Dear SF Short Fiction Publishers-

If you want your publications to survive in the 21st Century, you need to do the following:

1) Put your content online for free.
2) Make it so people can share, comment on, and rate your content.
3) Measure how much traffic each story, picture, video, song, poem, review, whatever gets.
4) Sell ad space, subscriptions and hard goods.
5) Accept donations and tips.
6) Figure out a formula that will allow you to divvy up your income with your writers and artists based on how much traffic they pulled in. Make this formula and the traffic for each thing transparent so there’s no more bitching about being screwed or unsuccessful (note: actual bitching will probably ensure, but at least you’ve got numbers to back you up).
7) Allow people to submit their stuff easily, not only to the professional editors who are choosing premium stuff for revenue sharing, but amateur stuff so people can learn how to take criticism (both constructive and assholive) and grow in their craft.
8) When enough people from the community you’ve created say that a thing is made of Awesome, listen to them and promote the thing to the front page.
9) Did I mention that you put your stuff online for free?

This is the Big Scary Idea: take your magazine/site/blog/whateverthefuck and become the Open Source SciFi Channel. Crib from the way Daily Kos goes about its business. Embrace all media and all genres. Don’t create a separate magazine for your Yaoi Furry Mecha Fantasy stories; just add a new channel. Whatever you do, quit splitting hairs and just do the damn thing already. Contact me or Jason for more information on how to conquer the world.

Love and kisses,

6 thoughts on “The Big Scary Idea

  1. Right. Embrace everything from every media, whether it’s stories or games or manga or whatever. Don’t segment your audience; let ’em sort that out for themselves. The story people will levitate to one section of the site, and the Yaoi Furry Mecha Fantasy gamers will do their own thing, and the publisher keeps raking in the dosh.

  2. Plus,

    10) Find other ways to monetize the content and *allow affiliates to make money as well.* Example: let visitors put together their own anthologies (a la the book lists at Amazon). This could go so far as allowing people to order a physical copy of the book (via Lulu or iUniverse or somesuch).

    This way your visitors become your advocates, which is exactly the way you want it — and you incentivize them for doing so, so some small percentage of them will actually be *good* at it.

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