Reader requestions: What is Pro and semi-pro?

8 01 2010

Upkeep news: Past stories of the week are now up and a new story of the week is in place. Check it out.

Thank you for your question TM in Texas.  Basically Pro is what you call a godless, souless, sold-out husk of a venue that used to be a wonderful science-fiction/fantasy market. I hope that answers your question.

Okay, fine, what I just said isn’t exactly “true.” It is, however, one-hundred percent false, so there’s that. Semi-pro and pro are nothing more than pay designations and don’t actually mean much beyond that. While the very fact that a venue can pay the nickel a word rate that qualifies it as pro means that the venue has a successful working model, don’t think that a semi-pro sale  is anything to sneeze at. In fact many semi-pro zines have bigger readership than some pro zines, they just pay one cent/word and spend the rest on production, advertising, or feeding their editors with an ever increasing supply of amphetamines.  The only place a pro vs. semi pro sale will matter is if you are going for membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The SFWA requires three pro sales for full membership and one for associate membership.  I think this is a real crock, the days of making a living as a science fiction writer are… in some other universe. Why would money drive membership? It is outmoded. Membership sales should be based on circulation and readership. I am aware that such a calculation would be more difficult to create a metric for, but I can’t believe that it’s impossible.

If anyone from SFWA ever reads this: I do qualify and I can’t afford and eighty dollar membership fee.

That’s the science of fiction.

Tomorrow I answer more of your questions. Keep sending them in! It makes for easy post content. Tomorrow question: …Okay, I’m not actually going with a submitted readers question. Maggie Jamison asked me how I kept up with my submissions and I think that will do you all more good than “how I brush my dachshund’s teeth,” so ready up!




2 responses

8 01 2010

Nice definition and description about Pro and semi pro. Thanks.

8 01 2010

Nice. I always like to hear how other writers keep track of their submissions. ^_^

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