Saturday, October 01, 2005

from the No Tell Motel gal

Thanks to Didi for pointing me towards this interview of Richard Peabody (editor of Gargoyle) with Laurel Snyder.

I never meant to diss print magazines -- just point out some of their limitations that online publications address such as distribution (i.e. readership) and ease of publishing. I love print magazines and write about them frequently in my "Crucial Rooster" column. That being said, I do prefer my work appearing online. I publish for readers. I get more readers online. I can also tell the difference between bots and real readers at No Tell Motel. There's a lot of real readers at No Tell Motel from all over the world. Lots of unique and repeat visitors. Our publication would not reach those people if it was print.

Sorry if I gave Richard (or any other print editor) the impression I was dismissing them. I am not suggesting we put print mags out to pasture.

As for Laurel's comment that she didn't think online magazines were considered for Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. Not true. I don't have the 2005 BAP, but in the 2004 issue poems were chosen from online publications such as La Petite Zine and can we have our ball back?

The Pushcart Prize anthology accepts nominations of poems from online journals as well. I nominated work from No Tell Motel last year and will do so again this year. We don't do a print annual (and have no intention of ever doing so). Not all online editors have print envy.

Although I do have an interest in printing books, for instance the upcoming Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel anthology has some work from the online magazine and well as a lot of new work. I think online and print can be used to both compliment and promote each other, but I'm not interested in simply transfering work published online into a paper binding to for a sense of legitimacy. Online pubs ain't no god damned son of a bitch.

When I speak at panels (or write on my blog) about online publishing, it's not because I feel like online publications (or blogs) need recognition or respect from anthology editors and prize committees. They already receive that from those paying attention. The reason I may come off as an overzealous cheerleader is because I'm trying to point out to other writers (especially poets who have many obstacles finding readers) that there are other (and depending on your goals, better) options for your work to find an audience. My comments are directed at frustrated writers. I'm trying to get them to think about why it is they're trying to publish their work and suggest solutions to meet those goals. Clearly certain ideas of "prestige" or having a tangible object one can hold in one's hand is important to some seeking publication. My advice may not be so useful to those with such ideas.

Laurel mentioned backlash. I can't imagine what a "backlash" against online publications would entail. Backlash from what? From writers sending work? From readers getting access to work they'd never find in their local bookstores and libraries? Even if BAP and Pushcart didn't consider online publications (which as I said, they do), does anyone really care? What backward press wouldn't publish a book simply because most of its poems were published online? A press that is against publishing poets with name recognition and readers?

"Dear Poet,

While we LOVED your manuscript and were almost going to say yes, we see in your acknowledgment page that No Tell Motel published some of these pieces. We find the NTM editor's blog to be kind of obnoxious and pushy and therefore must take it out on you. Sorry to say no. No, we're not sorry. Online pubs can suck it! Viva La Revolution!

Signed, The Editors
"

I apologize if I come off as a dismissive asshole to other editors. I can't help being an asshole, but I can work on not giving the impression of dismissiveness.

Tony Tost is very important to my shrieking.

Speaking of panels, as I mentioned earlier, I was on two today (one on literary blogging) and I'll write more about that later this weekend. Hugs (not tugs) to all the wonderful people I met at the James River Writers Conference.

5 Comments:

At 11:45 PM, Blogger thedeviluno said...

Kinda boring puff peice

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Pif & Exquisite Corpse have also had poems selected for BAP.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Laurel said...

That's a super dooper good way to be corrected! So glad to hear it...

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Pris said...

I've had publications both in print and online. I don't know who reads the print. Not any of my friends and I sure can't afford copies to send one to all of them. I like online. When something is published, I send the link around and it's easy to find. Many nonpoetry friends now tell me they've read more poetry than ever before since I started writing and publishing mine.

As far as Pushcart, other online publications that I know of who can nominate are MiPo, Verse Libre, and Erosha. More, but can't bring them to mind at the moment. I know those do, since I've been published in them (but alas, not nominated:-)

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger 32poems said...

I run a print mag and I'm not upset by your comments about print. And I have to admit that I've never, ever received a comment from someone about something I published in a print magazine. I DO receive a number of emails from people who saw my poems online and they want to teach my poems in classes, do a poet report on me (a sixth grader), or buy my book, etc. I get a lot more response regarding my online printed work than my paper printed.

That said, I think there's a prejudice towards print. I wrote about that on my blog. It's not fair and it's silly, but I think the prejudice is still there and it'll lessen over time.

 

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