Hi Everyone! Before I get into the details of what this blog is going to be about, I want to thank you so much for providing such an amazing and supportive reception of the first issue of Compelling Science Fiction. Up to this point we’ve had about 13,000 unique readers, which was a wonderful surprise. In addition to the numbers, I’ve also been astounded by the quality of the readership -- I suspected that our readers would be fantastic people that I would get along with, and yet every reader that I’ve interacted with has exceeded my expectations. Without your support there would be no magazine, so please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your interest. I would also like to give a shout-out to the readers of Hacker News who helped make the release a success. I’m proud to be a member of such a constructive community. Finally, I’d like to thank all my great advisors and authors, who are the lifeblood of the magazine (you can read more about them on the ‘about’ and ‘authors’ pages, respectively).
OK, now for the nuts and bolts. I’m starting this blog for two reasons:
This first post is going to be entirely focused on ‘future plans.’
As you may or may not be aware, I’m currently funding this magazine out-of-pocket, and each issue costs about $2000 to produce (if you’d like to learn more and support us financially, please go to the ‘subscribe’ page). In short, most (about 90 percent) of that budget goes to paying authors professional rates for their stories. Many of you awesome readers have stepped up to the plate to offset the cost of the magazine on Patreon, and I thank each and every one of you for your support. That being said, I can’t pay for the majority of the magazine forever, so I wanted to let you know what my plans look like over the next 3-6 months.
First, I plan on funding the magazine for at least 3 issues no matter what (barring any extreme situations). One issue has already been released, so this means that 2 more issues are guaranteed (one in early June, and another in early August).
After the first three issues, I will have to see where we stand with respect to support. If we have enough monthly subscribers and/or ad revenue to pay for the magazine, then we’ll continue chugging happily along. This is the ideal situation, and if we get there I think the magazine can continue paying authors and releasing issues indefinitely. If not, then I’ll have to reevaluate our strategy. Potential contingency plans include cutting the number of stories per issue and/or paying less for stories, neither of which is appealing)
Second, I wanted to let you all know that we plan on releasing audio versions of our stories in the form of a podcast. I can’t say exactly when the first podcast will be released, but we have an amazing volunteer voice actor working on it right now. Recording stories is a lot of work, and we’re still looking for more volunteers; if you’re a professional or amateur voice actor, please let me know if you’d like to record a story. If the magazine ever becomes self-sufficient we’d like to pay for your talents, but for now we’re looking for volunteers only. If you want to voice your support for this podcast idea, please email me at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
Lastly, I’d like to ask you all for a favor. I currently have an incredibly small budget for advertising, so please tell your friends about Compelling Science Fiction if you enjoyed any of the stories!
If you have any comments or questions, you can always email me at ‘email@example.com’. I always read, and I nearly always respond.
In upcoming posts I’ll be discussing how I’m continuing to get the word out to new readers, along with some detailed metrics. I'll also be discussing details about our story evaluation and acceptance process. If you want to be informed about when the next blog post (or magazine issue) is released, please sign up for our mailing list using the form on our main page. You can also follow us on Twitter @CompellingSF. Take care!
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