On this day last year we officially took over Space and Time magazine. It has been a wild, wild ride. We’ve had successes and stresses in equal amount. Many of the successes have caused the stresses, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Growth is always accompanied by growing pains—and change. Here are a few of those changes…
When we took over the magazine it was in the beginning stages of closing so there were few active subscribers. We had to decide between raising prices to cover costs or keep them the same to welcome back former subscribers. We decided to keep the prices the same and absorb the deficit. There are only a few subscribers, we reasoned. We can cover a few bucks per issue.
Shortly after we made that decision, the postal rates went up—something we had forgotten to factor in. By September’s issue our subscriber base had at least quadrupled and the “few bucks” per issue we were covering quadrupled with it. Around the same time co-publisher and husband Ryan moved to part-time work so he could have more time to produce the audio versions of each issue as well as help with the other editions.
All good things, but we started feeling the pinch by fall. September’s issue also forced us to switch to a more expensive printer. They aren’t much higher—and worth every penny—but that still adds up to more pennies. On top of that, USPS is preparing to raise rates again in January 2020.
Prepare to throw the rotten fruit, but we have to raise prices. The digital rates will stay the same, since there is no extra costs associated with that, but the print cost will go up to $10 per issue. A subscription will bring the per issue price down to $9.50 an issue. Not a huge savings, but it’s the best we can do. The price increase covers shipping, art, poetry, stories, and printing. Originally we were paying for the content out of our own pockets as well.
This does NOT affect current subscriptions, both domestic and international. We will continue to fulfill those subscriptions at the original rates for the foreseeable future. Many of those subscriptions are set to auto-renew, and they will auto renew at the original subscription price unless you cancel it.
Don’t drop that rotten tomato quite yet… there’s more. We’ve decided to cut out a few things. The first to get the ax will be the MOBI and EPUBs. S&T has become a very visual, graphic rich publication. Many of the poems rely on creative formatting to add to their impact. This simply can’t be expressed in a MOBI or EPUB format. In short, I love reading books in those formats, but it doesn’t do justice for the magazine. It will still be available digitally, just as an exact copy of the print version (except sometimes with bonus content).
And, if you haven’t exhausted your supply of objects to toss, here’s something else. We need to return to digital subscriptions only for international subscribers… but keep reading for the work around. When we took over there was only digital subscriptions but we have so many international friends and family we wanted to try mailing print overseas. Sending a magazine overseas ranges between $5-15 for shipping alone, depending on destination. But to the work around…
Amazon is available in most countries now so we will publish each issue of the magazine in a print-on-demand format and make it available internationally. It will be the same content as the domestic print version. This will also give us a few other benefits:
- We can reduce our back issue stock since issues will already be available on Amazon.
- We can possibly offer currently unavailable vintage issues POD on Amazon.
- We will be able to offer the audio issues on Audible.
I think that’s all the bad news for now. Before you grab your torch and pitchforks, here’s some good stuff…
Exquisite corpses are monthly and each quarter one will be chosen to run in the magazine. Those of you familiar with my personal blog are also familiar with the exquisite corpses. The first one went up today (I’ve been holding it since fall) and above the graphic image there is a link to “Vote on the Best Corpse of the Quarter.” Now you can vote on the last one (In Flammation), the current corpse (The Ties That Blind Us) and whatever we come up with in February. The corpse with the most votes will appear in the magazine. Visit that page here.
Second, the audio versions are something new for us and the learning curve has been steep. So far we’ve produced issues #133 and #134 and are currently producing #135. Since we knew of no magazines currently producing audio issues, we’ve been trying to slog through uncharted territory.
I’m happy to announce that by the end of January both currently produced issues should be available across all platforms, including Audible… and for $4.99. Watch for #135 to be released mid February. We are in the process of building a sound proof recording booth to streamline the recording process further.
That’s the big announcements (for now). 2019 saw explosive growth and expansion we didn’t expect. There have been times, especially in the latter half of the year, where we felt like we were hanging on for life. What we expected to be a peaceful ‘side gig’ quickly grew to have a life of its own. Have we been stressed? Of course. Have we regretted any of it? Absolutely not.
Space and Time magazine truly is its own, sentient entity. It may not have been an easy year, but it has been amazing. The next year will see a lot of fine tuning and polishing as we prepare for another decade. Bottom line, we love where we are and what we do. We have to make adjustments so that we can continue doing this, and we hope the massive support we’ve been given will continue.
I don’t think the teenage version of Gordon Linzner could have foreseen the impact his little mimeographed fan-zine would have on the lives of so many creatives. We are privileged to be a part of it. As always, thank you—readers and contributors—for your support. Now… on to the next decade!