January 7th, 2014


Another Change For Writers

Money Flows TO The Writer

Back in November, it was SFWA raising the pro rate designation (DW) from 5¢/word to 6¢/word.

Now Ralan's, an influential list of market and submission information, has made a major change. No more For The Love or Exposure Only listings -- ones that want the work, but not the pay. Posted on Facebook, where you can follow him there:
Ralan Conley

The decision to stop listing Exposure Only markets at Ralan.com has been in my mind for some time, and I just decided to implement it today. The Expo page has been removed and all Expo markets have been stripped from the Books, Humor, and Adult market pages. All Expo markets on the Antho:Expo-Token page have been removed and the Token markets have been moved to the new Antho page. Expo markets on the Flash/Poetry/Twitter and Humor pages have been left due to the typically short nature of the works presented and to tradition. Past Expo markets on the Dead Markets page are untouched, but newly deceased ones will not be added as of this date.

I'm sorry to disappoint anyone, but this decision is final and necessary on several levels. Token markets may well follow in the not too far future. For right now publishers and editors of Exposure Only paying markets who want to be listed at Ralan.com will have to pony up something to be considered a Token market for as long as that page lasts. Perhaps some other free, market-listing web site will take up these kinds of markets, or perhaps not.

I've also removed the old Response Times page. Since I slowed down to next-to-nothing in my submission of short stories the page hasn't been updated and the info on it is too old to be of any use to anyone. So, no loss there.

As you were.
So why pick on these markets, some of which are run by good fans of SF/F/H? If you want to be a fan writer and share your work for free, go ahead. No one's stopping you. But you can't make Ralan spend his time updating these little markets. Especially as his goal is to help the new pro writer.

I've probably submitted to no-pay markets. Certainly I've had stories published for no pay -- honorable mentions in contests and two pieces for charity anthologies. But I would argue there's a difference, especially with the latter.

So in the long run I have no objection to Ralan's decision. Obviously he can do what he wants, it's his site. But new writers are pointed to sites like Ralan's to answer the question Where do I submit my stories? This is after you've overcome the very difficult barrier of even deciding to let your precious stories out in the world, to see the light of day. To actually let another human being read your words. It's a real issue -- I wrote for decades before I finally shipped a story out in June 2002.

And the other bottom line, that getting exposure is good for you... good for whom? I'm serious. If this is supposed to help your career, who is going to SEE this publication? Is it free or is there a price barrier? And if it costs, then how much? We already know the writer isn't getting the money. Do you imagine that tons of influential editors, reviewers and publishers are going to be reading this Expo market? Or is it just a reference or link you can make -- one where only your limited audience is going to see? Or is the whole thing a way for the editor to get their own stories exposure, with stories from others to give the illusion of respectability. Remember, some of the Pay markets -- paid less than Pro but more than Token -- are taken seriously and get reviewed. Now THAT'S exposure.

At least Token markets are paying you something, though I understand why Ralan might consider ditching them, too. But having the market put some skin in the game means they aren't going to take just anything, IMHO.

Bottom line -- get paid for your writing. Or bask in the warm feeling that your story is out there, even if it isn't being widely circulated. Or self-publish, post on your own blog or website if you want barrier-free publication without even the hint of an editor. Your choice. Me? I like getting paid.

Dr. Phil


The Reality

Look, we already know I am out of commission for snow scooping. And Mrs. Dr. Phil has been valiant in her scooping efforts over break. But the wind and snow and bitter cold meant there was no point to scooping the last two days -- and now it's drifted. Good news is that it's a lot of fine, dry snow. Bad news, it would be easy to get caught in the deep spots and the turnaround, even in 4WD.

Since the guy who helped out last year with the blade on his lawn tractor is down right now, and even if it worked, not sure if the blade was big enough to get through the drifts. Maybe -- the drifts build up and then the winds grind them down. Can't easily eyeball from the house.

So we contacted a neighbor to find out who she knows. Running a business out of her house, she uses a service, but she contacted a retired gent nearby who was out with his pickup with a snowplow. Said he'd be by soon.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, here comes the truck.

Shot through the front window, our neighbor's neighbor arrives.
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Also shot through the screened windows, this from the bathroom showing the expanse of snow. Not the deepest we've gotten in 20 years, but the cold/wind is a huge negative factor. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Countdown To Ready

Still getting work done for getting to work. Just had the batteries replaced on my home & office Timex Ironman Datalink watches -- reset them to 24 hour displays and set/activated the multiple alarms. Wednesday looks so much more doable than Monday or Tuesday.


Not two minutes after Mrs. Dr. Phil came in from straightening the turnaround, clearing away the mailbox and verifying no mail from Monday, a FedEx truck pulled up. He was surprised we were cleared.

Dr. Phil