June 9, 2020

10 Responses to Responses

I wrote a post yesterday called “Some Important This and That.” In it, I wrote about the Angel Card posts and the amount of page views EC is getting. Find it HERE.

I received some thought-provoking responses, thank you,  and decided I’d address some of the issues in a new post.

So here I go, with a long post.

1) The great news is that most people who commented seem to think that EC is worth continuing. That’s very encouraging. Thank you. 

2) The angel cards got a mixed response. I think I will keep the posts, but only do one card a week. I also want to be clear that I have never intended to keep the card readings permanent. The angel/fairy theme is only through December of this year. Next year will be different. I thought the angel card posts would be a fun way to connect to this year’s theme. That’s all.

3) I am thrilled that yesterday’s post has yielded new members of my Classic Fairy Illustration group on Facebook. Please join. I’d love to see other people share their favorite illustrations, which you are free to do once I approve your membership (which I will do!). It’s just for fun. Find it HERE. You do need to have a Facebook account to join. That’s a Facebook rule.

4) I am well aware that new stories haven’t been published for a long time. The site was put on indefinite hiatus earlier this year. I came very, very close to closing it down forever. I think that sometimes people don’t realize that online publications run by one person are a vast amount of work. I’m not the only one who runs a fairy tale ‘zine alone. It’s a JOB. 

I don’t have the money to pay someone to help, and I don’t want ask people to work for free. (You may not realize this, but I’ve paid for EC, including paying writers, out of my own pocket for all the time I’ve run it. I do it because I want to.) There is too much unpaid labor going on for both writers and editors. That’s a moral stance for me. Good people will disagree, but they won’t change my mind.

The redesign took a lot of time and effort. That’s not your problem, though. That’s mine. New stories/essays will appear starting on July 1. I am not doing issues this year, as I am hoping that regular fresh posts from talented writers will yield more engagement. If it doesn’t, I’ll go back to bimonthly issues in 2021.

5) The site is different without Amanda Bergloff at the helm. Amanda is a talented, smart, kind, generous person! For two years, she gave me a break that I desperately needed. She did a great job with EC. Yes, we are different. We are also big fans of one another. We do some things differently, but we appreciate each other’s tastes and talents.

Some of you may not be aware that I started EC. It was an adjunct to my teaching at a university for many years. The online fairy tale world was thriving 12 years ago, but nowhere near as much as now. I birthed and raised EC on my own, except when Amanda was at the helm.

So, the EC you are encountering now is the traditional “Kate” EC. The one that people have enjoyed for a long time, as they also enjoyed Amanda’s work. Having said that, EC has always changed and evolved. It will continue to do so. I’ve already decided to add poetry back next year. That will not be the only change.

6) The archive situation is a serious problem. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say I promise I am working on it. Fast. There is an archive gadget on the web version sidebar, but I’m working on getting it all moved to the mobile view menu because I suspect that 90 percent of visitors read EC on their phones, like I do with all internet content.

Edited To Add: I’ve put up “Past Issues” on the mobile view menu as a stopgap. But it is not showing up underneath the header in web view. I am very sorry about that, but there is a “Past Issues” link in the About page on web view. You can also find past issues HERE.

7) I recognize that some of my rules seem nitpicky or capricious. I read them sometimes and think, “God, Kate, don’t be such a ...” (you fill in the blank). 

I’m not a picky personal in “real life,” but when I get submission, after submission, after submission—hundreds in the course of one year—that clearly demonstrate a total failure to ever look at this site before submitting, then I become blunt, and highly detailed.

It hurts when I get submissions from people who don’t bother to read stories on EC, because it communicates that EC is just a market, and not anything worth reading. And it’s a huge time suck. It also takes my time away from the writers who do engage with the site, and that’s bad, because they are the ones who entertain the readers.

That’s why, I do, when faced with two submissions of equal quality, pick the submission from the person who bothers to comment, and engage. (That has been a rule, when I have been at the helm, since EC started.) I don’t think I’ve been in a situation to make that call 10 times in all the years I’ve been publishing EC.

To be clear: Most of the comments are not directed to me. At all. They are directed at the talented people who produce content for this site. I’m just the editor, publisher and promoter. I’m not the talent.

