Most days I feel like I’m still processing 2020, but somehow it’s already 2023? How did that happen?
As many people do, I’ve taken the new year, as well as the time in between releasing and issue and evaluating submissions for the next issue, to do some reflection and planning.
Some of the things that are changing are not earth shattering, but I thought there might be some of you that would be interesting in some of the behind the scenes details of the choices I’m making for my business and the magazine.
For the first issues, I referred to the season in which the issue was being released. That was (a) very northern-hemisphere-centric and (b) somewhat confusing since the Fall 2022 issue came out December 1. This was *technically* still fall, but just barely.
Moving forward, I’m only going to refer to the issue number and the theme of the issue. Coming up we have Issue 5: Self Care. That will be followed by Issue 6: Bookmaking. Issue 7 just got its theme a few days ago (and a guest editor), but that’s news for another day.
I have made and discarded any number of schedules for release dates for magazines throughout the last year. Two followed the original plan, the other two did not. In order to publish four magazines in one year, there needs to be an overlap of about a month from one issue to the next (in other words: submissions for one need to be open at about the same time the previous issue released). I had a hard time with this over the past year and am going to spread things out a little bit more, focusing almost solely on one issue at a time. This means that in one calendar year, I’ll probably only release 3 issues.
Depending on how sales go, I might consider hiring some help this coming year and if I do, I’ll reevaluate the schedule.
Preorders and subscriptions
I have been opening preorders about 6 weeks before I expect the printed copies to arrive at my house. I place my order with the printer about 2 weeks later. I will continue this plan in 2023, to give myself a chance to predict how many copies I need to order. I vastly overestimated the demand for issues 2 and 3 and still have several hundred unsold copies of both in my basement. This is a somewhat painful (and expensive) lesson to be learning.
I will continue to offer subscriptions, though I won’t be referring to them as a “year” any longer. Mostly likely I’ll call them “four issue subscriptions” which offers a way to save money by paying for multiple issues at one time. Subscriptions do not auto-renew and I’m sure it’ll be interesting to deal with renewals when the time comes!