CSFF Blog Tour—DKA, Day 1; The Question of Reading for Free

Yay! 😀 You know what’s on tap for today, right? We’re TOURING!

I must let you know, our tour hostess, Mirtika Schultz , graciously extended an offer for her critique services as a prize for tour-participant contests this month. If you leave a comment here, I will enter your name in the drawing for a free five-page critique by Mirtika, winner of ACFW’s Genesis contest, SFF division. Well worth the few moments a comment will take you.

Our feature this month is Dragons, Knights, and Angels. This Christian science fiction and fantasy e-zine contains a collection of short stories and poems, all available for free.

I encourage you to spend some time enjoying the varied offerings. In fact, Mirtika, DKA poetry editor, announced the winner of the latest poetry contest today.

In taking a look at what DKA publishes this weekend, I had to wonder, Is offering quality writing for free something that will advance the cause of writers or retard it?

What am I getting at? To me, the “cause of writers” means more publication opportunities, ones that pay something close to what the work is worth in light of the time spent.

DKA is somewhat unique in that they pay their authors at all. Since the e-zine does not charge a subscription fee, they generate income through contests (such as the just-completed poetry contest) and donation campaigns. In some ways, these methods work as a volunteer subscription fee, because readers who want to see the stories they love available will support the publication.

However, there are those who will read for free, because it is just that—free. They, therefore, have no need to buy Christian SFF novels. Their desire for speculative stories is adequately met.

So what do you think? Are writers who publish in free e-zines selling themselves short and threatening the book industry as we know it? Or are they on the cutting edge of what is bound to become the exclusive reading venue of the future? Do magazines like DKA generate enthusiasm for Christian SFF? Or do the free stories sate the palate of those whose tastes run to the speculative?

I have to say, I don’t know what to think. There are times I believe we writers need to stop giving our writing away, but the reality is, we are in a buyer’s market. There are many, many writers out there wanting nothing more than an audience, so if I refrain from seeking e-zine publication, there will be plenty of others to replace me, and some may not have the same commitment to craft as professional writers should have.

Other times I think we OUGHT to develop viable short-fiction venues in order to build a following, that by putting SFF before Christians we will actually build a thirst for more.

What do you think?

After you comment here, and after you check out DKA, be sure to see what the other participants in this CSFF blog tour are saying:

  • Jim Black
  • Jackie Castle
  • Valerie Comer
  • Frank Creed
  • Chris Deanne
  • Kameron M. Franklin
  • Beth Goddard
  • Todd Michael Greene
  • Leathel Grody
  • Karen Hancock
  • Elliot Hanowski
  • Katie Hart
  • Sherrie Hibbs
  • Joleen Howell
  • Jason Joyner
  • Karen and at Karen’s myspace
  • Oliver King
  • Tina Kulesa
  • Lost Genre Guild
  • Kevin Lucia
  • Rachel Marks
  • Shannon McNear
  • Caleb Newell
  • John Otte
  • Cheryl Russel
  • Mirtika Schultz
  • Stuart Stockton
  • Steve Trower
  • Speculative Faith
  • Published in: on October 30, 2006 at 9:21 am  Comments (9)  
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