The State of Geek Force Five

We released Geek Force Five like clockwork every month from July through October, and then we stopped. “Why?” you’re wondering. Here’s why:

Our authors were bringing the thunder, but we weren’t. It’s that simple.

As I see it, my responsibility as publisher of this magazine is to do three things:

  1. Provide validation to new and unestablished writers by accepting their work for publication;
  2. Provide fair payment to those writers for their work; and,
  3. Expose the work of those writers to a new and wider audience.

Two of those three things, we were doing alright with. Of course, the two things we were doing alright with were the easy things. It’s easy enough to provide validation: just say yes to talented people and good work. And, as for fair payment, all you need to do there is to take as little of the profits as you can to keep your operation afloat and pay the rest to the writer.

Exposing your writers to a new, wider audience than they are used to—that’s the hard part. That is where we were failing our writers. And if you fail your writers there, then even the small slice of the profits you’re taking feels like thievery. At least to me. In a world where it would be just as easy for my writers to publish their work independently, I saw the audience numbers we were providing to them—as opposed to the numbers they were bringing in themselves—as woefully insufficient.

So, we paused publication of Geek Force Five after #7. I wanted to figure out how best to proceed, and I needed time.

What I’m looking to do with the magazine now is to take the process and approach I developed on issues #4-7 and apply them to the format we used for issues #1-3. The single author per issue format was a good experiment, but I think we can do better for our authors by combining their individual audiences into one wider readership.

Organization—logistics—that’s a fourth thing we can provide. And that’s what we’re going to do. Geek Force Five #8 will feature the work of multiple authors, and it will be the first in a new annual publication schedule. Our target release date is May 12, 2015.

If you’re interested in submitting, click here.

NewsE. Christopher Clark