Interview Transcripts

Mary Rosenblum:  John Arthur Miller began submitting stories in September 2007.  A year later he  had 30 publishing credits.  He started his online magazine in September, 2008.    It now has over  100,000 internet hits and it’s sister publication has the same amount of hits.  He has also been hired as General Manager to run a new print magazine. 
JAM, welcome!   I’d say that you are making rapid inroads into the world of ezine and small press editing. So how did this all get started?  What propelled you into writing, and then, what took you beyond mere writing and submitting and led you to start your own ezines? 

 

Thanks, Mary! It's GREAT to be here, especially since I went through this course years ago.  It's a fantastic course and it set the parameters for how I write and what I look for in a great story. It's helped me considerably.

Questions/Answers

JAM, welcome!   I’d say that you are making rapid inroads into the world of ezine and small press editing.

So how did this all get started? 

John Arthur Miller:  It all started at American Zoetrope http://www.zoetrope.com/join.cgi (a website for writers, directors, etc.) where I was a member of some offices.  I suddenly decided to begin an ezine one day, simple as that.  I contacted people I knew who might be interested, and in the beginning most people had a "wait-and-see" attitude concerning my project.  Now people ask to be invited into my private office at American Zoetrope, and it's been a blast.
What propelled you into writing,
I couldn't stop writing.  Even now when I have free time, I find the most relaxing thing I can do is to write.  Even if the short story I'm writing has no mass appeal, even when I recognize that it has no mass appeal, I write it anyway just to get it out of my system.  I blogged for years and years at certain website, filling it with diary-type entries, but also filling it with stories and/or poems.  I get a type of "angst" inside, agitation from not expressing myself through writing, and it's relieved only when I write.

and then, what took you beyond mere writing and submitting and led you to start your own ezines
Throughout my short writing career, I ran across writers with less experience than myself.  I encouraged them and tried to point them in the right direction, helping them with their short stories, and I encouraged them.  It gave me great joy to do this, because I felt as if I invited them into a magical world of words and wonder.  When they became excited, this in turn excited me as well.
I had goals I'd written down, and each goal was a rung on a ladder in my mind's eye.  One of the rung's was getting paid for short stories.  Each time I sent a short story to a paying market, they rejected my stories.  And while I've broken into paying markets now, back then I was at a standstill.
A friend of mine had a connection with someone in the publishing world.  This guy was so big my "writing friend" wouldn't divulge his identity.  This publisher told my friend (who then told me) that the economy wasn't the best.  The extra money many families used for books were being spent on other items, and he claimed the big publishers like Double Day and others were letting authors go, removing them from their catalogues, like never before.  These authors went into self-publishing and the paying magazine markets.  This pushed the up-and-coming writers down (like me).
So I decided to begin my own online magazine called Liquid Imagination at www.Liquid-Imagination.com/.  It was intended to help promote those writers having difficulty getting published because of the publishing situation.  Whether what I'd heard was correct or not, I still don't know.  All I know for sure is it led to my decision to begin my online magazine called Liquid Imagination.
The first official issue was September 26th, and as of today we have 120,288 internet hits.  We combine fantasy artwork with fantasy stories/poetry set in the modern world.
This led to a spinoff of traditional fantasy called Silver Blade.  And Dark Myth Production Studios recently hired me to run a print magazine called "2M Magazine."
I'm very busy promoting these various markets.  And I try to help new writers, too, but it's getting more difficult.  Still, I helped a young writer get his first short story published recently (a frightening horror story). And I'm still writing myself. I have a new E-Book coming out published by Sonar4 Publications, and I'm set to be on blog radio... I think this Friday.  CheesyI can't keep up sometimes, but it's fun and it's been a blast.
Things I'm involved in:
http://www.sonar4publications.com/millerauthor.html
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/
http://www.silverblade.net/ (I'm not involved with this like I once was, but I have access to their web office and they ask my opinion once in a while.)
http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/newindex.html (This is the new print magazine Dark Myth is putting out.
To read about Dark Myth:
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=33339650
Thank you VERY much!!!!

Speck:   Hey Jam...   Welcome!   It was really nice chatting with you the other night!  Thanks for the invite to your "office."

John Arthur Miller:  Thanks, Jean! I can't wait to see your interview you prepare. 

Hi, John!
Diane:  I was wondering how you managed to write 30 articles in one year.  And, were they all published?  You must have been writing non-stop, day and night. 

John Arthur Miller:  Diane, the way I did this is kind of a trick I will share.
I used www.duotrope.com for this. You can use the Writer's Markets by Long Ridge or whatever, but it was easy for me to use something online.
I looked up the potential markets for my stories that accepted "simultaneous submissions." That means you can send the same story out to different markets. I no longer do this, because it's more work than what it's worth now. But it jumpstarted my writing. I would send the same story to 8 different ezines, etc. I made sure each one accepted simultaneous submissions. I followed the guidelines to the letter (because they were ALL different). I received 3-4 rejection notices (usually) before placing a story.  I then had the arduous task of writing the "other" markets that I'd sent that story but hadn't yet rejected it. I wrote a form letter, putting the editor's name in the "Dear Editor" part at the top of the email.
I did this for the first three stories I began submitting. It is a pain in the rear having to contact all the publications and tell them that your story has been accepted, especially if you've sent it to a bunch of different places. However, instead of sending your story to one publication, waiting a month to 4 months, then getting the rejection notice, revising your manuscript/story, sending it out again, waiting 3-4 months... Using the "simultaneous submission" box at Duotrope helps.
Once you get 3-4 short stories placed, you're cover letter will have, "I have appeared in these publications," and the next editor will place more weight on your fiction. Each publishing credit is a ladder rung on your climb up as a writer, and those first ladder rungs (first publishing credits) are of utmost importance, mostly because they feed your confidence, fuel your fire, and it's like, "WOW!! Somebody wanted MY story!"
Once the fire begins, it's addicting and there's no going back.
Good luck, and if you have more questions, ask.

