Plus) don't make that comparison at all; only Dan Reilly does, then pretends that you did.

    What he doesn't do is account for the many, many online magazines, both paying and nonpaying, that accept electronic submissions without charging writers for the privilege, and still manage to have a decent turnaround time. Do they know a secret Dan Reilly has yet to master?

    In looking at the website, it looks as if you can't see any of the material without ponying up a paid subscription. I'm sure as hell not going to do that, and it's hard to imagine he'll get a whole lot of other people doing it.

    Now, in an email they sent me, they claim to have already paid $100-$150 for each story they've accepted, before their first issue is even out.

    I'm skeptical about the veracity of that claim, but let's assume it's true. Let's even use the higher figure, $150. Now ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Reilly, The Rag
    On the contrary, there’s much deserving work we won’t be able to publish, since even if we’re unable to cast a wider net over the next 11.3 months from what we have in the first 0.3, we’ll still publish less than 1% of what’s submitted to us. 100%of the submission fees from those 4000+ submissions will go into the pockets of our contributors, or into the cost of running the post office/printing shop that is our online submission process.
    Huh. So, at a 1% acceptance rate, he's saying they expect to take in $300 in fees (from the writers) for each story they publish. So, then, if his expectation works out, he'll make a profit on each story, just from fees paid by the writers, even if nobody subscribes to the magazine.

    Of course, they have to pay for the PC and desktop publishing software, or, as he refers to it, "the post office/printing shop that is our online submission process."
    Last edited by Manuel Royal; 09-29-2011 at 10:55 PM.
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  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    @ Manuel Royal

    Yes, I noticed the assumptive attribution he made on my behalf with that comparison. I also noticed the one he made where he assumed that I was talking about paying for Internet submissions, as opposed to any pay-to-submit scams, both print and electroic, and then tried to "gotcha" me with it. Alas, he needs to work on his reading comprehension and tendency of his own to assume.

    I also noticed the math as well. With 4,000 submissions, he's pulling in $12,000, and if he only accepts 1% of those, and pays $150 each for them, he only shells out $6,000. I guess that online submission process takes $6,000 to run itself. Most interesting.

    Sigh. I got my start back in the days when I was banging my manuscripts out on manual typewriters and cut-and-paste in editing meant literally cutting with scissors and pasting said cut-outs in place of what they were replacing. As much as word-processing software, desktop publishing, and the Internet have made my job easier, I long for the natural filter that the tedium and effort of such old-school processes imposed in weeding out the chaff from the wheat.

  7. #7
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    I do miss my old typewriter (Royal KHM, pictured in avatar). I started writing in the 1970s, and if I'd continued, no doubt would have made many submissions through the postal service, and spent a lot of postage. By the time I resumed writing, electronic submission had become common, and I do appreciate it. (Though I've also done postal submissions for a few markets, like The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.)

    Well, there are plenty of other markets. I'll be curious to see what becomes of The Rag, though.
    Fiction blog as Manuel Royal: Donnetown Today or Recently (or a Long Time Ago)

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  8. #8
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    Official Statement from the Editors of The Rag

    In the few short months since we’ve launched our magazine, one of the questions that keeps coming up is why we charge $3 for online submissions. We figured it’s time to take a deeper look into this topic, as submission fees are somewhat of a controversial issue in the literary community.

    When we decided to start our magazine we considered several delivery options for accepting submissions, and we ultimately decided that the best option was to model our submission process after magazines we’d submitted to ourselves, like The Missouri Review, who recently wrote their own blog entry on this subject. So far it’s worked well, and authors definitely seem to prefer submitting online, even with the small fee, to mailing their submissions, as 98% of the submissions we receive are submitted to us through our paid online medium.

    Now of course we understand that virtually all writers would prefer to submit electronically for free, as it’s easy, convenient and there is no cost involved. While we have no desire to make submitting costly for writers, from our perspective as publishers there are big problems with opening ourselves to free online submissions; and those problems primarily come down to volume and quality.

