I'm a sucker for pro-paying zines. As soon as one shows up on Duotrope, I've got a story in the works. So when Penumbra emerged a few months ago offering 5 cents/word, I sent them "Identity Thief" (3K).
The editor responded four days later:
Unfortunately your story doesn't quite fit; however, I really enjoyed it. Our parent company, Musa Publishing, is producing great short stories as standalone, royalty-paying eBooks. If you would be interested, let me know and I'll forward your submission to the Editorial Director with my recommendation.
I was interested (intrigued, more than anything). Musa editor Matt Teel contacted me six days later, offering me an eBook contract for "Identity Thief." But I had a question: How would selling my story through Musa be any different from self-publishing it?
Here's what he had to say:
1. All the advantages from being legitimately published will be paid by our money, not yours.
2. Your work will gain legitimacy.
3. We already have a platform and a readership.
4. Musa uploads to about 23 party retailers.
5. We offer professional editing.
6. We offer professional cover art.
7. Musa will ensure your work can be read by a variety of eReader devices.
8. Our promotions director is a pro with a ton of experience.
9. Not only can we offer a wider readership, we offer more generous royalties—50% of sales.
Figuring I didn't have a whole lot to lose, I climbed aboard the Musa train. I don't know how much I'm going to make off the sales of a 3,000-word story, but if Mr. Teel thinks he can sell it, who am I to argue? We have rounds of edits scheduled, plus a Skype-conference to discuss cover art. Then "Identity Thief" will hit virtual bookshelves on January 27.
So, what do you think? Have you already taken the ePub plunge?