Considering the domain is registered anonymously through Amazon, there is absolutely no information available for prospective writers to vet the "we" referenced on the only 2 pages of the site.
I'd love to be wrong, but I've been burned enough in the past that, for this site, I'll be an observer only.
Basically everyone wants someone else to take a chance on you to provide social proof. Consider tracking down a well-regarded writer and commissioning something?
Precisely, tell writers your raodmap so a trust bond can be created between you (as a publisher) and writer. Do you agree?
Writers will beat your door down if you do that much.
Providing proof that this is legitimate is pretty necessary.
Don't get me wrong, I like the concept, and would be interested in writing for you to get my name out there, but as others note, losing control of our work is a huge fear - if we as writers willingly submit our work into a black hole, that's it.
Including more biographical information on the website about yourself and any editors making acquisition decisions would help. You don't need to have industry cred already (though that helps), but writers like to know that (a) you're not a publisher/editor known not to pay, has a bad rep, etc. and (b) that you're a real person. It's also very helpful to know how long the magazine is funded for when it's not yet established -- so you have confidence that if you submit and are selected, it won't go under before you get paid.
Also, you should include what the publication format is, what specific rights you'd be buying, whether they're exclusive, etc. You say "first English publication rights" -- I'm assuming you mean exclusive First English Language serial rights? Print or digital? Or would it be nonexclusive? Are audio rights exclusive or nonexclusive? If you have a template contract you plan to use, you could link to it.
You have an expected response time, which is great; consider also including time to payment/publication. If you have formatting guidelines/preferences (i.e. standard manuscript format like Vonda McIntyre's), include those.
You can take a look at the guidelines/sites of established short fiction magazines to see what best practices are -- i.e. Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Analog, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, etc.
Hope that helps! Always exciting to see more short fiction markets!
Yet that's a terribly sad page. No theming, no brand, no idea at all about who's running this thing.
Spend fifty bucks and get yourself a logo at least. Show that you care about your identity.
With a photo. And personal contact details. And some idea of the kinds of fiction you like.
There are plenty of publishing sites, but they all have an angle. There's no point submitting certain kinds of stories to certain sites because they don't fit their niche. (E.g. Strange Horizons doesn't do space opera.)
It would be useful if you worked out what your angle is, so authors understand it. Just having an angle would make you seem more like someone with a genuine interest in fiction.
Don't link to LinkedIn. Most authors won't be interested.
Include payment terms ("on acceptance", "on publication", "30 days after publication", etc.)
Make a few purchases and get yourself on the SFWA approved market list:
When you have all of that, consider soliciting material on writer forums.
You'll get so much keeping up will be a full time job, and at least 90% of it will be - not so great.
Welcome to publishing...
I'm not the only writer with an experience being ripped off by a prospective publisher. Again, while I'm sure and hoping everything here is on the up and up, there are zero details on the site itself to help assuage any concerns. Linking to your LinkedIn profile here of all places only helps those who discover the site via Hacker News ... that will be a tiny sliver of your traffic.
Glad that you're trying something - will try to submit if I have time to write and am happy enough with the result.
For example, luna-lang.org came up on HN the other day. Looks amazing. But the only sign of WHO is a line at the bottom that says, "Copyright © New Byte Order 2016" and it's not even a link! Searching quickly takes you to http://www.newbyteorder.com/ which also tells you nothing about WHO is involved. Lame.
The most important part of any message is the name of the messenger.
I've contemplated sharing some writing before, but I trust Kindle Direct Publishing far more than I trust nameless website with an email address and some nice sounding promises, even if I might make less money. Big publishers who might reject me still have a reputation to uphold, and won't turn around and take me stories, pay me nothing, then start publishing them with their own name on it.
They could steal my shitty work but I guess I would consider that a win as well.
If you REALLY like this idea and would like to be a "slush pile" reader, my email address is in my profile!
How are submissions going?
[check the sidebar for smaller, more relevant related subs]
Asking for a buddy: Would a computer/technology driven crime and character driven story be applicable in the 'science fiction' wide definition?
Hope you get what you're after and help break some new folks into the scene. Nice that you're up front about the rights too. I know my buddy would love to get paid and then take that money and register his story with WGA West in case of screenplay potential.
