Off and on again, I have wanted to try to publish a magazine. A couple of years back, I did a test issue of one called “Micro Flash Fiction“, and I published it through MagCloud. MagCloud produces excellent quality printings, but it is quite expensive. Ever since then, I’ve had a desire to do it again, but better this time. I even went so far as to plan a pulp fiction reprints magazine once. I pulled some old public domain stories, figured out a real desktop publishing program, and probably laid out 10 or 15 pages before life got in the way.
What it Could Be
If I did this, I’d want to run an action/adventure stories magazine. It would be all genre-inclusive, so long as every story had at least one good action sequence. I would prefer it to be completely reader funded (as in they pay for copies), as apposed to largely advertiser funded. After all, I’m a staff of one, so my expenses would be minimal. And I wouldn’t put “reviews” and other useless filler in there.
- I love short stories.
- I love action / adventure stories. And lets face it, most of the smaller modern mags seem to have the phrase “with a literary twist” in their description. The critic in my head assures me that means they want a lot of navel-gazing and virtually no face punching. Or they allow face-punching, but are highly genre-specific.
- Because I want to.
Questions I’m mulling over right now:
- Would it be ebook, print, or both? I’d like both, but there are some hangups with print, which I’ll dig into in future posts. But it boils down to “Can I make the printed mag affordable enough that readers will take a chance on it?”
- Try to offer professional rates to authors? Token payments? “Exposure?” As I’ve started researching, I’ve seen several indie mags (that still charge) that do not offer the author any form of payment. I think authors deserve money.
- New works only? Reprints? Reprints of “classic” pulp stories? A mixture?
- Self-Funded or Crowdfunded? I’m not going to be able to convince my wife that we should dump a ton of money on a complete risk with small chance of initial return. So if I self-fund “professional rates” goes right out the window, unless I only put 2 stories in, which would seem lame. On the other hand, running a kickstarter requires time and effort and more learnings on my part, and may fail miserably.
- Size? How many stories should go in? What would be a fair word count for a fiction magazine? I guess it depends on how much I charge.
- How the crap would I market it?
- What would I call it? (I have two ideas so far.)
I’ve been writing some short stories recently, submitting them to various markets. (No success yet, but I remain positive.) So as I’ve been looking at many magazines and submission processes, this urge to publish has welled up again.
If any of you out there have thoughts, get in contact with me via the usual channels. (comments here, twitter, or email bryce at this website.) I’d also love to chat with anybody else that has ever given this a go.