Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Good Question

At least I thought so, so I decided to post it here. Jeff P. recently wrote to me, "I have a production question for Mr. Schubert...Since IGMS is an online publication, why is there a delay until February now that you have the lineup? To a non-geek like me, it seems like you'd just post the new material, and poof!

I realize this sounds kind of snotty, and I don't mean it that way. I'm actually curious about how the online system works (comes from years of being a journalist; [we're] nosey about everything)."

This struck me as the kind of thing more than just ol' Jeff might be wondering about, so here is my answer here.

"It's not a snooty question, it's just based on an incomplete understanding of everything that's involved.

You see, picking out the stories is only one piece of the equation. Once those stories are selected, they are sent to different illustrators for the accompanying artwork. One illustration is specifically commissioned for each story, and it takes time for those to be produced. Then the stories and artwork need to be properly formatted and laid out by our web-master, who is not only responsibile for IGMS, but all of the web-sites published by Orson Scott Card (which I think is seven, at last count). And speaking of Mr. Card, sometimes he is busy with other projects and I have to wait a bit for him to write his Ender Universe story. We've put other issues up before his story was ready, but frankly I have found that everyone (myself included) prefers having his story available as soon as the issue is published.

So as I said in the beginning, the question is a good one; it just doesn't take all the details into account. I'm glad you asked."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that! --Jeff P.

Anonymous said...

Interesting insight into the process - thanks for that! Personally I love the way that each author gets a chance to have a special piece of artwork associated with their story. It really adds to the ambience and interest of the magazine.

J Wade

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Maria said...

A related question: How far out do you buy stories? In other words, you're about to put out Feb magazine--are you buying stories for the next issues or are you looking to fill, say 4 issues? I know that a lot of magazines get "filled" and submissions close and/or they are filled for long stories, etc.

If you have the time, it would be insightful to know how you're working--closer to publication or four issues out--and if you're on a buying schedule that you like or if you plan to make changes (ie buy less, buy more--any thoughts you might have.)