Making the leap, one baby step at a time.

I’m tidying up a couple of stories, wrapping them with a neat little christmas bows, and sending them out to publications that… pay for writing. Yes, indeed, it is time to face rejection. To date, nothing I’ve submitted anywhere has been rejected. (At least since Junior High – those ninth graders so totally should have used my column in their underground rag. Probably it was just too sophisticated for them. Not that it bothered me.) While Piker Press has been berry berry good to me, I need to take a few baby steps out of my comfort zone and find more competitive markets.

There are several factors that make a market competitive. One of the biggest factors is the pay rate. Not surprisingly, the more a periodical pays, the more quality submissions they receive, and the more writing they reject. Although there have been some very promising new writers over at the Piker Press lately, it is a weekly, and therefore has a voracious appetite for content. The editorial quality over there is steadily improving and they have some promising new writers, but there’s no denying that they have a long way to go to compete with some of the other magazines out there. Ironically, one of the ways I can help them out the most is to become known in other venues.

So, what the hell, it’s time to get rejected, and I intend to start out by getting rejected by some of the top magazines in the country. Heck, why not?

Well, there’s one reason. Most of these publications still want submissions in the dead-tree format, and with double-spacing and huge margins even a modest short story can consume a lot of pages. Between my short stories and my submissions of novel manuscripts to agents, an acceleration of the deforestation of Canada and the Pacific Northwest is inevitable. (I’m told they can plant new trees, so future generations can chop them down once more, in a process known as ‘agriculture’. I find this encouraging.)

So ask your stockbroker for tips on paper companies, and maybe put a little into the toner cartridge market as well. Maybe you can find a paper-and-ink mutual fund. If there isn’t one, there ought to be.

13 thoughts on “Making the leap, one baby step at a time.

  1. Several one line comments come to mind:

    Bob, tell us more!

    legalize hemp!

    but do you see the forest for the trees?

    Did you want to be paid in paper money?

    But anyway….
    A friend who is so into science fiction he actually reads the author biographies and doesn’t just buy them to look good on his shelves, tells me that many budding science fiction (I really want to say “sci fi” but he derisively dismisses that word as “skiffee” and distinguishes between the rot on the SciFi channel, and true literature, and anyway, my run-on sentence beckons…) authors got their start in men’s magazines who were dying for content in between the…er…content.
    /takes breath
    So the man mags may be a (well-endowed) source of endowment (of the monetary not just moan-etary type).
    However, it would be difficult to proudly show your mom your first paid published story.
    /alliteration RULES

  2. … and who says we ninth graders shouldn’t have been selective with what we put into our rag?

    But seriously, folks…
    Actually, all of that paper is more likely helping the economy of Arkansas and similar places than the Pacific Northwest — trees grow faster in the South. International Paper, for example, has a regional headquarters in Arkadelphia. (The state’s five largest employers are International Paper, Georgia Pacific, Weyerhauser, Reynolds, and Alcoa, which meant that when recycling took off, the state’s economy took a short-term dive.)

    As one who reads science fiction author biographies, I also note that many of them did later regret publising in “gentlemen’s” magazines. Ursula K. LeGuin, for example, had a particularly bad experience with Playboy.

  3. Playboy, these days, is a very tough magazine to get into. That doesn’t mean I won’t try.

    Maxim and the rest of the flock of magazines of that nature are taking a big slice of the market, but they don’t cater to people with the ability to read.

  4. I still own some International Paper stock so feel free to consume. On a related note, at work we still have ancient line printers using continuous feed paper. But every time I print a document using them, I also end up wasting 2 extra sheets of paper. That eventually becomes significant amounts of scratch paper. But it is not International Paper paper.

  5. Actually, by now, Wal Mart is probably bigger. But back in the 80s, there was an article in the newspaper about how recycling was hurting Arkansas, and those were listed as the largest employers at that time.

  6. From the Arkansas Dept of Ecomonic Development Research – Nov 2004

    Arkansas Largest Employers

    1. State of Arkansas
    2. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    3. Tyson Foods, Inc.
    4. Federal Government
    5. JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
    6. Baptist Health, Inc.
    7. Triad Hospitals, Inc.

  7. Jerry,
    Similar to all of Barry Bond’s and Mark McGuire’s steroid aided feats in the baseball record books, please place an asterisk next to all of Carol Anne’s posts: she’s obviously on drugs. If you take this step pre-emptively to distance yourself from your sister’s wild assertions, there may still be time to avoid a congressional inquiry into the blog by Republicans eager to distract the nation from Randy Duke Cunningham.

  8. We here at Muddled Ramblings believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, and are a little dismayed that readers here would be so concerned by little things like facts.

  9. Well, it’s jump on CA and take a punch eh? I could not believe a lover of the TRUTH such as CA would deliberately try to obfuscate the same. Looking deeper into CA’s claims, I noticed that the list she quoted were all manufacturers of one item or another, not service providers and retail. My further research indicates:

    Arkanasas largest manufacturers 2003
    1 Tyson Foods
    2 ConAgra Foods
    3 Whirlpool Corp
    4 Georgia-Pacific Corp
    5 International Paper Co

    This court finds CA not guilty of perjury and making stuff up. Case dismissed.

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