Especially since the established collections prefer/require first publication. Why should we risk that you'll publish and fail to pay?
Lining up those SFWA ducks will be important. At that point, even as a new publication, if they're easy to work with, they'll quickly become a great second or third stop for fresh stories. They won't get first submissions for awhile, because you can't compete with Terraform's (and others') 25c/word rate. But that's okay. Gems fall through the cracks. Loads of great fiction out there looking for a home.
Obviously, the publisher needs to be discerning in what he actually buys. But if you're a writer trying to build a relationship with a new publication, I don't see any problem recycling work that didn't quite hit with some of the established markets.
If you're unpublished, or you've only been paid lower rates, you probably shouldn't be asking the question "Why should I submit here when I can submit to XYZ?" You should just tack the new publisher onto the end of the list, and when you've worked your story through the others, drop it here before it hits the trunk.
I particularly like the bias against dystopian fiction as I feel the same way. I also eschew themes like moral decay in the future, since as humans I believe we'll evolve emotionally and intellectually. To put it into perspective, if you look at recent human history you will find slavery, concentration camps, overt racism, all of which have been mostly wiped out.
I'm not sure if you're affiliated with them or not, but a better model would be to charge 10% up to the cost of proofread and copyedit + a profit. Let's say these services typically cost $3,000 (like on CreateSpace). D2D could charge 10% of sales up to say $5,000 ($2k profit). If you're book doesn't hit its targets the author would still owe a remaining balance up to $3,000.
I would be very hesitant to share anything without some sort of guarantee that your ideas (ideas aren't subject to copyright) will not be taken and turned into a film script. The descriptions of what the website is looking for seem like the outcome of an LA focus group. Be careful. Read the contract before committing anything.
I am a wanna-be writer of fiction who works as a computer nerd. I have written a technical book, so I have some experience, and I really want to write some fiction. (I have a whole series of elaborate fantasies surrounding the idea of rejection letters) - but I write for ego, for self-actualization, whatever you want to call it. I write for emotional, non-financial reasons. Sure, sure, if I do luck into a '50 shades of grey' I want a piece of the action, but in the ordinary case, any payment is symbolic. If you want to compete for my work (and I'm not saying you do; my fiction, so far, is so bad that I'm not willing to admit to any of it,) then you have to compete on something other than money.
Assuming you aren't going to assign me an editor who will ride my ass until I finish the goddamn thing, the things I will look at are prestige and distribution. The prestige you give me is largely dependent on how good the other authors you publish are. Distribution is also an incentive; but you have to convince me that more people will see my work if it goes through you than if I just release it for free online.
I mean, I guess the plan is to release an issue #1 with either known-good authors or really good unknowns... but between now and then, I'd suggest talking up your distribution.
If you are willing to do that, I'm sold. Sign me up.
Threw your link in the "almost sfwa" submissions bucket for now, but certainly interested in hearing more.
Edit: Brain fart, it's 60$ for 1000 words. I'd still do it.
Then there are well known award-winnning gay authors such as David Gerrold.
And I've just finished reading last year's Hugo Award winning novel "The Three Body Problem" written by Cixin Liu, a Chinese SF author.
If anything, SF is the field of fiction which has the least problems with "diversity" - its readers are open-minded almost by definition!
It'd be nice to think we'd advanced far enough that females wouldn't feel it was necessary to use male pseudonyms, but it's "JK Rowling" not "Joanne Rowling" to avoid scaring off the boys.
Writers, why you just don't stop writing for Internet? Self-publishing can be more promising than online publishing, ain't?
They have a reason to be paranoid about ownership.
Blatant promotion link:
In my circle of people, self-publishing is simply still a 'vanity' project and commercially not viable.
Being part of a reviewed, curated, and edited publication benefits the writer and reading public much in the same way that certain record labels (ex: Hospital) release materials that fit within their mold of quality.
However, when Hollywood needs to film rights, they'll have to come to you and buy the license according to your terms.
If I could go some place in my free time, look up a list of problems like "implement X feature into a language" then I'd definitely have some nice spending money.
Looking forward to your launch!