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eward
02-26-2012, 01:36 AM
http://writers.flyl.it/ and http://flyl.it

They're accepting short stories for an interactive web app where the user becomes the main character.

I have a specific question about their terms. From the submissions guidelines page:



[At this point, we will pay you 35% unlimited, for the entire life of the story on Flylit.com. However, after we raise money, we will pay an advance of $500-$750, with a cap in proceeds of $2,000 total. In other words - during this pre-launch period, you have the chance to hit the jackpot with us in return for writing on spec.]

Is that normal? I haven't published many short stories and nothing longer with a publisher, so I don't know much about caps. They can make money off of it indefinitely, but I only get $2,000? Or would it depend on the actual contract, like how long they would keep it up, how long they would keep rights, etc.? I should probably e-mail them about rights and all that.

They're pretty new and haven't even launched the web app yet, but it sounds like these stories would be fun to write.

Also, what does "on spec" mean?

Aggy B.
02-26-2012, 02:06 AM
http://writers.flyl.it/ and http://flyl.it

They're accepting short stories for an interactive web app where the user becomes the main character.

I have a specific question about their terms. From the submissions guidelines page:



Is that normal? I haven't published many short stories and nothing longer with a publisher, so I don't know much about caps. They can make money off of it indefinitely, but I only get $2,000? Or would it depend on the actual contract, like how long they would keep it up, how long they would keep rights, etc.? I should probably e-mail them about rights and all that.

They're pretty new and haven't even launched the web app yet, but it sounds like these stories would be fun to write.

Also, what does "on spec" mean?

Usually means written "on specifications". They give you certain criteria and/or plot points and you create a story to meet their goals/standards. (Kind of work-for-hire.)

There's a slim chance they mean "on speculation". In other words, since you're writing with no advance there's no guarantee of profit for you. (Which, once they start giving advances, the author has a set amount they make up front.)

In the world of writing, that first definition is usually what is meant by "on spec".

ETA: $2000 would be a considerable payment for a short story, btw. IF it earned out that much. Consider that most pubs pay upfront (no royalties) and professional rates are $0.05/word and up. Even places like Tor.com ($0.25/word) don't usually pay $2k for a short story.

Unimportant
02-26-2012, 03:08 AM
The explanation of their 'on spec' is:

Flylit is a website targeted at teen girls that lets the user star in a story and cast her friends, enemies and crushes into the supporting roles. The user can either sign up through Facebook connect or simply log in. After selecting a property from our Flybrary, the user will cast it. The ending result is a funny, surprising and engaging story thatís about the user and filled with people the user knows. In addition to the roles cast by the user, cameos by celebrities and random Facebook grabs will populate the story. After casting her book, the user will then be able to download the story to the device of her choice (iPad, iPhone, desktop, kindle, etc.)

I'd be very concerned about the authors getting slammed with lawsuits for libel/defamation, both from the 'celebrities' and the girl's 'enemies'.

eward
02-26-2012, 06:21 AM
It must be on specifications, because they have guidelines for the structure and all that.

Yes, $2000 does seem to be a lot for a short story, but most short story markets don't necessarily make repeated money off of your story. It's not being sold individually over and over again, it's just in a magazine or lit journal that has subscribers or something to that effect.



I'd be very concerned about the authors getting slammed with lawsuits for libel/defamation, both from the 'celebrities' and the girl's 'enemies'.

Well, the way the current website it (and it could very likely change since the launch date isn't until May), the author's name isn't even listed. So maybe Flylit deals with legal trouble?

Aggy B.
02-26-2012, 06:44 AM
Yes, $2000 does seem to be a lot for a short story, but most short story markets don't necessarily make repeated money off of your story. It's not being sold individually over and over again, it's just in a magazine or lit journal that has subscribers or something to that effect.


That would depend on the market. Two that I've sold to have the potential to make money for quite a while with repeated sales. (One offers an advance + royalties, the other just a per word fee.)

My point was, regardless of how much money they make, you'd be hard pressed to find another venue in which to sell a short story and make $2k. But that's your call to make. (And, of course, as they point out - if you really think they'll be making hundreds of thousands of dollars off your story, it's best to get in before they put that cap in place.)

CaoPaux
02-27-2012, 08:41 PM
Usually means written "on specifications". They give you certain criteria and/or plot points and you create a story to meet their goals/standards. (Kind of work-for-hire.)

There's a slim chance they mean "on speculation". In other words, since you're writing with no advance there's no guarantee of profit for you. (Which, once they start giving advances, the author has a set amount they make up front.)

In the world of writing, that first definition is usually what is meant by "on spec".Are you sure? I generally see "on spec" as "on speculation", and "to spec" when it's "to specification(s)".

nkkingston
02-28-2012, 01:39 PM
Books where you get to cast yourself and friends in the roles have been around a long time - I have a dinosaur adventure from when I was a kid. I'm guessing with something like this they're hoping to sell the same story multiple times, so potentially they could make a lot of money off it. Equally, they could make very little.

Hopefully when it comes to legal ramifications the contract puts the onus of defence on Flylit rather than the writer. I imagine celebrity cameos will be restricted to brief, positive appearances, though I really don't know about 'enemies'. It's not like the books are being sold to the general public, just to the user that's paid for them, but of course that wouldn't necessarily stop them from popping up online anyway.

Stijn Hommes
02-29-2012, 02:04 AM
My point was, regardless of how much money they make, you'd be hard pressed to find another venue in which to sell a short story and make $2k. But that's your call to make. (And, of course, as they point out - if you really think they'll be making hundreds of thousands of dollars off your story, it's best to get in before they put that cap in place.) True, but in my view that would be an unrealistic belief.

Even if I resell my story a couple of times, reprints get less money than first rights and unless they have a particularly good marketing plan in place, I don't see you earning out an advance. I'll consider subbing when funding is in place to pay those advances -- in which case I'm happy to sell all the rights to that story :)

Their requirements are so specific that you can't sell it again anyway.

CaoPaux
11-18-2013, 10:12 PM
Whatever is was, it didn't last long.

DennisB
11-18-2013, 11:27 PM
In magazines, "on spec" does in deed mean "speculation." It means we'll take a look at the work, with absolutely no guarantees of publication.

CaoPaux
04-03-2016, 02:42 AM
FTR: reappeared at flylit.com, but lit off again late '15 with no sign of actually producing anything.