Dear Contributor

I don’t get it.

Most people understand that the mystery and crime fiction market for short stories is not as brisk as other genres, particularly science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but I’m starting to discover just how out of whack our markets are and I have no real understanding of why.

This morning I was reading a blog from sci-fi cum crime writer Lyman Feero and he was mentioning some of the markets he’s been submitting to and from there I started looking at the contributor bios which led me to more speculative markets, and without fail, every single one of them was a paying market. And not just the $5-$25 that counts as a paying market in crime fiction, but real professional rates.

I looked at maybe twenty markets and the lowest pay I saw was a $35 flat rate and the highest I saw was $.10 a word which is even more than the top print crime markets pay. But the AVERAGE for these markets seemed to be $.03 to $.05 a word. That’s nuts. And I have no idea where they get the money to pay the writers. I didn’t have to subscribe to any of the magazines and there weren’t even any donation links. A few of the sites had some advertisements but most of them didn’t. How are they doing it?

This is not meant to be a dig against online crime zines. I love them. Zines like Thuglit and Hardluck Stories have given me a platform for stories I couldn’t have published anywhere else. And I even run one of those non-paying sites with Demolition. So I’m not angry, I’m just confused. There’s got to be something we can learn from these magazines that can be applied to crime markets.

Pass this post around and see what we can find out. Now. Go my darlings.