L’esprit de L’escalier live at Apex Magazine

So the latest issue of Apex Magazine is now online and features my story L’esprit de L’escalier about a guy, and endless staircase, and the things you think about during the descent. There’s already some discussion about the story taking place over at I09 which has left me thinking, among other things, “wow, I really do need to read House of Leaves.”

And since we’re talking Apex, I’m going to take the opportunity to re-post something that the Apex Chief Alien Jason Sizemore put up on their blog recently. It interests me for two reasons: firstly, because Apex has been pretty good to me as a writer. This is the third of my stories they’ve published, and the first two have managed to sneak onto the occasional recommended reading list and awards shortlist, but I was a fan of the magazine long before I was published there. I subscribed, back when they were a semi-pro hardcopy magazine, and I’ve signed up to be a minion now that they’re a pro-level online market.

But the second reason this interests me is simple: the internet is changing the way people read and consume, and all too often it’s easy to forget this. The internet increasingly makes us passive in our consumption – these days I rarely even go looking for specific websites, since the combination of Twitter, Facebook, and my RSS feed pushes more information at me on a daily basis than I can process. And as a reader of short fiction, I’m acutely aware that passive consumption without thinking about the means of production will inevitably lead to less short fiction for me to enjoy. When I first read Jason’s post it immediately make me think about the relationship I have to many of the short fiction venues I enjoy, and hopefully it’ll give you a moment to pause and reflect as well.

And if you choose to drift over to the website and click on the big alien headed “become a minion” on the bottom of the page , well, that’d just be icing on the cake.

Becoming an Apex Magazine Minion
(Originally posted on the Apex Blog by Jason Sizemore)

One of the most common questions I receive has to do with Apex Magazine and where do I find the money to keep it operating. They see that we pay five cents a word. They see that we buy great art each issue. They see that the published products are polished and edited. You’ll find few typos in our stories (and if you do, feel free to call us out on it, I’d prefer fixing it than leaving it for the world to see like some ugly cold sore). They want to know how do I fund Apex Magazine.

The answer is simple. Straight from my pocket.

How much is this exactly?

It doesn’t take a math wizard to get a close estimate of how much money is spent running Apex Magazine. Copy and pasting Nick’s story into Word gives us a value of approximately 2100 words. Doing the same for Theodora’s story and you’ll get around 7200 words. That alone is $465 in author expenses. The poem was $5 and we paid $25 for the VanderMeer reprint. All told, $495 in author expenses.

I’m not going to divulge what we paid the artist, but I can give an honest estimate of $50 per issue for the art.

Each issue costs on average $500-$600 to produce.

Even with my prior post asking our readers to consider becoming a minion, the magazine has earned $122.36 this month through donations, minion memberships, and digital copy sales. And this is an exceptional month. Most months the amount is $40-$60.

I love financing and producing Apex Magazine. But I sure could use an assist. Even if the amount earned was just half the cost to produce it would be a great help.

I don’t ever foresee me ending Apex Magazine. I love working with writers, artists, and editors too much for that to happen. Yet, painful concessions would have to be made eventually. Our word limit would decrease. Pay would drop below the professional rate. No more beautiful art to adorn each issue. Fewer reprints. No poetry.

This isn’t one of those patented Internet ultimatums: ya unappreciative bastards pony up or I close the show. This is me asking for some financial aid to help Apex Magazine remain a top-notch pro publication. I know it can be done because I know our site visit numbers. Since June, 2009, they have doubled. Over a 30 day span, a single story on Apex Magazine receives an average of 2000 unique visitors (and draws about 10 a day as long as it’s available).

Being a minion grants you benefits and rewards. You will receive each issue (in seven different eBook formats) a week before the content is posted online. You get a discount code for the Apex Store. There are a number of other benefits, as well. Check them out here.

If you’ve made it this far, well, thank you for your kind attention. But shouldn’t you be clicking the link above to become a minion? Get to it, already!

Leave a Reply