When I first started Niteblade I did everything but the .pdf layout which Jo did. It was a lot of work. A lot. Like far more than I’d expected going in. Still, I
had have control issues so I sucked it up and did what needed to be done.
Then I decided to add some book reviewers. It started with Amber Stults but eventually grew. At one point we had five book reviewers on staff. That was okay with my control-freak self though, because they were essentially independent contractors doing work-for-hire. Which is not to say I didn’t appreciate what they did, I did, still do, but they didn’t have any power, so things were okay. (We no longer do book reviews, but Amber has stuck around and conducts interviews with contributors and others for our blog).
But still, running Niteblade was a lot of work. Slowly it was beginning to wear me down and I began to think about closing the doors. I didn’t want to, you understand, I was just getting worn down. That’s when BD Wilson came on board. BD was (and remains) one of my best friends and so when she offered to take over the web-based part of the magazine, it was only a small struggle with myself to hand over the keys. I couldn’t have made a better decision. Today BD takes care of everything to do with the website, from making it look awesome to ensuring things work smoothly on the back end. I don’t know anything about how the website works anymore, that’s all her. It’s always fantastic. Niteblade would not exist if not for BD. She saved it when I was thinking of closing it and she keeps it going like, if you’ll pardon the cliche, a well-oiled machine.
Even so, Niteblade takes up a lot of my time, and it used to take up more. That’s where Submittable and slush readers come in. Oh my gawd. Slush readers. How I love them. When I switched from email submissions to using Submittable it angered some submitters, but I stuck to my decision because of two big reasons. First, it would mean I’d stop getting spammed. Seriously. You wouldn’t believe the amount of spam my submission email accounts were getting. Secondly, it meant I could bring on some slush readers and make things a bit easier on myself. And did it ever. Man I love slush readers.
We’ve had many different readers over the years so I don’t want to try listing you all in case I miss someone. Still. Slush readers rock. Truly. They have a mostly glamourless job but they are so important. The first line of defense, as it were. They help filter out the submissions that are patently inappropriate for Niteblade and since we started having slush readers the amount of time I have to spend in the slush has decreased immensely. Because I’m sharing the work. It’s fantastic. Our current slush readers are Alexis Hunter, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey and Megan Engelhardt and in my mind they are all rockstars.
And then there is Alexandra Seidel. Alexandra started at Niteblade as a slush reader, but when she expressed a desire to read poetry slush I thought, why not? After a very short while with her reading poetry slush I offered her the position of poetry editor at Niteblade. She and I co-edited a special poetry only print issue of Niteblade together to mark the transition of editoryness (which yes, is totally a word) and then I handed over control of the poetry section to her. This was tough for my little control-freak self, but it was the right decision. Alexa has proven to be a strong, capable poetry editor and has done a lot to increase the visibility of our poetic offerings.
Of course, Niteblade wouldn’t be the same without Marge Simon, but I’ve already dedicated a whole entry to her, so let’s just say she rocks and leave it at that LOL
I wish I could dedicate a whole entry to everyone who works behind the scenes at Niteblade to make it awesome, but I can’t. Not without getting all gush-y and driving readers away. But to all of you, thank you. Thank you so very much. You are the reason Niteblade is as amazing as it is. I couldn’t do it without you.
This post has been written as a part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is ‘Niteblade‘, which is the magazine I publish. I chose this theme to help draw attention to the magazine during this, it’s 2nd annual fundraiser.
My first post in this series was about choosing stories and poems to nominate for awards and I’ve gone through a similar process in deciding what to write about for these posts. Not only did I have to choose stories and poems I loved, but they also had to fit with the A-Z theme. Tricky!