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News- changes at Escape Pod- blog, reviews, text, and rate increase!

Hi SF fans!

I wanted to talk about some changes that are happening here at Escape Pod.

First: DON’T PANIC. What you love about Escape Pod – free stories every Thursday – is not changing. At all. We’re not removing things as a change, we’re adding things.

Second: For a while, this site has been little more than a delivery device for the podcast. But now we’re going to add commentary, reviews, and news. We need help, though. If you’re interested in volunteering material for the blog, simply email me and let me know what you’d like to contribute.

Third: Escape Pod is raising its rates. That’s right folks, we’re shooting for the stars and going for an SFWA pro rate format. We’ll be paying $.05 a word for new stories (maximum $300), $.03 a word for reprints (minimum $100). We’re doing this for a couple of reasons- authors deserve to be paid, of course. We’re hoping we can attract a greater caliber of authors, which will therefore grow our audience. Along with the rate increase, we’ll be asking for ebook rights to the stories so we can print them on our site, which will bring in a bigger audience. The rate increase will start with stories I accept after October 1, 2010.

A side note- we’ll only be able to pay pro rates if the donations help us do so. we’re doing a six month trial; if our donations stay strong, it’ll be a permanent change for 2011, if they don’t, then in April we will drop back down to $100 a story. This depends on your support of the site.

Alternately, if you’re a media publisher of any kind — television, movies, video games, a book seller, or just an indie author who wants to sponsor Escape Pod, that will help us out while also promoting you to tens of thousands of listeners. You can email amanda at escapeartists.net for current rates and details.

Comments (17)

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  1. LaShawn says:

    Well, heck, that’s awesome! ::digs around for a story to submit::

  2. Kate Baker says:

    Hey Mur! Great news on paying the authors pro-rates. Hopefully the donations will stay strong so you can be another market for SFWA consideration.

    My only question is would you by chance be paying the narrators for their work too?

    • Mur says:

      @Kate- Unfortunately no, the narrators are still volunteer. We want to get the authors up to pro rates first, and if we can sustain that, I’d love to pay the other people who make this podcast so very awesome.

      • Strong agreement on this. Voice actors are artists too, and deserve to be paid for the work same as writers. Having done both with EP and PodCastle (I’ve had several stories run here and there, and have read two), one might think I just want to get more money, and yeah, that’s part of it — but I also just think it’s not right that both halves of a good podcast production (the text being read and the voice doing the reading) don’t get something for their effort and talent.

        That said, this is still great news, and as soon as I get a job, I’ll be donating to EP and PC again. :)

        • Mur says:

          Heh, apart from working with Pseudopod and now on EP, I’ve done my share of narrating and I totally agree with you. Good narrators are hard to find and deserve to be loved and cared for.

  3. Owen Duffy says:

    Great stuff, especially regarding the ebooks. Will these be DRM free?

    • Mur says:

      I’m quite anti-DRM. Currently we’re planning on blog posts, but we’re not ruling out ebook distribution. All in good time. Baby steps. :)

  4. Innnnteresting — by paying pro rates for unpublished stories, EP is effectively changing its emphasis from reprints to a first-run market. As such, it’s not just going to entertain people with good stories, but also play a role in shaping the SF/F fiction zeitgeist. Could this be the start of EP’s nefarious plan to RULE THE WORLD? (Or just get better stories?)

  5. Congratulations, Mur. Exciting news indeed, very glad to hear that things are going so well. It’s good for the entire field when one of us grows.

  6. This is great news, but leaves me in an odd place with my submission. The story has recently appeared in print and is still print-exclusive there; I was hoping to use the audio performance to promote the anthology and vice versa. (Of course I’d have to be accepted here first.) Where does this leave me? Do I need to withdraw my submission to Escape Pod until the story’s print exclusivity runs out?

    • Mur says:

      Scott, we’re not buying print rights, we’re buying e-rights. Do you have those?

      • The anthology is available on Kindle and thus the publisher has Electronic Media Rights, exclusive for 365 days (so until next summer). I had verified with the publisher ahead of time that the rights Escape Pod sought (at time of submission) did not conflict with their rights. He was all for it.

        So I suspect, with the rights being in conflict, I need to withdraw until the e-rights become available for reprint for this particular story. However I have a stable full of stories I can send in its place, so no real harm done.

  7. Kibitzer says:

    Awesome stuff! Good luck to EP; may you grow and prosper.

  8. gamerlibrarian says:

    I just discovered your site through a link to this post on SF Signal. Does the rate change apply to Escape pod only, or will your sister/brother/tentacle-thing podcasts also be using these new rates?