SF MAGAZINES: Clarkesworld And The Numbers

June 11th, 2012 | researchmaterial

I’m not getting back on this old hobby horse per se, but last night I tripped over some data provided by online sf magazine CLARKESWORLD.

In 2009, ANALOG was the best-selling print sf magazine, at around 25K, probably bolstered to the tune of around 3K by ebook-version sales.  It habitually posts a year-on-year decline of between 2 and 6 percent.

So Neil Clarke, who owns and operates digital-only CLARKESWORLD magazine, posted a bunch of data. Including:

The solid line in this chart indicates unique readers per issue and the dotted line is a cumulative six-month average that influences how I determine our monthly readership.

While these are almost certainly all free readers – and the one datum Clarke doesn’t give up is how many paid readers he has – compare the reach to what I just told you about ANALOG.  CLARKESWORLD is now a place that’ll bring a writer of science fiction more readers than will the most popular sf short-fiction magazine in English.

Obviously, individual blogs and special platforms have been bringing people more readers than that for a long time.  But I think it’s worth noting that a place that specifically defines itself as a science fiction magazine has crested over the top of the remaining print magazines and remains on an upward curve.  I wish Neil and his team continued success.


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis