FundsforWriters - May 27, 2022 - What Makes Readers Pay Full Price for a Book?

Published: Fri, 05/27/22


VOLUME 22, ISSUE 27 | MAY 27, 2022

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Message from Hope

I did a Two Minutes of Hope this week on Facebook about how privileged we are to be able to read . . . and so readily put our hands on material TO read. 

For those who aren't familiar, Two Minutes of Hope is a Facebook page where I do a mini-podcast of two to four minutes. Often it's on a whim when an idea strikes me about reading, writing, or publishing. 

This week I spoke on something so simple it hit me as profound, and it hit me between the eyes while reading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. 

In one chapter, we look through the eyes of a young girl who struggles to learn to read in an era where women weren't allowed to read. The squiggle lines became words, which became sentences, which became stories, and she was amazed. 

The presentation made me realize how privileged we are being able to read, and how we take for granted the easy availability of books. People fuss about being unable to afford books, but in reality, between Amazon discounts, the library, and used books stores, books are cheap and all around us. 

Not that I'm discounting the fact some struggle more than others to purchase books, but compared to generations ago, we are living in a time of luxury when it comes to reading. Project Gutenberg alone offers 60,000 free ebooks. 

We are blessed with reading material. Take the time in writing and reading to remember and appreciate how once upon a time . . . stories weren't so easy to find in print. 

C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
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If "who will want this" pops into your head every time you brainstorm, come to Amber Petty's workshop How to Generate Sellable Story Ideas.

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Part of every day, I scan newsletters, reference sites, suggestions, and requests to post markets, contests, grants, and freelance gigs in FundsforWriters. One would think that the title FUNDS FOR WRITERS would ring a bell to most, but amazingly, some do not grasp the concept that we ONLY consider opportunities that pay.

In my humble opinion, or not-so-humble opinion for that matter, publications that ask that you submit and not expect payment, are engaging in thievery. 

They can call it a generous donation. They can promise you notoriety. They can profess to be fledgling, independent, nonprofit, or all-volunteer, but to ask you to spend hours penning a piece and send it to them for free . . . and them make even one dime on the results . . . is theft. 

One journal had this posted on their submissions guidelines:

"(SAID PUBLICATION) is independent and non-profit-making, thus we do not make monetary payment to contributors." And they went on to say, "If you are so kind to make a donation to (SAID PUBLICATION), please mention it in your submission that you have done so. We will then give you a more speedy (usually within a week) and personal reply."

Can you spot "reading fee" between the lines? They promise not to favor those who give and those you do not, but are we really sure about that?

Yet another journal stated, "While monetary payment is not available at this time, if your work is accepted for publication, you will receive a complimentary copy of the issue, as well as a discount on the purchase of additional copies." Also, pertaining to rights, "We do ask that you not publish any accepted pieces before they appear in (OUR PUBLICATION), and that if your work is published elsewhere in the future, you kindly credit (OUR PUBLICATION) as its initial publication."

In other words, they take your work, use it as they wish, charge you for copies of your own work, and tell you how to publish it elsewhere. That's rather bold and daring. And no, I do not see that as very altruistic in nature on their part. They are making money on your donated work.

To start a business, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, publications are required to be run like a business, and one has to have a business plan. One has to manage finances. One has to operate in the black or eventually go belly-up or crash and burn, depending on how dramatically they choose to fail. 

The money management should not start by not paying the suppliers of a product. Your words are the supply to their publication, their product. If they choose not to have advertising, if they choose not to borrow money, if they choose not to find investors, if they choose not to manage their product so it sells in the black, then you can just as easily choose to avoid submissions to those types of entities. 

These nonpaying entities function on the premise that you do not think your words are worth compensation. Do not downplay your words or your worth. You are the absolute best cheerleader you have in your court. If you do not think highly of your effort, nobody else will either. 




