November 23, 2005

U.S. indy magazines in trouble.

We don't usually filch an entire post from another blog, but we don't figure that we could do any better than Jaclyn Friedman already has.

Hey! You! Read Indy Mags?

Then you need to know that BigTop, the last distributor in the country that specializes in distributing independent press magazines, is having serious cash flow problems.

What that means in practical terms is that magazines distributed by BigTop (see list below) aren't getting any payment at all for the newsstand sales BigTop has conducted on their behalf, and it's unclear when they will. And given how tight a shoestring most indymags run on, that spells major trouble for some major publications. As in, they could realistically go under. And we're talking about great mags like:

The American Prospect
Bitch: Feminist Response To Pop Culture
Dollars & Sense
Giant Robot
In These Times
Kitchen Sink
Mother Jones
The Progressive
Punk Planet
Tin House
Z Magazine
Zoetrope: All-Story

Now, this is only a sample of the mags BigTop distributes, and I don't know the particulars of each one's financial situation. Some may be in better shape than others, though I know for certain Bitch and Punk Planet are struggling

The thing to do here, if you care at all about any one of these magazines, is to resist the temptation to imagine your favorite magazine is safe just because it's great. Great magazines go under for just that reason.

Instead, take five minutes right now to find out how they're managing and how you can help, and then spread the word, give and/or ask for gift subscriptions, buy their swag, make a donation — whatever you can do. Take it from a girl who's worked for more than her share of amazing shoestring operations — when we say every dollar counts, we mean it literally.

Read more in the Chicago Reader [PDF file], the Columbia Chronicle, and at Pocket Full of Wishes.


Posted by Magpie at November 23, 2005 12:04 AM | Media | Technorati links |

Yup on this - I once subscribed to three great mags, now both deceased because they just didn't get the subscription numbers they needed to survive.

Whole Earth Review

I have almost an entire set of WER and Zigzag, and while I don't of Garbage, it was always a good wakeup call.

Don't let it happen to the ones you care about.

Posted by: palamedes at November 23, 2005 01:16 PM


Can't type and prep for Thanksgiving dinner concurrently, sadly.

I meant Wigwag, not Zigzag.

Posted by: palamedes at November 23, 2005 09:32 PM