    In the past, before there was any such thing as the Internet, submitting work for publication required not only money for postage and printing, but it also took a considerable amount of time—i.e. formatting and printing, producing an SASE, dragging yourself to the post office etc. As it turns out, that cost—i.e. time and money—moderates consideration. That is, if the process bares a cost to you, then you’re more likely to do some research to see which magazines are best-suited for your work before submitting. Similarly, paid online submissions have the same effect. Although they’re more convenient than printing and making a trip to the post office, there’s still a cost to consider. If the online process were free, and as simple as copy, paste, send, it never hurts to take a shot, so why not send that 18th Century period piece to the magazine that calls for gritty stories about the modern world? This simplifies things of course, but it’s undoubtedly true that free submissions cause volume to go up without a corresponding increase in quality.

    So now let’s look at it from the author’s standpoint. If a magazine that used to receive 4,000 paid submissions/year, is now receiving 20,000 free online submissions/year, who does that benefit? Although the writer pays nothing, and can now afford to submit to more publications, they’re now swimming not in a lake but in an ocean, and the chances of someone finding them in that ocean are now much smaller.

    One of the things we strive for at The Rag is discovering new talent. We base our publication decisions on the piece of writing that’s in front of our eyes, not on bylines, or how famous the author is. So if you’re a new writer, your chances of being noticed by a publication that has some moderating filters to its submission process are probably much higher than those that don’t. As it stands, our submission volume is manageable and we can give each story equal consideration.

    Now let’s get down to what’s on everyone’s mind—that green stuff: money. It’s what makes the world go around. Or at least it’s what makes us go around spinning our wheels in the muck of Capitalism. Either way, it’s a necessary evil. Our overriding goal at The Rag is to pay writers. For some writers, submissions fees are anathema; for us, not being paid is anathema. One of our primary decisions in moving forward with our publication was that if we couldn’t pay writers, we didn’t want to run a literary magazine. That’s the whole point. Get the cash flowing. Distribute some wealth, even if it’s nothing more than enough cash for a week’s worth of groceries, at least it’s something that gives the writer a reason to keep moving forward.

    The online submission fee advances that goal. With mailed submissions, the money the writer spends goes to the post office and to the print and paper manufacturers. With online submissions fees, that money stays in the literary community. That, to us, is a win-win situation. Writers can still submit to us through the mail at no additional charge beyond printing and postage expenses, but if they choose to submit online, whether that’s because it’s cheaper, more convenient, or if they just don’t mind sending some financial support our way, then the money increases our revenue and increases what we can pay our writers. It’s that simple.

    The submission fee debate is an interesting one, and it’s possible to put forward logical arguments on each side. Certain people we come across, however, like to confront us with arguments that are nothing more than troll-logic. They email us to tell us we’re “scammers” who’re taking advantage of “gullible” authors. They’re apparently the only ones brilliant enough to see through our scheme and need to protect the other writers, who are all mildly-retarded or, at best, hopelessly naïve.

    Indeed, we’re living the good life off of authors’ hard-earned cash. We spend many of our days drinking Martinis made from Banker’s Club Vodka and premium olives. As everyone knows, running a literary magazine is a sure ticket into the 1%. We enjoy driving past Occupy protests and throwing $3 out of the windows of our limo for the degenerates to pluck from the pavement. We’re currently lobbying the Fed to issue and circulate a $3 bill so that it’s easier for us to count all of our money. Our editor and chief even has a vanity plate on the back of his Prius that says “3-RIPS.” We buy our Coke by the pound. Good times, I tell you.

    But seriously, we’d like to make it known that we greatly appreciate the support we’ve received so far, both through submissions and subscriptions, and we certainly appreciate those who have provided honest reviews of the work we publish, rather than crude critiques of our business model. Hopefully, this answers some questions concerning why we chose our current methods of accepting submissions. We are open to change and new ideas, as we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our methods. So we welcome civil debate on this and other subjects.

    --The Rag editors

  9. #9
    Are we done yet?
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    What is interesting about this model, is that they are making money on the submissions, and subscriptions and they are putting them up on Amazon Kindle. Self publishing people say short story collections continue to make money for years. In fact, they build readership over time. So unlike magazines in the past where it only makes money on the current subscribers this magazine will continue to make money on each story forever, well until Amazon dies.

    The Rag -
    Previously published work is not accepted. All pieces accepted for publication will be compensated with a flat rate; royalties do not apply, unless specified otherwise. The Rag acquires first rights for publication, and upon publication, rights revert to the author.
    So who get the check from amazon?
    .

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  10. #10
    Hi Rag Editors, thanks for coming by and participating in this thread. I hope you will continue to do so.

    While you make a case for the submission fee, I (personally) feel it is flawed.

