I was at an Irish SF convention recently called Phoenix Con. In one of the panels, about magazine fiction, a fellow writer propounded the theory that anyone serious about writing should only submit to markets that pay professional rates. Albedo One has survived for sixteen years in part because it does not pay pro rates - we have the assets to cover about one full issue at pro rates and that's only because we're pretty flush at the minute. We feel we provide exposure and a voice for writers and artists. We get thousands of short story submissions a year form writers who would be proud to feature in our pages. Does that justify our existence?
I have sold stories all over the show and few of them were at the pro rate. But I'm proud of these stories and will continue to write and continue to accept payments that often amount to no more than a token.
My latest sale is to Nemonymous edited by the estimable Des Lewis where stories are published anonymously (I can tell you I've got a story in the Cern Zoo anthology but not what it is called). I love the idea, but it is probably not commercial - you'd have to ask Des. I feel this is where the small press is at its strongest - trying something different, experimenting, encouraging writers to try something different. Good on you, Des. And thanks for existing.