Pushing the Envelope
This newsletter marks the first anniversary of our premier issue. We keep a copy on our coffee table, and we’re still thrilled every time we pick it up and thumb through it. We thought we’d let you know where we are with our second issue and some things down the road.
We’ve had a number of people email about subscriptions. We considered starting subscriptions with our second issue, but now we probably won’t do that for at least two reasons. First, subscriptions are usually used as the means of financing the next issue. While that might be good for the publisher, it assigns all the risk of non-publication to the subscriber. We think we want to retain the risk of non-publication and publish issues when we have them ready. Second, subscriptions create yet another level of administration to the publication process, which is something else we’d like to avoid.
The Independents are Closing Shop
We began our research for Breath by buying a slew of independent magazines. We bought over 75 copies of all kinds of independents, everything from Gather Journal to Offscreen to Cereal to Cherry Bombe. Many of them had had great success and enviable early print runs, selling out their first few issues. But what a difference a year makes. A good percentage of them have since closed shop or are “taking a break” (this is what they say on their websites). One of the larger magazines recently ditched a large portion of its back issues and outsourced some of its supporting titles. And that’s after they opened their doors to advertising, advertorials, sponsorships, and had garnered tens of thousands of social-media followers. The independent bookstores have also felt the contraction. Many who were stocking scores of independents in their shops and touting the experience of print just a year ago have closed their brick-and-mortar doors and have resorted to online-only shops.
We started Breath on a different track. We decided at the start not to open ourselves to advertising and to keep a tight rein on our content and bottom line. So while we haven’t had the early explosion of success like some of the others, we’re not taking a break either.
If you “followed” us on social media at all, you’ve seen that we’ve taken ourselves out of both Facebook and Instagram. This may not have been the smartest thing to do in terms of marketing and “exposure” in this day and age, but the scriptures tell us that you don’t throw your pearls before swine. Or, you don’t put your best work before those who don’t appreciate it. Instead of opening up our hard work and intellectual property for everyone to see, we decided to limit it to those who have taken the pains to invest. We’ve put the newsletter and journal behind a password so the only way to gain access is to buy a copy of the magazine. The password will be included in the magazine and change with every issue. There is something to be said for restricting access.
Supporting the Body of Christ
Your purchases have helped to support the body of Christ. The social structure of ministry in America is a lot like Hollywood’s. You have your big stars with their big salaries and audiences, but most of the industry is made up of journeymen who do what they can to put food on the table and pay their bills. We’ve sent over three dozen copies of Breath free of charge to ministers to provide them spiritual food to feed their flocks. We couldn’t have done that without you.
Issue No. 2 and Changes Are Coming
We’ve made trips to London, Paris, Portugal, New York, Jacksonville, and Austin for this upcoming issue, but we still have a little ways to go. We believe that we’ll have it ready for print around the first of April.
You’re going to see a few changes. While Breath 1 came out wonderfully, it is a little more book-like than we envisioned. We’ve contacted our printer about the paper, and it has found a slightly lighter paper that we hope will be just perfect. One plus about this is that the cost will probably come down just a bit.
You’ll also notice some changes with our photography. We kind of played it safe with our first issue. The photographs in this upcoming issue will more closely resemble our articles—edgy and contemporary. (Take a look at the website.) We broke some new ground with Breath 1, both in format and content. Breath 2 is going to push the envelope that much further. Our second Jonah article itself will be worth the price.up