Gator: First time on post a note, trying to figure it out.  Hey Jam, nice to meet you.  What do you look for in horror stories submitted to Liquid Imagination? 

John Arthur Miller:  Gator, my editor is the person who accepts/rejects stories for Liquid Imagination now. But I can tell you what he likes. He's in the article at the Liquid Imagination Blog, so you can read that for an idea of what he's looking for:
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/blog/?page_id=127
But Kevin knows what I like, too.
1) Fantastic Hook
2) Emotionally engaging
3) Intensity
Something that's never been done before. Something that shocks the senses because of the creative creatures, creative plot, or beautiful prose. We publish different styles of writing. Shaun Ryan's prose is beautiful, but he writes fantasy. For "HORROR," what will have stronger considerations is something that slaps Kevin in the face immediately. A kind of slap-him-in-the-face story with INTENSITY. He's scared of clowns, too. It's his childhood phobia. That's how the other clown story got in, which was recommended to receive a Bram Stoker. But since it takes three recommendations to receive a nomination for a Bram Stoker, the story was not nominated. That story can be found here:
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/DavidByron.html
Personally? The story wasn't as INTENSE as I would have liked it, and I thought it a little long and didn't get to the point as fast as I would have liked, but it was the best horror story we received for that issue.
I answered your question in depth in the hopes that it might help someone else with the same question.
Hope that helps, Gator

Diane: Oh!  Oh . . . my goodness!!!  I had no idea that a site like this existed.  WOW!  And, thank you very much!  What a find that is!  Thanks for the url to Duotrope.  And, thank you for such a thorough answer. 
I have one more question.  If you are sending out to simultaneous markets is it necessary to contact each one to let them know you had someone publish the article?  Is this courtesy?  Or, perhaps, a marketing trick?  I am not very far along yet and have forgotten the research I had done on this several years ago.

John Arthur Miller:  Diane, You must contact the other publications and let them know. They usually ask you to do that anyway, but it is more than a courtesy. What happens if your story has been accepted for 2 months, and another publication has been deciding on your story, telling other writers, "Thanks, but no thanks," because your story is in holding, beating out other potential stories. No, you've got to let them know ASAP. But it also is good for you, too. It tells those editors that, "Somebody LOVED my story and they got it before you." Next time they may possibly remember your email and read your story quicker. Then again, maybe not. But you do not want to peeve off the editors. I consider them the gatekeepers to publication. :-)  So, if you do send out simultaneous submissions, make sure you let all the editors who haven't rejected your manuscript know ASAP. You may also find you're able to communicate with them more by asking a question in the email. Something like:
Subjectline: Submission: Cat Eyes (please pull this submission, thank you!)
Dear Mr. Miller,
Thank you very much for considering "Cat Eyes." I was hoping to see it placed with your publication, but another publisher has accepted it.  Still, my competitive nature prompts me to ask what specific stories you are now looking for? I am a new writer, but I do enjoy challenges.
Thank you very much for your time.
Diane

I wrote that quick so it probably needs considerable tweaking, Diane.

Rhonda: Well Hi JAM.  I have no idea who you are.  I wanted to know why everything that I read seems to have Quotation marks in every place. Where the author places them I guess must be - fine!  Sorry if I interrupted. No, not the Star Wars person. Whoops!

John Arthur Miller:  Rhonda, I have no idea who I am either.  GrinOften I'll use quotation marks to show publications for clarity. In the past I've had more than one person ask what the name of a publication is. I think that's what you're asking. If not, hit me upside the head (rather hard) and be more concise. 

 

What Do You Look For In a Story?

John Arthur Miller:  I had help from various editors creating this blog entry. Gills from Apex Magazine and others have offered their opinions about that "well-written" story of yours that was rejected.
You can read the information here:
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/blog/?m=200903

Mary Rosenblum: Okay, JAM, you started as a writer but now you're an editor.  So what do you look for in a story?  How is that 'what do you look for' different for the different magazines you edit?  Do you have some 'basics' that spell 'good story' for you? 

