I maintain the print magazines that are going under is a good thing in the long run for our industry. Let’s face it. Print has needed a high colonic cleansing for a very long time now. The cobwebs needed to be cleared out. Heck, in the last couple of years I’ve seen changes in print magazines that were a direct result from economic forces manifesting themselves from online magazines.
Rejection return is one such example. I know I’m not alone here. Online magazines tend to have a faster turnaround for rejection/accepting stories. I saw print magazines make a real effort to catch up in this regard over the last two years. Same for payment and publication of stories.
I’m not pro-print or pro-online or anti- either one. I’m pro-WRITER. That’s why I believe in the long run this will be a good thing for both writers and the publishing industry. It’s capitalism, red in tooth and claw. In our profession magazines die and others take their place. Sometimes they prosper and sometimes they don’t. Like the song says, the times they are a-changin’. Writers and magazines who adapt will succeed. Those that don’t will fall by the wayside.
There are no guarantees in this brutal business. But you knew that before you jumped in with both feet. And if you didn’t you just had a dash of cold water to the face which is also a good thing. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Especially in this industry.
Realms of Fantasy is just the first. I expect many more “Big” science fiction and fantasy magazines will go under as well. I can see the death rattle in two of them right now and if you pay attention to the markets like I do I’m sure you can, too. And don’t think it will be confined to print because plenty of online paying magazines will go belly up as well. I’m not happy about it. I don’t like it anymore than you do. But let’s get real here. We knew this was going to happen sooner or later. The trick is to remember why we are here in the first place.
We’re writers. We write. We would do so if there were no magazines whatsoever to publish in. At least I would and you probably would, too.
Yeah, it’s bad right now. Downright nasty. And it’s going to get worse. But in the long run lessons will be learned and other magazines will have the opportunity to fill the vacuum. I really do believe this will be good for writers and publishers in the long run.
Hang in there. And remember you’re a writer first.
We’ll get through this. We always do. And so will the magazines.