5094768 © Dmitry Kuznetsov |




 - May 28, 2022 - Saturday Writer's Group - "On Writing Contests" - Zoom - Noon-2 PM ET

 - June 9, 2022 - Edisto Bookstore, Edisto Island, SC - 3:00 PM

 - June 11, 2022 - The Coffee Shelf, Chapin, SC - 8-11 AM

 - June 21, 2022 - South Congaree Pine Ridge Library, In-Person, Columbia, SC - 5:30-6:30 PM 

 - June 28, 2022 - Still Hopes Episcopal Residential Community - One Still Hopes Drive, West Columbia, SC - 2:00 PM

 - July 13, 2022 - Muskoka Authors Association, Zoom - 6:00 PM

 - July 23, 2022 - Indiana Sisters in Crime, Zoom - Noon ET - Gary and Hope Clark Tag Team on Getting the Facts Right in Mysteries

 - June 3-10, 2023 - Writing Retreat on the Maine Coast - Special Guest - Sponsored by Joan Dempsey, author and teacher 
Email: to schedule  events, online or otherwise. There's starting to be life out there!     



"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."  

~Gustave Flaubert


SUccess Story

Hi Hope,

I just had to respond to your story about the book signing event you attended for another author. I just had my own book signing event the day before Easter (the only day available at the preferred venue, which was a local brewery.)
I am a new author (two books self-published), and my budget is tighter than those brand new pumps I never wear. Thankfully, due to the wonderful words you and other authors have shared regarding book signings, I went prepared and ready to meet the public.
PRIOR to the event, I slapped my marketing hat on and promoted, promoted and promoted through email and social media (and word of mouth). Because the event was the day before Easter, I encouraged people to wear a fancy hat, bunny ears or pastels AND held a mini Easter Egg Hunt for adults only (the finder of the lucky egg received a free beer and autographed book).
I actually stood the entire time welcoming people and chatting with patrons of the brewery who were curious about what I did. The only time I sat was to autograph a book. 
Thanks for all you do!
CL LaVigne

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Featured article


What Makes Readers Pay Full Price for a Book?

By C. Hope Clark

On a whim, and since I have a book coming out this week, I asked this question on Facebook:

List the top three conditions required for you to buy a book at full retail price.

It didn't take long for 250+ commenters to come forward with 426 replies. The trends popped up early and maintained their leads throughout the exercise. Several posters begged me to reveal the results. After counting and recounting, here are the reasons someone will throw down money and pay full price for a book.

110    Author
 39    Topic/genre
 33    Will keep for rereading/keep for research
 30    Cover/cover copy/cover blurbs
 26    Reviews/recommendations
 24    Series
 23    Support a bookstore
 22    On a whim/want it now/super convenient at the time
 21    Available money at the time
 20    First page/content/readability
 18    Format (font, ebook, audio, hardback, etc.)
 16    Event/signing/autograph
 10    Gift
  7    Not available in the library
  7    Book club read
  7    Local emphasis
  5    Airport purchase
  4    Need something to read/TBR list is low
  2    Publisher identity
  2    Fundraiser purchase
Number one, the author, flew out of the chute and stayed ahead the entire race. Readers love settling in with an author, developing a relationship with the author, feeling they can trust the author's performance. Two repliers admitted that while they were indie authors, they were just as slow as the average person in embracing a debut author. Another replier asked what would it take for anyone to consider test-driving a new author. Someone replied: a promotional offer, a strong recommendation, or a book club selection. 

Subject matter/topic/genre mattered, and you could view series as a close cousin to the same. Professional appearance of the book made a difference. Recommendations could trigger purchases. Other reasons trickled down from there.

Bottom line is an author has to prove themselves. An author has to become a presence. And an author has to build a trust with the reader and earn their respect. Once someone accepts a particular author, they obviously stick with them. Many comments mentioned that favorite authors meant paying full price without blinking, pre-ordering without question, and keeping the book in a collection. If that author writes a series. They are willing to pay for trust.

This day and time, with technology and social media so readily at our disposal . . . with Facebook, YouTube, BookTok, and Instagram so up in everyone's face, an author's responsibility is to connect with readers. That's why it's so important to respect readers, respond to readers, and appeal to them where they are. 

