God knows why I get Narrative magazine’s spam. I don’t remember signing up for it but that’s a common story online. And I haven’t unsubscribed as they are the original car-crash-good-lord-do-they-really-charge-writers magazine. Their model seems to be a weird hybrid of popular vs. unpopular kids with the first part being those who drank the koolaid, paid $20 to submit their story (No, really, $20.) and maybe have been published, but published or not have bought into the publishers’ idea. The unpopular are the great unwashed (me!) who think they’d be better to buy a six pack of beer and a couple of magazines with that $20. Yup.
So now they are spamming everyone on their list with a request for $10. Wow: spam that reads like spam! It’s . . . spam!
Why $10? Well,
$10 is not so much when you consider that Narrative publishes more fiction writers, poets, and artists than any other literary magazine—more than 300 authors and artists last year alone—and that we give our content away, free.
- You want money because you published more authors (including all those dead authors who I am sure are right grateful to be published and their zombie selves will be at your door ready to receive their checks any day now) than anyone else. Um, congratulations.
But, didn’t all those authors—and anyone else daft enough to pay—already give you $20? Do they get 2 chances in some crappy drawing you’re offering people who reply to your spamscam? Once they’ve paid $10, will you reel them in to higher levels? Ah, apropos of nothing at all I’d just like to reminisce about that great book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man.
So, did Narrative count how many authors other magazines published? Did they query emails lists? (They didn’t query the CLMP email lists.) Did they, in fact, have a really really hard time coming up with reasons why anyone would send in their hard-earned cash?
- You want money because you “give our content away, free.” Um, no. That is wrong. If you give it away free you do not get to demand money. Nope.
Hmm, ok. Enough time wasted on this. They, apparently, “need you.” Right. All arts organizations always need supporters and they’re always hoping for more money. Hell, so are all companies, such as us at Small Beer Press. But if you have $10 to spare today, send it to Laurie J. Marks and her wife who’s getting a liver transplant, send it to Haiti, buy a subscription to One Story, go get a great lunch. Don’t give it to someone who’s asking you for money for something that’s “free.”