Autonomous Press is proud to have Dani Alexis Ryskamp aboard as our newest editor and your future curator for Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber. On top of her work in activism an blogging, Dani’s writing includes fiction, research and academic essay writing, and a variety of freelance genres. Joining our press isn’t her first job in the industry, and because of that, her experience will help us bring our mission into focus. For instance, when she says:
Your time, effort, and attention are valuable. When you focus them to produce a piece of writing, that writing has value. When you give that writing away without being compensated for it, you are giving charity. It’s a gift. And like all gifts, you are notobligated to give it.
Naturally, a lot of companies realize that simply asking people to give them charity doesn’t fly. So “write for us for free!” is often (though not always!) masked with other terms, like “on spec” or my personal favorite, “for exposure.”
Which is why we’re also glad that she was able to say this, without even having to prompt us to try it:
Autonomous Press, founded in 2015, has published only one book containing the works of disabled writers who were not paid cash money for their contributions. The writers were, h0wever, compensated with at least one physical printed copy of the book apiece (to my knowledge, The Mighty does not print copies of contributors’ submissions for distribution). Contributors to the press’s second compilation, The Real Experts, were paid with contributor copies and cash; contributors to its third, The Spoon Knife Anthology, will be paid in similar form. Every single-author book Autonomous Press has produced to date is also paying royalties to its respective author.
(Incidentally, AutPress’s payment to me for my own contribution to Spoon Knifeis the most I have ever been paid for a single fiction piece.)
If AutPress can produce physical, printed books with a four-figure startup budget and compensate our contributors, The Mighty has no excuse for running a digital-only realm on a seven-figure startup budget and not paying its writers. And as for “exposure,” a print publication outranks a digital one on a CV every time.
And that’s why we’re also happy to announce one last thing:
There’s a blog network coming. And we’re paying.
For now, please check out the rest of Dani’s post about The Mighty, along with her advice about spec work and “exposure.”