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[Sep. 27th, 2007|09:58 am]
Prime Books
Contact: Sean Wallace, prime@primebooks.com


SEPT. 27, 2007 — Prime Books announces Fantasy Magazine (www.fantasy-magazine.com) will change from its current quarterly print format to a weekly online edition beginning this November. The Web version will feature free fiction and other constantly updated content. As a complement to the magazine’s online presence, Prime will publish a series of print anthologies collecting the short stories that have been published on the Web site. The magazine’s rate for fiction will rise to .03 per word.

“We think this is the best way to bring Fantasy’s great short fiction and nonfiction to the largest possible audience,” said Prime/Fantasy editor Sean Wallace. “Fantasy’s current readership is Internet-savvy and accustomed to reading stories online. At the same time, we think there’s an additional potential readership who will be more likely to discover us on the genre bookshelves.”

The online magazine, which will be blog-structured, plans to post new fiction each Monday, reviews on Tuesday, other nonfiction on Wednesday, news and contests on Thursday, and a fun series of interactive “Fantasy Friday” online events to kick off weekends. K. Tempest Bradford will join the editorial team as nonfiction editor. Paul Tremblay remains as co- editor with Wallace, Paula Guran is still reviews editor, and Stephen H. Segal continues as creative director.

The release schedule for the print anthologies is not yet set, but they will be published in trade paperback and distributed nationally.

The last print issue of Fantasy, #7, will also be published in November. Current subscribers will be given a choice of converting subscriptions to the newly revamped Weird Tales or receiving a copy of the Fantasy trade paperback anthology, featuring all-new original fiction by many of the authors who have been published in the magazine.

The change is the latest phase of magazine-division restructuring by Prime’s parent company Wildside Press, which began earlier this year with the editorial revamping and redesign of Weird Tales.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Sean Wallace at prime@prime-books.com.

From: david_de_beer
2007-09-27 04:51 pm (UTC)
I, for one, am pleased to see this. Although, in a certain sense this now makes you a direct competitor with Strange Horizons; why the decision to make it weekly?
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[User Picture]From: stephenhsegal
2007-09-27 06:11 pm (UTC)
Simple matter of utilizing the strengths of the medium. The internet is great for rapid publishing. And the way people tend to read online, providing the equivalent of a hundred-page magazine all at once isn't terribly worthwhile -- readers will often just click on what looks most interesting, then move on, rather than reading it all. So instead we want to give people new short-reading material every day or so -- one piece of fiction a week, interspersed with reviews, interviews, commentary, etc. More manageable for the casual online reader. Meanwhile, the folks who prefer to sit back in the easy chair and cozy up with a few hours' worth of stories will still be able to do so with our subsequent collected print editions.

We love Strange Horizons, and support their mission as an SF nonprofit organization. While we recognize that there are some similarities of format here (though the presentation will be quite different), it seems to us that the very nature of that format -- free stories for readers! -- makes it possible for us to interact as mutually supportive colleagues rather than as competitors. After all, we won't be competing for either advertisers or paid subscribers, as the print magazines must.

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From: david_de_beer
2007-09-28 01:05 pm (UTC)
yeah, that makes sense. I'm one of those who'll skip and skim if there's too much content, like Helix and Abyss&Apex sometimes do.
Chizine has a nice balance, and quarterly as well, meaning I don't feel rushed to get to it.
Clarkesworld's monthly works for me, although I wouldn't mind if they added either one more story slot or an editorial column. But I saw a post of something to that effect, about columns for Clarkesworld so that's good.

question: will Fantasy then be collected in anthos? or just a best of?
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[User Picture]From: oldcharliebrown
2007-09-29 01:37 pm (UTC)
We will be running articles on Clarkesworld starting next month, I believe, and expand on that.

Fantasy will be collected in anthologies.
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From: pauljessup
2007-09-28 12:38 pm (UTC)
How is it a competition if they both provide free content?
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From: david_de_beer
2007-09-28 01:00 pm (UTC)
I said it's in a certain sense, meaning it's a competition for my time. I will check back if I miss a week at SH, although that depends on how much I've missed, and then I'll more often than not skip all the articles and fiction and just read the reviews. Unless it's an author I like, in which case I'll read the fiction, and leave the rest.
but it's a matter of how much time I have available as to how I decide what I'm going to read where, and what I'll leave.
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From: pauljessup
2007-09-28 01:13 pm (UTC)
Right- but how does that change now Fantasy magazine is online? How does that change for Fantasy magazine? If you've read the magazine, you know the content is completely different from SH and the two don't even carry similarities. I only see this as a great thing for Fantasy readers- more free content can only be good.
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From: david_de_beer
2007-09-28 01:44 pm (UTC)
I had my reservations as to whether you wanted a genuine answer or were just looking to fight. Why, I do not know, but nevertheless:

>but how does that change now Fantasy magazine is online?

