Sunday, April 24, 2005

Great Article

Please read this excellent article,, courtesy of Jen. It addresses a lot of the issues surrounding online publishing that we've kicked around, right here on this blog.

It features interviews with several editors of some prominent online literary magazines, and at times, the observations are mind blowing (and at other times, the observations reflect our own).

Despite all the admissions that online fiction is a great force for good, the money word (the c for career word) came up a few times. Although I am more than willing to get my fiction published my non-paying markets, I do have a fair amount of concern about the idea of payment becoming the exception to the rule (actually, it may already be that way, truth be told). As selfish as it sounds, I would like to see monetary compensation for my own fiction writing. But for the time being, it's good to know that online fiction is gaining more and more credibility with the literary world, regardless of what argument there is for whether writing fiction should be a career or simply a labor of love.



Blogger Hebdomeros said...

I think this quote from the editor at Pindeldyboz says it all:

"If you toss out the notion of career and contribute to publications -- online and print alike -- that have their hearts laid out and bare, witnessing in that strange vulnerable mass a sickly fetish with good literature in whatever form it comes, you'll be feeling fine. Broke, maybe, but fine."

To be honest, I don't think it's all that different from the general marketplace for short fiction. Mags like the New Yorker aside, most mags pay in copies or in $ so small you can't buy more than a stick of gum with the check. The major difference is the potential for distribution. It's dramatically higher, at a lower cost.

11:47 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Yeah, that's true -- the regular fiction market (print) seems like about 10%-20% pay, the rest pay in copies or not at all.

I guess it's the lower barrier to entry with new lit mags... and the fear that maybe no one will pay. I know I sound like a hell of a mercenary, but it is nice to think that some markets pay and I wonder at the precedent where short story writers get nothing... and like it!

Ha. True enough, though, most of us do it because we have to, and pretty much expect that we're going to have to have day jobs to make ends meet.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Maktaaq said...

Ah yes, day jobs...I got my job part-time so I could finish writing the three novels I have going on and puzzle out how to write non-fiction articles. It's too easy to fill out my open three days with more paid work (I get an hourly rate), to the detriment of that other thing I really want to do.

National Novel Writing Month was good because I kept matching myself with everyone else. The only bad thing is I began something new - as per Naniwrimo rules, instead of working on past projects.

I've gotten published in a few non-paid markets, but I would like to see if I can improve my writing enough to attach a $ value to it.

Btw, just last week I got my first "thing" published this year; an illustration for a young adult anthology from my alma mater!

10:54 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Ah yes, the day job thing. I find my day job takes a lot out of me, since I have daily deadlines for that. (I have to work tonight, as a matter of fact.) At times I have fantasized about making enough money in fiction to be able to work part time in a bookstore or something... but even that would mean making quite a bit of money in fiction which isn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon.

Yeah, Nanowrimo at least has the deadline thing going on -- the specific goal.

I wish you luck on your novels -- you are a better woman than I! And congrats on your publication, that rocks!

6:28 PM  
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