John Arthur Miller:  (I may use different terminology that what you’re used to, guys.  Also, if I say something contrary to your lessons, always revert back to your lessons.)
I don't do as much editing as I once did. I did all the editing of the first issue of “Liquid Imagination,” passing the fiction between Kevin Wallis (my editor) and myself.  But I created a template and guidelines, and Kevin understands those guidelines.  He knows what I want. For issue No. 2 he accepted/rejected all the stories and edited them himself, workshopping a few. I proofread the stories and poetry Chrissy Davis (poetry editor), but other than that, I’m now resigned to promoting “Liquid Imagination.”
With “2M Magazine,” I hired four editors.  They’re getting paid $0.01 per word for each document they edit up to a certain amount of money, but I talked them into splitting the pay four ways evenly.  I edit stories a LOT more here, but even with “2M Magazine” I do not accept or reject stories.  I find myself seeing the good in every story, wanting to help the writers.  Because of this trait, I workshopped stories for the first issue of “Liquid Imagination” 8-10-and even up to 12 times until we got them right.  That’s too time-consuming, so I’ve delegated quite a bit of the editorial responsibilities.
As of now, “Liquid Imagination” has two editors, and “2M Magazine” has four editors and staff.  So I don’t edit as much as I used to.
That said, the type of story my editors are looking for:
1)   Great hook
2)   Emotionally engaging
3)   Intensity
4)   Satisfying conclusion
It’s hard to get all these things in one short story, but it’s possible.
(You can quit reading here if you’d like, or read what my opinions are reflecting these points.  These are just my opinions.  I’ve learned some things such as what one editor/publisher looks for in his/her publication varies vastly with the expectations/desires another editor/publisher has for a different publication.  As varied and different writers are, editors/publishers seem even more different from each other.  So what I’m looking for may be different than what other editors/publishers are looking for.  Yet at the same time, these rules seem to echo what other editors have confided in me.)
Great Hook
When you submit a story that is similar to a story by a seasoned Pro, who do you think will win that slot in the publication?  The seasoned Pro probably has a website and a following of readers.  He’s been interviewed at various blogs, and he knows how to write.
He’s not hungry like you, however, and many times the so-called “seasoned pro” takes time with the beginning of a story, easing the reader into the plot.  This is a wonderful tool used by many writers, especially novelists on the New York Times Bestselling list.  Many times they’ll write short stories for publications, and they can afford the “slow slide” into plot and character depth.
However, they already have a vast reader base.  We don’t.  We don’t have millions of readers knocking on our doors, do we?  We’re unknowns.  And while people who know me ask to see new stories I’ve written for new anthologies they’re publishing, my name alone doesn’t hold the power of Patricia Cornwell or Stephen King or Salmon Rushdie.  I’m in the same boat as you are, both as a writer and publisher.
To combat the “other writers” out there, you have to draw the editor into your story as quickly as possible.  This should be done within the first paragraph, but I like to teach/preach the hook be inserted even sooner, hopefully into the very first sentence.  Sometimes you can insert a hook into the very title of your story as a tagline such as:
Storytellers: Their Words Write our Lives
The hook (IMHO) is SO important, the other things I mentioned into creating a great story are second-place (because no matter how good your story is, without a great HOOK the editor may not read past the first paragraph).  The hook has the capacity to make an editor notice your story, especially if the hook is embedded in the subject line of an email.  “Hmmmm,” the editor says.  “That looks interesting.”  He pulls your story up.
Now what?
Just because you’ve successfully HOOKED him doesn’t mean you should stop hooking him (no pun intended).  Within the first sentence, hook him some more.  You see, he’s busy and he’s got 20 emails from various editors, publishers and writers at his personal email account.  Then he’s got 20 more emails throughout the day at various websites he belongs to.  He’s got his own editors and columnists scampering for his attention, as well as the new hotshot writer who keeps befriending him.  Within his private web office (or physical office), he has multiple comments and suggestions that beg his attention.  Besides all that, he has a lot of stress.  His time is important to him.
In the midst of all this, he sees your story in his email Inbox, and the HOOK embedded in the subject line interested him enough to pull your story up.  He is busy, and he already has stories from seasoned Pros waiting in his Inbox.  He already knows those stories are good, but you’ve hooked him with your title (and possibly tagline/byline).
Now he pulls your story up and reads the first sentence, forgetting his duties for the day, hoping your story does what your HOOK promised.  He reads another HOOK in the first sentence, skillfully supplied by you, and there is a third HOOK at the end of the first paragraph.
“I’m going to be busy for a while,” he tells his senior editor.  “Take care of things.”
He kicks his feet up and leans back, hoping to enjoy your story.
Writing the perfect HOOK is an artform (In My Humble Opinion).  I don’t have the perfect answers, but each writer should work on practicing their own HOOKS.  One writer will use artful prose to HOOK the editor, while another will use the “slap-them-in-their-face” type hook, by writing something shocking and provocative (I attempt to write these kind of hooks).  The HOOK should lead the editor to want to continue reading, hinting at what awaits in within the story, but leaving enough to the imagination and curiosity.
Besides the cover letter, the HOOK is the most important thing (IMHO) in getting an editor to read your story.  I’ve written great HOOKS and read great HOOKS that have never been published; the stories just didn’t cut it (mine and theirs).  However, the HOOK helps get the new writer’s story before the editor’s face, which is what you want.
I get writing and can’t stop.  Let me brief now in answering the rest of Mary’s question:
Do you have some 'basics' that spell 'good story' for you?
What I want at Liquid Imagination are stories full of emotion.  A character who is invincible is boring.  Even Superman has his kryptonite and Mr. Luther.  Emotions allow characters to become strong or weak, such as a young woman in love with the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
All stories have emotions in them, but what a writer worries about is the emotions of the reader; you have to pull on their heartstrings.  You have to make them sympathize with your characters.  You have to make the reader cry, cheer, feel triumphant.  The only way to do that is to make the editor feel that way, and you should pull on their heartstrings.  Writing about the relationships is good.  Strong bonds between parents and children or between lovers can captivate readers’ emotions.
INTENSITY will increase whatever you’re writing.  You don’t want to go overboard, but why write a love story that is exactly like a hundred other love stories out there?  Intensify the plot, the stakes, the hook and the emotions.  Don’t settle for second-best; push the emotions and plot.
SATISFYING CONCLUSION isn’t just a plot twist, or a twist at the end.  If your character had enough depth, and you created a character that made the reader/editor sympathize with that character, you should have the character change by the end of the story.  If the reader/editor has bonded with your character, and if your character changes by the end of the story, the effects upon the editor/reader will be powerful.  A satisfying ending (IMHO: In My Humble Opinion) is like a funnel; everything in the beginning part of the story funnels into the conclusion, from characters to scenes to props and objects, etc.  If it’s important enough to be in your story, it should probably be at the conclusion.  Tying up all loose ends creates the satisfying ending.
I’ve seen writers creating powerful hooks with emotionally engaging characters, INTENSE conflicts, and have a less-than-satisfying ending.  By this time, the editor has already fallen in love with your story or character.  You’ve already hooked him.  You’d have to write a really horrible ending at this point.  While some endings MAKE the story work (it’s what sells the story to the editor), in my short experience, I’ve discovered that by this point you’d almost have to write a horrible ending.  An ending/conclusion by itself won’t get your story published; it’s what goes into and comes before the conclusion that gets your story published.  Now, at the ending, what you have to do is tie up the different elements, threads, pieces and characters into the conclusion, bring them together—what I call the “funneling effect.”  Think of the tornado in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Funnel everything into the end.  Did the Tin Man get his heart?  Did the lion find courage?  What of Dorthy?  As the Main Character, did she change and evolve as a person?
I hope this helps.

