As the world of writing and publication continues to change in a world currently affected by evolving markets and globalism, many authors are seriously considering expanding their market through online publication. This endeavor can be advantageous for at least three reasons.
1. New Reading Audience
In a world where many members of the younger generations were reared in a world where the use of computers and the internet were as integral to daily life as eating and sleeping, it is not surprising to find that much of the populace prefers e-literature to traditional hard copy formats. Because this is the case, writers who are considering making use of online literary journals to showcase their work may be more inclined to do so upon realizing that many people will only read literature in e-forms. Therefore, publishing online greatly increases the likelihood that a writer can expand her or his readership and thereby increase their cultural and commercial power.
2. Growing Power and Prevalence of the Internet
That the internet will become a ubiquitous entity and generate increased online spending in the next twenty-five years is a substantive claim made plain through research conducted by Cicso and the Global Business Network. Therefore, in addition to advancing the idea that your online publications will probably catch the attention of people comprising the general non-reading populace in years to come, these statistics lend credence to the notion that even readers who prefer accessing literature through traditional print forms will be more likely to come across your work when it is published online. Ultimately then, the Cisco and GBN report inadvertently suggests that online publication can help you more effectively market yourself to the reading and non-reading public. Thus if you are already enjoying and profiting from the conventional print method of sharing your ideas with the world, you can simply supplement these practices with online publications to increase your visibility.
3. Opportunities For Speedy Publication
Many writers who have extensive experience with traditional publication know that the process can take a long time. This lengthy publication process can exist for numerous reasons, including the fact that some literary journals only print two or three editions each year. On the other hand, many online publishers of poetry and short stories make a practice of publishing accepted submissions on a weekly or monthly basis. Some-such as Visceral Uterus-have a tendency to publish several times a week. Thus the speed with which many online journals display accepted content can greatly decrease the time it takes for your work to become visible to the reading public. This fact is especially advantageous for writers interested in rapidly expanding their readership and revenue-earning potential.
My own experience with internet-based publication has been profoundly positive. I began taking the concept seriously in the fall of 2011. Within just a few months of submitting my poems and short stories to various online literary journals, I received acceptances from at least eight editors and four pieces have already been published. Additionally, most of the editors I’ve spoken with throughout the online publication process send and respond to e-mails rather quickly. This can make the process of talking about the work in discussion faster and less frustrating. For example, if the submitting writer notes a grammatical error or conceptual flaw in a submitted piece and communicates the fact through e-mail the night before the journal prints its next edition, the mistake can likely be corrected if the editor receives the e-mail notification in time. Moreover, mistakes that are not discerned prior to online publication are much easier to correct than those being published in print format. Editors and HTML experts can simply go into the published journal and make changes that are almost instantaneously visible to readers. When grammatical or textual errors surface in printed mediums, however, editors tend to simply make a notation of the mistake in the publication’s next printed edition. Thus, in a certain sense, the error is never really corrected. Not so with many online journals who opt to immediately perform surgery on flawed writing such that the current edition of the publication is error-free.
Clearly, the world of online publication can pose challenges for writers accustomed to the traditional form of printing. Yet the rewards-speedy publication and an expanding readership-make the extra effort both advantageous and appropriate for writers serious about success.
Jocelyn Crawley holds a B.A. in English and Religious Studies. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, Nailpolish Stories, Visceral Uterus, Dead Beats and Haggard and Halloo. Other stories are forthcoming in Faces of Feminism, Four and Twenty, and Calliope. Her first novel, Erudition, is currently available at Amazon.com. Additionally, her undergraduate honors thesis can be viewed in the GSU library’s digital archives.