“…Any Club That Would Have Me for a Member…”

The subject came up in another context but it got me thinking about it. New magazines have always popped up fairly frequently in the field. Most don’t last long. This was true back in the mimeograph days and it’s even more true now, when web publishing basically means anyone with a little time and the notion can put up a web page and call it a magazine. This in turn will spawn the writer on the make’s natural prey–the market listing.

I don’t know about you all, but when I’m scanning the list of new markets at Ralan’s or wherever, the number of potential markets I find worth bothering with is very small. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I’m picky. It’s probably some deep character flaw that makes me think I have the right to be picky. I mean, who the hell do I think I am anyway? But there it is. Actually, it’s even worse than that–I think every writer should be picky. Value what you do, or no one else will. Aim higher, even if you think the target is out of range. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn’t. So all that said, I’ve been thinking about what separates a venue worth considering and one that, well, just isn’t. Continue reading

Why Yes, I WOULD Cut Off My Nose to Spite My Face, Why Do You Ask?

 Anyone can be a published writer if all you want to do is make ebook versions of your stories/novels and put them up on Kindle/Nook/iBook/Whatever. I’m not slagging on the idea. I’ll grant you, there’s a time I would have, but times change and it’s adapt or die. Now I do it myself when doing so makes sense to me. However, if you still want to sell stories to professional  science fiction and fantasy (SF/F) markets in the traditional way, deciding between Garamond vs Bookman Old Style is no longer your concern. It’s also no longer about whether your stories please you. Before you see print/online publication, you’ve got to please someone else–the editor.

The traditional SF/F short fiction market is a buyer’s market. Always has been and probably always will be. Even with the explosion of online venues, there are more good stories than there are decent homes for them, for varying values of “decent” and, let’s be honest, varying values of “good.” Fortunately there are enough variances in editorial taste that eventually things usually work out. “Eventually” meaning just that–it can take years to place some stories. “Usually” meaning, sigh, not always. But I’m not here to lament this sad fact, merely to state it, to place what follows in context–The Sh*tlist  Continue reading