June Stories Released~! “No Sleep Till Deadtown” and Other Stories

Black Denim Lit #5: No Sleep Till DeadtownJune Stories Released~!











www.bdlit.com

 

 

Jinn

Daniel Moore
Gynoid twins greeted Endo when she stepped onto the main floor. Hard plastic and running lights separated molds of female flesh, colored and textured to look like human skin. One claimed Endo had lost color and had low vitamin. The other noticed a drop in weight, red branches forming in her eyes, and asked if she was ill or pregnant. Read more…

Deficit
Sarah Vernetti
On the way home, we stop at a solar-powered red light. I stare absent-mindedly out my window at the truck next to us. Finally, I realize that the woman in the passenger seat is staring back. My heart starts racing. “Mommy, why are those men riding in the back of that truck?” Iris asks. Read more…

The Line of Fate
Suzanne Burns
With her teeth, Tabitha tore the sutures from the middle finger of her left-hand Ostrich glove. The nubby sections of dyed red leather pulled away from each other like a bad cut. The flesh of her middle finger turned purple as she ran cold water over the exposed flesh. “This is almost like getting a new finger.” Read more …

No Sleep Till Deadtown
Michael Haynes
The smooth pavement of the bridge rolled under her tires. The last smooth ride she’d have. Soon she was in the mist, and the bridge arced downward. The paved road turned to gravel, and her passenger awoke. “I snuffed it, huh?” She didn’t answer, eyes fixed on the road ahead, the narrow, twisting path through the mire. Read more …

Gladys Collins
John Pace
You have no idea what it is like to live on the street. No, not just to be homeless, but to live as a target for others. Others who despise you for no reason beyond your mere existence. Do you hear me? I cannot work. I cannot even squat in a vacant building, no matter how derelict. The others, they never trust me, and in that world, mistrust becomes just cause for violence. Read more …

The Cloud
Elaine Olund
I followed the instructions, trapping my thoughts. It worked long enough for me to start to drift to sleep. But I could hear them scratching around in the box, like beetles. And then I felt them. I felt them crawling on me. I felt them chewing my hair, I said. Taking a deep breath of his own and then a long draw from his water tube, he said, Well, clearly, you’re not a box-keeper. Read more …

Pigs Fry; Pigs Fly
Janet Slike
Her father, oblivious to Hannah’s shame, put three more strips of crunchy, double-smoked bacon on her plate so the serving dish could be replenished with more flesh from the cast-iron skillet. He tugged at his work shirt with greasy fingers, the fat oozing down to give his nails a slick polish. Hannah blamed the medication’s side effects, but she wasn’t quite sure how a beta blocker could make her feel like a cannibal. Read more …

Ripples From The Weather Aggregator
Sean Monaghan
In the line at Heathrow, Jaclyn kept seeing suspicious characters. Any one of these people could be after her. Once she was in the air, it would be all right. Everything would be fine. All she had to do was get off the ground. She wondered if they could touch her once she was through passport control. Did they have people on the other side? Surely not. Read more …

Woot~!

Those quaint old print publishers and their silly eBooks, too

I wanted to share the transcription from a talk given at Publishers Forum a few days ago:
http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/05/bridging-the-gap-why-publishings-future-is-at-risk/

So then, print and ebook publishers are doomed to become a niche solution? The most gripping analogy for me was something that I personally experienced: The desolation of books about software languages. They are all but gone, replaced not by eBooks, but by community-produced web apps, databases, wikis, etc. This is good. Personally, my (software book) needs were met more readily than by a print book (or any equally useless eBook transcription).

BDPI am thinking about how this applies to publishers like us. In general I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how, “gee, i wish we made money like the big publishers” or “gee, we NEED eBook versions of our magazine”… At the same time, all the reading we have been doing has led us to believe that there is little difference in the elements of supply chain production between a big 6 publisher and an independent publisher. Similarly, there are parallel paths available for distribution. The real rude awakening for any published writer is the requirement that they have to largely drive their own marketing–even big 6. But I digress.

Let’s stick to presses, specifically independent publishing. When you’re a journal first, Like Black Denim Lit, then a press, like Black Denim Press, I have to look twice to see how the presenter’s discussion of environmental pressures might manifest for a venue such as ours. Here’s my argument for how this might play out:

God Eye

Universe Annex’s Latest

Take the example of a venue in similar scope and reach (and even readership) such as “Universe Annex” (UA). This is a re-incarnation of Baen Publishing’s artsy, sci-fi journal Jim Baen’s Universe–filled with up-and-coming award-worthy (if not award winning) writers.

Take a look at UA today, and if you read through their submissions guidelines, you’ll recognize quickly that the magazine is fed completely on submissions that are cultivated by a writer’s forum that lives here Baen’s Bar.

Duotrope reports that the acceptance rate is about 1 in 15. All UA’s submissions are hosted in a public, free forum, for which anyone can have a reading password. Submissions are in one forum topic and work-shopped in another forum topic by writers and readers alike. Once the story is “good enough” (measured by community consensus) then the story is promoted to the formal electronic publication that is released six times a year (and the writer is paid a professional rate).

All by itself this work-shopping is not a unique idea. What is impressive is that this journal’s practices comes as an extension of a highly-regarded “writer’s publisher” such as Baen. Baen has always been a little different. And always good at marketing. And clearly outstanding at meeting the needs of its readers. And paying its writers.

***

All of this falls in the food-for-thought category–when considering any change in direction that our editorial practices or tools we might offer. I think the accomplishments of the UA submission process are unique and radically different than ours. Would it be the way for us to go over the next year? Maybe. Would it be the way to go over the next five years? Probably.

Similarly, how does the speaker’s predicted trend affect our print and eBook initiative? Is that trend more damaging than the marketing challenges faced, or is it a different take on the same symptom? In other words, is the way to increase print / eBook revenue to take a look at the reader’s interest in the format versus the reader’s interest in the content?

It could be argued that the entire presentation could be largely ignored with regard to Black Denim Lit, but it is distinctly more relevant when looking for success with our print / eBooks.

Thanks,
Christopher