PDA

View Full Version : Just a suggestion about Paying Markets



alleycat
04-23-2010, 08:31 PM
I know there is a constant battle over bickering about pay rates in Paying Markets. People complain, people are told not to, people complain, people are told not to, people complain . . .

What if there was a minimum for what is considered a paying market? Say, 1-cent a word, or $10, whichever is lower (and those are still pretty low). This might end the complaints about someone wanting 500-word articles and offering to pay $2 an article. The offer would still be listed (in Nonpaying), just not as a real paying market. I could offer $4 for a well-written 80,000 word novel, and while technically I'm offering to pay, in the real world I'm not.

Just an idea. I'll crawl back to my hole now.

veinglory
04-23-2010, 08:34 PM
It might pay to have an intermediate category. There have been times where $1 articles kept the lights on in my apartment. (I can write them *quick*).

But it also begs the question of royalty-only markets etc.

alleycat
04-23-2010, 08:37 PM
But it also begs the question of royalty-only markets etc.
I thought of that, and didn't see a solution offhand.

The main complaints I see are when someone offers such a low rate that for all practical purposes it's nonpaying.

I know there was one posted yesterday. Then a complaint. Then the moderator had to post a link to the "Do not complain" thread. Then another complaint.

Maryn
04-23-2010, 08:39 PM
I like it.

I have no quibble with start-ups who simply can't afford to pay a professional rate. Everybody's scrambling for the money in publishing. But when I see a post in paying markets which doesn't indicate pay, and I have to find the page on their website where it's hidden, only to learn it's free copies, or a half-cent a word, I feel my time's been wasted.

I even like the 'floor' you propose, a cent a word or ten dollars, whichever is lower.

Maryn, climbing on the bandwagon

alleycat
04-23-2010, 08:43 PM
Yep, no criticism necessarily meant to anyone looking for a writer, whether paying or nonpaying. It's just that maybe the dividing line might be better if it were moved up just a hair.

Kensington
04-24-2010, 04:04 AM
Alleycat, I luv your avatar, what a sweet.

gambit924
04-24-2010, 07:36 AM
I think it's a good idea. I've been here many a time and have seen these people who will pay 6$ for 1000 words and I'm like "Damn, I could make more doing almost anything else". Nah it's not really that bad, but Still I like to feel like I'm getting paid if it's a paying market...Yeah.

DarkDesireX
04-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I know you guys mean well and I'll admit that sometimes the pay is staggeringly low but I disagree with this for two reasons.

Firstly, some of these super low paying jobs are necessary for first base writers. After a while you can expect a "fair" rate but when you're starting out with nothing in your portfolio it's much harder to get accepted as the writer for something with a budget that can allow for that.

I've only been freelancing for a year and a half and in that time I've had the time and chance to build up my confidence as a writer as well as my payment demands. I've done that, but I still had to start from the grit and griddle. In fact the one job I've had for the duration of this time was one of the first (low paying) jobs that took me on. Over time my employer and I have worked out an acceptable deal mostly because of the fact that here, on Absolute Write, I've been encouraged to learn a little about pay rates, legal matters, and how to get what I'm worth.

Removing the smaller market and pay rates would demolish the chance for young writers to learn that lesson.

Secondly, I stand against this train of thought because I feel it caters to rule-breakers. If people would follow the "don't complain about the pay" rule we wouldn't be having this discussion. It's incredible simple to look at a job offer and decide it's not for you. There's no reason to tear it down like some of these people do.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for questioning. I'm fine with those people who see the pay rate and politely ask if there is flexibility on it, or express a concern. Or people who advise the poster on the likelihood of finding a writer at their pay or who let others know that the amount of work is abnormal for the amount of compensation. Constructive questioning and criticism: I have no qualms with.

It's these people who are rude and disrespectful to the poster --who is more than likely just trying to get a decent writer on the small bit of room they have in their budget. I don't think this idea of implementing a bare minimum takes them into consideration either.

Maybe we can, instead of making there a base pay rate we have one of the Moderators post a sticky thread for the posters, letting them know what the average is and asking them to put something like [Low Pay] in front of their lines. Then people will know what they’re getting into.

Or maybe we can come up with some sort of discouraging punishment for those repeat offenders and those who refuse to listen to the Mods when they have already given a warning.

Anyway, that’s how I feel. Obviously this is a long standing issue and something needs to be done about it before we ended up in Announcement Mode again (after all, we need to be able to ask questions about the jobs) but I feel like a base pay would be like a punishment to both the posters and the writers and would close off too many doors and opportunities. All because of a few individuals who can’t adhere to a simple rule.

veinglory
04-25-2010, 12:41 AM
I think we already require the pay rate to be specified in the post don't we?

Perhaps paying markets coulf be left and "pro paying markets" added as a subcategory--because by my reading markets that pay a pro rate in advance would be a small minority of what we see posted.

I agree that we keep having the same issues so it suggests we coud come up with a better solution.

