April 15, 2016
Dear Intrepid Readers,
UGH, IT’S TAX DAY.
Hopefully by now you’ve finished, received, and spent your refund like on books a baller. That’s how I roll. If you haven’t, you’ve got till midnight to either get in your tax forms or file for an extension. Remember, even starving artists deserve to have a brief windfall, even one that’s just what was yours anyway.
If you’re rolling in the dollars, making it rain pennies like a hundredaire, I want to talk in depth about something that we launched at Zoetic Press right before AWP—our Patreon account.
First off: let’s talk about what Patreon is, why we launched this, how it works, and why you should care. I promise this isn’t going to be a commercial (though we’d love for there to be more monthly pledges to help us along.)
So—why did we choose Patreon instead of doing a Kickstarter, or other type of fundraising campaign? To begin with, most crowdfund campaigns take a few months to really meet a goal, and it’s generally with a “one-time” goal in mind. The target goal is generally higher, the perks are bigger, and it’s got a definite start/stop point.
But that’s not how a periodical publishes. This would be a great choice, if what we were looking to do is a one-time anthology, or if we intended to cut production of NonBinary Review down to an annual publication. But we love curating a quarterly journal, and want to keep our readers and contributors engaged with both each other and our curation/publication process. We actually have a lot of the same reasons for choosing Patreon that Neil Clarke, of Clarkesworld Magazine, has for their publication’s adoption of the model. There’s worse company to be in than Clarkesworld, right? Right.
When we decided to suspend using Lithomobilus to publish, we brought all of our back issues online so that readers and contributors who previously couldn’t access our content could see their work. We’ve always paid our authors—even if it’s just a token payment—because we believe that art has value. And because art should have its value reflected, paying authors for their work doesn’t just come from the publishers. We believe that we, also, have given the readers something of value in the curated, published work. But rather than have you give us money for that (I mean, we’ll totally take your money, if you’re in the mood to give!)—we decided that Patreon is a low-pressure way for readers and supporters to help us pay artists for their work. Basically, Patreon makes us the middle man. Patreon allows you to give as much as is comfortable for you to give, and enjoy the work that someone created, telling them that their work has value. Which is why we created Patreon perks as low as $1 per month. Basically, an issue of NBR, which usually has 30ish works, plus 12 Alphanumeric features—anywhere from 30-45 pieces of literature, poetry, and art, costs you about $3. Less than the average magazine from a newsstand. Over the course of a year, that makes a subscription about $12. Less than I spent at Starbucks this morning (oh God that’s telling.) It’s a way to make an ongoing difference, and also to get the content we’re curating, delivered to your inbox and mailbox (as in some of our other perks, which include print issues.)
We know that especially this time of year—post AWP and tax time—makes us all acutely aware of our finances. We understand that most people involved in the arts are eking by, one tiny bit at a time. But we also know that crowdfunding has shown us definitively that if a lot of people who only have a little bit share their little bits with each other, doing things that matter, big things can happen. We believe that you want to be involved with big things. So we’re asking you to start with a little thing.
The upcoming themes are really exciting, and we’re really loving all the work that’s been coming in for these next 3 issues of NBR, and we’re hoping that these will also appeal to you—as a reader, as a patron, as a creator. Since we came back from AWP, we’ve opened up the submissions portal for our newest theme, as well as extending the deadline to account for our transitions as a press having a domino effect in our writers—so right now, we have THREE issues of NBR open for submissions, as well as the open read for the second issue of Unbound Octavo, which is our annual publication that’s our exercise in collaborative, fiction-based “exquisite corpse”-style storytelling. Likewise, we’re always open for blog pitches and book reviews, as well as reviewing candidates to join our editorial staff —so there’s a ton of ways to get in on being part of an upcoming issue. We’ve been reading for A Study in Scarlet (from the Sherlock Holmes canon), as well as for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for a few months, and these issues are shaping up to be really intriguing, as we knew they’d be. But we could not have predicted how much excitement we got at AWP as we quietly announced the next themed issue, for Anne of Green Gables—so as the submissions start rolling in, we can’t wait to see how our writers reboot this classic.
Before we sign off—I also want to plant a seed of interest for you—this summer (think July or August), we’re going to running a 30/30 project—not just for poets, but for artists of all mediums. Fiction writer or essayist? 30 flash fictions, or 30 installments on bigger projects are welcome to play. Poets, you know the drill. Artists—30 sketches, 30 installments on a project—wherever your creativity takes you, we want to walk with you down the path. We’ll have more details on this one next week, but for now, we want you to consider what we’re going to call our mantra: “Write Like You’re Alive.” The Zoetic editors will all be participating, too, so let’s start getting excited for a month or camaraderie and creativity!
Re-vamping our Pinterest page is our continual work-in-progress, so go take a peek at the new boards we’re adding to reflect some of the changes in the press. It’s still a fun, relaxing, low-pressure way for you to engage with Zoetic Press: writing prompts, writer memes, and dream libraries that we think are fun ways to escape for a few minutes or get the creative juices flowing. On Facebook, we’d love for you to connect with us at our Zoetic Press page. For a more personal connection, engage with your favorite NonBinary Review authors (and editors) in the Zoetic Press Facebook group. If connecting in 140 characters is your scene, Tweet us. Every Tuesday, we’ll continue bringing you a new Alphanumeric which will remain always remain free for everyone to enjoy. We’ve also started cross posting to Tumblr, so if that’s how you prefer to read, you’ll definitely be excited to subscribe and see what’s new every week. As ever, we encourage you to connect with our editors and staff to give us feedback about the transition, suggestions for Patreon perks you’d like to see, or just to let us know how we’re doing, because editors need love and reassurance sometimes, too. Our YouTube channel will be getting a face-lift and will be updated to include book trailers, Patreon exclusives, as well as our storytellers entertaining you by reading their work to you in their own voice. Our blog Rhizomatic Ideas will also be changing to adapt to the new Zoetic Press model, so we’re always open for book reviews, blog pitches, and guest voices—we would love to hear your ideas, so send us a pitch! And remember, even though we’re transitioning, we’re still committed to bringing you NonBinary Review and more Zoetic Press releases, and our submissions remain open, even as we switch gears.
Until next week,