About BCS
Changes at BCS in Order to Pay the New Higher SFWA Pay Rate
Posted in: About BCS, Editorials, For Writers, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

Since our launch in 2008, BCS has always paid our authors the pay rate that Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) sets as their qualifying “pro” pay rate for short fiction (currently 6 cents/word).

We believe that all writers deserve a professional rate for their work. We publish many new and emerging writers, and we are proud that their stories sold to BCS enable them to join SFWA.

SFWA’s pro pay rate for short stories is increasing by 33% this September, to 8 cents/word. All writers deserve this higher pay, but our budget can’t absorb a 33% increase.

We don’t want to cut the number of stories we publish by 33% (4 per month down to 3) or lower the word length (15,000-word limit on submissions down to 10,000 words). So we need a 33% increase in support from our readers and donors by Sept. 1 in order to pay this new higher pro pay rate.

To reach that goal of paying the new SFWA rate, we’re making some changes, including new ways you can support BCS and help us pay authors this new higher pro rate:

  1. BCS is now on Patreon. Patreon.com is a simple way for you to support BCS and many other magazines, writers, and creators. The BCS Patreon has pledge tiers from $2 to $25 per month. Our parent company, Firkin Press, is a 501(c)3 non-profit approved by the IRS, so your donations through Patreon are tax deductible.
    (Update: we’re already 30% of the way to our goal on Patreon! Thank you! When we reach 50% we will raise our pay rate to 7c/word. You can help us the rest of the way.)

BCS on Patreon

  1. New donation tiers through Paypal, including for recurring donations. We’ve always offered donation by Paypal, with tiers of recognition for our donors (become a Knight of BCS!). Some of our Paypal donors have been donating monthly for seven and eight years (we love you!).

One-time donations are great, but recurring subscription-style donations are better for us because they let us budget on that steady small stream of revenue rather than waiting for occasional larger ones. Our parent company is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so your donations through Paypal are tax deductible.

$3 Monthly

$5 Monthly

$10 Monthly

  1. Raising the price on BCS ebook subscriptions. The BCS Ebook Subscription, through our exclusive partner Weightless Books, will be going up on June 1 to $19.99 per year, for 26 issues/55 stories. That’s still only 37 cents per story, far lower than most magazines, and you can get issues delivered directly to your reader device.

Subscribe to BCS at Weightless Books

  1. Raising the price on BCS ebook single issues. We’ve always sold our single issues for the lowest price that Kindle Store allows, but on June 1 we will be raising that to $1.49; $2.99 for double issues. Our single-issue ebook sales don’t bring in much revenue, but in order to pay this new higher SFWA rate, we need every bit of help.

We are excited about these new ways readers and donors can support BCS and help us pay authors this new higher pro rate, and at the success these new ways have shown so far.

We hope this explanation of our situation will spark discussion in the F/SF short fiction field: that free fiction is not actually free if writers get the pro pay they deserve, and that the financial viability of indie magazines and of writers receiving pro pay depends on the combined efforts of magazines and the readership. We can’t do it without your help, but we will offer as many ways for you to help us as we can, and with your help we will reach the goal that we believe is best for us and our authors and the field.

Thank you!!

Scott H. Andrews

Editor-in-Chief, Publisher

 

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Support BCS on Patreon!
Posted in: About BCS, Support BCS by Scott H. Andrews

BCS needs your help, to reach our goal of paying the new higher SFWA-qualifying pay rate for short stories Sept. 1. Please consider supporting us on the new BCS Patreon. Thank you!

BCS on Patreon

 

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BCS Circulation Totals for 2018
Posted in: About BCS by Scott H. Andrews

BCS reported our circulation statistics for 2018 to Locus magazine, for their annual February issue that lists such data for magazines in F/SF short fiction. We will also post them here.

In 2018, BCS published 26 issues, containing 62 pieces of original fiction (39 stories, 20 novelettes, and 3 novellas) 21 podcast episodes, and our ninth Best of BCS reprint anthology.

The BCS website averaged 76,000 unique visitors per month, up 25% from 61,000 in 2017. Episodes of the BCS podcasts episodes averaged 11,000 downloads per episode, down from 13,000 in 2017.

Highlights of 2018 included our fourth biannual science-fantasy theme month, featuring three double issues in February and March; our 250th issue, in April; our Tenth Anniversary and two tenth anniversary double issues in October; and the debut of this gorgeous new website design that highlights our fantastic cover art. An ebook subscription drive in April with BCS #250 unlocked a stretch goal raising the word-count limit for submissions to 15,000 words.

Accolades included a sixth Hugo finalist for Best Semiprozine, a ninth World Fantasy Award finalist, and “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim named a finalist for the Nebula Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and Hugo Awards. Fiction singled out or selected for Year’s Bests included “The Starship and the Temple Cat” by Yoon Ha Lee, “The Thought That Counts” by K.J. Parker, and “The Crow Knight” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

Overall, our biggest year yet at BCS, with another huge increase in readership on the website, doubling since 2016. Thank you to our readers and fans, and we look forward to 2019!

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BCS Circulation Totals for 2017
Posted in: About BCS by Scott H. Andrews

BCS reported our circulation statistics for 2017 to Locus magazine, for their annual February issue that lists such data for magazines in F/SF short fiction. We will also post them here.

In 2017, BCS published 26 issues, containing 53 pieces of original fiction (43 stories, 9 novelettes, and one novella) plus one reprint, 22 podcast episodes, and our eighth Best of BCS reprint anthology. 

The BCS website averaged 61,000 unique visitors per month, up 40% from 37,500 in 2016.  Episodes of the BCS podcasts episodes averaged 13,000 downloads per episode, up 30% from 10,000 in 2016.

