Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,725 editors.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Modern technology makes small press publishing possible. I am very traditional in my approach to publication design, and maintaining a clear in-house style, but this is done in the real-life digital world.

A: Modern technology in artistic production/publication is inherently a great thing. Access, availability, opportunity is more present and to a wider demographic. Though the feeling of limited progression without grants, donations or submission fees is very real. The viability of low-level publications is exactly that: low. Fortunately, for digital-age writers, there are journals that predicate their success on communicating their artistic vision through the collective voice of others. If anything, modern technology assures us that there will never be a shortage in creative opportunity.

A: It is very important to embrace modern technologies but the basic ideas of journalism should never be ignored. In the age of social media manipulation and fake news, it is very easy for publishers to get lost in the technological whirlwind.

A: Contrary to popular belief, I had the new technologies thrust upon me. I inherited Hawaii Pacific Review with the mandate that it become a digital publication. I've tried to embrace the strengths of the online model. That's why we're not issue-based, and instead publish on a rolling basis. This makes scheduling easier, and allows us to be a more consistent "teaching publication" for students. It also allows writers to submit and see their work published at times of the year when other magazines aren't operating. However, I do feel that it's made us less inclined to take chances on longer prose pieces. (The data shows that don't get read). The quick turnaround time associated with online publication has also made me less inclined to take on pieces that need a lot of developmental editing. I hope that more traditional print publications endure, as they're able to do some things much better than an online journal is.

A: Social media has been very important for SICK to reach an audience that largely consists of sick and disabled people. Often spending a lot of time at home or unable to meet people with similar conditions in real life, social media provides a real sense of community in the world of chronic illness and disability. I love interacting and chatting to readers and followers online, discovering artists, writers, and activists, as well as other publications that provide a home for these voices. However, I love print and it excites me to have this work take up physical space in shops and homes around the world.

Olivia Spring, Founder & Editor of SICK, 14 November 2019

A: We do feel that modern technologies are important, but we recognize that they can also be exclusionary. The majority of our submissions are sent electronically, but we do accept hard-copy submissions by mail from folks who may not have regular access to a computer and/or the Internet. We also know that many writers are building communities and networks online, so we have a dedicated Social Media Manager to run our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

A: We embrace with great fervor all the modern technologies. Social media is the best marketing tool available and we avail ourselves of it voractiously

A: I think it is incredibly important for publishers to embrace modern technologies moving forward. Being able to submit and receive submissions online makes the entire process of accumulating submissions to work with outstandingly simple and convenient, and the use of social media and similar methods for getting the knowledge of publications into the public eye (for both the parties interested in submitting or reading) is wonderful. The more people that are familiar with a publication, the better--and the internet has made the process of being known much simpler. I think that every publication (whether that be a novel, journal, magazine, newspaper, or anything in between) should release simultaneously in print and digital, though this is not something we are seeing quite yet, and not something Jelly Bucket is offering currently. Of course, there's nothing like a physical book, and I think it's important that we do not abandon them as the literary world moves further towards a digital future.

A: We are a print journal, but we use our website and social media to reach out to the wider community. We are aware of the limits of print publication but we value the magazine as a creation in its own right, an object with heft and permanence. We are grateful for our online submission manager, which makes the work of recruiting, reviewing and tracking submissions much more feasible.

A: Publishing should embrace modern technologies. At SCJ, we have an entire position dedicated to our website, another for marketing and that includes social media. This year we hope to expand into podcasting and allowing storytellers to tell their stories in their own voice. I think oral tradition is going to make a huge comeback over the letter. However, print is here to stay. It is hardwired into our civilization. Just think if "Beowulf" or "Caedmon's Hymn" had been Live Tweeted instead of written on animal skin, Anglo-Saxon would be more dead than Latin. But to use English as a vehicle for story is to embrace change or die. The language itself demands it. On the other hand, modern technology is subservient to power (electric, political and economic), which is unsustainable in its present form.

A: Critical. Journals who aren't adapting aren't just communicating a lack of desire to adapt technology, but a willingness to not make it easier for their readers and submitters. New technology is often seen as making processes easier for magazines, but it's also about making it easier to get to your magazine and consume it. We think that's important. We also think it provides alternate ways of experiencing our magazine. Eventually, VR/AR reading events will be more commonplace, connecting readers from around the world in a shared place to enjoy writers they would otherwise never experience. We want to be a part of that.

A: We use all of that: e-submission, print on demand and social networking. We don't in fact accept hard copy submissions. We use print on demand proudly. Why print a book before it's sold? Most of our advertising is through social media.

Gill James, editor-in-chief of CafeLit, 02 October 2019