The economics of publishing a literary magazine reveal some inauspicious stats. Magazine editors have to stay crafty and constantly reinvent what it means to be innovative, just to survive. Even offering digital options as an alternative to print doesn’t guarantee any sort of sustainability.
Roxane Gay is lamenting the state of the literary magazine and posing necessary questions like, how do you get people (and not just writers) interested in literary magazines? Because, in her words, “Saying writers are the only audience for literary magazines is like saying people who like to swim and go to the beach are the only market for bathing suits.” Having an audience that is seemingly yet uselessly limited doesn’t make much sense, and neither does the abundance of literary magazines (and books too?) available in this dismal economy. Too. Much. Noise.