Simon Owens has more on the story about Tor’s new site (ref’d by both Boing Boing and Futurismic), but I thought the teaser at the end of his post was really interesting (this is how we fall down the Internet Rabbit Hole)…
In an article published last week titled “The rise of the genre ezine: Will it ever find a profitable model?” I predicted that many companies would launch online publications to act as a form of branding for their products. I think this project with Tor supports my theory.
So, I clicked through to “the rise of the genre ezine” article and found a little history article about online science fiction ezines. Didn’t hurt that he started out with one of my favorite online sci-fi magazines – Event Horizon. Ellen Datlow’s story about the shuttering of SCIFICTION is heartbreaking. I really liked the forum they had over there, great community.
Simon goes on to profile several other sites and gives a mini lesson on the whole field of ezines and fiction magazines in general. Here is a quote by Nick Mamatas who is on slush patrol at Clarkesworld:
“I think it’s important to note that most fiction magazines in the print world are either university-backed non-profits, labors of love, or the least successful of a cross-subsidized bundle of properties that are kept around because fiction copy is much cheaper than non-fiction copy,” he said. “In the periodical trade in general, churn is also very high. Magazines come and go all the time, regardless of their subject, market, or demographic. The magazine business is ultimately the business of selling people disposable content. The challenge of the ezine isn’t all that much different than the challenge of any other magazine, except that if anyone knew what the “best bet” was, they likely wouldn’t try it out on SF ezines when they could launch another massive slick with 75% ad pages.”
What a fantastic article! Just had to break this out separately from the Tor announcement.