Publishing in Ezines by Kate Thornton



Kate Thornton is a retired US Army officer who enjoys writing both mysteries and science fiction. With over 100 short stories in print, she teaches a short story class and is currently working on a series of romantic suspense novels. She divides her time between Southern California and Tucson, Arizona. You can find out more about Kate at her Amazon page.




From BLUE MURDER, David Firks’ ground-breaking classy online mystery magazine from the late 1990s to FLASHING IN THE GUTTERS, Tribe’s incredible venue for edgy and raw – beyond noir – flash fiction, ezines have come and gone. These two fine ezines have unfortunately gone. But let’s get back to them in a few minutes.

WHAT ARE EZINES? 


Ezines are online magazines. They range in visual quality from beautifully-designed and finely-illustrated to very plain to so ornate it’s hard to figure out where the writing is. Fiction of all genres, non-fiction, self-help even specialty hobby ezines abound on the net – just Google your favorite phrase and you’re bound to come up with an ezine in your field of interest.

WHAT DO THEY OFFER?


The most obvious advantage is immediacy. Ezines often have a submissions turn-around time measured in minutes or hours rather than months. No SASE required, just electrons. Usually you can submit via email and you can send either in the body of the email – just cut & paste your whole story in – or as an attachment if the ezine permits. Always read the submission guidelines to see what they want.

Archiving is a wonderful thing – most ezines will archive your work online as a matter of routine, allowing you (and your fans) to access your work in past issues. Most ezines will also take down – after the initial publication time –  any work you do not wish to have archived.

They also offer one of the widest readerships possible for your stuff – billions of readers from all over the world can access your writing. This is not to say they necessarily will, only that they can. Many have hit counters or readership statistics available, so you can get an idea of how popular a particular ezine is.


The most popular sites, like SLATE (which no longer publishes fiction) are operated just like a print magazine in many respects. Others are the online presence of actual print magazines, like THE NEW YORKER, and may even share editorial staff, guidelines and publication of submissions with their sister print magazine.

There is a certain amount of prestige accorded many ezines. Literary fiction ezines in particular serve a discriminating community, while many of the genre ezines are also routinely read by prize committees. The Pushcart Prize, Derringer and other prizes have been awarded to fiction published in ezines.

WHAT ABOUT MONEY?


Well, some pay quite well and some do not pay at all. Always check the guidelines for payment.

Some pay in cents-per-word, others in flat rate, still others in merchandise or print copies of sister magazines. Payment can be by check or through electronic funds transfer. I keep a PayPal account just for this.

WHAT ABOUT COPYRIGHT? WHAT RIGHTS HAVE I SOLD?


As in print magazines, the ezine usually copyrights your story for the duration of its run (the current issue) at which time the copyright reverts to you, the writer. As with other magazines, you need to read the contract or guidelines.ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE SOLD! (Back in the late 1990s, I sold all rights to several stories. At the time this sounded good as they paid me $100 per short story. But a few years ago a film company wanted to negotiate the rights to one of my stories and guess what – I didn’t own it!)

Generally, the rights you have sold are First Electronic Rights and sometimes First World Rights which include First Print rights. This means you have reprint rights still in your bag to sell at a later time, either to a print magazine or to another ezine. Usually, with an ezine, you have sold your rights for a specific duration, and then allow archiving.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE STEALING YOUR STUFF?


Let me be very clear – publishing your work online in an ezine does not negate your copyright nor does it put your work in the public domain. That said, I just don’t encounter it very often, and I do a regular net search looking for my materials.

WHERE CAN I FIND EZINES?


Here are a couple of guides. But Google is your friend when it comes to searching! And use your forums and online writing groups – many of them have market listings.

RALAN’S is one of the best market guides.

NewPages Guide to Online LiteraryMagazines is a good reference for literary fiction

LIFE EXPECTANCY


Well, ezines come and go pretty quickly. BLUE MURDER ceased production when the editor, David Firks, suffered a severe illness. FLASHING IN THE GUTTERS was taken down by the editor, Tribe. Others come and go as interest sparks or wanes or as editors shift gears or change directions.

Here’s a current non-paying venue that is particularly friendly to mystery submissions and a joy to read: KINGS RIVER LIFE, Lorie Lewis Ham’s delightful ezine. They publish new issues on Saturdays and always have a short story contest.

I miss the long-gone classic venues, but new ones spring up daily. So best of luck out there – I love the internet and the world it brings me.

16 thoughts on “Publishing in Ezines by Kate Thornton”

  1. Thank you for the summary. Personally, I find Ralan difficult to navigate, but that's probably because I have the attention span of a gnat. Also three cheers for KRL–Lorie does an amazing creative job there.

    Like

  2. Great blog post, Kate! My first short story publication was in an online 'zine that's actually still around, years later (the Clockwise Cat). I love working with 'zine editors–especially, as you said–since they usually turn around a submission quickly. And you're right about KRL–it's a gem for short story mystery writers. Lorie is wonderful to work with.

    bobbi c.

    Like

  3. People are always asking me where they can sell and/or get their work out to the public. This will add some new names and thoughts to my list. Thanks, Kate.

    Like

  4. This is great. Subbing to E-zines is how I got my start in fiction so many years ago. I mainly wrote flash fiction and flash memoir and placed a ton of them. I'm going to share this article. A great way for new and established writers to find a reading audience. Thank you, Kate. Best, Paul

    Like

  5. Kate, this is a marvelous post with lots of helpful information. I tend to forget about ezines, and I shouldn't! It's great way to build publishing creds, and thanks to you I learned I might also make some bucks in the process. Thanks!!

    Like

  6. Great stuff, Kate. I'm partial to ezines. With so few print magazine left, ezines are keeping short stories alive. I also like them because of the faster response time. When I finish a story, I'm anxious to see it published, and don't like waiting six months or longer to find out if it's accepted. Earl Staggs

    Like

  7. I so enjoyed this post on ezines, which I also really like. Your numerating their positives was right on, especially ezines' audience reach and the quality of their publications.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s