Last month’s Pulp Literature bank statement came this week. It was a long one, and contained all the cleared cheques written to our Issue 1 contributors. This made me much happier than you might think.
Because, you see, I enjoy writing cheques.
Yes, read that again. I enjoy writing cheques. Especially to writers and artists. It means that here at Pulp Literature, in our very small way, we are contributing to the sustainability of the Arts as a profession.
We’re able to do that because of you, the people who backed our Kickstarter campaign, and those of you who have subscribed and bought single issues since then. Every issue purchased helps us pay creators to do what they do best.
When you buy a copy of the book, its worth lies not in the printed page or file you download onto your reader. The worth is in the inspiration the artist has shared with you when she put words or brush strokes on that blank page. The story stays with you when you put down the book. Even if you never read that story or see that illustration again it is still a part of your memory. How do we even put a price on that?
Sublime intangibles of Art aside, we must put a price on it. Writers need to be paid to write. Artists need to be paid to create. Otherwise they have to spend their time making a living in other ways, and the world becomes a poorer place.
And that’s why it makes me happy to write cheques to contributors. The funds in our bank account are not ours. It is money you have entrusted to us to distribute to the creative minds that make this magazine what it is, and we’re happy to be that conduit.
We wish we could pay our creators more, though. After production costs for our first issue we were able to pay the contributors 50% of our full rates. So we’ve promised to pay them the same amount again when sales of the first issue reach 500 copies. The promise applies to stories and artwork for future issues as well. And if we reach 1000 subscribers we’ll be able to pay full rates on acceptance, and make the magazine viable into the future.
You can help make that happen by encouraging your friends to subscribe, spreading the word in person and on social media, and asking your local bookstore to carry Pulp Literature.
And I will be happy to continue writing cheques.