Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Someone recently asked me if Kaleidotrope had won any awards, or if any of the stories that I've printed have gone on to be anthologized elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened just yet. The first issue received a couple of genuinely nice reviews, and I've received some great feedback from contributors and subscribers alike on both issues, but awards and greater glories thus far elude me.

Then again, Kaleidotrope is only a little more than a year (and two issues) old. It existed nowhere but in my own head before April of 2006, when I sent out my first call for submissions. And the quality of those submissions -- not just from award winners like Bruce Boston and Bruce Holland Rogers (whose presence1 alone is enough to surprise me sometimes), but from everyone -- continues to amaze me. It's why I keep doing this. Sure, I'd love to see the stories and poems I've printed go on to win awards and earn the sort of recognition I think they deserve, but the reason I print them is simple: I think they're really cool and I want to share them with others. And, if any greater glories do await Kaleidotrope as a whole, better they be for that than for anything else, right?

Still, there are things I'd like to see happen and other things I'm considering:
  • I'd like to see my subscriber base grow, and see Kaleidotrope made available in more locations. Right now, the distribution is limited, with the zine available only through the main website and, in the real world, at Quimby's in Chicago2. A subscription discount might help. Only a fool goes into zine publishing hoping to turn a tidy profit, but a few extra dollars wouldn't hurt. And a few more readers would be phenomenal.
  • I'd like to expand the focus of Kaleidotrope somewhat, seeing a wider range of stories and genres, while at the same time emphasizing the things that I think make this zine unique.
  • I'd like to take a more pro-active approach to marketing Kaleidotrope and getting the word of its existence out there. To that end, I sometimes feel like maybe I should start thinking about attending some conferences -- even if it's not in anything like an "official" capacity, with a table in the dealers room and a stack of copies ready to sell. I toyed very briefly with the idea of attending last year's World Fantasy convention in Austin. (A work-related conference I ultimately did not attend would have had me in town the week before.) This year's convention is closer to home, in New York, but I don't think that's going to happen either. Maybe next year in Calgary? Honestly, I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to conventions (and probably not the most outgoing of sorts), so I really don't know where to begin.
  • I'd like to reach out to past contributors and receive more feedback on past issues -- what's worked, what hasn't.
  • I'd like to sell at least one t-shirt. C'mon, they're really neat!
But the chief thing, I think, is to continue publishing quality writing and artwork, and working to continually make Kaleidotrope a better zine.

1 In the October 2006 and October 2007 issues, respectively.

2 Issue #2 is available through their website, at any rate.

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