Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Online Literary Journals: The Cutting Edge Of Traditional Publishing

From Writer's Relief, Inc., this article on literary journals turning to the web, Online Literary Journals: The Cutting Edge Of Traditional Publishing. An excerpt:

With the advent of online literary journals, writers seeking reputable and well-known venues to publish their work are no longer confined to print. Online literary magazines are beginning to coexist with (and often take the place of) print magazines, and the result is good news for writers of short stories, essays, and poems.

The Historical Stigma Against Online Publications

In the early days of the Internet, online publications of short prose and poetry were considered lesser publications than print journals. However, now that the Internet has come of age, publishing your writing in reputable online venues no longer carries a negative stigma. Many publishing industry experts believe that traditional literary magazines will convert increasingly to online-only models.

So get ready, writers! It’s time to start being proud of your online publications and listing them in your cover and query letters alongside your print publications.

Why Many Literary Magazines Have Already Gone Online

If you’re regularly submitting your writing to literary magazines, you know this much is true: There isn’t a lot of money to be made in short stories and poetry, because literary magazines often operate on a very limited budget.

The recent recession has only made the situation more difficult; many, many literary magazines have closed their doors over the last 18 months. At Writer’s Relief we are also tracking an alarming number of literary magazines that are “on hiatus” or “indefinitely closed for submissions.”

Print magazines that were under financial duress during the economic downturn had a choice: adapt or fail. To cut costs, editors who chose to persevere turned to the final frontier in publishing: the Internet. Without the high costs of printing, binding, and mailing, literary magazines can operate on a smaller budget.

For that reason, there are more reputable literary magazines online now than have ever been online before. And, of course, there are fewer print journals than there were 18 months ago.

Writers who have been trained over the years to respect only print publications may find it difficult to believe that online publications and print publications are at equal value. Some writers may prefer to hold a physical publication in their hands. However, just as literary magazines have had to adapt, writers (and companies that assist writers with the submission process) will need to adapt as well. The practical benefits of publishing online may outweigh any lingering emotional reservations.


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