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Author Topic: Online Magazines  (Read 2370 times)

Offline Eli_Freysson

Online Magazines
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:04:45 PM »
I have now written four of the ten short stories in my planned ten-part space opera serial.

And I've gotten my first rejection for the first story. I started with Clarkesworld, basically because of their very quick response time. I'm wondering what to do next.

I've formatted the manuscript according to guides, that's not a problem. I've just never had anything to do with online magazines, or much to do with short fiction in general. I'd appreciate advice from anyone more knowledgeable than myself. Is there a particular magazine I should turn to for my second try? As most of them seem to have listed response times of several months, and don't want stories that are also being submitted to any other magazine, I want to pick my choices carefully. I'd rather not wait an entire year for three rejections.

Or maybe I should just go with KDP...
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 11:16:15 PM »
I have now written four of the ten short stories in my planned ten-part space opera serial.

And I've gotten my first rejection for the first story. I started with Clarkesworld, basically because of their very quick response time. I'm wondering what to do next.

I've formatted the manuscript according to guides, that's not a problem. I've just never had anything to do with online magazines, or much to do with short fiction in general. I'd appreciate advice from anyone more knowledgeable than myself. Is there a particular magazine I should turn to for my second try? As most of them seem to have listed response times of several months, and don't want stories that are also being submitted to any other magazine, I want to pick my choices carefully. I'd rather not wait an entire year for three rejections.

Or maybe I should just go with KDP...

Go to either Submission Grinder (free) at http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ (lots of markets with response times!) or Duotrope (small yearly fee) at http://duotrope.com/. Browse the markets there for people looking for your genre and/or serial fiction, then pick out your next market. Repeat until someone buys it or until you get tired of querying. :)

KDP is, in my opinion, your last route unless you've already made yourself a name via another book or series, and have fans waiting to buy. That said, if you're an experienced promoter and you don't think your chances of selling serialized fiction are high, it's a decent backup! Just be aware it is VERY easy to be buried.

But I'd suggest submitting to a few markets first to test the waters. Also, advance readers if you haven't already, people who will give honest feedback. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting anything up on KDP that hadn't been through my cadre of advance readers and under the eye of an experienced editor.

Good luck! I sold nine short stories in the past few years, and I've still piled up about 60 rejections in that time as well. So your odds increase the more your submit.

EDIT: Waiting multiple months for a rejection is just the way it is with pro-markets, due to the number of submissions they get. There's no way around it. Token and semi-pro markets tend to be a bit quicker, but if you're hoping to submit your story to pro-markets and expecting fast turn around, it's just not doable right now.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:51:03 PM by tebakutis »

Offline jefGoelz

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 04:52:09 AM »
Ideally, you have been READING magazines to see where your stories might fit best.
It's hard to say where you should submit next without knowing the style and quality of your story.
If you think your stories are really excellent, you could try some of the other top shelf markets like:
Fantasy and Science Fiction
Tor.com
Asimov's
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
etc.

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 09:29:40 AM »
I have now written four of the ten short stories in my planned ten-part space opera serial.

And I've gotten my first rejection for the first story. I started with Clarkesworld, basically because of their very quick response time. I'm wondering what to do next.

I've formatted the manuscript according to guides, that's not a problem. I've just never had anything to do with online magazines, or much to do with short fiction in general. I'd appreciate advice from anyone more knowledgeable than myself. Is there a particular magazine I should turn to for my second try? As most of them seem to have listed response times of several months, and don't want stories that are also being submitted to any other magazine, I want to pick my choices carefully. I'd rather not wait an entire year for three rejections.

Or maybe I should just go with KDP...

Definitely don't give up after only one rejection. A short story will get a few before it finds a home. If you are writing a serial, do the short stories stand alone as well? Otherwise it's a very tricky sell indeed, especially that first story.

Check out the listings on:
http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/    (can sort by theme, fantasy, horror, scifi etc)
http://ralan.com/

The Traitor God & God of Broken Things

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 12:24:36 PM »

Definitely don't give up after only one rejection. A short story will get a few before it finds a home. If you are writing a serial, do the short stories stand alone as well? Otherwise it's a very tricky sell indeed, especially that first story.

Check out the listings on:
http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/    (can sort by theme, fantasy, horror, scifi etc)
http://ralan.com/

Yes, the idea is to let each story stand on its own. Each one is about a different character having their own little adventure during a major war, forming an ongoing metaplot through the serial.
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline SarahW

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 10:36:01 PM »
I'd also be interesting in finding out what you find, I also do such serials. (My own meta narrative is complete in and of itself.)