    First - paying a submission fee vs forking out for postage is not an either/or situation. Even if it were, why should the money I would give to the post office and my local stationer go to you? Your line of argument seems to be "Well, you'd spend the money anyway if you had to send us a hard copy, so why not just give it to us (and there'll be less of it!)" It's not compelling.

    Second - It's even less compelling when I look at what I get in return for my $3. You are a new magazine. I get a 1% chance of a publishing credit which isn't good enough to go on my query letter.

    Third - If you are charging submission fees, you are unlikely (in my opinion) to become a pub credit I can put on my Q. Your slushpile is not going to contain the writers which will give you that reputation. I'm sure you will get plenty of good ones (because, hey, it's only three dollars and principles are nice for those who can afford them) but equally you will get many who will write you off for it. Money Flows TO the Writer, Always. I don't care if its three dollars or three hundred, I'm not paying to submit to you or anybody else. If you don't want slush, close to unsolicited subs.

    I get why you're doing it. Times are tough, magazines don't make money, you don't get paid for going through the slushpile. It's an interesting idea and one which will probably help to keep your business from collapsing swiftly.

    Forcing people to pay to submit is not only going to stop (some of) the spammed subs, it is going to impact hugely on the quality of the writing you get submitted to you. The people who take this thing seriously, who work at it, are the people who are not going to pay to submit to your magazine at this time.
    If you are going to persist, what I would want to see from you is a better reputation (three dollars is going to look a heck of a lot more palatable if I can get a story next to Joyce Carol Oates rather that Bruce Brucesson from Arkansas. At a moment, I have no idea what your QC is like because there aren't any extracts. Yes, I could buy your mag, but I'm not going to. Put something on there to interest me, like an extract, and I might.), a guaranteed response time (and a short one. 30 - 60 days? Meh. 14 and I'll think about it).

    Also, what Pfinucan asked.

  11. #11
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Charging a submission fee won't fly in professional circles.

    End of story.
    Emily Veinglory

  12. #12
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    They already do though...

    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Charging a submission fee won't fly in professional circles.

    End of story.
    I could name 10 professional, nationally-circulated magazines that charge submission fees, but I don't want to get into trouble with dropping names and/or hiding behind the big guys. But we use a company called Submittable, and a lot of their users are listed on their site, so you can check them out for yourself if you'd like. Many of them are backed by major universities and are therefore also accepted not just in the writing community, but in the professional academic community as well, where all practices are subject to peer review. Given your comment I think it would surprise you to see how many of them charge for submissions.

    Dan R
    -The Rag

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Dan R, are you saying that submissions to The Rag undergo peer review?

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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo81 View Post
    Hi Rag Editors, thanks for coming by and participating in this thread. I hope you will continue to do so.

    While you make a case for the submission fee, I (personally) feel it is flawed.

    First - paying a submission fee vs forking out for postage is not an either/or situation. Even if it were, why should the money I would give to the post office and my local stationer go to you? Your line of argument seems to be "Well, you'd spend the money anyway if you had to send us a hard copy, so why not just give it to us (and there'll be less of it!)" It's not compelling.

    Second - It's even less compelling when I look at what I get in return for my $3. You are a new magazine. I get a 1% chance of a publishing credit which isn't good enough to go on my query letter.

    Third - If you are charging submission fees, you are unlikely (in my opinion) to become a pub credit I can put on my Q. Your slushpile is not going to contain the writers which will give you that reputation. I'm sure you will get plenty of good ones (because, hey, it's only three dollars and principles are nice for those who can afford them) but equally you will get many who will write you off for it. Money Flows TO the Writer, Always. I don't care if its three dollars or three hundred, I'm not paying to submit to you or anybody else. If you don't want slush, close to unsolicited subs.

    I get why you're doing it. Times are tough, magazines don't make money, you don't get paid for going through the slushpile. It's an interesting idea and one which will probably help to keep your business from collapsing swiftly.

    Forcing people to pay to submit is not only going to stop (some of) the spammed subs, it is going to impact hugely on the quality of the writing you get submitted to you. The people who take this thing seriously, who work at it, are the people who are not going to pay to submit to your magazine at this time.
    If you are going to persist, what I would want to see from you is a better reputation (three dollars is going to look a heck of a lot more palatable if I can get a story next to Joyce Carol Oates rather that Bruce Brucesson from Arkansas. At a moment, I have no idea what your QC is like because there aren't any extracts. Yes, I could buy your mag, but I'm not going to. Put something on there to interest me, like an extract, and I might.), a guaranteed response time (and a short one. 30 - 60 days? Meh. 14 and I'll think about it).

