Friday, December 12, 2008

not so meta

with regard to striking a balance between online (blog/website) and print (glossy 120-page fashion magazine) publication--i think a middle road is realistic. i don't know the specifics on the sites you've all mentioned--lulu, exit--but i could see the print form of our work unfolding as an every-other-month kind of thing, with the website serving as a repository of everything we've done so far, no matter how large, small, or print-worthy. it might also be useful to conceptualize projects in terms of which outlet they're likely to be best suited for: is this a blog post or a long, polished rumination? what stage am i in with respect to revising this piece? how can i turn this thought into a finished work for the magazine next month? etc., etc.

here's my idea about printing: imagine every couple of months or so we print between 30 and 40 copies of a magazine, made up of our favorite online and/or yet unpublished content. each contributing member gets 3 copies, keeping one and placing the other two in strategic locations within our respective areas. i take one of mine to the beloved local coffeeshop in downtown greensboro and say, "hey, do you mind if i leave this here?" somewhere on the back cover (or inside, ?) is a statement saying something like, "hey y'all! you're looking at unseen magazine, put out (blah blah blah) by the folks at (blah blah website blah). we ask that you not remove this copy from its present location; the owners of (trendy pseudo-intellectual hotspot) have graciously allowed us to leave our work lying around in here, and we hope to reach as many of you as possible. so if you want more, check out our website ( or email (whoever or whatever website) to receive your own printed copy. in the meantime, please leave this copy where you found it so your peers and fellow patrons can discover and peruse it just as you have, and don't forget to satisfy 'new content' cravings by checking out what else we have to offer on unseen's website."

the way i see it, this scenario allows us to print a magazine (hopefully at manageable costs), procure copies of said magazine, distribute said magazine to local establishments in a variety of cities, and establish a mutually-reinforcing and supportive set of readership "poles" around which it might be possible to generate something of a buzz. this may or may not work, and is also dependent on whether or not such small orders can be placed with any of the printing resources we've seen mentioned. between my desire to produce printed media and my lack of money to devote to such a goal, an idea like this seems to be lurking on the horizon of inevitability...thoughts?


  1. yes. i think it's a great idea. i am already scheming about where i would place mine...
    i agree with the whole cost thing. though, depending on if it would even be possible to print 40 magazines and how much they'd cost, i would probably be willing to invest in the cost of 3 every other month.

  2. i like this idea. not so sure about the details of what will be printed and how often, though...i think that every other month could be a bit too often to produce something totally awesome, and i also think that we want to be intentional about producing something specifically for the magazine. this still hasn't really been worked out as far as what we're doing with a website versus what we're doing with a magazine. i suppose i just want to ensure that the printed result is totally kickass and contains material that hasn't already been checked out on the internet.

    but this is a small detail and i think that the basic premise of this idea is fantastic. another thing we can do with the mag is take it to publishers, distributors, and people who will market it for us. of which i know a few.

    also, i am thinking that it is totally ok if there are a few people making more logistical decisions about this and the rest are contributors. so. let's just carry on and then when we decide on things like mission statement, themes and deadlines we can just let everyone know what happens.

  3. i was imagining a larger work, three to four times a year. at least in the beginning if the idea is to take off.

    we may need some time before we get that kind of contribution.. while i'm confident we have a talented and inspired set of writers and artists, i just don't think we're at the point where we could pump out 6 or 7 issues a year... let's get a groove... be focused, intentional, meticulous. Don't want to burn out on issue 5 of '09.

    if we play our cards right we could get set up with a fairly amazing printing deal.. still looking into that, talked to someone last night. and not only that, it'd be printed fairly high quality and split between a staff, having people out and about working on pre-orders and using business connections (coffee shops/bookstores/etc, also buying pre-orders) we could establish some quality relationships and have a chunk of the expense paid. the thing is, when the time comes, this can't all be a lot of "all talk, no action". you have to get out on the street and pull strings for it to fly, we can't just sell it to watauga college.

    we may not make a profit, but that's not the point, right?
    (at this point)


  4. I'm glad you guys are doing this.

  5. 3 or 4/year does sound much more reasonable. we could make the issues seasonal ;p

    k, now back to meta.