 

The Ezine Future

Mary Rosenblum: So, JAM, you are publishing ezines.  We're seeing a major shift in publishing. What do you see as our future?  How do you think people are going to find good books and stories to read in the coming future?  What about print?  How will print publications differ from the e-publications do you think? 
What is our future in writing and reading? 

John Arthur Miller:  First of all, Mary, I don't think anybody knows the answer to this.  If they did, they'd be setting themselves up to be millionaires.  Yet I am going to pretend I see the future.  And this is what I see:
The editorial column in the latest issue of "Fantasy and Science Fiction" covers this topic somewhat, as the editor attempts to piece the print and online puzzle pieces together.  This topic is discussed in two articles in the coming first issue of "2M Magazine" that I'm putting together.
Going back to "Writer's Digest" (December 2008), let me quote a few things from the article called "E-Books: Take 2."  Since this is a teaching course, and since it's not public, I'm sure this is allowed.  When asked if the surge in E-Books is going to stay, Bob Sacks said YES.  He is an industry veteran and president and publisher of Precision Media Group.  This is what he has to say:
"E-Books are the future--exclamation point--for many reasons.  There was a point eight years ago in which they started and crashed.  That's not going to happen this time.  We've passed the point of no return."
Coincidentally, I have an E-Book coming out at
http://www.sonar4publications.com/millerauthor.html
Did you enjoy my plug and segue?  Cool
The article goes on to say, "If you're a literary technophobe, the numbers can be frightening.  According to the Association of American Publishers, e-books accounted for $7.3 million in estimated net sales in 2002.  in 2005, $43.8 million.  In 2007, $67.2 million.  That's a 55.7 percent growth rate since 2002."
Now THAT'S just discussing e-books.  What about ezines and online magazines? 
When you consider your local Barnes n Noble bookstore caries only 100,000 titles, compared to Amazon.com which carried 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 titles (and all the books published by small press and self-published books such as Lulu), and when you consider the big boy publishers are now catering to Amazon.com, asking their top reviewers (who make no money writing reviews) to review the books of new authors, then the information is staggering.
Readers now have the capacity to read good fiction at free ezines.  Why should they pay for fiction?  Some believe quality is better in the bookstores, but ezines and online periodicals are fast gaining hold of readers by increasing their quality, and now they’ve discovered advertisers want to pay them to put their Ads in their magazines.  While ezines and small press has been hit hard by the economic crisis, those with quality material seem to be excelling… even growing.
What is the answer?  What is the future?
In my humble opinion, publishers of the future will consist of the big boys such as Double Day and other publishing companies who have already promoted authors in their catalogues, pushing them onto the New York Times Bestseller list (their writing has quite a bit to say about that, too).  The giant publishers will never go away.  But publishers will also consist of the small press, and the successful small press businesses will combine print and online sources for readers, the best of both worlds.  They’ll tease readers with free stories, inviting them to buy into their books and/or print magazines.  Some will grow by marketing themselves well in the tumultuous times, and they may very well find themselves promoting the next bestselling author.
No matter how fast internet resources are growing for readers, the weight of a real book in my hand cannot be forgotten, nor can the smell of ink and paper be ignored.  It’s a magical feeling, yet so is the internet.  If I had to make an opinion, I would say the most successful publishers of the future will consist of both print AND online venues for entertainment.  And the big boy publishers who handle bestselling authors?  They’re never going away.  The smaller publishing companies, the mid-sized publishers, I believe they’ll fade unless they combine online and print.  Online will allow them to charge advertising space based on internet traffic, and the print portion will be conducted as it always has, selling space within the pages of their magazines.
It is interesting to note that (last I heard) fifteen percent of Amazon.com’s business came from small press and self-published books.  And this fifteen percent is what the big publishers are missing out on.  IF a large publisher decided to capitalize on that fifteen percent, they could not only make huge dividends (IMHO), they could find the new bestselling authors out of that raw material, the new Grishams and Kings and Cornwells and Rushdies, and they would capitalize on their already considerable publishing power.

