The Slushin’ for Nothin’ Blues

“Delay is preferable to error” —Thomas Jefferson

I used that quote in the editorial for issue #2. I should have seen then that I might one day have to quote it again.

Our second issue was delayed. When January of 2010 came around, we found ourselves short of content. Specifically fiction. We finally filled the issue around the end of March, at which point I made the decision to further delay its release until July, so from there we could continue our July/January release schedule.

And we did, for a while. Issue #3 came out in January of 2011, and issue #4 came out in July, right on schedule. And then we hit a wall. The slush pile stopped producing gold. And here we are, once again without enough content for our next issue.

So I’ve made the decision to delay issue #5 until July of 2012. But this time I’m going to be smarter about it.

By the time our belated second issue came out, we were well on our way to filling the next issue, and in the following months we accepted a lot of stories—all of which we put into that third issue, nearly doubling its size. In hindsight, we should have saved a few of those tales for the fourth issue.

But you know what they say about hindsight.

Going back to that second issue, I thought we’d had a hard time finding content because we were still a new publication, that authors weren’t sending us their best work—or any work, for that matter—because they were still unsure about Shock Totem. I see things differently now. Sometimes four months just isn’t long enough to find the right content, at least if we want to keep releasing a magazine that is up to the standards we’ve set with our previous issues.

So hopefully by delaying our next issue, we’ll be finalizing issue #6 when issue #5 comes out next July. That’s the goal, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable. I just wish I’d figured this out back in July of 2010.

With that said, we do have some content ready for our next issue, and soon we’ll be announcing the overall winning story from this year’s flash fiction contests, which will be featured in issue #5 as well. And how about a peek at the cover?

Can you dig that? I hope so! And how about this…

Before our fifth issue is released, we will be releasing something else: our first non-magazine release. It’ll be a novel, slated for publication in March 2012. We’ll run a contest soon that’ll reveal the name of this novel, but it’ll require some detective work on your part. It should be fun.

Hopefully this will hold everyone over until issue #5 comes out.

You guys have always been great to us, so I thank you for your anticipated patience and understanding. It is very much appreciated.

About K. Allen Wood

K. Allen Wood is the editor/publisher of Shock Totem. For more info, visit his website at
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10 Responses to The Slushin’ for Nothin’ Blues

  1. Thanks, Justin. I think it kicks ass myself. =)

  2. Rodney Wilder says:

    I have to agree. Really digging that cover. On topic though, hope you all start getting the gold you’re looking for! (Mine should be in there somewhere, heh)

  3. Ken, the cover is gorgeous! In truth, I’d much rather wait for an issue that you’re truly happy with, and of the same caliber as the previous issues, as opposed to one you release only because you feel you need to.

  4. Thanks, Damien.

    I know some publications have a submission window and then build an issue from the best of what comes in during that window. I don’t think that’s a good way of going about things.

    Of course, not doing it that way and you can run into the problems we’ve run into. But delaying the upcoming issue and saving stories, as opposed to dumping them all into the next issue, should solve that problem. Authors may have to wait a bit longer to see their work in print, but it’s a better solution overall.

    And I think you guys will dig the non-magazine releases we have planned. The novel comes first, and then next September we’ll have something else. =)

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  8. Rob says:

    That’s really cool, great cover.

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