I recently had a story accepted by SciFan Magazine and though they have yet to release my story in one of their issues, I did start reading their magazine.  One of the things I came across this post of theirs.

It got me thinking about my time publishing Plasma Frequency and the struggle it was to come up with funding from time to time. Magazine publishing is a hard market to stand out in, and I’d like to think that Plasma Frequency stood out in a positive way.

I said it all the time, but I really did have a great team of volunteers behind the magazine and, though I funded it, I was only a small part of the process.

The point of all this:  I miss publishing.

I miss reading awesome stories from talented authors.  I miss losing sleep over whose story I’d have to reject.  I miss the awesome editors I worked with to put out the magazine.  I miss the way we tackled author feedback.  I miss post shares of the favorites and the author shares of their work.  And I miss collecting each issue.

It is hard to publish a magazine.  It is not easy.

First, there are a shitload of magazines out there.  And for each shitload there is a fuckton of good ones.  So many of them already have established reader bases and your only hope to find readers is to advertise to them.

Marketing a magazine isn’t easy at all.  First, most magazines don’t make a whole lot of money if any.  They rely on either the editor’s income, donations, or in magazine advertising.  Selling issues is hard enough as it is because so many good magazine publish their content 100% free online.   Then you have to find target an audience and get readers.

Now before anyone gets excited, I am not bringing back Plasma Frequency.  Even if I do return to publishing, it will be a different magazine all together.  Or maybe anthologies??  I’m not hinting at anything… honestly.

I think the point I am trying to make is to take time for your genre’s magazines too.  Read them, share them, donate if you want, but take the time to read magazines too.  We need new markets to join and we need them to mature.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Magazine Publishing

  1. This sounds very familiar. We run a radio station, and boy, can we relate – it’s ingrained in the public consciousness that radio is something you get for free. We have a hook, though, we’re technically a transmedia thing. I can’t imagine being just print and having only that going for my project. Radio is a tough market, but online publishing is, I agree, far harder.

    The market is also always in motion, and since everything’s online now, fortunes can turn quickly, and sometimes without warning. Only dedication to quality writing and the joy found in the creative act itself can sustain you, and the ‘net is littered with the bones of publications who applied these principles and failed anyway.

    But if you love what you do, they’ll know, and they’ll keep coming back, and you’ll get that spot in the sunshine. I think you should go ahead and take the plunge, and bring a new SF magazine to the world, if for no other reason than it would be a gloriously defiant, creative act.

    — Gene Turnbow, Krypton Radio

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