Mary Rosenblum: I agree with you, JAM.  I think this is just where we're going, but I don't think we're 'there' yet in terms of ebooks and ezines.  Soon, but not quite yet.  Not until the ereader  is as cheap and omnipresent as the Ipod.  And we still have to figure out how to get people to pay for stuff they get on the internet...such as ezines.  We have free=internet too ingrained in our heads.  You're not charging for your ezine.  How do you make it pay?  I'm not poking at you...it's a real question.  If you want to publish an ezine how can you pay your authors, how can you pay YOUR bills? 

John Arthur Miller:  Mary, we're not paying people at Liquid Imagination yet. Friends and editors keep telling me to begin selling advertising space, but I've held off. We keep getting more internet hits on a daily basis. I don't want to sell a year's worth of space this month that next month I could sell for more money. According to marketers, we're at the point in which we can begin making money, but I can also hold out until the next couple of months.
Also, combining the hits with Silver Blades, this pushes us over two-hundred thousand hits since September. I'm holding out for 250,000 total combined hits with Liquid Imagination and Silver Blade combined.
Then the plan is to build a year's worth of funding before paying writers and poets. What I'll do is take the total word count of each issue, multiply it be one penny, and that will be my target.  When funds hit that amount, we will begin paying writers. For now, it's the presentation of their written work as well as the ability to promote their work to a growing audience.  This ability to promote writers and poets has brought in writers who are used to getting paid for their work at a penny per word.
2M Magazine is funded through private investors and its board of directors.  They pay a penny per word through their investors expecting a full return.
As far as Liquid Imagination goes, I may kick myself for not getting advertisers now.  And whether to combine Silver Blade AND Liquid Imagination together to potential advertisers (advertising at both sites), or going the separate route, having Liquid Imagination seek advertisers solely through its individual mass appeal.
These are questions I've still yet to answer satisfactorily for myself. I will not jeopardize the writers and poets through some future legal or business issue I have not prepared myself for. So, for now, I'm waiting for the total combined hits (LI and SB) of 250,000. Then everybody involved will sit down and begin the planning.
Until then, I'll be expecting my paycheck from managing 2M Magazine.

Speck:  The money thing was my question too.  Even I'm guilty of not subscribing to ezines that cost.  (Which is something I'm changing.)
 How do we get the readers, meaning subscribers needed to be able to pay the writers and the editors and all the fees that are involved with an ezine?  I know of four ezines that have faded into the dark night of nonpublication and another that stands on the brink.   We can't afford to lose these short story markets but how do we impress upon readers the need to support them?

John Arthur Miller:  Why should readers pay for an ezine?  That's my mentality, and Liquid Imagination will always be free, a way to promote writers, poets and artists.  However, there IS a way to make money without having readers pay for it. Hub Magazine in England does this. Check them out and pass the info on to these markets you told me about precariously tipping toward the brink of oblivion. You can find the Hub at:
http://www.hubfiction.com/
Through Paypal donation click-ons embedded in the online magazine, that is another avenue to make money (not much of one).
The third way to make money is to find the best writers you can and create a theme-based anthology, selling those writers' works in one volume.  Have a book section at the online magazine (I hate the word ezine for some reason, but that's what is is).
So Long Ridge could feasibly create their own online magazine. Pretty easy. Accept submissions from outside sources, advertise and list yourself at Duotrope and Ralen and other websites listing markets who accept fiction, articles and/or poetry. Promote other magazines, interact and network. Blog and promote those writers like crazy. Only publish what you believe in (because nobody likes to promote stories you don't believe in). When 100,000 hits come in, begin looking up marketers online. Email them questions. While they'll probably be too expensive to use, they sometimes insert useful information in their emails, sometimes answering questions about where to market your online magazine.
Liquid Imagination will seek advertising in a couple months.  And our first anthology has been discussed for quite a while.  I'm just leary about going through Ingram or Lulu and pasting "Liquid Imagination Publishing" on the inside of the book, or even saving money by going through Docu-Copy.
Dark Myth which owns 2M Magazine will use a website similar to an ezine to tease readers into buying the print magazine. I'll let you know how that works (keep your fingers crossed).
The last means is to find investors.  I've considered that for Liquid Imagination, too.  It's just like what producers do with film. They have to come up with the financing. You find investors, promise them their money back and interest based on profits. If you have practically no overhead at first (salaries), this is a fantastic method to begin paying writers. Once you advertise that you pay writers, WOW!! The stories that come in are simply amazing!!
Hope some of that helps, Jean. Also, Jean, Karl just posted a blog you might be interested in:
http://www.silverblade.net/wp/

Gator: Hey Jam!  I put a question up there, don't know where it went to.  How can you get a sample copy of 2m?  Or, how can you purchase a print magazine of 2m by money order?  How much does it cost? 

