SQ Mag is a speculative fiction ezine – that is, it publishes original fiction from the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, and all the cross and sub-genres among them.
What makes it different from most ezines is that it respects the English idiom stories are submitted in (a person submitting in UK English, for example, gets published in UK English), and we have a policy on what we publish: between 5 and 9 stories every two months; at least one of each major genre; and always a good representation of upcoming writers.
We chose to go ezine instead of print (we tried to print for 3 editions in our predecessor SQ Magazine) because the financial model was a lot better, and it tied in with our philosophy that we could be a free product, operating under a combination of donations and spin-off merchandise (and profits from an annual anthology of ‘best of’ SQ Mag).
Now that we have been operating since early 2012, we have found this new model sits well with us. We have yet to break even financially, but we also operate at very low expense levels, instead focusing on quality. With the support of upcoming authors, and some better established, along with donations from great artists, we have published top-notch fiction, book and film reviews, and author interviews.
So how do we measure our success? Well, to start with there is a progressive growth of subscribers and web hits, but more importantly, the industry has accepted us. We are marketed through Ralan.com and Duotrope.com, who are the leading market engines for writers, and we have attracted quality professional and semi-pro short story writers, willing to donate original fiction to us, including Jay Lake, Daniel Pearlman, Daniel I Russell, John Claude Smith, Cat Rambo (for issue #8), Tonia Brown (for issue #8), Geoff Brown (for issue #5), and others.
Through grit and determination, we are achieving our goal to keep high standards in our production, on par with many paying markets. We are confident that eventually, we will gain sufficient income to start paying our contributors.