That’s how it works: EC exists to entertain readers. Readers are going to be more entertained by people who know and engage with the site, because those writers will understand what readers want. In turn, the comments readers write will spur writers on. I think it’s a virtuous circle.

I don’t intend to stop being blunt and picky. I may be the wrong cup of tea for you, but the great news is that there are lots of other kinds of tea! Go have a sip or a whole teapot full. I say that with a positive spirit, and from my heart. There really are other fantastic new fairy tale markets out there, and each one is different. Explore. I hope you’ll still visit EC, though. And submit. And become a new flavor in the tea.

8) Social Media. Ugh. I hate it. I really do. I think a lot of writers do. But the ugly truth is that more and more publishers, on all platforms, traditional and new, are expecting writers to engage on social media. EC is competing with those publications for eyeballs. This is the reality all writers face now. 

I try to publish new posts on Twitter and Facebook. My Twitter handle is @EnchantedConvo. EC also has a Facebook page HERE. I’ve been publishing new posts and info on it.

Having said that, two of the three writers whose work has been chosen for publication in July have extremely modest social media presences. The one person who does have a stronger social media presence certainly doesn’t have a big footprint. Their works were chosen because I think readers will like them. The works will be announced tomorrow.

9) As for visits to the site,  I may have been unclear yesterday. Traffic to the site has not dropped off since I took over again in 2020. I just want more for the site. I have my own goal.

It’s entirely possible that email readers are not being countered. Thanks for that idea. It’s a good one.

10) Here’s the good news: Most people who send submissions to EC are hardworking, inventive people who love fairy tales! This makes EC worth doing. It’s always excruciatingly hard to make the decision about who to cut out of the top of the crop, because while I will publish three new works in July, I easily could have included three times as many. If I had $10,000 a year to spend, I’d pay more and publish more. So while I complain about the submissions that make me crazy, please know that many more make me very happy, and most importantly, they entertain me and would entertain readers.

Most people who visit the site are intense fairy tale lovers. They just want to see art and stories and information about fairy tales and folklore. All of you make this site worth every effort. Every single minute. You fill my heart with joy and engage my mind. Even the people who don’t agree with me. You care enough to bother. That is not lost on me. I hope you’ll keep coming back.

Tomorrow is the big day. See you then!


Ellie a.Goss said...

Thank you for such transparency!
If I may be so bold, are you looking at options for revenue raising to create a budget based on sound business. Your generous nature appears obvious but perhaps adding in some practical of the $$$ variety would take some of the pressure off. Perhaps that could be an enchanted conversation, ideas for creating pots of gold; patreon (obvious and current), anthologies (with royalty payments),competitions, expansion to add fairytale editing, paperback editions, ebook editions.
Any way I'm in it for fame and glory, LOL, No, but seriously, super exited to see what July brings!

Wolfchick3 said...

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication!

Tahlia K said...

I know EC had a Patreon page for a few years, but I'm not able to find a link now. It's possible Kate shut it down because it's a LOT of work to maintain and often doesn't yield enough results considering the work it requires. But it's a good thought!

Katew said...

You are welcome!!

Katew said...

I’m working on some money making ideas. Let’s see if they work.

Unknown said...

First, the fact that you take the time to read the comments and write a post to address them shows your level of dedication to the site, and I admire you for that!
Second, don’t fret about having strict submission guidelines - it’s the only way to ensure a quality publication, and I’m sure most people understand. As a writer, I appreciate a clear, concise list of requirements for submissions, because I know exactly what you’re looking for and what to avoid.

I’ve been a subscriber for quite some time, and I applaud your efforts. I would have never guessed this was all run by one person. Only recently did I start looking into submitting writing, and my jaw dropped when I learned that this was a one-person show.

I’ve been a fan of fairy tales, folklore, and mythology for as long as I can remember. I’m 32 years old and I am not ashamed to admit I eagerly await new movies- even animated movies- based on fairy tales, continue to read fairy tales and classic bedtime stories long after my son is asleep each night, and have about 2 dozen notebooks around my home with stories or notes on ideas for stories. I write content articles for a living, my niche being witchcraft, occult, and pagan practices so even when I’m writing nonfiction it involves mythologies. So, needless to say, I love this site and to see it live on.

Bright Blessings to you Kate!

~Amanda Wilson