February 04, 2005

Why All The Pyramid Articles?

A quick glance over my list of publications will turn up very little that isn't an article published in Pyramid, Steve Jackson Games' on-line magazine. Why, one might wonder, should I put so much effort into such a niche-within-a-niche venue as a periodical for the gaming industry? After all, the pay sucks (3 cents a word) and the audience is small (circa 3k subscribers) and largely indifferent. So why bother? I write gaming articles for a number of reasons:
  • It suits my abilities as a writer. I can, I like to think, do exposition like nobody's business. Character and plot, I can deal, but not as well. Dialogue? Not so much. The emphasis in game writing is similar.
  • Articles take a lot less time and work than, say, books, and I don't really have time for anything long-form at the moment. Maybe when I hit retirement in a few decades.
  • It gets me published. I've yet to have an article rejected by Pyramid, which, given that I've submitted something close to forty articles, is something.
  • It pays reliably. Not well, of course, but reliably. SJ Games is apparently notable in the industry for its professionalism. Part of that is that they pay authors promptly. I've never had to wait more than a month for a check. I've heard horror stories about other companies, where authors have had to wait months or years. Dealing with SJ Games sounds like a pretty good deal, relatively speaking.


Blogger richard said...

Of course, I can't speak for the other 2994 readers, but I'd say that of the 6 readers of Pyramid I know, none are indifferent - they're about the most passionately engaged audience I've ever seen for any publication (although I must admit that I don't know any deeply committed Bible or Koran study groups to compare them with). They just may not be accustomed to giving feedback to a magazine, even when it's so easy. I had been reading Pyramid for 10 years before I gave my first comment, even though I'd been pleased, inspired or enraged many times by what I'd read.

I also think that, given that it's about the most thoughtful and intelligently-produced gamer magazine out there, it also attracts the most thoughtful and well-informed audience (as David Morgan-Mar has ruefully noted). I say keep at it. My life for one would be poorer if you didn't.

March 21, 2005 at 8:55 AM  

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