This is part four of the publishing GR series.
One of the problems in the history of Asian American publications, and many smaller publications like ours is the frequency. Many mags came out and looked great and even lasted for a few years, throwing lavish parties, promoting themselves like they were important, but then they folded. When they folded, where did the subscription money go? The many who gave up their bucks for a years worth of mags got ripped off.
This is Sun Min Kim and David Horvath. Together they do Uglydolls. Want to know about tenacity, read their interview in the upcoming GR42. I kid you not, they’re a great example. (is this a passive aggressive move of tenacity?)
Back in the day, I remember people telling us, “should I really subscribe? Are you going to stay in business?” Comments like this are the worst, since it means people are used to getting ripped off and are hesitant to support a smaller project, like ours. In the world of Asian American related magazines, it’s been a story of people getting fucked out of their subscriptions. So why should anyone support us?
The easy way is to talk game. Be full of shit, and boast and lie about how well you’re doing. Who cares, since in the end, it’s only your reputation at stake. But when you go into hiatus, then what? Are you going to feel like an asshole? Are you going to happy counting your money? All this is bad. In the end, I’d like to think we earned our subscribers. We haven’t spent a lot of time trying to talk people into subscribing, and we don’t have subscription fundraisers although we should. Our best ally is tenacity. We put that subscription card in the mag, and that’s all we really do. The key is repetition. Although a lot support us, there’s a lot who don’t, but while they’re hating, we’re making another issue. At this point, I hope people believe in us a little. We’ve been publishing for 12 years, and we’re only getting better.