The purpose of this post is to share some basic information about how you can support the many fantastic zines, podcasts, websites, and print magazines that make up the vast and varied short fiction market for writers of speculative fiction. (And yes, since I am both a writer and reader of spec fic, I have a keen interest in this!)
I read a lot of short fiction online every month, and at the end of every month I share some of my favourite stories here on the blog in a sort of monthly roundup. It’s something I do a) because I love sharing things that I think are great, and b) to draw whatever attention I can to stories and writers I adore. Sharing links, writing reviews, gushing about the work you love on Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else, is one way to support writers and their work.
Another great way to support writers, is to support the short fiction markets many of them submit their work to. There are many fantastic sites and zines for speculative fiction, and many ways to support them. Here are some tips and ideas:
- Subscribe. You can buy electronic subscriptions directly from some of the zines / podcasts – just look around on the websites where you read stories and you’ll usually find a link for that purpose. You can also head over to Amazon and subscribe there if you’re into that, or you can check out Weightless Books – an awesome place to get e-subscriptions to an astonishing number of zines. Click here for a very long list of subscriptions that are available via Weightless Books. Print magazine subscriptions are great, too, and you can find info about that on the various magazine websites.
- Buy a single issue. This is usually rather cheap, and can be done at the same places where you buy subscriptions.
- Donate! Many zines and podcasts have a “tip jar” where you can donate whatever amount you want to give to support their work.
- Head over to Patreon. Lots of short fiction markets use Patreon and they sometimes offer cool rewards above and beyond just issues of the magazine.
- Keep an eye out for Kickstarter campaigns: many zines run regular or occasional Kickstarter campaigns to fund their work. You can get great deals on subscriptions and some pretty neat swag as well.
We all have lots of bills to pay and things to buy and what-not, but if and when you can, it doesn’t hurt to show your support by pitching in to keep the wheel rolling. And the bonus? You get access to lots of wonderful speculative fiction! Not a bad deal, all in all.