Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Print vs. Online...hurm

My mind is currently wrapped in a debate (with itself...yikes): would I rather see my work in print or online?

Some of the highest paying and most well-regarded markets for horror and dark fiction reside online (Clarkesworld, Chizine). But an online publication doesn't carry the permanence of something in print...holding that paper with your name and your words in your hands.

I've really wrestled with this...I like to have that physical evidence that someone thought enough of my work to publish it on real paper. I also have to face the truth that, in the small press, new readers might be more likely to find something and read it online. From personal experience, I know more of my work has been read on the 'net than in print. Isn't that a big part of the goal as a writer--to have my work read?

Is this really a head vs. heart issue, with my head saying: online--be read, and my heart saying: print is sooooo cool?

Still debating...

12 comments:

Barry Napier said...

I have yet to end this internal debate as well. I think what it comes down to with me is being able to put a book with your story in it on your bookshelf. Not only as a keepsake of your own, but something to show people. There's something about it that is much more satisfying than having it in the untouchable realms of the net.

That's my 2 cents...

Catherine J Gardner said...

Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Everything you said and add some relish.

We want people to read our stories - hence kudos to the accessibility of the internet.

We want to hold an actual book/magazine in our hands - argh!!!

I think that's why I try out for as many anthologies as possible, as people (or rather I am) are more likely to purchase an anthology (and treasure it) than a magazine.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Wow. I'm just happy someone wants to read my stuff at this point. I really don't care where, just as long as they handle it with care and respect. (Macabre Cadaver is a wonderful example of this, so too is Cerulean Rain)

Natalie L. Sin said...

I go with whoever is paying me ; ) Or at least giving me a chance to get a story out!

The thing with online is that it's usually free for anyone to read. Which means it's much easier to get someone to go look at my story.

As for books, I much prefer paper. I can't read loads of pages online without getting wonky eyes, plus getting to hold a copy of your own book must be sweet!

Jeremy Kelly said...

You are speaking my mind for the most part.

Y'know, right now I'm going for print first, internets second, probably because I've only just recently had my first print piece accepted and I'm still riding the wave.

Rob Brooks said...

I was just debating this with myself tonight, and most nights, when I look for markets to submit to. I generally always start with print publications, then if the story gets rejected enough, I move to the electronic ones. You make a good point on readership that I never really considered before, which I'll have to kep in mind for further internal debates.

Jamie Eyberg said...

One more thing to add to this argument. While I actually try to go with a paying market, reguardless (Hasn't happened yet but it could) I then take into account how long the story is. I am much more apt to send a flash piece to an online journal, just because I will be more apt to read a flash piece online. the longer it gets the more I try for print. (so many choices to make here)

Carrie Harris said...

Yeesh. This is a toughy. Unfortunately, I've got jack to add to the conversation since I'm a novelist (accidentally typed novelish there... snarf), but I just wanted to add a nod and smile. Useless, but hopefully supportive.

Aaron Polson said...

Great points, all. I hope print never really does die.

Bobbie Metevier said...

Does anyone know the answer to this: down the road when you're trying to get your published works together and sell your own collection, what form impresses an editor more? I've heard that it's print, but this is hearsay.

I prefer print and always go there first. I have this wonky idea in my head that for every ten sales, five should be in anthologies, three should be in print and two should be online. Don't ask me where I got this idea, but I follow it like a superstition--a ball player who doesn't change his sock during the World Series . . .

Bobbie Metevier said...

('Three should be in print' should read three should be in magazines)

Aaron Polson said...

Bobbie--I like anthologies. They feel closer to my very own book...I don't know about impressing an editor (sure wish I did).