Find a way, any way, to prove your worth to a reader, and word-of-mouth recommendations creep out into the world, drawing in folks like a magnet. Keep producing, keep putting new stories in readers' hands, and you earn their loyalty. The days of "have a signing and they will come" are over. Just look at the numbers. 

BIO - C. Hope Clark is the award-winning author of The Edisto Island Mysteries, The Carolina Slade Mysteries, and The Craven County Mysteries, a total of 15 novels. Her latest, Edisto Heat, is available wherever books are sold. Hope is also founder of, chosen by Writer's Digest Magazine for its 101 Best Websites for Writers. Her newsletter reaches 23,000 readers each week. / 


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Do you love nature as much as you love writing?

You don't have to be an ecologist or outdoor adventurer to write about nature. The only requirement is a desire to genuinely connect with the natural world.

In this class, students do so by immersing each week in one of the four elements--earth, air, fire and water-- through music, literature, art and meditation and write from this place of deep knowing. Ancient cultures all over the world have used some version of the four elements to simplify the complexity of our organic existence.

Discover your own personal relationship to the elements as a channel for inspired writing. Johanna has been a professional writer and writing instructor for over two decades. She has two published books and has taught writing classes at conferences, universities, high schools, camps and more. She lives off-grid in the deserts of northern New Mexico. All levels and all genres are welcome.

 $222 for 5 weeks
15 student maximum
More information on the website
Email with questions

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$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 20, 2022. Enter your best work in 2,000 words or less for your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine. Our second-place winner will receive $500 and publication on our website; our third-place winner will receive $250 and publication on our website as well. Whether it's a thrilling mystery, a feel-good coming of age story, or a haunting tale filled with terror, your piece could land you the grand prize. 

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 15, 2022. The contest is open to adult writers living in Maryland. Any short story that falls into the speculative fiction genre – science fiction and fantasy in all their forms – is welcome. Urban fantasy, hard science fiction, dark fantasy, it all counts so long as the work has a speculative element. Entrants must be amateur writers. Writers who are eligible for membership in theScience Fiction Writers of America as defined here may not enter this contest whether or not they are an active member of SFWA. The Writers Contest is limited to stories of speculative fiction between 1,000 and 5,500 words that have not have been previously published. This is a short story contest. Prizes are $250, $100, and $50. 

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. Prizes $350, $200, and $100. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. For purposes of these contests, unpublished writers are defined as those who have never earned over $500 by their writing skills in any single year, whether from a salary, freelance work, editing, royalties, or sale of stories or books. Stories must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words in length. Stories from any country are fine, although they must be written in English. First prize $200. Runners-up $100. Any appropriate nonfiction topic is eligible.  Stories must be true, not semi-fictional accounts.  So-called "creative nonfiction"  will not be considered.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. Writers entering categories A through D cannot have a book published (either traditionally published or self-published) or accepted for publication in the category they enter. However, authors can have a book published or accepted for publication in a category other than the one they wish to enter. Submitters must have a 70% physical presence in Utah AND be a legal Utah resident for one year prior to submission and at time of submission. First prize (Categories A-D): $1,000. Second prize (Categories A-D): $500. First prize (Categories E-G): $300. Second prize (Categories E-G): $150. 

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 1, 2022. The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review. Must be in English and between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Must be resident of the UK, Ireland, or the Commonwealth.

$18 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. This contest is open to all writers worldwide with no limitations on the amount of poetry a writer has published. We recommend submissions should be 20–40 pages of poetry. Prize is $1,000 and publication. 

$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 27, 2022. We’re a storytelling platform and production company that supports indie journalists and storytellers and celebrates humanity through true, authentic and diverse character-driven content. We publish our original stories on and often with top publishing partners across the globe, and we adapt our favorites into TV, film and podcasts with leading partners from Amazon Studios to Warner Bros. Television. We’re immensely proud and excited to do the same with our Spring Memoir Prize winners! In addition to publishing their work on, and including it in a special Narratively Spring 2022 Memoir Prize Digital Collection, we’ll award the top three writers the following cash prizes: Grand Prize $3,000, Finalist $1,000, Finalist $1,000. Limit 2,000- to 7,000 words. Nonfiction memoir only, written in first person. 