John Arthur Miller:  Gator, it costs $5.99. First issue isn't out yet. April 15th is when the team I put together will have the final edits sent in to Dark Myth. They will do the layouts for the magazine, and it will be available the following month at
http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/newindex.html
This is, of course, a new venture. But for editors I took AJ Brown from Dark Recesses Press and The Horror Library, Sue Babcock from Silver Blade, Theresa Newbill who knows so many people in film and the Indy Music scene (and other celebrities), and Kevin Wallis from my Liquid Imagination. The combined editors, with their contacts, as well as advertising at Duotrope and Ralen and other places, have brought in some awesome stories. So look for the first issue of "2M Magazine" (quotations for clarity  Shocked) in late May/early June.
And don't forget www.Liquid-Imagination.com/ .
If someone has graduated Long Ridge, I'd invite them into my private web office. Lots of stories are workshopped there and other things happen, usually good. lol!! There are 260-some writers, editors, poets, script writers and some graphic artists. Not all are involved in Liquid Imagination.
But if someone has graduated Long Ridge, I'd say it's be a good experience to pop in. Students who haven't graduated... maybe not. Because every once in a while, while workshopping a story, you get some oddball advice, and I wouldn't want anyone to be led astray (I can't keep up with all the topics).
My private web office is at Francis Ford Coppola's "American Zoetrope" at www.americanzoetrope.com and my office is called (of course) "Liquid Imagination." Or you can look up my name (John Arthur Miller) and request an invitation. The website is free and could be used to complement a competitive writer.
So, Gator, the first issue isn't out yet. But it will be AWESOME!!
My e-book is out, though. Shoot. I should go and promote that again, because I'm feeling guilty. The editor at Sonar4 has been promoting it a lot, and I've done very little.

 

2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah

John Arthur Miller:  My new e-book is coming out. It's called 2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah.
I'm on a blog-interview concerning this book tomorrow, April 28, at 9pm Central Time at
www.blogtalkradio.com/theoddmind
Call-in number is 347-945-7025
This is the number for me to call in for the interview, but it's also the number that can be given to any listeners I wish to invite.
So everybody's invited if they'd like.
Keep your fingers crossed for me (I don't like live interviews at all because they make me nervous). 

Speck: Congrats on the interview. What's the saying...pretend the audience is naked and you won't feel so bad? 

John Arthur Miller:  I'll have to keep that in mind. The editor at Sonar4 is working hard on this. She just set up a Myspace page about the book here:
http://www.myspace.com/kinbintinnah
I'm really impressed with Shells, the editor at Sonar4.

 

What About Your ‘Zines?

Mary Rosenblum: JAM, tell us about your publications:  Liquid Imaginations, Silver Blade, and Dark Myth Productions.  Tell us about them, and where to find them.  And why they're great, of course!   The floor is yours!

Well, let me try to be clear and concise, because even my friends get confused about what it is I'm involved in.  I'll seperate the publications by astericks for clarity.
***************************************************
My BIO:

John “JAM” Arthur Miller has custody of three children.  They are his life, his world.  Someday, when it’s time for him to move on, he hopes to leave behind a substantial inheritance, desiring that one of the items his children jointly inherit will be a publishing company, as well as a body of written works John has written that will bring them pride.  The one thing John has learned above all else is that family is the integrity of life on Earth, and his mother (whom he considers a saint) has proven this time and time again, helping with his children while John tries to change the world, sitting in front of the computer writing, endeavoring to capture a dream that is always rising, always fading... yet forever shining in hopeful skies.


***************************************************
My e-book "2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah." 
http://www.sonar4publications.com/2012kintinbinnah.html

What do you do when your dead friend suddenly rises?  Her skin turns blue as she chants in the ancient Mayan dialect, Kin Bin Tin Nah.  What’s it mean?  Your mind scrambles to make sense of what you’ve just seen, as you watch your zombie friend run off. 

You have no time to think as San Francisco is rocked by a massive earthquake.  Next a volcanic mountain rises between skyscrapers spewing lava.  Giant locusts with armored bodies fill the skies.  Welcome to Armageddon!  Welcome to the Psychic Circus.

“2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah” is the story of Calvin Thomas, a single middle aged businessman with an interest in the paranormal.  He’s not psychic, however.  His skill is business and he does it well.  The owner of the famous Psychic Circus, his charisma and leadership led to bringing together the world’s top psychics, a community and on-the-road family, traveling city-to-city and giving psychic readings in Medieval-style tents in auditoriums.  His employees are the real deal; mediums and psychics with uncanny accuracy.  The first of them falls as Linda Orteganaldo, a reporter from Time Magazine, arrives to interview Calvin.  Linda’s Mayan heritage proves invaluable as unseen forces pick off the psychics one-by-one.  They struggle to survive the attacks of former friends and coworkers now turned zombies, and controlled by an insane Mayan priest.  It’s not just about calamities and death and zombies, however; it’s about relationships and friendships and survival in the face of adversity.

