Monday, March 12, 2012
I'm not saying I'm seriously contemplating a new publishing venture, but it is quite fun to riff on some of the comments from my Rolling Stream blog post from a few days back, so...
I've been chewing over different hypothetical scenarios, and I've got some thoughts on editorial direction and vision I'll share in a future blog, but since my wife just broke down and ordered our family's first e-reader last night (I'm still dealing with the feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing...) delivery systems are on my mind right now, which made me think...
What about taking that original idea of a non-traditional hunting and fishing literary journal that appeals to my fellow 27 weirdos nationwide, and instead of a traditional print mag or a traditional (?) e-zine, instead format it as an anthology and make it available as an e-book download?
I'm not sure how the art would work in that format, but you would then have the option of having it as a print-on-demand print copy as well as the digital version. Heck, with that kind of distribution flexibility, you could even make it a quarterly, or twice a year, or whatever. That would certainly solve some of the thorny distribution issues, but it also raises other issues.
For example, how would copyright work in a deal like that? As a freelancer, I'm completely, absolutely, positively dead-set against any form of work-for-hire or all-rights contracts, and if there wasn't some way for the author to grant first publication rights to the e-book but then retain all other rights, then the idea of an e-book anthology is a dead one, at least for me.
But if there were some way to work out art and rights issues, what do you think of a literary quarterly distributed as an e-book rather than a traditional print mag or e-zine?
Then, of course, there's the issue of funding the project. Obviously there would be some costs associated with soliciting, choosing and editing the stories and art, then putting it all together and formatting the final product, but I would think the lion's share of expenses with such a project would be raising enough money to pay the chosen writers a decent rate for their stories.
Would Kickstarter funding be enough seed money to cover production costs and writer fees for the initial issue, and then I simply hope the money raised from paid e-book downloads would be enough to keep the ball rolling, albeit slowly? Or would it be a one-off issue? Who knows? But it's fun to play "what if" isn't it?
So what do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Take a critical whack at it, and don't be kind.
Posted by Chad Love at 3:40 PM