I run the small press The Alchemy Press. It’s a small “small press”: we only publish a few titles per year. This is because of time constraints and, importantly, trying to keep the costs to a manageable level. Last year we published two anthologies, The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders and The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes. This year we will be publishing three anthologies:
Astrologica: Storiesof the Zodiac edited by Allen Ashley
The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2 edited by Mike Chinn
The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic edited by Jan Edwards & Jenny Barber
The line up for these three books is amazing ... and doubly so, because we – The Alchemy Press – only pay a nominal fee. But we do pay something. We also supply a copy of the book (print and ebook editions) to all contributors.
It surprises me when I see other small presses that take stories without offering payment and, worse, without offering contributors’ copies. The small press I've seen – I won’t mention its name here – looks to be, in fact, much bigger than The Alchemy Press. (Apparently there are no royalties, either).
I just checked on Amazon. One of their paperback books will cost you and me and the contributors over £10 to buy. I have to ask: Who gets to keep all the profit? No wonder they are bigger if they have hardly any expenses.
I accept that there are many markets for short stories that do not offer payment in terms of £ or $, but at the very least they provide contributors’ copies. By not offering money or copies I feel that they let down the small presses that attempt to do it properly.