Punk Planet: RIP

Mon 18 Jun 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

In the office for a couple of days (with a KGB visit interstitialed in there on Wednesday) before heading to DC for ALA on Friday (say hi if you’re there). Acronymed to death, anyone?

Punk Planet just pulled the plug on it’s zine, bah fkn humbug. It was a great fun mag with good pieces on all aspects of indie culture. Another death-by-distributor tale. Best of luck with the books!

These are pretty desperate times for indie culture. It’s (somewhat) easy enough to start something—we did it while knowing nothing. Keeping it going while being, er, nibbled to death by ducks? Not always easy.

The usual “clarion” call: if you like a zine, subscribe. Shop the McSweeney’s and Soft Skull sales.

But don’t wait until a press or bookshop you like is desperate. If you buy this $14.95 book from Amazon for 32% off:

The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (Paperback)
by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant


List Price $14.95
Price $10.17
You Save $4.78 (32%)

That’s great! You only pay $10.71 (Hey, buy 2.) But that 32% you’re saving doesn’t come from Amazon: that cut is from the publisher. The publisher still has to give Amazon a huge discount (so that they can pass it on — and not selling on Amazon, well, let’s suppose that argument is over already) and pay all the other usual people. Hello printer!

How about if you buy that same book at your local book store (which probably has a frequent buyer card of some kind to offer you 10% off)? Then that 22-32% goes back to the bookshop (paying smart people in your town to sell books: how cool is that?) and a slice of it goes back to the publisher, who need every % they can get.

Every dollar is a political act.

More LCRW stuff:

We will post the Best of LCRW table of contents soon. Promise!

Submissions are running about 1,500 per year. So we are falling further behind and wow are they piling up. Not sure what we can do. Reading periods? Charge to submit? (That is a joke, by the way.) 1500 stories a year (and only going to rise) is a chunk of time. Suggestions appreciated.

Comments

No Responses to “Punk Planet: RIP”

  1. Rachel on June 18th, 2007 7:18 pm

    Have you considered running contests? Those you can charge for and might bring in a little more money for your zine plus it makes people think before submitting something.

    Or close submissions for a while?

    Or have specific reading periods?

    Themed issues?

    Just ideas I’ve seen other places use.

    IMHO – online submissions – using an online form or requesting submissions via email (.rtf docs, etc) would at least save space in the office.

  2. lcrw on June 18th, 2007 10:10 pm

    Rachel,

    all sound ideas, much appreciated.

    Closing submissions / having reading periods seems to me that it may complicate matters. I don’t like themed issues. And I prefer reading paper (read subs much faster, although doing all the other parts — stuffing envelopes etc. might be slower). We will probably move to that at some point.

    Our reading times is about 6 months at the moment. We basically can’t afford to spend all our time reading submissions instead of doing the work on the books that needs to be done!

  3. Eric Marin on June 19th, 2007 1:29 am

    I receive close to 1800-1900 submissions a year for Lone Star Stories (all via e-mail). I am the only reader of slush (the only anything for the e-zine, atually), but I have found that forcing myself to read and respond to all submissions within one to two days of receipt helps keep the slush pile manageable. (The electronic submissions process lends itself to speedy responses.) However, if I did not have the half hour to hour of evening time that I have set aside for reading submissions, I would probably try and find some volunteer readers to help out. That would be my suggestion for you. With LCRW’s excellent reputation, I doubt you’ll have much trouble finding good slushers.

  4. lcrw on June 19th, 2007 8:50 am

    Eric,

    that’s a lot of submissions — which is one reason I haven’t wanted to move to online subs, figuring the no. would rise. (I tried it brieflt 4-5 years ago, it wasn’t pretty.)

    AS for first readers, we already have a couple of people who read stuff but everything still gets looked at by us eventually (hence the long delays from travel, etc.). I suppose I should give up on that.

  5. Eric Marin on June 19th, 2007 9:27 am

    I think you’re right; you probably need to stop reading everything. I know that will be hard for you, though. (It certainly would be for me.)

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