Any one familiar with my publishing career, or indeed many other aspects of my life, will be aware I believe collaboration is a powerful tool for success; so I was very happy to be approached by 33rd Street Digital Press to promote the Kickstarter for Nonlocal Science Fiction, their latest magazine project. Having looked over the press pack, I can see advantages for both authors and readers.
Disclaimer out of the way first: none of my work features in Nonlocal Science Fiction and I haven’t been offered anything in exchange for writing this post.
Published quarterly, Nonlocal Science Fiction is intended to gather short works and serials from emerging science-fiction authors. Issue 1 will include 10 stories in a range of sub-genres. Read on for short extracts from two of them.
Rather than the traditional publishing model of purchasing fiction from an author and then seeking to profit, 33rd Street are seeking a value-added model: sharing both experience and economies of scale with authors in exchange for a share of the increased income from the work. In the case of Nonlocal Science Fiction, 33rd Street are providing a comprehensive digital marketing campaign and sharing the marketing knowledge and experience behind it with the contributors. So the magazine could be a very useful intermediate step for authors seeking the build a professional platform.
I woke up with a scorpion on my face. It was crunchier than I prefer, but I’ve had worse breakfasts.
I crawled out of the scrub patch where I’d slept, tongue poking at the chitin stuck in my teeth. Dew had beaded across my skin overnight, and I was shivering. By noon I would trade it for sweat under the ruthless wasteland sun and be longing for the dripping bushes I’d hidden in for the night. That’s man for you. Want what you want ‘til you get it, and not a minute longer—one thing that held true for everyone. I needed it to…
–Deal Gone Bad, Thad Kanupp
As authors are paid based on royalties rather than a flat per-word, there is neither incentive on authors to pad slightly nor on the publisher to pare down works a little more to save money; so authors have greater freedom to polish stories to their natural length. This ability to write to the needs of the story, will obviously benefit the reader.
Cribbs tried not to think of how lucky they had been, afraid he would somehow cause the scales to tip back against them. He hadn’t stopped to question it when his cell door slid open, or when his impounded ship was released from grav-lock, or even when they escaped without pursuit. But his cynicism resurfaced as his pulse slowed…
– Catalyst, Aaron Hamilton
In order to cover the up front capital costs of setting up the project, 33rd Street are running a Kickstarter, which concludes on Saturday 14th February. Having had the profits of my first several months sales eaten by one-off costs, I don’t find the Kickstarting for them an unreasonable approach.