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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some folks are trying to start up a Canadian SF magazine called AE. Helen Michaud wrote me:
I'm starting a science fiction magazine with some friends that will be focused on Canadian writers. We're committed to paying SFWA professional rates to all our contributors and publishing a minimum of 75% Canadian content between our covers. We hope to put out our first issue in Fall of this year.

As an additional incentive, we're running a microfiction contest: science fiction stories inspired by the word "micro" in no more than 200 words.
This is not actually a call for submissions, it's a Kickstarter call for subscriptions. Kickstarter is a site where people who want to help a creative project pledge money towards getting it made. If enough gets pledged, the project gets made.

This is how expensive books used to get made. Audubon sold copies of his BOOKS OF AMERICA before he'd printed it. He went around showing people the art and taking their money. Took him years. When he had enough, they got their gorgeous folio editions of the book. (They are now worth several hundred thousand dollars apiece.)

Theoretically, a subscription model could get, say, a Joss Whedon show off the ground. Joss posts a TV bible, and all those folks on Whedonesque put up what they'd pay for the first season DVD, and in exchange, Joss makes the series.

The economics probably don't work out. A TV show needs millions of viewers, not tens of thousands of hardcore fans. And how many people are hardcore enough to pledge fifty bucks for a show that hasn't even been made? To make Season 2 of FIREFLY you'd probably need, oh, fifty million bucks. Can even Joss sell a million subscriptions?

But they only need ten thousand bucks for their SF magazine. If you're up for it, help them kickstart it.

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4 Comments:

Great info. I'm curious to see how this turns out.

I launched a Kickstarter project recently to generate promotional funds for my upcoming comic miniseries and was surprised to reach my $3,000 in just under 36 hours. Quite a powerful service for new projects. But to your point, I do have a bit of a built in fanbase and while researching, I've seen several failed projects that didn't reach their modest fundraising goals.

By Blogger Kody¬†Chamberlain, at 3:18 PM  

Wait a moment... don't Kickstarter projects have to be U.S.-based? If there's a way around that particular problem, I'd love to know what it is!

By Blogger Stephen Geigen-Miller, at 12:36 PM  

Stephen: You're half right. The Amazon payments system that Kickstarter uses requires that you have a US bank account where the funds can be deposited, but aside from that Kickstarter imposes no restrictions. I've backed a project based out of London and there are other international ones out there. If you don't have access to a US account, there are alternatives such as RocketHub that use PayPal and have no US-only stipulation.

Kody: Cool project, and congratulations on reaching your goal! If you're interested in following along with our progress, it's probably easiest to follow us on Twitter (@aescifi) or any of the other places listed in this Kickstarter update.

By Blogger Helen, at 8:40 PM  

Thanks for mentioning this on your blog. They ran a promotional micro-fiction contest, which I entered and came in as a runner up.

By Blogger Rich Baldwin, at 8:52 PM  

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