    Also, what Pfinucan asked.

    First: We offer two methods of delivery--free mail-ins and paid electronic. If you want to submit through the mail (as this has been the industry standard since the beginning of modern publishing) we reserve that option for those who prefer it. If we were to open ourselves to free electronic submissions again (which we have in the past), we would receive way too many to manage. That's the whole "moderating consideration" point we were trying to make. You get the same effect with mail-ins.

    Second: That's your opinion and personal preference. If we're not prestigious enough then I guess you'll have to look elsewhere. But we're new and we have to start somewhere.

    Third: We aren't concerned with how many famous writers we publish. The whole point of our magazine is to discover new talent, and pay them for their work. In our view the submission fee greatly overshadows the amount we pay out. The truth is, even with an increasing subscriber list, we are still shelling out 85% of our entire revenue to our writers and artists, which is fine for now because we are still new. Most new magazines don't actually pay their writers. Some writers will always find submission fees unacceptable, others find not getting paid for their work unacceptable. We think the latter makes more sense.

    We prefer our critics to judge us on the work we publish rather than our business model. If our business model wasn't considered valid in the professional community we wouldn't employ it for obvious PR reasons, but there are a lot of nationally-circulated magazines out there (some of which are backed by the standards and ethics of major universities) that employ an identical model. As such, if anyone here would like a free copy of the magazine, send me a private message (or go to our website and email me) and I will send you one, and you can see for yourself that we do have standards, despite what you may believe about our business practices.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    no

    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Dan R, are you saying that submissions to The Rag undergo peer review?
    No, I'm talking about university-backed magazines that employ the same delivery process that we do. Their methods and standards are subject to peer review, as they operate within a community of academics.

    DR
    -The Rag

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfinucan View Post
    What is interesting about this model, is that they are making money on the submissions, and subscriptions and they are putting them up on Amazon Kindle. Self publishing people say short story collections continue to make money for years. In fact, they build readership over time. So unlike magazines in the past where it only makes money on the current subscribers this magazine will continue to make money on each story forever, well until Amazon dies.

    The Rag -


    So who get the check from amazon?
    If your subscriber list falls, so do your sales in general. Just because something is available on the Kindle and Nook stores, doesn't mean anyone is going to buy it.

  17. #17
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raglitmag View Post
    No, I'm talking about university-backed magazines that employ the same delivery process that we do. Their methods and standards are subject to peer review, as they operate within a community of academics.

    DR
    -The Rag
    But in their case, the submission fee is part of the cost inherent in the peer review system. You seem to be comparing apples to your own orange-ness.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    But in their case, the submission fee is part of the cost inherent in the peer review system. You seem to be comparing apples to your own orange-ness.
    The submission fee goes to sustain the cost of running the magazine. Different magazines have different operating costs. Not all professional magazines that charge for submissions are backed by universities. Furthermore, I'm not sure "the peer review system" costs anything. I'm not exactly sure what that means. Regardless, if you're a writer who is generally against the submission fee system, is it suddenly okay to charge for submission fees so long as you're with a university? Maybe the extra revenue goes to cover peer review, maybe it goes to cover the ever-increasing cost of printing, maybe it goes to pay the editor's salary. In any case, it's money that comes from writers and it's used to benefit the magazine.
    Last edited by raglitmag; 12-08-2011 at 08:17 AM.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raglitmag View Post
    If your subscriber list falls, so do your sales in general. Just because something is available on the Kindle and Nook stores, doesn't mean anyone is going to buy it.
    True. But in the event of an Amazon sale, to whom do the royalties go?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jupiter View Post
    True. But in the event of an Amazon sale, to whom do the royalties go?
    As stated in our submission guidelines, royalties do not apply. As far as I know, this is the case with virtually all lit mags (or at least the overwhelming majority of them; I personally don't know any that offer royalties). We're no different, and for good reason. Our magazine is priced at $2.99/issue on the Amazon and B&H stores. We publish an average of 9 pieces per issue. So if we paid each author between 8-9% of each sale and took 20% for ourselves, we'd have to sell hundreds of thousands of copies per year to create a sustainable means for ourselves and the magazine. Given today's market and the fact that we're new, these sort of sales expectations are not even close to realistic.