It’s also about you… your story.  Your future.  This is what happened.  This is what’s going to happen.  This is the way the world ended.  And it’s also the way the world begins.

http://www.sonar4publications.com/2012kintinbinnah.html

***************************************************
Liquid Imagination (my online magazine)
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/

Every story is fantasy weaving truth into fiction. This ezine is dedicated to the Fantasy Genre: modern day faerie tales where mortals fall in love sailors’ hearts; mortals finding themselves becoming vampires or werewolves, or finding themselves entering new impossible worlds co-existing beside our own; worlds of fantastic realities ripped open within characters’ minds. Intermingling within Liquid Imagination is emotion with the target being awe—and if we miss the target perhaps we may come close.
Surrealism and magical realism are abundant here, and the stories posted  take place in our modern world. Our goal is to create fantasy so realistic you feel it plausible.  We want you entertained, to feel a need to continue reading in order to enter into this fantasy world… if only for a while.
Liquid Imagination flows through the art posted here as well as the stories and poems. Bram Stoker Finalist, Fran Friel Interview!  Artist Nene Thomas Interview!  James Morrow Interview coming for issue no. 2!  We are endeavoring to bridge the gap between words and artwork, melding a new type of art:
LIQUID IMAGINATION
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/

GUIDELINES for Liquid Imagination:
http://www.liquid-imagination.com/Guidelines2.html

***************************************************
Silver Blade
http://www.silverblade.net/
Silver Blade is the sister publication of Liquid Imagination.  Karl Rademacher is a computer genius who runs it.  He has hooked extras into the online magazine, widgets and tools, so that it increases search string results on Google and other search engines, bringing in TONS of hits.  It handles traditional fantasy and sword and sorcery stories, but also caters to young adults.
***************************************************
2M Magazine
http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/newindex.html
"2M Magazine" is the evolution of an ezine called "The World of Myth."  "The World of Myth" is no more, but it has evolved into the new print "2M Magazine."  It is put out by Dark Myth Production Studios.  Business Weekly stated DMPS is slated to become one of the premiere entertainment companies of the future back in '96, but I cannot find the article. You can find more about DMPS here:
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=33339650
I have put together a team of 4 editors and other contributors for this.  For the first issue, the 3 fiction stories and 3 poems have already been accepted.  We're still accepting submissions, however. We also need a nutrition article about some stress-relieving vitamins and/or diet.  See the guidelines at the website.
***************************************************
There are other things I'm currently involved in, but they are more akin to administrative organizations catering to helping new ezines and small press.  Most are still in the developmental stages such as Silver Pen, which will endeavor to promote quality among ezines and procur tax-free status and grant money for those publications with sufficient quality.  There is a print anthology I have had in the works, but time restraints have slow me down.

Gator: Hey, Jam!  What is Dark Myth all about?  Is the website down?

John Arthur Miller:  Gator, Dark Myth Production Studios used to put out "The World of Myth" ezine. I appeared in TWoM several times. They dropped the ezine and it has evolved in the new print magazine "2M Magazine." The first issue is not out yet. The stories and poems for issue No. 1 have already been accepted, but it would be smart to submit something now, before we get cluttered.
They will use their website as a "tease," posting portions of stories, interviews, etc. at the website, luring readers into buying their magazine.  I am the General Manager of the magazine, and April 15th I will be collecting all the stories, poems and articles that we've edited and sending them into Rachael Martinez who is the Editor in Chief. They will do the layout for the magazine.
Dark Myth Comics (4 titles) has recently been picked up by enimi-entertainment, a comic publisher in Southern California.  This is their money-maker for now, but they have a 5-member board of directors fudning the magazine, intending to make as big a splash as their comics.
So the 2M website is a shell (for now). DMPS is the company that owns 2M.

Gator: Hey Jam!  How do you buy a sample copy, or magazine issue of 2m by mail and money order?  How much does it cost? 

John Arthur Miller:  Gator, thanks for asking. It will be available here when the website is up and running:
http://darkmythproductions.com/mythmart/
It will cost $5.99 starting out. Three stories (fantasy, horror, action/suspense) and three like-poems. Featured article, cover story, nutrition and health/fitness.

Speck: Since the site isn't up and running yet...do you have a copy of their guidelines you could post here for us? I'm sorta interested in sending in something.

John Arthur Miller:  Jean, congratulations on your last two publishing credits. YIPPIE!!!!
Also, by going to the 2M website, you can click on guidelines on the lefthand side. Or you can just read what I post here after the 2M guidelines link:
http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/newindex.html
http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/submissions.html

2M Magazine
2M Magazine is a PRINT magazine paying $0.01 per word for articles, fiction and $5.00 for poetry author ($5.00 per poem maximum).
We are looking for material in the following categories:
Cover Story - Timely newsworthy items. Maximum word count: 1000 words.
Interviews – Well-known artists, such as Bram Stoker winning authors and World Fantasy Award recipients.  Maximum word count: 1200 words.
Featured articles - Spotlight on topics of interest (Obama becoming President, terrorist attacks, political scandal, etc.). Maximum word count: 1200 words.
Literary Arts (Short Stories and Poetry) - We promote a high standard of excellence in our literary arts.
Fantasy - All fantasy (dark fantasy, surrealism, magical realism, traditional fantasy).  The worlds and/or fantasy creatures must be believable and well developed. We want to be drawn into your story and left gasping for breath, and when we're done reading, we insist you leave us begging for more.
Horror - Any type of horror pushing toward intensity or fear. Must hit hard and fast. Bottom line: scare us.
Action/Suspense  - We want to feel what it's like to disarm the bomb, run for your life, or negotiate the terrorist threat. We want the real thing with vivid images and detailed action; we want to feel our blood boiling and hear our hearts thumping.
We claim first world electronic rights and first world print rights.

Well Living
Health & Fitness – General topics. Maximum word count: 1000 words.
Nutrition - General topics. Maximum word count: 1000 words.

