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Author Topic: News- changes at Escape Pod- blog, reviews, text, and rate increase!  (Read 2455 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« on: October 04, 2010, 12:49:26 PM »

News- changes at Escape Pod- blog, reviews, text, and rate increase!

I wanted to talk about some changes that are happening here at Escape Pod.

First: DON’T PANIC. What you love about Escape Pod – free stories every Thursday – is not changing. At all. We’re not removing things as a change, we’re adding things.

Second: For a while, this site has been little more than a delivery device for the podcast. But now we’re going to add commentary, reviews, and news. If you’re interested in contributing to the blog, let me know. We’re not at a position to pay at this moment, and I truly regret that, but if you want to donate some time and talk about some SF, then email me and let me know what you’d like to contribute.

Third: Escape Pod is raising its rates. That’s right folks, we’re shooting for the stars and going for an SFWA pro rate format. We’ll be paying $.05 a word for new stories (maximum $300), $.03 a word for reprints (minimum $100). We’re doing this for a couple of reasons- authors deserve to be paid, of course. We’re hoping we can attract a greater caliber of authors, which will therefore grow our audience. Along with the rate increase, we’ll be asking for ebook rights to the stories so we can print them on our site, which will bring in a bigger audience. The rate increase will start with stories I accept after October 1, 2010.

A side note- we’ll only be able to pay pro rates if the donations help us do so. we’re doing a six month trial; if our donations stay strong, it’ll be a permanent change for 2011, if they don’t, then in April we will drop back down to $100 a story. This depends on your support of the site.

Alternately, if you’re a publisher, book seller, or indie author who wants to sponsor Escape Pod, let us know! We can get your message to tens of thousands of listeners.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 04:19:16 PM by Heradel » Logged

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
goatkeeper
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 12:58:38 PM »



Goin' pro baby!  Exciting news.
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Talia
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 01:04:32 PM »

That's absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to see how the new site shapes out. I shall donate when I get home. Smiley
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Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 01:32:15 PM »

One thing to clarify for the forums. As part of the increased-content-on-blog (some of which will likely be from myself), we're going to reenable blog comments for non-Escape Pod episode blog posts. We've had problems with blog comments in the past, but as we're not going to have a thread here for every blog post (we're not looking to kill Swamp) we'll see how blog comments go for the next month or two. We're not going to have bifurcated story discussions again, and the forums have proved many times over to be a much better place for them.
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I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
Bdoomed
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 04:34:24 PM »

Oh man that is such cool news!  I sure hope donations allow for this to continue!

(we're not looking to kill Swamp)

Why not?
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Scattercat
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 09:25:23 PM »

Oh man that is such cool news!  I sure hope donations allow for this to continue!

(we're not looking to kill Swamp)

Why not?

Nowhere to hide the body.
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 04:47:49 PM »

Wow that's great!!

A couple questions:

1.  Now that there will be higher rates for new stories, does that mean that Escape Pod's "reprints preferred" policy will change?
2.  The extra content for the website--i'm assuming that's volunteer work (which is fine)?  Are reprints from other sites acceptable for the nonfiction?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 05:17:40 PM by Unblinking » Logged

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kibitzer
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 08:31:50 PM »

I guess it's pretty clear already but... this is only Escape Pod at the moment, right? Kind of a pilot for the other 'casts?
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DKT
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2010, 10:49:03 AM »

I guess it's pretty clear already but... this is only Escape Pod at the moment, right? Kind of a pilot for the other 'casts?

Correct.
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lhoward
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 12:30:19 PM »

Is there a podcast-only feed?  I want my mobile device to only sync audio-podcast content and would rather filter out the text-based entires now appearing on the feed that reach it.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 01:15:42 PM »

escapepod.org/feed is giving my iTunes only podcasts, but maybe that's just because that's all iTunes can get.
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
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eytanz
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 01:23:07 PM »

escapepod.org/feed is giving my iTunes only podcasts, but maybe that's just because that's all iTunes can get.

I got the pdf on my itunes feed last night. Maybe it was corrected?
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lhoward
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2010, 06:32:28 AM »

escapepod.org/feed is giving my iTunes only podcasts, but maybe that's just because that's all iTunes can get.

I just browsed the raw XML of that feed and it contains both elements with enclosures (mp3 podcasts, plus the pdf that eytanz mentioned) and elements without enclosures (book reviews, etc...). It must be iTunes that is hiding the non-podcast elements on that feed from you.
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alllie
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 08:30:22 PM »

The changes make me frustrated and sad.

I started listening to podcasts, especially scifi podcasts because I was having trouble reading. I used to read like the wind. I could read most books in day. Now the same book takes me a month.

With all the new content, in print, not podcast, well, it's frustrating.

...Sigh...