1) it means I can access it easily now, and so can others;
2) it means I don't have to scrape my money together to try and buy an issue of something I may not like;
3) it means I can easily link to a story I like and tell others "Go read this, it's good";
4) it means I'll have to manage my time better with my online reading. It is one advantage of print, that I am more willing to take my time to read through an entire mag, whereas with online pubs I'll just skim and skip if I fall behind;
5) to quote my first sentence to this post: "I, for one, am pleased to see this"

>How does that change for Fantasy magazine?

I can only answer from the personal, which is that I am taking more of an active interest now. In the grand scheme of things, I think it's potentially the best move to engage more readers, but it remains to be seen how it will play out.

>more free content can only be good.

some is good, but there is a limit. Glutting the market and letting supply outweight demand has never been a smart move.
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From: pauljessup
2007-09-28 01:53 pm (UTC)
No, I was actually interested in your response. By what I meant by "how this will change" is- how will this negatively effect the readers of Fantasy magazine?

Certainly a glut already exists in online fiction. But Fantasy magazine, is, I think, different because it had already proved itself. And there is not a glut on good online fiction- just the opposite. I can name only a few online venues I read frequently, but I can list a long list of magazines I subscribe to.
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From: david_de_beer
2007-09-28 02:23 pm (UTC)
I misunderstood; my apologies.

>how will this negatively effect the readers of Fantasy magazine?

I don't know; this is something that Sean or Paul would be better able to answer. The criteria - above - is that most of Fantasy's readers are likely to be online readers too.
They probably will lose some, maybe even permanently, but in the long run, it has the potential to rope in more readers, and probably most of the existing ones will just move with the zine. Fantasy has made a good start, but it does have an advantage over, say ROF, that it's not as long established, so the readership hasn't been entrenched in a print medium yet.
For ROF or Asimovs, it could be a disastrous move. They depend on print subscribers, true, but the ad revenues might prove reluctant to follow them online.
For Fantasy - or even Shimmer or Apex Digest - it could be more beneficial, at least so far as potential readers are concerned.
What becomes a major issue, of course, is how to generate revenue. Again, this is where I'm delighted to see Clarkesworld bringing out the Realms antho.
Minimal risk overall to the reader as the mag is free, and also the potential to keep the fiction for the future (if the year was strong enough) in a print medium. The regular reader will know exactly what they are buying. It's a good match between both worlds, not to mention the potential to engage more readers who prefer print exclusively to online.
Revenue still remains a problem, a huge one. I have not a clue as to how this can be resolved, or boosted. I don't like the idea of writers supporting zines beyond wanting to do so as readers. There's something inherently faulty with that idea.
Still, there is a pretty strong online readership. Possibly not enough yet to carry more than an x number of magazines, but:

>And there is not a glut on good online fiction- just the opposite. I can name only a few online venues I read frequently

I agree. Matter of fact, overall I get the impression that all the online readers more or less read the same half-dozen zines. Web is probably the saving grace for short fiction, and although it's still somewhat bumpy now, it's also a good time to move online and establish yourself.

Personally, I'm not sure how many print subscriptions I'll take out in future. There is enough strong fiction for me online, and the money I am using for subscriptions is money I cannot use for the themed anthologies, and there are some really good ones out now and still coming.

It's all very confused at the moment, and too many different theories being tossed around, but it should sort itself out in time.
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From: grant_stone
2007-09-27 08:25 pm (UTC)
I think this is a great idea!
Any plans for a podcast to go along with the web edition?
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[User Picture]From: oldcharliebrown
2007-09-27 08:45 pm (UTC)
There are plans on the table to incorporate podcasts into the magazine, but not until a later stage, possibly next year or thereabouts.
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[User Picture]From: douglascohen
2007-09-27 09:57 pm (UTC)
Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: thumbelinablues
2007-09-27 10:52 pm (UTC)
Woah, cool! I like it. What sorts of things will happen on Fridays?
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[User Picture]From: pgtremblay
2007-09-28 04:00 pm (UTC)
craaaazy things!
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From: pauljessup
2007-09-28 04:03 pm (UTC)
Does it involve pants, or no pants? I prefer no pants craziness myself.
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[User Picture]From: pgtremblay
2007-09-28 04:05 pm (UTC)
we'll see, pantsless!
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