Print Versus Digital Magazines

After waiting for months to learn when my story “The Wind Man” would be published in On Spec magazine, I got word last week that it will be in the upcoming Winter issue slated for publication in January. Along with the notification was a request for permission to have the story included in the digital version of the magazine. For all the times I’ve gone to the On Spec website, I hadn’t realized they offered a digital version. I readily gave my permission—the more readers the better, even if the magazine isn’t offering additional compensation for the e publication.

I’m a book lover—I love all the sensations of a book in my hand, and that includes magazines. When I look for magazines to submit my stories to, I always prefer those that aren’t exclusively electronic, and at least include a print edition or a year-end print anthology. It just seems to make the publication more “real” to me. Literally, a more solid publishing credit. Yet I’ve subscribed to Analog in digital format for two years. I read it on my KOBO reader. I read a few other magazines that way, too. Does that make me a hypocrite? I hope not.

Some people will clearly prefer the convenience and lower cost of enjoying their favourite magazines with an ereader, and I certainly don’t want to miss out on that readership. There’s also something to be said about saving paper, and the environmental costs of delivering physical packages. But I can’t help it, I also want my published writing to have an element of permanence—a lasting presence—that I just can’t associate with a digital file on an electronic device. Not yet, anyway.

Whichever form of reading material you prefer, I hope you’ll look for the Winter issue of On Spec, either at your bookstore, newsstand, or online at . “The Wind Man” is a light fantasy about a restless wanderer with an unusual curse. I think you’ll enjoy it.