Saturday, September 30, 2006

Winner!: As it turns out, I won one of the pro edits in the raffle, the one from Diane Goettel, one of the editors of the no-longer-in-danger Apex Digest.

Now to pick a story . . .

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Savin' Apex: Apex Digest is a sci-fi horror magazine. Note there is no slash in there. That is because it is not a sci-fi/horror magazine. It is a sci-fi horror magazine.

In other words, the guys go up on rocketships before they get eaten by the monster.

And now, they've become the latest in a string of magazines to offer "cries for help."
It seems about once a month, one magazine or another is pleading with the masses to send them money, to please help keep their market online.

I'm not sure how I feel about this trend.

See, it was different when Ralan did it. Ralan is a free website that writers use all the time. Heaven knows I use the heck out of it. Ralan puts a good deal of money, time, and effort into that site, and quite frankly, I think Ralan provides enough writers with enough of a service that he deserves to live off of it. Every writer should send Ralan 5% of any sale they made to a market they wouldn't have known about without him. If he says, if you want this, I need money, people need to pony up if they want to keep the service.

But the magazines, I'm not sure, and I'm not sure why.

I think the first reason why is this: That by taking a business that's struggling, and giving them a donation, you're literally "Throwing Money" at the problem. It takes care of the symptoms of the problem--the lack of money--but not the causes--possible problems with the business plan, problems with the books, etc.

It's like giving money to that brother who you love, but who you know is just going to blow it and be back next month asking for more money.

The second reason? They're asking writers. It wouldn't be so bad if they were asking the readers. But the vast majority of the time, when I see these save ____ posts, they're being made of writers. Which to me, is a little upside down. Could a sci-fi market imagine going to, say, their publisher, and saying, "Hey, I'm in financial trouble. Can you give me money so I can keep operating?" And yet, the writers are providing a service to the magazine just as much as the publishers are--and we're going to feel just as disinclined to want to do business with that magazine in the future because of it.

If you can't sell readers on your magazine, your magazine probably isn't financially viable.

Okay, so the good news?

Jason Sizemore, at Apex digest, seems to be avoiding both of these mistakes.

I found out about the subscription drive from his newsletter for readers, not writers. Presumably he was hoping some of the people who buy the news stand copies would go ahead and buy a subscription. While I have seen it posted on writer's websites, those posts have all been made by other people, not him.

And he's explained the exact financial situation on his blog, so you can see for yourself whether you think this will be a repeating problem (It seems he had a one-time, unexpected bill come up which, when paid, will leave him debt-free with his publisher, and in a better position in the future).

He certainly never just asked for money. It was all about selling subscriptions--so it's even better than a PBS pledge drive.

Of course, if you like the feeling of an old fashioned pledge drive, Mary Robinette Kowal of Shimmer magazine (yeah, you read that right--a different magazine all together) set up a raffle with tons of cool prizes. And the best part? You can enter just for the stuff you want, and support a magazine that publishes good quality stuff.

So go check out the magazine, see if it's your kind of thing, and then maybe pick up a subscription. Or go for something cool you see in the raffle. But stay away from the editing stuff--that's mine, all MINE!!! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!

Or try for them. Whatever.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Biggest Loser: Figured I'd post this here, instead of on my other blog, since it has nothing to do with weight loss.

On this season's The Biggest Loser, folks from all 50 states were flown in, but only a little over a dozen got to stay--the rest have to go it alone at home.

Anybody else notice how, despite the seemingly "tryout" nature of the selection process, that the two biggest television markets, California and New York, both managed to get their folks on the show? In fact, the four most populous states all got their folks on.

(Also worth noting in that link is that Washington DC has more folks in it than Wyoming.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Also changes over at Dial-A-Song.

Um, yeah.

Those mildly wacky guys over at have started a blog.