Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Month: June 2014 Page 1 of 2

Patreon Challenge Goal #1 – Unlocked!


A big thank you goes out to our Patreon supporters today. Thanks to them, we unlocked our first challenge goal of $500 per month before June 31st. As long as that monthly minimum is sustained, there will be an extra story in every other issue of Clarkesworld. The first four-story issue will be in August.

What next? Well…

Remaining Goals:

  • $750 per month at Patreon by the end of August: 75% of our issues will have four stories
  • $1000 per month at Patreon: Every issue will have four original stories
  • 500 new subscribers at Amazon and Weightless books: Another original story in each issue!

Upgrading soon

At long last, I can announce that my cyborg anthology, UPGRADED, is in the final stages of production and will be available in July.




Introduction by Neil Clarke
Come From Away by Madeline Ashby
No Place to Dream, but a Place to Die by Elizabeth Bear
Married by Helena Bell
A Cold Heart by Tobias S. Buckell
Honeycomb Girls by Erin Cashier
What I’ve Seen With Your Eyes by Jason K. Chapman
Wizard, Cabalist, Ascendant by Seth Dickinson
Seventh Sight by Greg Egan
Negative Space by Amanda Forrest
Mercury in Retrograde by Erin Hoffman
Tongtong’s Summer by Xia Jia
God Decay by Rich Larson
Always the Harvest by Yoon Ha Lee
The Regular by Ken Liu
Coastlines of the Stars by Alex Dally MacFarlane
Fusion by Greg Mellor
Memories and Wire by Mari Ness
Oil of Angles by Chen Qiufan
The Sarcophagus by Robert Reed
Synecdoche Oracles by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Tender by Rachel Swirsky
The Cumulative Effects of Light Over Time by E. Catherine Tobler
Small Medicine by Genevieve Valentine
Collateral by Peter Watts
Taking the Ghost by A.C. Wise
Musée de l’Âme Seule by E. Lily Yu
About the Authors
About the Editor

Cover art by Julie Dillon

Coming soon in trade paperback and ebook formats. Preorder at Wyrm Publishing or email to be notified when this title is available to order.

The urgency problem

The looming deadline and goal is a key element of a Kickstarter campaign. It’s quite reminiscent of this magazine cover:


The countdown clock on the campaign provides urgency. Act now and get as many people as we can to help us! Save the dog! It’s no wonder that many projects are saved in the final hours. It plays us so well.

I’ve heard some people criticize Patreon for not having that sense of urgency. No ticking time bomb of doom. No dog with a gun to his head. I can always give later. They will still be there.

Yes, Patreon is a very different business model (one could say more responsible, but I don’t want to start that fight… today), but while urgency is not built-in, it doesn’t mean you can’t create it.

To that end, I’m running an experiment. When we created our Patreon account, I set a goal of $1000 to add an original story to each new issue. That still stands. What I’ve done is created two new time-sensitive goals:

  • $500 – New story in every other issue – Must be reached by 6/30/14
  • $750 – New story in three of every four issues – Must be reached by 8/31/14

Let’s see if urgency is as much a thing as people think. If so, maybe we can encourage them to include a ticking time-bomb of doom option for goals.

Our Patreon page is available at:



Income from Ebook Sales

After I posted the percentage of the price of subscriptions and recurring payments that Clarkesworld receives, I was asked whether ebook sales were similar. Yes and no. We want you to buy where you like, but the numbers are quite different.



It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that ebook purchases of our back issues and anthologies yield the best returns when they are purchased directly from us. It is, however, the place where we sell the least number of copies. Amazon has the clear lead in that department with B&N a distant second, followed by Apple and Weightless (they keep swapping places).

Recurring Payments and Subscriptions

There are many ways to support Clarkesworld Magazine. Among those are a variety of places to give recurring payments or buy subscriptions.

  • Patreon – The crowdfunding site that combines the best of Kickstarter and subscriptions. Pledge a monthly amount and they handle payment processing and tracking for us. We offer a variety of Patron rewards, including digital and print subscriptions. I expect big things from Patreon.
  • Amazon – The giant of the ebook world and the place where most of our subscriptions are sold. Most visible of all our options, good sales numbers and reviews here have secondary benefits that help us sell more subscriptions, ebooks, and print books.
  • Apple – We’re partnered with a third party to get into Apple because that’s the only way we can afford to get into their marketplace. Our subscriptions here are app-based and it represents the smallest of all the subscription outlets. That said, since it is an app, we can do a bit more, like include audio.
  • Weightless – The independent ebookseller that actually cares enough to make subscriptions available for small press magazines. If it wasn’t for these folks, a number of magazines would be having serious financial difficulties.

People often ask me which of these options gives Clarkesworld the greatest returns…


From this chart, it’s clear that Patreon passes along more of your payment to us than anyone else. That doesn’t mean we want everyone with existing subscriptions elsewhere to suddenly jump ship and switch to Patreon. We like having a variety of sources of income. If one suddenly fails, we want to survive. We also see value in having good sales and reviews at a variety of markets. We need to cast a wide net and think about marketing value as well as financial value. (The two are so tangled it’s hard to separate them.)

We want you to choose whatever way works best for you. If that means subscribing via Apple, then go do it. If auto-delivery to your Kindle is important to you, go with Amazon or Weightless. Don’t think you are paying enough for you subscription? Consider switching to a subscription reward at Patreon or keep your existing subscription and make an extra pledge at Patreon. Choices are good. Make the best of them.

Thanks for your support!

Clarkesworld is a 2014 British Fantasy Award Nominee

Clarkesworld is a 2014 British Fantasy Award nominee for best magazine! (nominee list)

The other nominees are:

  • Black Static, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)
  • Interzone, Andy Cox (ed.) (TTA Press)
  • Shadows & Tall Trees, Michael Kelly (ed.) (Undertow Books)

This is our first time on the ballot.

A big thank you to BFS members and the attendees of FantasyCon 2012 and FantasyCon 2014 that nominated us! The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at FantasyCon 2014 in York on 6 or 7 September 2014.

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