JeanneTGC
04-25-2010, 06:27 AM
It's radical, and possibly a lot more work than it's worth for the mods, but how about something as simple as this:

1. First time you complain, in any thread in Paying Markets, about the "shockingly low pay being offered", you're given a warning.
2. Second time, you're banned for a day
3. Third time, you're banned for a week.
4. Fourth time, you're banned for 2 weeks.
5. Fifth time, you're banned for a month.

And so on, until the mods decide that this particular person should just be banned for life.

I agree that the problem is NOT that the jobs offered are low-paying, but that there are a wide variety of people who just cannot seem to help themselves and feel they must share with the world and the job poster that this pay rate is terrible. Considering everyone on AW can read, and also considering almost no one complaining about low rates is a newbie, to me, punish the offenders, not the job posters, those with legitimate questions, or those who want or need to take a low paying job because they can and it pays something, which is better than nothing. Yes, even when it's our deathless prose we're talking about.

DarkDesireX
04-25-2010, 07:14 PM
I like Jeanne's idea. It gets to the root of the problem!

veinglory
04-25-2010, 09:25 PM
Well, I used to think the same about off topic chat in the erotica writers forum, but honestly, providing a thread for chat was an easier solution. I thinkt he right formatting would stop this topic from coming up all the time witout need ing to punish people for it. We may have seen it a thousand times, but most people are raising it for the first time.

Kensington
04-26-2010, 12:49 AM
Why not just format the thread so that only the one message -- the job offer -- can be posted?

alleycat
04-26-2010, 12:51 AM
Why not just format the thread so that only the one message -- the job offer -- can be posted?
The trouble with that is sometimes people have legitimate questions for the original poster.

MacAllister
04-26-2010, 01:08 AM
I'm listening, guys, and considering. So do keep brainstorming! Kensington, that's how we used to do the forum, and told people just to PM with questions -- but it ultimately made more sense to have the discussion on the thread itself than to have thirteen people all asking the same question in thirteen different PMs.

Maryn
04-26-2010, 02:18 AM
Just throwing out a stray idea: What about having our markets fall into categories: Nonpaying Markets, pretty much self-explanatory Token Payment Markets, which pay less than one cent a word or less than $10 US for a story, article, etc. Semi-Pro Payment Markets, which pay more than one cent a word and less than five cents a word, and Professional Paying Markets, which pay a minimum of five cents a word and may include royalties in addition to that payment.
I'm only familiar with the pay rates for fiction, so if this is totally out of line for non-fiction, poetry, and such, please propose modifications.

Maryn, on a roll here

Medievalist
04-26-2010, 02:41 AM
You might want think about a different name for

Token Payment Markets, which pay less than one cent a word or less than $10 US for a story, article, etc.

Token is likely to be upsetting to the employers, and implies somewhat negative things.

I'm thinking those markets are likely to all be online? Assuming their not for blog networks/content sites?

Maybe micro markets?

I dunno . . .

Maryn
04-26-2010, 05:00 AM
I certainly see where the term "token payment" could be interpreted as a negative, although I don't take it that way myself. My first thought was Low-Paying Markets, but that seemed worse. Then I putzed around with Amateur Pay Rate Markets, Small Payment Markets, and other quasi-insulting names. My only reservation about Micro Markets might be that someone who wants to take offense could see that as impugning the size of their readership.

And you know there's always somebody eager to play victim.

Maryn, who can name names, but won't

Maryn
04-26-2010, 05:02 AM
I suppose we could go all cutesy and have SuperCenter Markets, Major Chain Markets, Boutique Markets, and Corner Store Markets...

Nah.

veinglory
04-26-2010, 05:03 AM
Ralan calls the pro, semi-pro and for the luv.

Kensington
04-26-2010, 05:33 AM
Off-topic, but I just have to say it. Alleycat, I luv your avatars. They always bring a smile. Are they all cats you know?

alleycat
04-26-2010, 05:37 AM
Off-topic, but I just have to say it. Alleycat, I luv your avatars. They always bring a smile. Are they all cats you know?
No, mostly just photos I've found (I've got quite a collection). If you want to see my real cat, Anna, see my profile.

Maryn
04-26-2010, 05:49 AM
Ralan calls the pro, semi-pro and for the luv.I like "for the love." I got the terms I proposed from Duotrope. I've divvied up my potential markets by their terms for a pretty long time. Old dog, new tricks...

Maryn, winding down

Medievalist
04-26-2010, 05:54 AM
My only reservation about Micro Markets might be that someone who wants to take offense could see that as impugning the size of their readership.

[cough]

Yeah, it's tricky. I note that I have in fact written for 1.5 cents a word, and were I hungry, I'd do it again.

So I don't want those markets to be ignored,

Also?

I can't bear teh cute--anything but that!

alleycat
04-26-2010, 05:58 AM
This is not a suggestion, just throwing out an idea.

Two forums: Paying Markets, Nonpaying to Limited Paying.

