First Edition’s Response
Thanks to Jeff Webb, Editor-in-Chief at First Edition magazine, for the following response. I’d like to say thanks to him for getting back to me. He’s also said that he’s open to suggestions and constructive critisism, so if you have any then you can leave them in the comments box. I still think it’s a bad idea (asking writers for money to publish their work is wrong) but I’m happy it’s not cynical or a scam.
Anyway. Jeff said:
I read with some disappointment your comments, but as always we welcome feedback and questions and queries as they come along.
I have read your post, and whilst I found it a tad harsh, I do agree with some of the points you have raised. I’d like to take a moment to explain a few things, if I may…
Ever since we launched we have been determined to showcase the works of new short story writers, novelist and poets. Many (and I do mean many) have been people who hadn’t previously had the confidence to put forward their work, especially considering similar magazines/websites/competitions charge an entry fee. We were determined that we would not charge. As a results we have had literally tens of thousands of submissions from 92 different countries, age ranges from eight to 92, and yet only have the space to print so many each month. Magazines, I’m sure you will appreciate, are not cheap to produce. Advertising revenues are laughably bad, and we do what we can to keep getting the magazine out to the many thousands of readers around the world.
We are still very proud of what we do here, but as soon as we saw that some of the bigger companies were taking as much as 80-90% of revenues, we thought this was a great opportunity to follow on with our magazine work and offer something that authors would truly deserve – more of the money based on how good their work actually is. We don’t believe it is fair that the author doesn’t get most of any money the work earns. To be fair, we actually thought this was a good proposition, and the majority of people we have contacted have been very positive about it. It’s never easy getting that first piece published, getting the foot in the door (believe me, I know).
Unfortunately there ARE costs involved in e-book publishing, not least of all the bank charges for processing payments, VAT (as you are doubtlessly aware, there is no VAT on printed books, but there is on e-books), the promotion in the printed magazine, promotion on the website, the contracts themselves, the hosting space, staff time, external promotion… well I could go on, but £25 is hardly asking the earth. In answer to your post, an author would recoup this money based on 67 downloads of your short story – which considering our magazine and website readership, equates to approximately one in 800. There is, as we prove each month, a huge market for short stories. These are particularly suited to the mobile phone/laptop/e-book reading market.
Anyway, once again we do take your comments on board, and I do hope you will take this response likewise.