Because of the expense of producing print media or “hard copy”, the proliferation of digital journals allows new writers and artists more venues than ever before. Journals such as Grey Sparrow and Noctua Review offer both, with the “hard copy” delayed but also available for those who are not quite used to reading almost everything online or in e-book format, or who just need something for the coffee table. For those who still believe that printed journals exude more “legitimacy” or “credibility”, some literary and art journals are going through a transitional phase by offering both formats.
Rethinking the way we receive information that used to be exclusively through magazines and newspapers is an exciting venture: brainstorming new ways to distribute the pleasure and value of reading fiction and appreciating art. I view them as complementary–almost mutually dependent–in presenting new ways to digest ideas.
The experience of each format is different, both physically and cognitively. Print is less brilliant in terms of light and “glow” on the eyes and inert when it comes to interacting with the reader. In contrast, digital is bright, interactive and instructive in terms of displaying images, referencing literary illusions, background information, and posting comments. I enjoy both the “touch and feel” of the paper version as well as the immediacy, interaction, and archival nature of digital media.
For me as a writer and artist, the two-way feedback allowable on the Internet, is an overwhelmingly positive tool to refine my work for a broader audience. It allows the creator/crafts person to be more democratic in inviting comments and suggestions. The ease, low cost and immediacy of digital distribution is erasing the economies to scale needed for print distribution, once the exclusive providence of large national media channels. Now we can all compete for viewers. As content providers/ creators all of us can get potential worldwide distribution that was previously almost impossible.
I invite you to take a look at these two journals which are both digital and print to see some new work in fiction and art, using the digital and print media distribution channels. I have my artwork in both journals (Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013) and Noctua Review (June 18, 2013).