Or three forums: Paying, Limited Paying, Nonpaying. (Could also be called Minimum or Low Paying.)

SouthernFriedJulie
04-26-2010, 08:09 AM
Couldn't we just require the poster had to state the rate in the title? No new sections to be built and we'd be able to skim the postings without opening them up to read what looked like a great gig- then see one of those $1 gigs.

Most of us have done them, even those who refuse to say so. Not knocking those writers, just offering an idea to save staff and members time/energy :)

DarkDesireX
04-26-2010, 08:19 AM
I think Julie probably has the easiest and most manageable idea thus far.

But that won't necessarily stop people from complaining. We'd still need the punishments for those who do.

TemlynWriting
04-26-2010, 09:44 AM
Couldn't we just require the poster had to state the rate in the title? No new sections to be built and we'd be able to skim the postings without opening them up to read what looked like a great gig- then see one of those $1 gigs.

Most of us have done them, even those who refuse to say so. Not knocking those writers, just offering an idea to save staff and members time/energy :)
Technically (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11828) they are supposed to state the rate in the title of the thread, but many times they don't. In those cases, I often try to find out the rates and edit the thread titles to reflect them, but sometimes (lately) I've slacked off a bit.

I suppose I should edit the rules thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11828) and mention it at the top.

stormie
04-26-2010, 10:06 PM
Technically (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11828) they are supposed to state the rate in the title of the thread, but many times they don't. In those cases, I often try to find out the rates and edit the thread titles to reflect them, but sometimes (lately) I've slacked off a bit.

I suppose I should edit the rules thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11828) and mention it at the top.
See, I like that the best. Suppose there were three forums to post on: Paying, limited paying, non-paying. If someone had a low-paying market to list, but considered it a lot of money, then they wouldn't post it in a section marked limited-paying. It's subjective.

So, what Temlyn said about them stating the rate in the title of the thread makes sense. IF they'd do it.

My two cents :)

Kensington
04-27-2010, 12:16 AM
No, mostly just photos I've found (I've got quite a collection). If you want to see my real cat, Anna, see my profile.

She's lovely. Looks like a Russian Blue.

jeffo
04-27-2010, 05:39 PM
Devil's Advocate, reporting for duty... ;)

I always assume people mean the best. What if the people posting the "low rates" amounts just simply don't know better? What if they're a completely new start-up, and they have no idea what "professional" writers should be earning? In that case, they wouldn't have any idea on which of the proposed new forums to go to -- and we'd get lots of posts in the wrong place.

So I'm in support of just putting rates in the titles and plain old deleting any complaint posts. That's easiest on the mods -- no need for tracking who did what when, just delete the darn complaining post and move along.

DarkDesireX
04-27-2010, 07:19 PM
That's a good question, Jeffo and sometimes it is those people. Unfortunately when I see it most often it's not. I won't post any links but usually it's the people who are warned by other members, prompted to read the sticky, and then finally told by a Mod who get me. Or the ones who will do it RIGHT after a Mod has already posted.

padnar
04-28-2010, 07:18 AM
This is not a suggestion, just throwing out an idea.

Two forums: Paying Markets, Nonpaying to Limited Paying.

Or three forums: Paying, Limited Paying, Nonpaying. (Could also be called Minimum or Low Paying.)

A good suggestion.
Padma

stormie
04-28-2010, 04:09 PM
But see, the term "limited paying" is so subjective. To someone who's never been pubbed, limited paying could mean 1 cent per word. To someone with a lot of experience with being pubbed, limited paying could be 25 cents per word, whereas the newbie would see that as a gold mine.

Also, is it a literary magazine, where the payment might just be in copies but it's good exposure and a great cred on the CV. That would come into consideration too.

I go with whoever posts a market, they have to put the payment in the subject line. And there only should be the two forums: paying and non-paying.

Maryn
04-28-2010, 04:37 PM
I go with whoever posts a market, they have to put the payment in the subject line. And there only should be the two forums: paying and non-paying. I could totally get behind that, especially if members and mods were vigilant about reporting and deleting posts which do not list the pay in the subject line.

They're supposed to include it in the body of the message now, but there are quite a few where you have to go to their website and search several pages to uncover it, and at least one which does not reveal the pay until they see your submission. Yeah, like I'm going to share my work without a clue.

Maryn, who agrees reform is needed

The Scip
04-28-2010, 04:44 PM
Couldn't we just require the poster had to state the rate in the title? No new sections to be built and we'd be able to skim the postings without opening them up to read what looked like a great gig- then see one of those $1 gigs.

Most of us have done them, even those who refuse to say so. Not knocking those writers, just offering an idea to save staff and members time/energy :)

This is probably the easiest solution. No new sections and no more complaining. If it says a tenth of a cent/word in the title of the thread and someone thinks that is too low they do not even have to click into the thread. If the pay rate was not listed more people would click into the thread and after reading the pay-rate may be forced to complain. Just my 2 cents.