Sunday, January 01, 2006

Plans for the Republic

Here's the most recent cover of The Ester Republic. You'll note the somewhat newsletterish style. This is pretty much what I came up with from the first issue, and I've only made very minor changes in the last seven years. It mostly fits the eclectic nature of the paper and its hybrid newspaper/newsletter/magazine quality, but I think it's time to jazz it up a bit, make it more attractive and functional. For example, the paper needs a mailer. Right now I send out subscriptions via envelope, which wastes paper, costs a bit more, and takes a lot of time to stuff and seal (and that glue does NOT taste very good).

So what to do? Well, if I add four pages, I can use the outer back as a mailer/subscription form/ad space, and the front cover to feature some nicely spectacular photo or drawing. There's tons of great photographers and artists in Ester, so there wouldn't be a problem finding material. An additional possibility is to use the inside cover for ad space, and start the paper as before on the first inside right-hand page.

This brings up a further idea: go to offset printing, rather than DocuTech xerox copying as I've been doing. And increase the print run dramatically. I'm not sure I'm ready to do this, as it would involve some major hawking for advertisers and distributors, which requires time, which, even with last year's leap second, is not something I've had a lot of. I've been running a regular help wanted ad in the Republic for an ad sales manager, but so far no nibbles, even though it's the only regularly paid position here!

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