Guest Post: Jason Sizemore on “Why I Operate An Online Zine”

This was supposed to go up yesterday, and I’m sorry for the delay. All I can say is that work was crazy, and by the time I got home it had completely slipped my mind.

Giveaway results! Given the scarcity of entries (there were only two) I eschewed the random number generator in favor of a more traditional means of selection that was perfectly tailored to my dilemma: I flipped a coin. And the  winner is….Maddee Schrader! I’ll get your information to the people sending out the book, and I hope you enjoy it. Chris, better luck next time.

And now without further ado, Jason Sizemore, the founder and original editor of Apex Magazine!

Why I Operate an Online Zine

Jason Sizemore

A common question I receive from fans at conventions is “Why do you operate an online zine?”

My response: “Because I’m a glutton for punishment!”

That retort always receives a knowing and appreciative laugh. Everybody knows that trying to run a successful online zine is a fool’s errand! Hundreds, if not thousands of zines have come and gone since the rise of the internet.

Because of the low cost of entry into the business of running an online zine, an incredible amount of people have jumped in. With less risk comes larger entrepreneurial interest, so you get an inordinate amount of non-business minded individuals taking a go. This creates a high failure rate and the perception that running an online zine is inordinately difficult.

The truth is, running an online zine is like running any other business. You control your costs, you advertise, you present a quality product, and there is a good chance you’ll succeed. By these measures, Apex Magazine is succeeding. My publisher/editor peers at Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Clarkesworld seem to be succeeding.

Running a successful business provides a great sense of accomplishment. Knowing that Apex Magazine is helping entertain thousands of readers is a wonderful feeling.

Having fans appreciate your hard work makes you work even harder for them.

Even though you can be successful running a zine, publishing short fiction isn’t a lucrative business. Not losing money is nice, of course. But the reality is that we do this for our readers.

Believe it or not, we also do it for the writers and artists. Short fiction zines provide an additional income and promotional source for writers and artists. Knowing we contribute to the overall health of the genre publishing business is nice. Getting to work with writers you’ve read and admired is often quite fun. Engaging with eager newly published authors makes you feel like you’ve helped someone check off a box on their bucket list.

I’m certain I come across as selfish. All these reasons why I operate an online zine basically come down to “It makes me happy.” And you know what? I’m fine with that.

I do it because it makes me happy.

Why else would I take on such punishment!

I encourage you to see the fruits of my monthly labor at http://www.apex-magazine.com. Apex also collects all its original fiction in its Book of Apex series. The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine is the latest to be published.

On a closing note, I would be remiss without thanking Jordan Binkerd for the opportunity to be a guest blogger on his site. And a huge thank you to the amazing Andrea Johnson for putting together a great blog tour for The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine!

JS

BIO: Jason Sizemore is twice Hugo Award-nominated owner/operator of Apex Publications. A software developer by day and publisher by night, he dips his toes in many waters—running an online zine being one of his favorites. For more information visit http://www.apexbookcompany.com.

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1 Comment

Filed under Guest Posts

One response to “Guest Post: Jason Sizemore on “Why I Operate An Online Zine”

  1. I think you need a little selfishness to make something like Apex successful. You’ve got to really want to do it for yourself, otherwise it’s not going to happen, you know? and be as selfish as you want, because that means I get more fiction from Apex! 😀

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