Monday, 21 April 2014
Two posts before going AWOL for a while: (1)
1 It may well not happen, but the hum that’s been humming at the back of my head for some time still translates as in the previous blog post of 14 March and is: a magazine; prose, poetry; twice a year; 160 pages, say; no more than around six contributors per issue (so on average around 25 pages per contributor). Reviews, no. Print-based, but as each issue comes out the previous becomes available free online (on Issuu?). A single initial print run, and no faffing with reprints.
2 A little late-night discussion, above. About many things, but this is one of them.
3 Funding. Is not, I think, an issue. CB editions has run since 2007 with no funding. I don’t want to make a point of this. On the other hand, and at the risk of being co-opted into some right-wing anti-arts-funding agenda, and at the lesser risk of being accounted grumpy-old-man, I do: 2007–14, CBe has shown that it is possible to publish books by the kind of writers the mainstream won’t touch, and have those books reviewed here-there-&-everywhere, and pick up a few prizes along the way, and not lose financially, without any funding at all. (And have more fun – seriously, playfully – than I ever had in a salaried publishing job.)
4 (If you check the annals of ACE, and you’ll need to be a certain mood to do this – the page from which you can download the figures is here – you’ll see that CBe was granted £2,450 in 2012 and £4,160 in 2013 for the Free Verse Book Fair; the first book fair in 2011 had zero funding; for 2012 and 13 the contributions of both I and Chrissy were calculated as ‘support in kind’, and neither of us profited by a cent; and this is fine. Last year we managed to underspend; we had a supper; the rest has been put into the 2014 budget. But repeated applications to ACE for the CBe publishing programme have been turned down.)
5 Money. Is not the point, is nowhere near the point, distracts from the point. Writing is not a ‘business’. Reading neither. Publishing, ditto.
6 Costs for the magazine: printing of 550 copies of one issue of 160 pages, slightly larger than the standard book B-format: £1,000. (Punch some numbers into the online calculator of this printer – which is excellent, and is used by many of the smaller presses – and you get under that.) Contributors’ fees (and rights for work in translation): allow £750. So £1,750. Income: sales of 460 copies at a cover price of £8.99 = £4,135. Assuming just 40% of that actually comes in (i.e., after the big discounts on copies going out through the distributor, and post-&-packing on copies sold through the website, etc), then £1,654. The margin of error seems OK.
7 If you have work, or want to suggest someone else’s work, that may fit the magazine – long form; I’m not interested at all in, say, a batch of six poems out of which I may like one – then say.