Friday, May 20, 2011

E-Press: The 21st Century's Form of Pulp Fiction?

There was an interesting conversation last night about unknown writers getting their start in publishing so I thought I would share and see what you thought.

E-books, E-magazines, and E-presses were compared to pulp fiction magazines and trade paperbacks in the first half of the twentieth century. Many famous novelists got their start in pulp fiction as they honed their craft and waited for traditional publishers to discover them.

Pulp fiction writers were looked down on by more successful writers as inferior because they felt the pulp fiction publishers weren't putting out quality work. Even today I've heard the same comments about e-magazines and e-presses. I'm not saying they are wrong. There are good ones out there but authors have to be diligent in research before submitting.

The competition for the few print magazines that accept fiction is mind boggling as every magazine writer knows. Getting your foot in the door with a traditional book publisher is just as difficult. With this economy it's almost impossible. A newer hurdle is the fact that now a writer needs an agent to toss the magazine over the transom. The agent can't toss just anything or the agent's reputation is sunk. Querying agents and getting no response or quick rejections is very discouraging but understandable. I have to pat them on the back for their honest efforts to find someone they want to represent. They now deal with piles of slush in their inbox or their office, and the majority of them still reject kindly.

I have to admit, I want to be published in print. It used to be a major goal but I've slowed down my short fiction submissions to just a few select ones as I work on novels. I keep getting disappointing rejections, but being accepted by an e-magazine or  e-press keeps me going. It validates my writing and makes me proud to see my name in...gosh...can I say "print" when referring to electronic success?

What are your feelings about this century's pulp fiction? Would you consider an e-press for a project rejected first by a traditional press?

13 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I could. I'm still and old-fashioned paper lover!

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  2. I understand :) and congratulations on STRING BRIDGE coming out. An exciting time for you!

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  3. If you had asked me this question even a few years ago, I would have said definitely print/ traditional press. Not so much anymore. I think there are more good--dare I say, legitimate--e-publishers out there now. You still have to do diligent marketing research, regardless whether it's print or e-presses. I'm not sure they are so much an alternative if print passes on your work--like second best. I think they're an option to consider before deciding where to submit. An interesting aside: I just read Amazon sold more e-books than print for the first time. Hmm....

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  4. I saw that about Amazon. E-books are getting more popular. I'm not thinking they are second best, but if a writer has shopped his manuscript to print media where he wants it published to no avail,then I think that would be the next step. Most writers want their projects to find a home where they can be read by others.

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  5. What a gorgeous picture. :)

    I've always wanted to be traditionally published in print. It's always been a goal of mine. But I would always consider maybe doing some "e-shorts" for the market.

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  6. Karen, I agree with that sentiment and have done it. But I still want to be published in print.

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  7. You're building your resume and that is wonderful!!! Keep going. :O)

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  8. It's my goal and dream to be traditionally published, but I think it makes good business sense to explore all avenues, especially as people now come to stories in so many different ways.

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  9. Jayne, good point about coming to stories in different ways.

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  10. I would much rather read on paper if it was a magazine, a book, etc. E-Books are okay for travel because they greatly decrease the amount of things you want to lug with you onto a plane or train, etc. But there's nothing like falling in love with a book, turning the pages, and smelling the paper!

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  11. Amanda, that's so true about holding a book:)

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  12. I plan to try traditional publishers first, but I would definitely go to e-press after that. Like you say, there are some good ones out there.

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