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Ask Daphne! About E-Publishing Advances

Christian_Louboutin_Light_Yellow_Kid_Suede_Short_BootsShort boots for a question about a short story today, from AR:

I recently submitted a short story to an e-publishing company for an anthology. I kind of know the person who runs it, but not well enough to know if I’m being taken for a ride here. They are offering a $50-$100 advance for one short story. Is that legitimate? It sounds like a very small amount of money, but since it’s for a short story that will only be published by a new-ish publisher for eReaders, maybe it’s reasonable?

Well, readers, when I don’t know the answer to something, I turn to the internet, just like you. SWFA rules for membership require a qualifying sale to a list of publishers and magazines, OR if the publisher is not on their approved sale, payment for publication at a rate of at least 5 cents a word, AND a print run or circulation of at least 1000 copies or downloads.

I don’t know how long your short story is, but for SWFA to consider it a valid sale, it would have to be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.

Now, you may not be concerned about applying to SWFA (your piece may be romance, or literary fiction, or something else altogether), but I think their rule of thumb is a good one. You don’t want to sell yourself short, even for a friend. Especially for a friend. You also need to be aware of what rights you’re selling — ideally one time use in that anthology only, not to preclude your placing the story elsewhere.

Those of my readers who do freelance writing may have another perspective — or a better answer! — and I welcome their comments!

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