I get very depressed looking for markets some days. I find the "we don't pay but look at what we're doing for you" attitude of many new markets annoying. I find this especially annoying when they're bundling the stories into an ebook and selling it.
Now, I don't mind giving my story to a good market, but if you're going to be selling it and making money, I want my share. And please don't tell me how much good it'll do for my name recognition while you're getting the cash. Stupid is not written on my forehead and I refuse to stand next to the guy wearing the "I'm with Stupid" T-Shirt.
A few weeks ago I posted a warning about a co-operative anthology site. The owner got a bit bent out of shape because I cautioned writers to get more information about upfront costs before submitting. I've been a member of several dairy co-ops and money doesn't always flow to the member and there's usually fees involved that cost the member. I could see no harm to either side by mentioning that writer's should ask questions before submitting. Writers shouldn't have to be afraid to ask questions where their work is involved.
Which brings me to the anthology call I found yesterday. What I found really depressing was that this call was posted on THE WRITER's site. The call was for 2014 Sywers Short Story Contest. There were no fees to enter but all the winner received was publication. Here, copied from the site is what I found most disturbing:
"What's in it for us?
We get the pleasure
of helping out talented young authors and we make a small portion of our
costs back off each
book sold on-line
through Amazon or Smashwords. This allows us to recoup our production
costs. The contest also
allows us an opportunity
to help authors with NO upfront cost to them which helps us build a
reputation as a
What's in it for the authors?
They may purchase (at
our cost to produce, plus shipping) as many copies as they like
directly from us, then
re-sell these and make
money off of them. Authors will have in their hands, a printed,
professional collection of
their own and others'
work to share and sell."
Clicking on their services tab I found that they are a "Vanity Press". They charge $69 to format your e-book and almost $400 to format paperback copies. And that is all they do according to the site. They do not help you promote or sell your book, but they do have an online book store where they sell your book and make a profit. None of this information is included with their submission guidelines. That is not my idea of a trustworthy publisher.
Please always read everything on the publisher's site before entering a contest or submitting your work. The world is full of sharks just waiting for a desperate writer to swim by.
Just a little addition here - No matter how reputable the site where you find the call, ALWAYS, check it out yourself.