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Asking Writers to Write for No Pay

We’ve received considerable flack from established writers and writers’ groups who insist that we have no right to ask writers to write for no pay.

And they are absolutely right. Writers work hard at their craft and certainly deserve to be rewarded for their time, their efforts, and their creativity. Many an artist has fallen victim to unfair compensation by an unscrupulous publisher, to copyright infringement, and to outright piracy. The Internet, in fact, gives such shady practices an even wider berth. To make matters worse, there is little the writer can do to completely prevent the theft of his or her work, save for keeping it hidden from all eyes – which, of course, by it’s very nature, defies the purpose of writing in the first place.

Here at Romantic Shorts, this early in our growth, we are, in fact, asking writers to write for no pay.

There is nothing devious in our request, but we would like to explain.

Romantic Shorts is not just a new publisher; we are a brand new, online concept. While we have vision, drive, and goals, we really have no idea where this idea will end up. There are no examples to emulate. No leaders to follow.

Our starting capital is so low as to be negligible. In today’s economy, and given founder Alexandra Brown’s refusal to borrow money, that fact will not change until Romantic Shorts can produce a product and sell it. Unfortunately, the product is elusive.

A true chicken/egg dilemma. We won’t make money until we have writers. And we won’t have writers until we make money.

And if we are an unknown even to ourselves, it certainly follows that you, a writer, will have some serious apprehensions in working with us.

So how do we convince you?

The question that you, as a writer who is considering submitting a story to Romantic Shorts, should be asking yourself, then, is not, “How much will I get paid?” but rather, “How much do I want to take a chance on this new publisher?”

While you are deciding, Alex Brown would like you to consider a few key factors.

“I started work on this website in March of 2010. Since then, I have spent countless hours researching, marketing, planning, learning, crying, learning some more, asking, listening, and writing. While I have two partners lined up to jump in more fully once competition entries begin to arrive, most of the work up until now has been my own. My family is now on board, seeing this as my new full-time job. And I am committed like a crazy woman, often finding myself up at 4 a.m. punching out some idea on the computer while it’s fresh and exciting. My days start with an energy I haven’t felt in a long time, and I can’t wait to see what new experience I will have each and every day! Watching my dream come alive is a dream come true.

“My husband and I set about creating a ‘family motto’ when we encountered our first major life obstacle together.



They hang on our wall for all to see. Whenever we have a decision to make, we always come back to these three key values. We make every decision with Faith, that we will make a good and strong decision, with backup from above, Integrity, that we will decide our path for the right reasons, and Perseverance, knowing that we will, however, have to work very hard. I carry these values with me into Romantic Shorts. My purpose is not cheat anyone – not of their money, their work, or their trust. My purpose is to create something out of nothing, to build something that helps others realize their dreams, and to grow that into something that will promote positive change in this world.

“If you are a writer who shares this purpose, we need to talk. As soon as Romantic Shorts is making any money, we’ll all get paid. Until then, come on this adventure with me. Grow with me. Learn with me. Help me help others. Share your work as I am sharing mine. Not for the money. (Okay, maybe for money some day.) But because you believe in writing, in helping, and in taking a chance.”

Everyone has to start somewhere. Down the road, our success will be measured by our reputation. Is Romantic Shorts a stepping stone in an author’s career, or a destination? Are our writers proud to be associated with us? Do we enjoy a fun and beneficial relationship with all of our writers?

Bottom line? Do what you love; the money will work itself out later.

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