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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Be paid like F. Scott Fitzgerald!

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/10/22/live-like-a-fitzgerald/ John Scalzi discusses F. Scott Fitzgerald:
 
"...here's one fun fact: The engine of Fitzgerald's income ... was not his novels but his short stories. ... And how much did he make for these short stories? ...  roughly six cents a word.

"To flag my own genre here, "Six cents a word," should sound vaguely familiar to science fiction and fantasy writers, as that's the current going rate at the "Big Three" science fiction magazines here in the US: Analog (which pays six to eight cents a word), Asimov's (six cents a word "for beginners") and Fantasy & Science Fiction (six to nine cents a word). So, sf/f writers, in one sense you can truly say you're getting paid just as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald did; but in another, more relevant, "adjusted for inflation" sense, you're making five cents to every one of Fitzy's dollars. Which basically sucks. This is just one reason why making a living writing short fiction is not something you should be counting on these days."

John Scalzi draws the obvious conclusion: "... basically sucks. This is just one reason why making a living writing short fiction is not something you should be counting on these days."

I can't imagine trying to make a living writing short stories these days.  There used to be some in Sunday magazine supplements, and in weekly magazines. I don't know that there's any place I would see short fiction that I would read on a regular basis other than the New Yorker. [although from time to time I've picked up one of the magazines listed above]  I wonder what the New Yorker pays these days?

There's a bunch of other good Fitzgerald fun facts in Scalzi's post; check them out at the link above.
 
(Scalzi's post came from Andrew Gelman, who got it from Helen DeWitt, who got it from Scalzi. Unless you pass this on to two other bloggers within the next 48 hours, your blog will receive SPAM.)