    However, it's interesting that you bring this up, because after our first year (assuming we're still around) we plan to invite all of the writers we published in previous issues to resubmit for a "Returning Writers" issue, where we will publish the best 8 pieces, and those authors will each make 10% for life from the sales of that issue. If successful, this is something we plan on doing every year.

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    This is all such bollocks. The Rag is a solid magazine that is doing no different to the vast majority of other literary magazines. Kenyon Review, New England Review, McSweeneys, PRISM, they all charge $3 so whoever says "that wont fly in professional circles" hasn't got a clue how the industry is working at the moment.

    It is far better to pay $3 than pay for postage/printing/return postage in order to receive a reply, especially internationally. And it helps the magazine to pay out to the authors, unlike most other magazines. Whoever started this thread is pissed off because he can't write well enough to not pay then get rejected. He should give up. Writing's for bruisers.

    On top of all of this, you can post it to them anyway if you want! They're fine with that/just trying to help!

    The Rag has published my work and paid me well for it. They don't need amateurs coming in and ruining their rep. Either call all those other magazines a bunch of grifters too or wake up.

  22. #22
    here and there again fadeaccompli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslander View Post
    This is all such bollocks. The Rag is a solid magazine that is doing no different to the vast majority of other literary magazines. Kenyon Review, New England Review, McSweeneys, PRISM, they all charge $3 so whoever says "that wont fly in professional circles" hasn't got a clue how the industry is working at the moment.
    I just checked the guidelines at McSweeney's. I can't find any mention of a submission fee anywhere.

    I just checked the guidelines at the Kenyon Review. I can't find any mention of a submission fee anywhere.

    I just checked the guidelines at the New England Review. They do seem to charge for online submissions.

    I just checked the guidelines at PRISM international. I can't find any mention of a submission fee anywhere.

  23. #23
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslander View Post
    This is all such bollocks. The Rag is a solid magazine that is doing no different to the vast majority of other literary magazines. Kenyon Review, New England Review, McSweeneys, PRISM, they all charge $3 so whoever says "that wont fly in professional circles" hasn't got a clue how the industry is working at the moment.
    I submitted to McSweeneys last summer via electronic submission and WAS NOT CHARGED A DIME.

    It's possible they charged a fee previously (though never while I was considering submitting to them - which has been well over a year) but they don't now because... well, it's a bit unethical for a publisher to make money off its authors rather than or in addition to its subscribers.
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  24. #24
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    This is so infuriating! I just went to PRISM and, when it may not be in the guidelines, if you click their submittable link you get taken to the submittable page and are asked for $3! I just listed a few on my submittible account which are almost all paid for ones but, by coincidence, it seems McSweeneys, NER, Kenyon, are free, for which I apologize.

    Here is a link to the PRISM submittable page which you get to from their site: https://prisminternational.submittable.com/submit

    Here is a list which shows very clearly which magazines are pay for entry ones and includes some of the most famous and professional in the world----> http://thejohnfox.com/journals-accep...c-submissions/

    how you have been unable to find this stuff beats me.

    Note their competition fees too! This isn't unusual. I'm assuming the Missouri Review and Ploughshares aren't scams. See this for Ploughshares ---> https://www2.pshares.org/submit/

    I wish it could all be free too but it still works out cheaper for me to submit this way and is an iota of the hassle. Its just a shame to see a magazine getting called a scam when it is just doing what so many others are doing, and from my point of view, being useful in the process, especially when you can submit by post anyway... I can't see what the problem is.
    Last edited by jameslander; 01-11-2013 at 08:12 PM.

  25. #25
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslander View Post
    It is far better to pay $3 than pay for postage/printing/return postage in order to receive a reply, especially internationally.
    Again, that comparison only makes sense if those are the only two options. Instead, the vast majority of online magazines -- whether or not they pay for stories -- accept electronic submissions (which cost approximately zero to the author) and manage to survive.

    Quote Originally Posted by jameslander
    And it helps the magazine to pay out to the authors, unlike most other magazines.
    Again, other magazines manage to do that without sucking money out of authors in the submission process.

    Quote Originally Posted by jameslander
    Whoever started this thread is pissed off because he can't write well enough to not pay then get rejected.
    That would be me. You're mistaken. And reported.
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