Political Science
Politics – This column is called “The Devil’s Advocate.”  We will post two articles from opposing viewpoints in each issue concerning hot topics in politics. We will not endorse ANY political party or candidate, nor will we demean any political party. Maximum word count: 1000 words for EACH article.  One article will be from a liberal viewpoint and the other article will take the opposite spectrum from rightwing thinking.
Current Events - Top stories in the news, one each on National and World News. Maximum word count: 700 words.
Finance - Hot topic in the world of finance. Maximum word count: 1000 words.

2M Magazine Submission Guidelines
Detailed guidelines for 2M Magazine can be found at http://darkmythproductions.com/2m/index.html
Short Stories, Articles and Poems - We seek literary quality articles, fiction stories and poetry with emotionally charged writing. Fiction, articles and poems must be exceptionally well-crafted. Stories and poems must encompass the Fantasy, Horror, or Action/Suspense genre. It may overlap. For example, your submission may be a dark fantasy or detective story with dragons. In addition, it may overlap with other forms of speculative fiction or genres. We will consider science horror, dark romance, etc.
We are not interested in graphic violence, gore, sex or foul language for its shock value, especially the vain use of God’s name or f-words.
For fiction short stories, each issue will publish three different genres, each allocated to a different author. Word count for fiction stories must be between 1000 and 1500 words. Submit up to two stories at a time. Single space your stories with an extra space between each paragraph. Each short story must be submitted in its own file. We pay $0.01 per word to each author within 60 days after publication. We will pay via PayPal or by other arrangements if necessary. Submit short stories to the fiction editor. Put “FICTION_SUB_” followed by the abbreviated names of the story in the subject line. Label your Word file like this: 2MFiction_Your Name.
We encourage poetry in any form, including prose poems and traditional forms. For poetry, each issue will try to publish three different authors each one allocated with a 500-word limit. This means we can only publish a few poems. Submit up three poems simultaneously. Use normal spacing for your poem as you would wish it to appear. Each poem should be submitted on its own page, but all your submissions should be in one Word document file. At this time, we pay $5.00 to each poet within 60 days after publication. We will pay via PayPal or by other arrangements if necessary. Submit poetry to the poetry editor. Put “POETRY_SUB_” followed by the abbreviated names of the poems in the subject line. Label your Word file like this: 2MPoetry_Your Name.
Absolutely NO multiple submissions are allowed for featured articles, interviews, well-being articles, vacation hotspots or political articles. Different authors will be used for these categories.  Word count for interviews and featured articles is 1000 to 1200 words, all other articles must be between 900 and 1000 words. Single space your articles with an extra space between each paragraph and no indentions. Each article must be submitted in its own file attached to an email. We pay $0.01 per word to each author within 60 days after publication. We will pay via PayPal or by other arrangements if necessary. Submit articles to the general editor. Put “ARTICLE_SUB_” followed by the abbreviated names of the article in the subject line. Label your Word file like this: 2MArticle_Your Name.
We accept poems, articles and short stories year round. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged (only for short stories and poetry), but please let us know as soon as possible if your story, article or poem has been accepted elsewhere. We do not accept previously published works. This includes work appearing electronically that is accessible to the World Wide Web. Stories workshopped on private sites are qualified for submission.
We accept only electronic submissions and your work must be in a Word (.doc) or a Rich Text File (.rtf) file and not embellished with fancy fonts or pictures. Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
Your submission should include your contact information (including a mailing address, as well as your email address), the name(s) of the story, article or poems and the word count for each story and article, word and line count for each poem, and a short bio (100 words or less).
Please do not make additional submissions until you have heard from us on concerning your existing submissions.
Submissions for articles should be sent to the Article Editor at: sbabcock@darkmythproductions.com
Submissions for poetry is closed at this time for issue No. 1.  If you wish to submit for issue No. 2 and beyond, sent poetry to tnewbill@darkmythproductions.com.
fiction should be sent to Fiction Editors at:
ajbrown@darkmythproductions.com
Though we try to respond quickly, please allow 2 months before contacting us concerning the status of your submissions.
Please also use the above email address with your questions.
Fiction Editor Links: We suggest you study some examples on the following sites to get a flavor for what we are looking for. Later, you may also examine our archives. Fiction that is indicative of our editors’ positions and interests can be found at
The World Of Myth (link to http://www.theworldofmyth.com/)
Three Crow Press (link to http://www.morriganezine.com/ )
Sonar4 (link to http://www.sonar4ezine.com/aug08.html)
and Silver Blade (link to http://www.silverblade.net)

Poetry Editor Links: We suggest you read the editor’s position on poetry and study some examples on the following sites to get a flavor for what we are looking for. Later, you may also examine our archives.
Raven-Black Dreams, Little Red Riding Hood Beware, Night Shade (link to Liquid Imagination February 2009, http://www.liquid-imagination.com/HomeLiquidVol1Issue2.html)
Drops of Purple Blood, The Deluge, The Puppet, Incantations, Alien (link to Sonar4 Science Fiction and Horror Ezine, August 2008, http://www.sonar4ezine.com/aug08.html)
Nephillium, Stardust in the Gold, Tabukari (link to Static Movement, February 2007, http://staticmovement.com/InvitationFebruaryIssue.htm)

 

Mary Rosenblum: JAM, thanks so much for all the time you spent with us this week!  I suspect you'll get a few more hits for the 'zines. I hope so!   :)  You have been very generous with your time and have given everyone some excellent insights and advice

 

 

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