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 1,750 editors.

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

A: We support and use digital venues; our magazine is all online.

A: Modern technologies provide more accessibility and outreach to new types of writers and make sharing work easier! Electronic submissions are especially convenient and I truly don't understand why anyone would want to receive all of that submission paper by mail anymore (and where they would put all that paper!) While I am a huge fan of the book as a physical object and the history of the codex, I think that literary journals online serve their own unique purpose, one of which is the potential for a larger readership base and the ability for more writers from all over the world to access them. Additionally, technology provides new and unique avenues for hybrid and experimental work that couldn't be published in print!

A: Publishers should embrace modern technologies, particularly to aid the publication process, and in dissemination of the published work.
However, technology does not provide a complete alternative to careful management of everyone involved in the process.

A: Publishers who don't embrace modern technologies are shooting themselves in the feet. Paper won't die, not in my lifetime anyway, but POD publishing, for example, is not only financially sensible and economical, but also environmentally friendly. Envelopes? Stamps? So wasteful and inefficient.

A: Embracing modern technologies that better serve our potential readership is the cornerstone of our publishing house. We only accept digital submissions; we "train" our authors to use a variety of cost-effective online social networking resources; we Print-On-Demand all printed books; and, after one year, we republish all works in digital format and after two years, consider audiobook production. We are, however, "traditional" in that the publishing house pays for editing, polishing, proofing, production, marketing and distribution and provides authors with quarterly sales reports and PayPal royalty payments.

A: 100%. POD is still the way to go. It's low cost, especially if you do it yourself. Creating a beautiful final product is relatively easy. And WordPress makes electronic pubs so easy.
All subs are via email, no mail. I use FB and others to promote.
Every publisher would love be traditional but those days are mostly gone. There are a billion on-line zines, very few pay. You only do a poetry or writing ezines or magazines because you love it, not to get rich or famous or anything actually.

A: For RHINO, it has been very important. We noticed immediately that using an online submissions manager not only increased the number of our submissions, but the overall quality of our submissions and the range of poets who can find us. The online system also facilitates communication with our contributors, which is great for RHINO because our process can take a long time and we like to be able to respond as soon as possible. Social media helps us stay in touch with our contributors and support them by sharing their good news; it's also been a valuable way to share news of RHINO workshops, readings, and other events. And while we are committed to publishing our gorgeous annual print journal, we're tremendously proud of our new RHINO Reviews online magazine -- keeping it online has made it possible to regularly publish outstanding reviews of the most exciting new poetry books in a beautiful and accessible format. That's great for the poets featured, for the reviewers we publish, and for anyone in the poetry community who loves to learn about the current landscape of published work.

Jan Bottiglieri, Managing Editor of RHINO Poetry, 06 January 2020

A: The beautiful thing about literary and art publishing is that it covers a wide spectrum of traditional to modern modalities. Turnpike is an exclusively online publication, so we are huge advocates for using modern technology to share literature and art to a wide audience, expanding our reach and our content's accessibility. However, we still value and support traditional publications as well.

A: The reality is that there are many ways to publish now. I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way. Small indies frequently have little option but to embrace modern technology such as POD, because it's less risk financially for the publisher. Equally, some people find that social media is a gift. Others hate it. Do what works for you. I personally think that face-to-face works wonders when selling books. But it's hard to organise.

Katie Isbester, Editor-in-Chief of Claret Press, 06 January 2020

A: When I started writing, I had to print out stories and snail mail them to publishers. It could take anywhere from two to six months to get a reply. As a writer, I think electronic submissions are extremely important. When I saw the volume of submissions to Amazing Stories, I realized that electronic submissions were also a major organizing tool for publishers.
Print On Demand is something I have championed for a couple of decades (since I wrote my PhD on changes electronic media were making in the publishing industry). The current system of publication is astonishingly wasteful: something like 90 per cent of all published books that appear in bookstores will end up in a landfill. POD can help avoid such waste. It also puts publishers on a more equal footing, since small publishers don't have to publish tons of books and get them into bookstores in order to compete. My philosophy is: every published book a wanted book. (Unfortunately, the legacy system of bookstores continues to prop up the current publishing ecology, but this will hopefully change in the coming decade.)

A: Since we're electronically-based, it's hard to imagine not embracing technology. I guess it's about your readership (some would prefer we were print) and who you're targeting. For us, it's more economical and eco-friendly to be electronic. We offer our subscriptions the option of downloading and printing the journal on their on, if they prefer, however. We could improve our social media footprint, which is our goal for 2020.

A: Honestly, budget is what keeps our magazine on the web and not in print. A well-moneyed publisher should do both.