The demise of literary journals has been at the forefront of the media for a couple of years now. As a writer, this represents the loss of possible markets for my work. Several journals have closed, others have turned to online only. It seems a lamentable loss but then I ask myself, what am I doing to prevent this?
In all honesty, I do not subscribe to any literary journals. Gasp! I know, it sounds terrible but I know there are many other writers like me. We complain about the loss of print markets but do nothing to stop it. I used to subscribe to One Story but canceled when it came time to renew. In my defense, I am an unemployed college student. Many of us are affected by the economic downturn. At the same time, I have the money to go get a cappuccino or amble down to Village Inn on pie rush Wednesdays. I just need to make a point to subscribe and support my fellow writers.
I am often of the same mind about used books. Often, I will go to a bookstore and browse titles, then go on Amazon to buy used copies. Buying used is economical, I agree, but doesn’t count towards that author’s sales or make them any money. I wonder how I would feel if it was my book? I’d rather people buy new….although I would be happy just to have them reading my work.
I’m not saying we should start spending a ton of money (most of us don’t even have) on books and literary journals. I’m just saying that we should be aware of it and consider buying new or subscribing when we can.