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 21, 2022. Writers anywhere in the world are invited to enter. The prize is US $1,000 & a further US $1,000 towards a writing retreat at Château Marcoux in southern France (between 2023-2025). The shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology. All proceeds from the book are donated to Amy’s Living Legacy for ovarian cancer research. Submissions must be no longer than 2000 words. There is no minimum word count requirement.




Deadline June 6, 2022. The Artist in Residence (AIR) program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 50 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies of four to ten weeks include studio space, chef-prepared meals, housing, travel and living expenses. AIRs become part of a dynamic community of artists participating in Headlands’ other programs, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artist community on campus. Artists selected for this program are at all career stages and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, and architecture.

One-time non-matching funds for nonprofit arts, senior service or community organizations, and governmental entities to support sequential arts learning for seniors aged 60+ with the aim of reducing social isolation and loneliness and increasing creativity and artistic techniques. All projects must be implemented by teaching artists on the new TN Creative Aging Teaching Roster. Total funding for this project equals $75,000. Individual projects may request up to $3,000 for contractual fees for artists and supplies. Standard pay for teaching artists to deliver a series of sequential hour-long arts classes is $2,500. 

Applicants, both individuals and groups, can apply through one of the nine Regional Arts Councils in the state of Louisiana, applicable to where they live. Must be an ART project involving dance, design arts, folklife, literature, media, music, theatre, or visual arts for the purpose of performance, exhibit, presentation, series or workshop. Individuals and organizations lacking a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status must arrange for a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status to serve as a fiscal agent. Organizations serving as fiscal agents (the applicant) must be domiciled in the same region as the other organization or individual (sub-applicant). Grants are a minimum of $2,500 and as much as $7,500. A cash match demonstrates community involvement and commitment to the project. 



We are primarily (but not exclusively) a UK-based consumer drinks publication, with our main focus on beer, wine and cider. The vast majority of stories we aim to publish will focus on these topics. We try to consider these subjects in the same way a food writer might consider a chef or restaurant. We’re interested in the ingredients, the method, the process, the people, the agriculture, the sense of place, the finished product and the story that binds these elements together. Features: £0.23p per word, rounded to the nearest 100 words up to a maximum of £575 per feature (excluding extras should the writer also provide photography or illustrations.) Q&A’s: £300 per feature. 

Deadline August 1, 2022. HerStry is searching for writing instructors to teach four to five online critique groups from fall 2022 through spring 2023, with the option to renew their contract after that. HerStry Critique Groups take place online and run for 6 weeks and are comprised of six women at a time. Instructors facilitate weekly meetings and give line by line and developmental edits to each group member throughout the course of the workshop. HerStry does not require an MFA or English degree, but applicants must have teaching and editing experience, preferably in a roundtable workshop setting. Applicants must be familiar with Zoom. This is a part time, paid, contract position starting in September 2022. Interested applicants may send resume, cover letter and two references to While this is a paying position, we also offer free admission into the Babes Who Write plus any of our workshops, public or private. 

Stories about Texas places, history, travel, culture and people. We have a particular interest in rural and suburban areas served by electric cooperatives. Stories should establish a connection to an electric cooperative if possible. Our stories reflect cooperative values such as concern for the community and working for economic development. Pays up to $1/word. Send pitches to Chris Burrows, Editor at

We are an independent multimedia platform dedicated to the people, the culture and social movements of the Rio Grande Valley, centering queer and migrant communities of color. We ONLY accept pitches from people who currently live or grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas (and North Mexican side of this border region including Reynosa, Matamoros, etc). Longform features are 2,000 words and pay 50 cents/word. Op-Eds are 600 words and pay 30 cents/word. News blurbs are 300 words and pay 30 cents/word. Query

We consider completed manuscripts on spec, as well as original pitches. A query should include a thorough outline that introduces your article proposal and highlights each of the points you intend to make. Your query should discuss how the article will benefit our readers, why the topic is timely and why you’re the appropriate writer to discuss the topic. Pays up to 50 cents/word. See editorial calendar for themes.

