Mythprint Editorial: Schedule Change
Posted on May 02, 2013
From the Editor
As I embark on my fourth year editing Mythprint, I cannot help but pause to reflect on how far we have come. Apart from a brief interruption in 1979, Mythprint has been in continuous publication for more than forty years! The number of issues published in any given year has varied, from as few as two to as many as twelve. During the decade before this, the number of issues steadily declined from twelve down to four, in part because of perennially increasing postal rates. When I assumed the post of editor in 2010, I brought the number of issues immediately back up to twelve and have kept it there (or near there) over each of the last three years. This was not always an easy task. It has been growing ever more clear that a monthly publication schedule is no longer right for Mythprint. For that reason, the Society leadership has voted to reduce the frequency of Mythprint from monthly to quarterly, beginning now with Volume 50. This decision explains the long pause between the December, 2012 issue and the present one, for Spring, 2013.
I would like to apologize for failing to offer any explanation during the last three months. It had been my intention to announce and explain the schedule change before subscribers read about it in Mythprint itself. Moreover, I appreciate your patience during this transition very much. I heard from several of you during this extended pause in publication, and the replies I received after explaining what was happening were for the most part encouraging.
Some of you may be wondering why we decided to make this change. There were a number of reasons, and it seems only fair I should offer some explanation. Quite a few factors made it clear that a monthly schedule was neither appropriate nor sustainable for Mythprint, among them the following:
- Soliciting quality contributions at the current frequency of twelve issues per year has proven to be a continual difficulty.
- Many of the books publishers have been sending for review are not really up to the Mythopoeic Society’s standards and core mission, but with a monthly schedule to meet, I have had to review them anyway, simply to generate enough content. Fewer issues, but with more relevant content, would be preferable.
- It has been difficult to get issues finished and sent out during their cover months, in part because the process has involved three different people; the process now involves only two, but each of us is doing more now than we were doing before.
- We receive very little feedback from subscribers. If we had an active dialogue between the editor and readers, fit for a lively selection of letters in each issue, that might be a justification for a monthly schedule. But we don’t.
- In recent years, Mythprint has cost more to produce than we have taken in to cover that cost; reducing the frequency is the right financial decision for the future of the Mythopoeic Society.
I realize this decision may disappoint some readers, and please believe that we regret disappointing you. This decision was not taken lightly and was the result of a spirited discussion. I would be happy to hear from subscribers about this change, whether you agree or disagree. And as always, please remember that without you — not only as readers but as contributors — there is no Mythprint. Please continue to send me reviews, interviews, short articles, conference reports, and feedback on how we are doing.
Very humbly yours,