It is with some regret that I announce that our most recent issue of Story Emporium: Purveyors of Steampunk & Weird Western Adventure will be the last. There will not be a 2017 issue.
In the two decades I've been involved in small press publishing there's been a profound shift in the habits of readers. It's not only been from print to electronic delivery, but an increasing reluctance to pay for content--expecting everything to be free. Add to this the fact few advertisers are interested in small press publications and how does a small magazine survive? Well, it doesn't. I've also noticed that writers seem utterly unwilling to promote the publications carrying their creative work. Not so much as a blog mention or even a posting on Facebook can they bothered with, yet they are the first to complain about the lack of markets for writers to publish their stories in.
This adds up to a simple fact, sales have always been weak for this magazine and it has never come close to breaking even, let alone turning a profit. Back when we put out Science Fiction Trails, that magazine turned a small profit, actually, although I doubt it would today. Writers want more and art has continued to be our biggest expense, all the while with fewer and fewer readers buying copies. And it's especially prevalent outside the USA. Ten years ago we sold 25 and sometimes even more copies of SFT to Great Britain. Now, one copy if we're lucky. We have almost no foreign sales anymore. So, there is nothing else we can do. We've tried selling copies online. We've tried selling at steampunk and science fiction conventions. It doesn't matter--fewer and fewer people will buy a copy. They simply say "Awesome cover" and walk away.
So, I thank our contributors and especially our readers. I just wish there were more of you.
David B. Riley