Task & Purpose was founded in 2014 with a mission to inform, engage, entertain, and stand up for active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. The site quickly became one of the most trusted news and investigative journalism sources for the military, with its journalists reporting everywhere from the Pentagon to The White House and beyond. Looking for freelance gear reviewers to join our growing team at Task & Purpose and The Gear Locker. We pay $750 apiece for buying guides like these: Pitch Jared Keller, Managing Editor at

Long Now is accepting pitches of essays, reported features, interviews, book reviews, shorter articles, fiction and poetry for Ideas, our living archive of long-term thinking. Reported, argument-driven, or photo essays (800 - 1,800 words). Long-form reported narrative features (1,200 - 2,500 words). Interviews with the thinkers, artists, and makers whose projects and ideas foster long-term thinking and responsibility (1,200 - 2,000 words). Articles breaking down the latest long-term thinking news (scientific papers, studies, projects, trends), profiling fascinating and forgotten examples of long-term thinking from the past, or exploring how today’s technological interventions are being applied to the past to make us reconsider what we thought we knew (500 - 1,200 words). Book reviews (500 - 1,200 words). Payment starts at $600 for features and ranges between $300 - $600 for essays, interviews, book reviews, science journalism, and news articles. We pay $100 for science fiction stories and $25 per poem (with a maximum of four poems per submission).

Their mission is to help independent restaurants worldwide build their brands, celebrate their food cultures, and realize their business dreams. We are dedicated to helping small businesses serve their customers with excellence. In this role, you will be responsible for writing short- and long-form articles (500-2000 words) for restaurant, design and business audiences discussing trends spanning the landscape of restaurant marketing techniques, like QR codes, design strategies, holiday marketing, and social media. Editors will assign and brainstorm topics with you. You will be responsible for conducting your own research and interviews. You will be expected to address any edits or comments in a timely manner. Compensation ranges from $100 to $250 depending on length and subject matter. To apply, please send an email to with your resume and any writing samples you think relevant. As a conversation starter, please explain what you would write about if you had to create a restaurant marketing advice article off the top of your head (100 words).

Publishes stories about what’s working (and what’s not) in advocacy campaigns. These stories can be written by someone with first-hand experience with the campaign or organisation in question or they can be reported by a knowledgeable observer. Word count 500-1,200 words. A Mobilisation Lab story is generally about lessons, innovations or trends involving transformative, participatory and/or collaborative approaches to social change. Pays $250-500USD depending on the topic, word count, amount of reporting.



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Eliane Benisti founded her agency in Paris in 1978 and became one of the privileged interlocutors of prestigious English-speaking and German publishing houses and literary agencies for the negotiation of translation and publication rights on the French-speaking market. The agency represents authors of very diverse genres: fiction, non-fiction, illustrated books, comics, adult and children's literature.

For over twenty years we have been offering Italian authors and foreign clients our experience and our unique knowledge of Italian and international publishing, the audiovisual market and new media.

Tamar Rydzinski is looking for Middle-grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction of all types; adult commercial fiction (political espionage is not a good fit); adult narrative nonfiction. Crystal Orazu welcomes new writers of middle-grade and young adult fiction—in particular fantasy/paranormal and coming-of-age novels—as well as adult fiction, psychological thriller, and memoirs. Monica Rodriguez gravitates towards stories about identity, family relationships, and travel. In children’s literature, she is actively looking for PB, MG, YA & Graphic Novels. She is also open to adult and nonfiction submissions.

We publish an average of 30 new titles a year, related to identifiable regions around the United States (especially the South). Specialties include: Popular History, Biography, Culture (Food & Drink), Cookbooks,  Architecture, Children’s Books. 








Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.

C. Hope Clark
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036

Copyright 2000-2022, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

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