I asked a few of our semiprozine editors and publishers if they had any advice for someone considering starting a semiprozine of their own. I was originally going to run these all at once, but it turns out their answers are best served separately. This installment is by Sean Wallace from Fantasy Magazine:
Run. Run as far and fast away as you can! However, if you’re seriously considering launching a semiprozine, I would advise doing thorough research on every aspect of magazine publishing, including the four p’s of marketing: product (print or online), price (fee- or free-based), place (distribution), and promotion. With those in hand, you should be able to approach this with a bit more understanding and preparation, but something to keep in mind strongly, that I have posted on my wall:
“I learned a long time ago that the two quickest ways of going broke are:
1. flushing your money down a toilet
2. running a small press
Running a small press is more fun, but it is faster—there’s always the chance the toilet will clog up and stop for a while.”
Please, before you go down this road, find out why you want to do this thing, and make certain that you’re comfortable with the time, energy, and expense that it’s going to take up. Yes, it can be a lot of fun, and rewarding, but only if your expectations are realistically met. Other than that, have at it!