On Submissions and payments

I think it is time to offer some feedback on submissions to sci phi journal and explain something of my approach to such things. First up, thanks to everyone who has submitted, the quality of submissions has been really high and I have enjoyed reading all of the submissions. There have been some I have rejected and in general rejection has been because it isn’t really what I was looking for, rather than being no good. Sorry if anybody is waiting still to hear back, I am working through the pile as time allows.
What has bothered me a though is people offering submissions and then mentioning that it doesn’t matter to them if I pay them for the submission or not, or offering it at a discount rate. Could you please stop doing this! I really don’t need the temptation and it won’t improve your chances of getting something published in the magazine. I pay 5c a word with a 5c a word bonus if I sell 5000 issues in the first 90 days. It is like that for a reason. If I don’t think you story is worth paying 5c a word for, if I am not willing to part with my hard earned wages to buy it, then I don’t want it for the magazine. My willingness to pay acts as a quality filter. If I don’t like the story enough to pay for it then offering it to me for free won’t convince me to publish it.
Offering your story for free communicates that you think the work is garbage and unworthy of my attention. I know this may not be your intent but if you thought it was good and worth 5c a word, why would you offer to give it away for free? If I think it is worth paying for I am happy to pay for it. Offering not to be paid for the story will work against my willingness to publish it because if you don’t believe in the submission why should I?
If you really don’t care about being paid and just want the publishing credit then there is a right way to do that. One of the contributors, after I sent the contract and arranged payment he asked me to keep the money as a donation to the magazine. I appreciated that immensely and it did help out and help to keep things running till this pays for itself, but it wasn’t offered up front. Thank you again anonymous contributor, you know who you are.

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