Manage me, manage me

If you consider TCM a start up, we are doing pretty great for a non-technical one. There is slow and steady growth, there is development, and there are big ass plans for where we are heading.

We put out our product after three weeks of development. The first issue was rough around the edges, but fiction was better than 75% of all the semi pro zines. We’ve got hundreds of organic engagement on mailchimp newsletter and they even generated some sales.

We haven’t even closely broken even, but I’d consider the current ROI decent.

Gathering high-quality content seems to be an issue so far. Getting a lot of fic/non-fic submissions is not a problem. Getting the good ones is. If I get six great stories in a cycle all six go inbthe issue, if I get three – it’s three. And piling through tons of outright shit, and mostly disrespectful submissions (don’t get me started on those dimwitted dicks who don’t read the FUCKING GUIDLINES) takes time and human resources. Without Olivia’s help it would be insurmountable.

Another problem is the funds. I’m paying hundreds of dollars from my own pocket because I live this thing. But my pockets have their limits, sadly. Getting people to support on patreon would take time and fantastic content. But most of all – consistency.

More than anything I wish to have a presence at cons in English language markets. To be the thing people readers and authors mention when discussing great short stories.

We’ve got a lot to do and there will be a lot of changes over the next year.

Also if our magazine leads to a someone’s full-fledged book, my spm (stans per minute) for that author would be through the roof.

What I plan to achieve in a year:

Interviews with China Mieville, NK Jemisin and Neil Gaiman.

YouTube channel with fantastic content and production.

Series of articles on gender and sexuality in sci-fi (already starts in issue #2).

Animated covers.

Healthy, growing community.

Caw.

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Cawing so far.

Three Crows ff-01.pngI’ve been pretending to be an editor for three weeks and it still feels overwhelming. Adrien from Grimdark magazine said that he still feels the same after four years.

A bit of midterm results:

  • We’ve got a logo!
  • We’ve got over 100 submissions. Three from Ukraine and one of them is the best short story I’ve read so far.
  • I’ve arranged interviews with some of the big names in fantasy – Anna Smith Spark, RJ Barker, and Adrian Tchaikovsky.
  • We have a couple preorders and a little community on twitter. Two other magazines want to be our friends.

Two remarks regarding submissions:

What the fuck with all the christian imagery in fantasy? I love judeo-christian mythology as much as the next person, and use it in my writing occasionally, but all the retelings of the old testament but with more blood, rape, and dicks (but sometimes in SPACE!) is raising some red flags for me immediately.

Secondly – dicks. What’s up with all the male writers constantly writing about rape, dicks, sex fantasies, sexualizing childbirth and etc? What the actual fuck? Is it some literary development of the men’s freudian need to write хуй on every visible surface – as a sign of domination?

Free advice – just don’t do it.

Finding new voices.

I’ve discussed with my girlfriend that most of artist whom I used to love probably already peaked and won’t create anything worthwhile – The Strokes, Jack White, Stephen King, GRRM, Tarantino. We are left only with what the’ve already finished and can appreciate the staples of culture they lef tus with. Sadly, that seems to be the case.

(maybe, just maybe, I’ve simply outgrown them and my taste got more sophisticated)

That’s were I thought that its up to me now to find and give platform to someone’s new favourite author. I somehow became the gatekeeper whose taste might form a part of literary landscape.

Probably just overthinking it.

 

 

P.S. I really hope I found the next Ursula Le Guin.

First week

It would be an understatement to say that I’m not overwhelmed by the first week managing Three Crows. So many things to learn, so many mistakes to make and bruises to get. Some of the coolest people in grimdark have shown their interest in the magazine and the kind words from established authors and editors warm my heart and prove that I’m on right track.

My favourite people Olivia and Rey are douing a fantastic job with reading the slush pile and so far our opinions align perfectly. I look forward to forming the skeleton of the issue and finishing the questions for the first couple interviews.

I ross my finger that China Mieville will answer the email I sent him and I would be able to prepare an interview with him. I’m preparing written questions so far to get answers over the email but in this case I would fly to fucking UK to talk to him. Or at very least have a phone call.

That would be bonkers!

First steps.

We got 100 followers on twitter, 20 on instagram, and 20 email subscribers, without any concentrated effort except for me being sarcastic.

I’ve gathered a team of four people to be the first reader and we’ll see how that goes – our styles and taste need to align. I know that the last call is always mine, but I need them like air and I need them good.

Submissions keep coming – half a dozen original english language fiction, two established Ukrainian authors agreed to submit stories and recomended a lot of people to contact.

Life is good so far.

Recruiting the team

Despite the fact the MARK FUCKING HAMMIL himself like my tweet about him being a precious and pure muppet, the most heartfelt and encouraging fact throughout the day was the fact that so many people are eager to become first readesrs and proofreaders. For free. They are volunteering because they love literature and they love SFF.

As a lawyer by trade, I haven’t seen a lot fo people willing to work for free in Kyiv, just cause they love their jobs and clients.

If this is not a sign that we are on a right track, I dont know what is.