It was like a death in the family. The news came out of a Canadian publishing business site: "Dogs in Canada" was no longer financially viable and so, Apex Publications had decided to fold the magazine. A multi-award winning publication with an editorial staff that treated its writers with respect. I've been writing for them for years, first features and then I took over the Behaviour Column. The writing was on the wall but who really wants to read that? My column had appeared every other month and then, this past year, I was cut back to four columns a year. But I thought they'd try harder, perhaps publish quarterly. But, no. They just folded. The online version will remain but their articles come from the magazine. So where does that leave the freelancers? Who knows?
This comes only months after the AKC announced the venerable AKC Gazette (another market I'd enjoyed for some years) was folding and only an online version would remain. Apparently, AKC's Family Dog magazine will continue to publish but how do they fold The Gazette?
The bottom line is always the bottom line. It's hard to admit but I never thought the electronic switchover would come so fast, I never wanted it in my lifetime. I love looking at magazines and books. Holding them, even smelling them. There's something very special about losing oneself in a magazine or book that simply can't be replicated in the electronic version.
That leaves many of us rethinking what we will do. There are those of us who cannot afford to give our work away to the high-profile blogs and websites that are pleased to make money off our work but don't want to pay us to use it. We're supposed to be honored, I guess. Well, honor me with something that will pay my bills. I have plenty of placques, ribbons, etc. As lovely as awards are, as somone once pointed out to me, you can't eat them.
Where do we go from here? Excellent question. I'd love to hear from others about how they're dealing with the many changes.
Midlist book contracts are few and far between and aren't likely to pay for heat this winter.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation