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I have been offered "exchanges" for an article in a very small publication in my vacation town, that does not have the budget to pay for articles. What does that mean?

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My thoughts on this are that any comment we could help with would be lacking due to the fact that a smaller publication may or may not adhere to common terminologies...the smartest thing to do here is ask them what the agreement will be there should be no harm in that. – James Jan 15 '14 at 21:12
Agreed. Given the situation, an "exchange" can mean any number of things. Probably free copies of the publication in question, but we'd just be guessing. – Neil Fein Jan 16 '14 at 3:39
-1 because: Ask the publisher! – what Jan 16 '14 at 14:47
@Everybody: I think the questioner is embarrassed not to know what an "exchange" is. Probably is assuming it is a common term that any professional writer is familiar with, and doesn't want to appear ignorant. – dmm Jan 16 '14 at 23:26
"Sorry, we can't pay you, but we can offer an exchange." "What's an exchange?" -- How is that embarrassing?!? I think its embarrassing that people get lost in foreign cities because they are too embarassed to ask for directions, sign contracts without understanding them because they are too embarassed to ask for clarification, learn nothing in school because they are too embarrassed to ask the teachter to explain. Admitting to not knowing everything is not embarassing but the prerequisite for leading a successful life. – what Feb 15 '14 at 9:21

I'm guessing it means they will give you printed copies of their publication in exchange for your article. You could keep one copy in your portfolio, and distribute the other copies to agents or editors (to show that you're a published author).

Or, it means they will give you advertising space in exchange for your article, which you could use yourself or sell to someone else.

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LOL! Why was this downvoted? – dmm Jan 16 '14 at 5:18
I believe that an answer which is pure guesswork, and which also gives two distinctly different guesses, isn't a very productive one, and should perhaps be left as a comment. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jan 16 '14 at 6:09
@AvnerShahar-Kashtan Well, the only answer that is not guesswork is asking the publisher, so no answer that is not guesswork will be possible here on SE. So +1 for the answer only to counter your unwarranted downvote. – what Jan 16 '14 at 11:03
@AvnerShahar-Kashtan: I see where you're coming from. I agree, it's only half an answer. (Is the answer half-full or half-empty?) I did a web search and couldn't find any agreed-upon definition of an exchange in this context. My guesses were based upon the two most common forms of non-monetary remuneration that I found. So they weren't just pulled out of my rear-end. I should have said that in my half-answer. – dmm Jan 16 '14 at 23:17
It's possible to answer an unclear question, which this is an attempt to do. If this user ever returns to clarify (they haven't been here since posting this question), this answer can be updated at that time. – Neil Fein Feb 14 '14 at 23:13

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