Good luck with it.

As someone who self-publishes, other than initial payment (not even then if you're going for a literary magazine) I haven't seen any evidence of any inherent advantageous  being published in a magazine over just going with Kindle Direct Publish myself.

If you're writing in a tricky genre as it is not yet established, I need to have an absolute sure thing the magazine knows better than I would about market placement. And when I can earn $2.99 per ebooks sales, I'd need a good reason to follow the trail of  5 cents a word for 25,000 words.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 03:07:40 PM »
As someone who self-publishes, other than initial payment (not even then if you're going for a literary magazine) I haven't seen any evidence of any inherent advantageous  being published in a magazine over just going with Kindle Direct Publish myself.

If you're writing in a tricky genre as it is not yet established, I need to have an absolute sure thing the magazine knows better than I would about market placement. And when I can earn $2.99 per ebooks sales, I'd need a good reason to follow the trail of  5 cents a word for 25,000 words.

Regarding advantages of publishing with a magazine vs self-pub, it depends on your goal and your existing readership (if any).

If you're savvy enough to market your own material, and you already have readers lined up to buy it, then self-publishing makes sense, especially for a hard to sell serial. If people are standing by to purchase it right now, why spend a year submitting to three or four pro mags who will likely reject it?

On the other end, if you don't have an existing audience and put your work on KDP, chances are it's going to get buried quickly. People won't buy it if they don't know you and don't see it on the store. I think the biggest mistake people make with self/indie pub is assuming readers are there when they aren't.

The advantage of getting your work accepted by a magazine is that magazine (hopefully) has an audience. So you'll get read more, but paid less. If you have other work for sale, however, sometimes hooking people with a story in a magazine can get them to check out your other work.

The thing to remember about self-pub is the royalty doesn't matter if no one knows it exists. If no one knows about you or is buying your stuff, 75% of $0.00 is still $0.00. :)

Offline Yora

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 03:11:22 PM »
What about publishing for no pay? If it doesn't cost anything, it should be easier to get people to give it a look instead of making it exclusive to people who pay a subscription fee.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 04:31:57 PM »
What about publishing for no pay? If it doesn't cost anything, it should be easier to get people to give it a look instead of making it exclusive to people who pay a subscription fee.

As an interesting aside, many online magazines that pay authors pro rate actually publish their stories for free. Daily Science Fiction and Beneath Ceaseless Skies are good examples. The magazine pays the author $0.06 cents a word (I believe DSF is actually $0.08), and that story is free to the magazine's audience, who pay nothing.

If you get published in a mag like that, it's a win all around - you get paid pro rate for a story ($180 for a 3,000 word short story), your story gets in front of all the readers of the magazine, and those readers can read it for free (and possibly become interested in other stories or books you've written).

But publishing for free also has advantages, IF you have other stuff out there. Stuart Jaffe (an author I mention often, since he gave me alot of great free advice and has also had success building a rep as an independent author) has his first book up on Amazon for free (Kindle specific, I think). So his first book is completely free.

Since he has five other books in the series, it makes sense for him to give the first book away as an e-book, which costs the author nothing. Not only does it get him exposed to a wider audience, it also makes it more likely people will review his book, making that book more visible, building his audience and getting more reviews ... and so on. It's a snowball effect, and those who enjoy the first book may pay for the other five.

Offline SarahW

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 03:30:48 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought all things were published for free? The author is payed, if accepted. I'm leery about any place with a reading fee. That money that could pay for HRT.

Offline OhTheSqualor

Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2015, 04:12:02 PM »
---> Very brief thread hijack

Thank you for posting the link to The Grinder.  I wasn't aware of that one, and it is AWESOME!

You guys rock.

Chris

/thread hijack (and good luck publishing your stories!)
Check out my site!!! Oh The Squalor

Or drop me a line on Twitter

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Online Magazines
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 04:14:09 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought all things were published for free? The author is payed, if accepted. I'm leery about any place with a reading fee. That money that could pay for HRT.

Sorry, Sarah, I may have not been clear. What I meant is that magazines like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Daily Science Fiction  are free to readers. So they pay their writers pro-rate, but let readers read the magazine for free, meaning there's no "pay barrier" between your story and those who might wish to read it.

You are absolutely correct that no legitimate SFF magazine charges a reading fee. I have heard that some more prestigious literary journals do this, but I think the practice is controversial even in those cases.