A Call to Action

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 by Anthony Rapino 14 Comments

I received some great news this morning (as many of you no doubt already know from my twitter feed).  My short story “Destination Unknown” was accepted for publication to Arcane Magazine.

*Tony begrudgingly pulls out a dusty wood box with fading black letters on its side: SOAP.  He tests the rotted wood with one foot, unsure if it will hold his weight.  It bends and crackles; he climbs on top.*

After my acceptance today, I strolled over to Arcane’s website and read through some of their posts.  The last bit of news related statistics about submissions, acceptances, and sales.  It seems that since the first issue has been released they have sold only 141 copies (as of the June 22nd post), and further, they need to sell at least 250 copies in order to continue publication.

This got me thinking.  I thought about all of the posts, rants, and complaints I’ve heard over the years from writers who bemoan the state of magazine publication.  Specifically, there aren’t enough that pay writers.  I then wondered, how many of these writers (and remember, we are first readers) don’t bother to buy any of the magazines that *do* pay their writers.  The magazines that are trying to do the right thing in a struggling economy, in a changing world of publication.  The ones that fight on despite increasing difficulty and evidence that people just aren’t interested in the short form.

The answer, I think, is not nearly enough.  I know many writers out there who do support magazines.  A great many in fact.  But it’s not enough.

I know.  We can’t all buy every magazine that is released.  For one thing there’s not enough time in the day to read everything we’d like to.  For another, there’s the cost.  Believe me, I know this better than most.  As an adjunct Professor who’s out of work for the summer, every dollar counts.

Yet we *can* support some of these amazing magazines.  Something I like to do–and maybe you’d like to try as well–is I make a point of purchasing the first couple issues of any new magazine (within my genres of interest) that pay their authors.  This helps new magazines get on their feet when things are hardest.

Along these lines, there are some new magazines that could use the help.  First, as mentioned earlier, Arcane Magazine. Issue #1 is now available for e-book or print, so even if you can’t swing a print copy, the e-book version is only $2.99.  As a very cool addition, they are offering all five issues of Arkham for free! No purchase, no obligation.

Also, consider liking their facebook page and following them on twitter.  Once they reach “…500, somebody’s going to get a free copy of issue #1, in print and the ereader format of your choice. And yes, you can both like and follow for double the odds of winning.”

Another new kid on the block is One Buck Horror. As the name suggests, their magazine is sold for a mere buck. Think about that three dollar coffee you had this morning, then go pick up the first issue of One Buck Horror.

*Tony wipes sweat from his face and steps down from the old box.  As he does, the thing bursts into flames and turns to ash in a way that reminds him of a cartoon.   A sign?  He thinks so.*

Yeah, so no more of that.

14 Responses

  1. Indigo says:

    I did my part. On a separate note both of the above magazines can be purchased for the same price at Barnes & Noble for the Nook. So really, there are no excuses. B& N e-books can be read on most e-readers.

    Congratulations once again for the sale of ‘Destination Unknown’! May you have many, many future sales! (Hugs)Indy

  2. Cate Gardner says:

    Excellent post, Tony.

  3. Hear, hear! I’m planning to write up short reviews on each story from Issue#1 and post them on my blog, maybe pique some reader interest.

    • Milo, That sounds like a great idea! I’ll be sure to relay the link once it’s up.

      Cate, thanks so much. I was hoping it wouldn’t come off too preachy, despite the soap box. :-p

      Indy, Thanks for mentioning to Nook. I tend to say “Kindle” in the way people say “Google” for searching, which is a bad thing. I need to watch that. Hope you enjoy the issue, I’m trying to put some time aside to get reading in today.

  4. Sold! The fact that Arcane does an eBook version is pretty much an instant sell for me. I’m looking for journals and mags that are going digital, as it makes it a heap easier to carry around a whole bunch of short stories in your bag, without ruining all the pages.

    • Good point, Ben. I totally agree too. Part of being successful in publishing these days is adapting to the new technology. I love my print magazines. Believe me I do. I’d even say I *prefer* them. But when there are so many magazines, and you want to support as many as you can, sometimes the digital option makes it a lot easier to give a new mag a shot. Similar to how we’re more apt to purchase a $1-$4 e-book from a new author than drop $20 on a hardcover.

  5. Laurita says:

    I’m on it. And congrats on that pub.

    Now aren’t you glad you dusted off that soap box?

    • Thanks, Laurita. I sure am. 🙂

  6. Good point! Thank you for making us stop and think about this obvious point…

  7. Aaron Polson says:

    Yes. Yes! YES!

    And another point, dear writers: the more copies sold, the more potential readers for your work.

    Think about that, eh?

    (Congrats, Tony!)

  8. Adam B says:

    Congrats, Tony! I purchased issue #1 of both Arcane and One Buck, looking forward to reading them.

    • Thanks, Adam! I hope you enjoy the issues. I have both on my Kindle waiting for some down time.

      Good point indeed, Aaron. Thanks!

      Not a problem, Jarmara. 😀

  9. Congratulations! 🙂

  10. Just finished reading Arcane issue #1 (good stuff!) and posted a review on Amazon — should be up in a couple days.

Anthony J. Rapino Newsletter
* indicates required