Writing for confession magazines is a dream writing job. You write a story, send it in, most of the time you get a contract back in the mail, then they publish the story and you eventually get a check. Since the writer’s name isn’t on the story, there’s no need for publicity, no book (magazine) signings, nothing except writing. Like I said, a writer’s dream job and I’ve been doing it for years.
Of course, there are rules and any story that doesn’t adhere strictly to them is tossed aside without a second glance. The story must be told in first person, meaning it must be written as if the main character is telling it to someone. The word ‘I’ is used a lot which I like because it means the story digs down deep into feelings, thoughts, everything that makes the reader cares what happens. And isn’t that what fiction is supposed to be about? The story should be realistic, something that could happen to someone even if it hasn’t happened to the writer, and the writer should realize, when writing scenes that involve sex or gore that not all readers are adults.
All these are things I’m comfortable with and I’d probably have spent my entire writing life writing for the confession market, except… there’s touble in the publishing industry these days.
Not just the confession market and not just magazines. Every kind of print publishing that exists is falling on hard times. Book publishers are going bankrupt, magazines are falling by the wayside and the confession market is shrinking. It’s pretty much down to two magazines now and those two were struggling until a new owner came along. I hope he does well, but the turmoil in the publishing industry has taught me to be cautious.
So what’s a confession writer to do? Why, publish electronically, that’s what. And there are some things about the e-publishing that make it better, sort of, than the confession market. For one thing, any subject is okay so I can now publish all those science fiction and fantasy stories that have been noodling around in my brain practically forever.
Of course, I have to do all the marketing myself. Which means I have to actually learn how to market. Recently, I did a foray into Facebook, a venue I have ignored in the past except to learn what family members are up to… and I almost got kicked off for ‘friending’ too many people on my personal page when I thought I was on my professional page.
And since I’ve decided to be my own publisher, I also have to learn how to format my work for each electronic publisher, which is kind of like making a cake with the recipe changing constantly. But, hey, I haven’t been kicked off any publisher’s list.
Anyway, the point of this post is that if you like reading stories told in a deeply personal way by one of the characters, keep an eye on the e-publishing market because I’m not the only confession writer who has added self-publishing to selling to magazines. They are out there and they are good reads.
So to everyone who reads this…. happy reading!