RARA-AVIS: Re: Short and cheap

From: hardcasecrime ( editor@hardcasecrime.com)
Date: 15 Oct 2007

> Charles, have you ever thought about
> a Hard Case Crime magazine?

I have -- but if there's any business that's tougher and more unforgiving than the book publishing business, it's the magazine publishing business. And if there's a type of magazine publishing that is particularly tough and unforgiving, it's the *fiction* magazine business. Look at where EQMM and AHMM -- the leaders in the field -- were 20 years ago and where they are now, in terms of circulation, average reader age, whatever metric you care to choose, and the story isn't pretty. You might say those magazines don't reflect the tastes of younger readers, etc., but I think that's a distraction from the real issue -- the real issue is there *aren't any* younger readers for fiction in magazines. Web-based 'zines have a certain loyal following, but it's tiny by the standards of professional publications -- certainly too tiny to support a business. And print magazines have been fleeing fiction like a masquer fleeing the Red Death. Hell, even The Atlantic has relegated fiction in their pages to a once-a-year thing, and every attempted launch of a fiction periodical in the last 50 years has either failed or only survived as a tiny niche publication.

So even though I began my career as an unpaid teenage intern at EQMM and AHMM and sincerely love them both, and even though I think a Hard Case Crime magazine could be one hell of a lot of fun, I'm afraid it's not gonna happen. I know a suicide mission when I see one.


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