Why I Support the Little Guy

Simply put, I support the little guy because I am one.

Port Iris Magazine is small and relies heavily on my own resources, and it could really use the support of others, even if it mostly comes from other little guys.

Since there is not much to gain at this stage in publishing by being reclusive, it makes more sense to me to share with others to collectively support the growth of an online speculative fiction audience so that we all have readers.

There really is strength in numbers. It is for this reason that grassroots movements can make a difference, and that is why I started ISFPA.org and why I use the #supportthelittleguy hashtag on Twitter to at least spread the word about other speculative fiction markets.

Successional theory is a fundamental concept in ecology for explaining the expansion and regrowth of forests. By this theory, the ecosystem expands in a gradient of succeeding species of plants which prepare the habitat for the next species.

For example, in the case of a cleared plot of land, the small, fast growing plants such as grasses and weeds will be the first to repopulate the land. These plants will then give way to larger, slow growing shrubs and bushes. Then the softwood trees like pines, which grow to block sunlight to low laying plants, clearing the way for the longer-living but slower-growing hardwood trees. Thus over a long time, a forest is born.

I see the state of the publishing industry in this way because the internet has provided a vast and fertile ground on which small markets can proliferate. The diversity of niche markets that were once available in the heyday of pulp fiction now have the freedom to disperse their material at a relatively low cost.

Will there be large markets to come out of this paradigm shift in publishing, and will many of the fledging independent markets perish? Surely, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Markets that can’t gain the resources to operate or can’t find a suitable audience won’t make it, but just because everybody can start a magazine doesn’t mean everyone should.  However, as I mentioned before, the room for growth on the internet is expansive. There will always be an edge where the big guys just can’t go, and it is in these places that the little guys will be fruitful.

By acting together, the little guys can just do it a little better and a little faster.

 

For more information on

Independent Speculative Fiction Publishers Association: visit http://www.isfpa.org

#SupportTheLittleGuy: visit http://supportthelittleguy.wordpress.com/about/
or follow the tag

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  1. November 18th, 2010

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