Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dearth of markets

Over the past few years, the number of markets for short science fiction has dwindled. Every time I get a rejection and look to send the story out again, I see a few more markets either going out of business or closed to submissions.

I suppose the subject is on my mind because of the news that the next issue of the quality semi-prozine Electric Velocipede will be its last. I've tried to sell them a story for years, without luck; I only met Publisher John Klima a few months ago at WorldCon. He's published it since 2001; it won a Hugo award in 2009.

Since the Recession kicked in, I've seen a steady stream of magazines fold because either they ran out of money, or the people involved ran out of time and money. These publications, especially the smaller ones, are a labor of love for dedicated fans, and it must be gut-wrenching to fold a magazine because of job constraints.

Since I don't write hard s-f, my pool of markets is smaller than it might be for some others, and when you take into consideration that I can write very fast, I end up dropping some very good stories into very small markets. Over the long run, through, I feel spreading my stories far and wide has helped my reputation as a writer.

And even if a story is originally published in a small venue, it may still have a good second life in an collection or anthology. This is a little trick I stole from Joe Lansdale.

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