For a change, instead of discussing what we are publishing, I want to spend a little time on SQ Mag, the ezine that we publish, but we don't manage.
Let me explain.
IFWG Publishing has always had an ethos of helping new authors. We do this by publishing many such writers, but we also established some years ago a print magazine called "SQ Magazine". It was an experiment, and in fact it succeeded in producing 3 large editions, with a lot of very good fiction. However, we realized it was following a business model that was not in line with what the market is currently operating under. We chose last year to take the plunge.
In March 2012 we ceased production of 'SQ Magazine' and replaced it with 'SQ Mag', a 6 per year ezine, with an annual 'best of' anthology. We also decided we would start off free, to show to the world that we were serious about making it work, and more importantly, that we still want to publish new talent. Sophie Yorkston agreed to continue her excellent Editor In Chief role.
To make SQ Mag work, we decided that it needed to have its own financial arrangements, and not be reliant on funding from IFWG Publishing, nor to muddy accounting. The end result was an agreement with IFWG Publishing that the company would support the ezine with 'intangible assets', such as web infrastructure, and IFWG would publish the 'best of' anthology, but only recoup publication costs. This is very generous. The net result is that any donations, or after-cost profits of the anthology (and aside from royalty sharing with contributors), SQ Mag has a source of income. They are also considering merchandizing. This is why SQ Mag is independently managed. This is also why they are are able to continue to support new writers.
As of 2nd May 2013, SQ Mag has decided to elevate its market status to 'token', which means that they now pay a small sum to all authors whose work are published. This is, in the scheme of things, a small step, but it is a critical step to progress to the next level of payment to authors. For SQ Mag, and for IFWG Publishing, this is in fact a big deal. Very big. It elevates SQ Mag into a PAID market, and the industry notices this. Authors notice this. This is an opportunity to get a stronger reader base, and attract more author submissions. Hopefully we get more donations.
I ask you to spread the word that SQ Mag is now a paying market. I would also urge you to ask your friends, family and acquaintances to go to www.sqmag.com and read Issue 8, which is second to none. They will immediately see what SQ Mag can produce.
I would like to close this editorial with an observation. Edition 8 of SQ Mag is something special. Not only is it the largest and most talent-filled edition yet, it is also devoted entirely to short fiction by women writers. This is a bold move and makes a strong statement about how much talent and skill exists in the female strata of the speculative fiction writing community, as well commentary on the lingering discrimination in areas of the industry. Well done, Sophie Yorkston!