Highlights of 2017 included our 500th story, “The Şiret Mask” by Marie Brennan, in November; our Ninth Anniversary Double-Issue, in October; and the 200th episode of the BCS Podcast, BCS 200: A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power by Rose Lemberg, a five-hour full-length novella.

Accolades included a fifth Hugo finalist for Best Semiprozine, a seventh World Fantasy Award finalist, and two stories named finalist for the Nebula Awards.  Fiction singled out or selected for Year’s Bests included “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim, “Whatever Knight Comes” by Ryan Row, “The Şiret Mask” by Marie Brennan (our 500th story!), and “On the Road to the Hell of Hungry Ghosts” and “In Memory of Jianhong, Snake-Devil” by Richard Parks.

Overall, our biggest year yet at BCS, with an increase in listenership for the BCS podcasts and a huge increase in readership on the website. Thank you to our readers and fans, and we look forward to 2018!

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On Giving Tuesday, Consider Donating to BCS
Posted in: About BCS, Support BCS by Scott H. Andrews

Tuesday Nov. 28 is Giving Tuesday, a day every year when charities and non-profits ask for your generosity, to support them in their work benefitting others.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is a non-profit. Our parent company, Firkin Press, has 501c3 tax-exempt status from the IRS, to promote SF/F short fiction as literature.

This does not come cheaply. We publish 55 stories and 25 podcasts every year. We read hundreds of submissions every month, and write personalized replies to all of them. Our staff give countless hours of their time, but we depend on ebook sales and reader donations to pay our authors and artists.

On this Giving Tuesday, please consider donating to BCS. We welcome all donations, of any amount; one-time donations or smaller regular donations. Because we are a 501c3 approved by the IRS, donations are tax-deductible as allowed by U.S. law.

To make a one-time donation, of any amount, click the PayPal “Donate” button below. (You don’t need a Paypal account.)

To make a small regular donation every month, click the Paypal “Subscribe” button for the monthly amount you’d like to donate.

$3 Monthly

$5 Monthly

$10 Monthly

With your permission, we will proudly include your name or a pseudonym on our list of Donors. Or you can stay totally anonymous. For more information, see our Donor Information page.

Thank you very much for your support of BCS!

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BCS Circulation Totals for 2016
Posted in: About BCS by Scott H. Andrews

BCS reported our circulation statistics for 2016 to Locus magazine, for their annual February issue that lists such data for magazines in F/SF short fiction. We will also post them here.

In 2016, BCS published 26 issues, containing 56 pieces of fiction (37 stories, 18 novelettes, all originals; and one reprint). We also released 29 podcast episodes (23 originals and 6 episodes of The BCS Audio Vault), and our seventh Best of BCS ebook anthology.

BCS averaged 37,500 unique web visitors per month in 2016, compared to 37,000 in 2015.

The BCS podcast averaged 10,000 downloads per episode, up from 6700 per episode in 2015. Many episodes from past years continued to receive 3000-6000 new downloads in 2016.

Highlights of 2016 included a fourth Hugo Award finalist for Best Semiprozine, a sixth World Fantasy Award finalist, over thirty stories named to the Tangent Recommended Reading List, and stories named finalists for the Nebula and Parsec Awards. Fiction singled out or selected for Year’s Bests included “In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley, “Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson, “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford, “A Salvaging of Ghosts” by Aliette de Bodard, and “Foxfire, Foxfire” by Yoon Ha Lee.

Overall, our biggest year yet at BCS, especially for the BCS podcasts. Thank you to our readers and fans, and we look forward to 2017!

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BCS a 2016 Hugo Award Finalist!
Posted in: About BCS by Scott H. Andrews

The 2016 Hugo Award nominees were announced this week, and BCS is again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

Thanks very much to all who found us worthy! We are honored to be a Hugo finalist for the fourth time, as we near our 200th issue, because this honor is for the whole magazine; all our authors and fiction.

Thank you very much to everyone who helped keep BCS this year what it has become, especially Editorial Assistant Nicole Lavigne, all our authors and artists, our guest podcast narrators, our ebook subscribers, and every one of our readers and fans.

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BCS Circulation Totals for 2015
Posted in: About BCS by Scott H. Andrews

BCS reported our circulation statistics for 2015 to Locus magazine, for their annual February issue that lists such data for magazines in F/SF short fiction. We will also post them here.

In 2015, BCS published 26 issues, containing 54 pieces of original fiction (37 stories and 17 novelettes) plus one reprint and one novel excerpt. We also released 31 podcast episodes (23 originals and 8 episodes of The BCS Audio Vault), our second theme ebook anthology (Ceaseless West: Weird Western Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies), and our sixth Best of BCS ebook anthology.

BCS averaged 37,000 unique web visitors per month in 2015, compared to 38,000 in 2014.

The BCS podcast averaged 6700 downloads per episode, up from 6500 in 2014. Many episodes from past years continued to receive 2000-5000 new downloads in 2015.

Highlights of 2015 included a third Hugo finalist for Best Semiprozine, a fifth World Fantasy Award finalist, and stories named finalists for the Nebula, Aurora, and Parsec Awards. Fiction singled out or selected for Year’s Bests included “Two to Leave” by Yoon Ha Lee, “The King in the Cathedral” by Rich Larson, “Unearthly Landscape by a Lady” by Rebecca Campbell, and “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg.

Overall, our biggest year yet at BCS! Thank you to our readers and fans, and we look forward to 2016!

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An Interview with Scott About BCS
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

I was recently interviewed about Beneath Ceaseless Skies at Scy-Fy: the blog of S. C. Flynn, on topics such as the behind-the-scenes work that happens at BCS, what I think may be the major future challenges for SFF magazines, pitfalls in SFF zining, tips for writers, and much more. 

You can check out the interview here. Thanks very much to S.C. Flynn for the interest and great questions.

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