Jan 12, 2022

Here’s what I’m thinking

As you might have seen, my Offscreen ‘editorship’ is on hold indefinitely . I tend to think it’s just not going to happen, since too many factors–both market-based and personal–would need to line-up again. Regardless, my 2022 right now is a big void field of undiscovered opportunities.

The four interviews meant for my first issue are already done, and some of the editing has been done. I’d love to get those published, but ideally as part of ‘jumping on a different horse,‘ not just blog posts. So how should I do it? Here’s the format I’m considering and would love your thoughts (📧) on it.

  • Publish all four in one ‘book-zine-ish’ publication, along with a couple of shorter pieces.
  • Sell that publication online for USD $7 as an ebook/kindle/PDF bundle.
  • Make it freely available to paid members of Sentiers, with every interview and article also available to them as good old fashioned html web pages.
  • Call it issue Zero, a prototype (in form anyway).
  • Right now it looks more like a short book than a magazine, perhaps that’s it but now or for an eventual next issue I’d love to have a guest artist to add some nice visual and breathing space in there, make it more zine-like. Tangentially connected or a concept related to one or many of the pieces in the issue.
  • I’d love to print a small number. I haven’t investigated this yet, but it would almost certainly be a break-even ‘nice to do it’ kind of thing, not part of what makes the project sustainable.

Here’s where it might get (more) interesting. Since the start of Sentiers, I’ve operated the membership paywall on some variation of the idea of unlocked commons, right now member Dispatches go out by email only to members and are published on the website publicly for all. Members don’t get an exclusive, they support my work. Originally, those Dispatches were paywalled for a couple of months before being open to all.

I’m not 100% sure if I’ll keep it that way, go back to the original, or some other variation. However I’d like to try something different for this book-zine-ish publication and I’ve come up with the idea of a Commons Partner. Here’s how it would work.

  • An organization pays a partnership fee (to be determined).
  • All the interviews (and everything else?) are unlocked for everyone from the day of publication.
  • In the book the partner gets one tasteful minimal page ‘ad’ à la Offscreen and a logo on the back cover. Online they get a ‘ribbon,’ mostly text, on each interview, mentioning they graciously unlocked it for everyone (I’m open to discussing the format but definitely not a classic ad).
  • If there’s a print version they would get a certain number of copies.
  • Perhaps there’s a second partner or a second level of partnership to get it printed…

At this very early stage of the idea, I’m considering USD $1950 for the partnership. If there’s no partner, I publish it anyway but its contents are not unlocked for the foreseeable future, like they would have in most indie print magazines.

I think that’s kind of a great idea overall but very much looking for opinions (📧).