After a lot of thinking and discussion with the various people who have thus far read the magazine and enjoyed it, I’ve decided I want to give a second issue a go regardless of what the end of this month shows in terms of sales. But there will be some changes:
- Survival By Storytelling will be theme-based from now on.
Some of the early criticisms of the first issue (which I completely agree with) were that the magazine didn’t seem to have a major theme except that all our contributors were fairly young. Considering the publishing climate right now (as I see it), I think it would be best to think of ways to make the magazine appealing to a select, but more unified audience (if that makes sense, let me know).
- SBS will flirt more with the edges of genre than it did in the first issue.
Personally, I am a science fiction and fantasy nut. While the first issue certainly did its fair share of flirting with genre fiction, I think taking the magazine more into territory I am familiar with will be best. We will still take poetry and non-fiction (you can write poetry about technology; I know a guy who does it).
- SBS will get a facelift.
We’re going to build a whole new website for the magazine, change how we design the actual book, etc. We’re also going to change how we market, and this will be aided by the above change, since I have a better idea how to talk to SF/F people than I do folks at The New Yorker (and I don’t mean that as a slight, since there is certainly a lot of crossover).
- SBS will not be a strictly “genre” magazine.
While our themes likely will be more genre based, I want to stress that we are not going to be just another genre magazine. Yes, we’ll take genre, as we always have, but we absolutely do want to see literary approaches to our themes (even if such themes are specifically genre; you can interpret “literary” however you want). If, for example, you can write an incredible Steampunk story with a compelling style and excellent attention to character, then we’ll probably take it, even if your Steampunk elements are light.
I think those are the only changes that need to be brought up. While submissions are currently not open, we will be opening them soon. I am working on updating the submission guidelines. That said, I suppose I should reveal the theme for the second issue: Steampunk. We’ll have more detail in the coming weeks.