Only one issue out and already I’m accepting stories for publication late next year.
Thing is, I like most of the submissions I’ve received thus far and have committed to publishing them. But it’s beginning to look like the authors are in for a long wait.
Some magazines have enormous slush piles. I’m constructing a gigantic “to be published eventually” file. Darned if I know which is more frustrating to an author.
Time to remind contributors that I offer two forms of acceptance, namely “tentative” and “confirmed.”
“Confirmed” means I want to send you a contract wherein you agree not to resell your first publication as a reprint till one week after I publish it.
“Tentative” means I want to publish your story but will not offer you a contract for the time being, which leaves you perfectly free to sell “First Publication” rights elsewhere if the opportunity arises. In which case I’d still publish your story, but as a reprint, once your first sale period of exclusivity ends.
If, on the other hand, what you offered me is already a reprint, you are of course perfectly free to sell it again anywhere to anybody anytime, even before I publish it.
Hope the above is clear and logical. I think it makes sense, I think.
Another thing I’m thinking of doing is running a sort of lottery. Yes, fill up a zine in sequential order of submissions, but leave a few slots open. Come close to publication time, randomly choose stories set for later publication to fill those slots, which presumably would be a pleasant surprise for the authors.
Of course, if I were really evil, I could assign ALL submissions lottery status for a given upcoming issue. Trouble is, the more submissions that come in, the lower the chances of any one of them getting published. Not liable to be popular methinks.
The OBVIOUS solution is to publish more often. That would require, in order to pay the contributors, kindly patrons showering me with money for this purpose. Sounds like a plan to me!
So, all you philanthropic-minded millionaire SF fen out there, if you’re tired of floating in your swimming pool full of cash Scrooge McDuck-style, feel free to throw away a few bucks at the GoFundMe link below.
You are welcome to donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/jwj3dzgc
After all, I get none of it. Every penny goes to pay contributors. Save the sanity of my contributors! Drive away their backlog blues. Make ’em happy!
Cheers! The Graeme