Bad news in my in-box. Head honcho Ace Masters of Written Word (http://www.writtenwordmag.com/) wrote early this month that the magazine is on the rocks because someone has hacked their PayPal account. I noted in June that Chad Plunk, who founded and ran Short Fiction World (http://shortfictionworld.com/) closed the door on my submission before making an editorial decision regarding it.
I fondly remember Mud Rock, a fine print magazine, which folded January ’07. Now, Mouth Full of Bullets, a terrific mystery-detective magazine, is also defunct. There’s a continuing shake-out of many magazines, and the current weekly e-newsletter from Duotrope (http://www.duotrope.com/) notes five dying or unresponsive Websites, as well as a description of other fledging publishing enterprises. How come the volatility of Web publishing? Is this indicative of inept editors or over-energetic amateurs?
BJ Bourg, publisher of MFOB, wrote to me, “I've spoken with a few editors who were forced to shut down their magazines/e-zines, and nearly all were due to financial or health problems. Neither is true in my case. In actuality, you helped me solidify my decision. I read a message you posted on WordTrip (http://wordtrip.com/) where you mentioned having to ask me about the Spring Issue and then having to listen to me talk about working two jobs and publish the magazine. This made me realize two things. First, there was no law saying I had to publish a magazine. I was doing it for the sole purpose of helping other writers. When writers have to start asking me when an issue would be coming out or when I would be able to send payment for their story, that was the point when I was no longer helping them to the best of my abilities. Second, I realized I was putting MFOB before my family because I was putting every spare, non-working moment into MFOB, when I should have been spending it with them."
Ah, life. Where would it be without death—in love, finance or publishing?