The wonderful magnation blog has a quote right now that seems to strike a strong chord and has got me ranting even more about the vagaries of the magazine game. It says:
Hunter S. Thompson once famously said, “The magazine business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.”
Okay, okay, he was actually talking about the music business but there are times when we’re convinced that this analogy could apply equally to the vagaries of the mag distribution game. Now, don’t confuse the industry with the magazines: we love the mags, but we utterly loathe the endless hoops that we need to jump through to get to them.
The post is all about the distribution game but I’d like to add another little (read large) gripe. Those dam magazines that don’t pay their writers. If you send a commission then please follow through with the coin after we have researched, read, written, edited then re-written what we hope will entertain your lovely readers and keep them buying your magazine another day.
The excuses have got to stop. Im waiting for my advertisers to pay. This is the hardest publishing has been in 25 years. Well no shit, do you think we enjoy writing for 50 or 70c per word. (For those of you who write for more than a buck a word I salut you).
Yes we do it because we love it, the thrill of seeing crafted sentences in print, but like hell we do it because we want nothing better than help you sell more copies. Follow through on your word – you obviously budgeted those commissions in there somewhere so perhaps you would like to pay. Because we would like to eat.
I will write for free, in fact I have done so recently and will do again. But I do it only when the artistic pull, the prettiness of the publication, or that really lovely upfront editor approaches, hat in hand, honest as hell, to say..shit we’d love you to write but we just don’t have the bucks.
So I’m adding to magnations cry – get your shit together publishing world. Hmmppphhh…
And an extra shout out to two fabulous publications I just wrote for who are run by people with the decency to be honest….
Spoonful – a happiness companion. So so lovely and run by the delightful Anthea Crook
Remedy Quarterly – a gorgeous food stories driven journal run out of the US by Kelly Carambula
And to those mags that owe me - the name n shame is becoming pretty tempting....