Signal boost: I like the Polyphony series of slipstreamy-fabulist anthologies. I would like to read volume 7; the series is well regarded, and I’ve enjoyed the earlier volumes that I read. However, the publisher is finding it tough to make that happen, and posted this back in November:
The harsh economic climate threatens to kill this vital series. Wheatland Press is asking for your help.
The authors have graciously made concessions to make Polyphony 7 a reality. They’ve agreed to a reduced pay rate to see the volume published. Now we need readers.
In order to publish Polyphony 7, Wheatland Press must receive 225 paid pre-orders via the website by March 1, 2010. If the pre-order quantities cannot be met, Polyphony will cease publication. It’s that simple. The preorder link is here: http://www.wheatlandpress.com/polyphony/v7.html.
If the preorder number is met, then Polyphony 7 will be published on or about July 1, 2010.*
I pre-ordered my copy. In all the time since then, apparently they received just over half of the pre-orders they need. If they don’t get the rest by Friday evening, that’s it. Some people have been surprised by the disparity between this number and the number of submissions Polyphony typically receives, and encouraged more writers to support the market they’re submitting to. I’d like to encourage non-writing readers to support it as well; if you like short stories, I don’t think you’ll regret doing so.
8 thoughts on “Polyphony 7”
As I’ve said Elsewhere, I think the idea of markets supported by their authors is fundamentally wrong-headed. Not that authors shouldn’t purchase and read fiction, but that fiction markets can’t depend primarily on their authors as their customers. It raises the image of the same few dozen people passing the same few bucks around in an endless circle.
The real question is: where are the readers?
I wasn’t aware of this until now, and I’ve preordered.
I doubt reader/writer stats like that are unique to Polyphony. In nearly two decades of involvement with the UK small press, I’ve heard many editors complain that far more people want to send you their stories than read your magazine/anthology. (Full disclosure: I have submitted stories to Polyphony in the past (never been accepted though) but I have bought copies too.)
There are quite a lot of writers who think the function of publications is to publish their fiction, rather than provide fiction to readers.
Looking at it from the other side : A lot of magazines exist only because of purchases made by people looking to get their own work published.
I suspect that if such magazines don’t manage to attract readers, they don’t exist very long.
I ordered my copy long ago.
Niall, do you know the outcome? Did they beat the deadline?
For those interested, it seems that Polyphony 7 will be.