As of 10 August 2017 AEST, GdM will be switching to having submission windows, as opposed to being continuously open to unsolicited submissions.
This means we’ll be closing for submissions for now and re-opening down the road – most likely end of 2017, start of 2018.
What? Why would you do such a thing?
GdM gets an absolute shedload of submissions each week, and as any author who’s been waiting up to three months for a response from us at this stage will let you know, we are now consistently not delivering on our six week first response commitment.
This doesn’t sit well with me. I value good customer service and one of the key tenets of good customer service is meeting your commitments. Sure, you mess up and miss them once in a while, but you fix it and get back on track.
We haven’t been able to get back on track, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to any time soon. This isn’t through laziness or wilful absence of effort. The guys and I have been busting our guts to sort this for a fair while and it’s become pretty obvious it’s not sustainable. There are a few reasons:
- The amount of unsolicited short fiction I decide to procure and publish in GdM is lessening each year. We’re receiving more positive responses from solicited submissions, and have purchased a couple of fiction-budget-gobbling novellas along the way. With this lesser amount of available unsolicited fiction slots aligning with a pretty solid increase in submissions our acceptance rates for unsolicited submissions have pretty swiftly jumped past “pretty difficult” to “fucking ridiculous”. That’s not fair on submitting authors being made to wait (currently) three months (and growing).
- We have bought (or allocated for purchase) all the fiction we need, bar one unsolicited story, for the next 12 months. As a small business, we’re always just one silly decision, outside life event, or spot of bad luck away from having to close down like so many other submission markets. There really just isn’t a point in buying fiction beyond 12 months.
- We haven’t hit the levels of sales needed to increase the fiction budget. The sad fact of running an ezine is that you’d be in a very small percentage of publishing companies to be making bank doing this. We have a Patreon running; we’re up on every electronic spot there is; we’ve got Kickstarter and other print projects on the run; and we’ve cut all the expenditure fat to make the company as financially lean as possible. Still, we’re a bit away from the extra $280 a quarter needed to pick up another 4K words per issue.
We’ve built a name by working with unsolicited short fiction authors–especially around our commitment to supply feedback to try and contribute to the community in our own little way–and we will continue to do so, just in a more sustainable manner.
Right, so where to from here?
The GdM team will focus on assessing the current stories in the inbox. We have a stack in there and only one spot left (I will probably say “fuck it” and try to grab a second while hiding the bank statement from the mrs, if I’m being honest) for the next 12 months’ quarterly issues.
We’ll open up again in January 2018 for a four (4) week submission period, where we hope to grab enough stories for another few issues. Rinse, repeat every six months.
Are you closing?
Is this a sign that you’re probably closing soon?
That’s all for now folks. Thank you for your support and thanks to the authors being so patient with us.