I think the rate increases are good. I was beginning to feel we were getting the leavings, those stories that wouldn't sell anyplace else. Wading through the slush pile can yield new works by unknown writers willing and happy to even give their work away for free. But it sounds like the slush pile had gotten so big that it was mostly writers with established reputations that were getting read, at least getting read first.

I would like an escapepod beta made up of works by new authors. Maybe more people would be willing to volunteer to read slush and pass on the good stuff.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 08:36:28 PM by alllie » Logged
kibitzer
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2010, 09:03:30 PM »

@allie -- I think the change is that EP stories are now available as PDF as well as audio. You're implying that new stuff is PDF-only?
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alllie
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2010, 09:25:57 PM »

@allie -- I think the change is that EP stories are now available as PDF as well as audio. You're implying that new stuff is PDF-only?

Are the blogs and reviews podcast?
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Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2010, 10:39:38 PM »

I don't know that the audience for the blogs and reviews is the same audience as for the blog. We may start podcasting some of the reviews in the future, but the blog (and Soundproof, its derivative) are going to different beasts than the podcast. I don't think we're going to try to recreate StarShipSofa in terms of having Escape Pod be more of an audio magazine rather than just the fiction with some comments bookending it.

I think the rate increases are good. I was beginning to feel we were getting the leavings, those stories that wouldn't sell anyplace else. Wading through the slush pile can yield new works by unknown writers willing and happy to even give their work away for free. But it sounds like the slush pile had gotten so big that it was mostly writers with established reputations that were getting read, at least getting read first.

I would like an escapepod beta made up of works by new authors. Maybe more people would be willing to volunteer to read slush and pass on the good stuff.

Everything gets read. Everything. If it's Kij Johnson or Will Ludwigsen, Tim Pratt or Jeffery Derego then it'll probably skip the slush reader step (though sometimes I'll throw those in there so our three fine slush readers don't go insane). If there's a good story by anyone we'll find it, and we'll turn down lesser stories by bigger authors in favor of greater stories by unknowns.
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I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
Scattercat
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 10:56:44 PM »

Everything gets read. Everything.

God help us all, it's true.
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100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
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goatkeeper
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2010, 11:50:18 PM »


Everything gets read. Everything. If it's Kij Johnson or Will Ludwigsen, Tim Pratt or Jeffery Derego then it'll probably skip the slush reader step (though sometimes I'll throw those in there so our three fine slush readers don't go insane). If there's a good story by anyone we'll find it, and we'll turn down lesser stories by bigger authors in favor of greater stories by unknowns.

This is one of those unappreciated facts about markets like Escapepod that should be openly appreciated.  It's an immense amount of work for very little return, based on the ideal that good unpublished stories exist out there by unpublished authors, and that those authors deserve a fair shot.  The EP slush readers are unsung heroes of democracy and awesomeness, and I for one salute thee!
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eytanz
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2010, 03:40:47 AM »

The changes make me frustrated and sad.

I started listening to podcasts, especially scifi podcasts because I was having trouble reading. I used to read like the wind. I could read most books in day. Now the same book takes me a month.

With all the new content, in print, not podcast, well, it's frustrating.

None of the new content existed prior to the changes - nothing that was there before the changes has gone away (or even changed in any way except a new editor/host). If it helps, just think of the blog as a totally different magazine that happens to share a name with this one.

Personally, I think most of the blog content is rather uninteresting - I'm here to listen to stories. I like to hear people's reactions to stories and discuss the stories. Discussing people's personal reactions to Halloween, or meta-theories of science fiction? Not for me.

Quote
I think the rate increases are good. I was beginning to feel we were getting the leavings, those stories that wouldn't sell anyplace else.

Given that before the reprint EP was almost entirely a reprint market, that couldn't have been true, by definition.

Quote
Wading through the slush pile can yield new works by unknown writers willing and happy to even give their work away for free. But it sounds like the slush pile had gotten so big that it was mostly writers with established reputations that were getting read, at least getting read first.

Let me assure you that none of us slush readers prioritize established authors. Heck, I don't even bother reading author's names or biographies until after I've read the stories.

Quote
I would like an escapepod beta made up of works by new authors. Maybe more people would be willing to volunteer to read slush and pass on the good stuff.

The good stuff is being passed on right now. As is a lot of ok-but-not-quite-there stuff. The policy of slush readers is to pass on everything that *might* be acceptable, not only the stuff we really like. Mur gets to make the tough decisions.

One thing that you probably aren't aware of is that the amount of submissions by previously unpublished authors increased dramatically since the rate increase, and - in my opinion - the percentage of decent stuff that gets passed up remains the same. Over the past month, I have passed up more stuff by new authors than I have over similar periods earlier.

In other words, I think your concerns are quite misplaced. Definitely so on the slush reader level, which is the one I can vouch for.
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