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Why haven't you bought a copy of GUD?

Really, I know many of you have. This isn't meant that way.

I want to up our marketing savvy. Please help us figure out our weaknesses. We know writing, and we've put together a strong product.

But we don't know marketing. We're definitely trying. We're putting in the effort. But effort sure could use a bit more smarts to it, in my opinion.

Would I have bought a copy of GUD? I don't know. I'm trying to think this through, trying to think through our marketing, our visibility. If it was a close friend's mag, I probably would. Once. See what it was like. If it wasn't a friend's mag, ... maybe I would have gotten a PDF if a close friend said it was the bee's knees. The $10 price point seems high to me, for a magazine--I come from a genre background. Sure, it's quality paper, but given the choice and not being sure of it, and having lots of clutter already, I think I would have gone for the PDF (if someone was recommending it to me). Curiosity. If I happened to have the money in my paypal account. Them's my discretionary funds, and they fill irregularly.

Trying to think through similar purchases I've made, recently (and not so recently) -- I bought a copy of SG6... to support scrawl, and friends. I wouldn't have given it a try if I hadn't been _involved_ in it somehow, probably.

I bought a few issues of Night Train... I think the first one was on Sue's recommendation, and I liked it. Beautiful format, novel-to-me writing. Once I bought the first Night Train... then I knew what it was, knew it was worth it, knew I wanted to keep reading it, keep exposing myself to that "other" sort of writing (yeah, I'm a genre baby).

I bought a PDF copy of ASIM, and that's well put together. I think we're better, but I enjoyed a number of items from the latest. Bought a copy of some other mag I won't mention, PDF, and it looked like a cross section of our slush pile. Holy crap! But both of those buys were inspired by "wanting to know our competition".

I subscribe to F&SF monthly and think we're better than that, too, but of course I would. That's the only magazine I've subscribed to on a long-term basis, because I don't make enough time for reading, and they're cheap. And I can't stand Asimov's or Analog. ;)

Why don't I read Interzone? Anything else? Well, there's no need to. Sometimes I've given a magazine one try and not been impressed. Most often I haven't even given them one try because, well, I have enough to read already. I fill my time.

I buy books occasionally... generally they're impulse buys, and generally they're big names. Umberto Eco. Neil Gaiman. I've borrowed more books than bought, recently. Too much clutter!

But there are plenty of people out there who buy books... who buy magazines... right? Are any of them _here_? What inspires your purchases?


Feb. 13th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Hopefully you won't hate me for saying this, but I do find the "about" page on the GUD website very vague. The mission statement says, "GUD is modern in business, method, and execution, but timeless in message." And the "for the reader" section states, "Fiction, information, poetry, art. The best of the best." But at no point do I get a sense of what a typical issue might contain. What type of fiction are we talking about? Based on the cover, I'd say maybe Lovecraftian-style writing. That's a guess, though. It gets more troublesome when I go to the "subscribe/order" page. There, in italics, it states, "...we provoke with words and art. We bring you stories that engage. Essays and interviews that make you think harder. Poetry that bares reality, more subtly interprets what it means to be human." Not to be crass, but isn't any literary/fiction magazine tyring to do exactly that? With GUD, I don't understand what separates it from anything else on the racks. Think harder about what? What about being human is GUD interpreting? I'm not trying to be a prick here. If I was wandering your site with no real idea of what you're about, I'd leave the site still not being sure.

So really what I'm thinking of is a stronger focus on what the magazine is (and, perhaps more critically, what it isn't). I have a sneaking suspicion you don't want to restrict possible submissions and/or readers, but in a sense you already are with the cover art and web design you've chosen (I can't see a romance writer submitting to GUD, for instance. Ditto for an "elves and dwarves" fantasy writer). So, for me, explaining clearly what the magazine is trying to do would be a very strong step. Your mileage may vary, of course.

All that said, it might just come down to time. With two issues a year, it just make take quite awhile to build up a solid buying readership. The magazine certainly seems to have a strong web presence (a quick google search showed as much). The Wikipedia entry is vague, but that goes with my above comments.

So, those are my thoughts. For what they're worth!

Feb. 13th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
Gold, thank you!

I worry about restricting folks with the cover art and web design. The cover art is definitely a drawback for only having an issue every six months. The web design... I keep thinking I should lay out the moolah, that it really does make that big of a difference. I'm glad to hear that seconded.

((as an example of the difficulty--we don't want an "elves and dwarves hack and slash"--but an "elves and dwarves hack and slash while discussing Nietsche" would be fun... or anything that would make it a little more intelligent that the "run of the mill romp"))

Thank you thank you. :)

Difficulty one--finding the right words. Difficulty two--turning them into soundbites for the semi-casual browser.

Time to do a market comparison, I think. Why that kept eluding me, I don't know.

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