Firstly, let's put a message out to all of those who have stumbled onto this blog after an Internet search. Let's tell you what The Literary Commune is.
We're a lit-zine with a small readership. We publish short stories, poems and articles by writers. Our lit-zine is free, is printed on real paper, and currently goes out to readers across the UK and Ireland. Most of the prose in our pages is urban, transgressive, edgy. We don't do vampire love stories. We will print any kind of poetry - edgy or humorous - and our articles are also edgy, funny or political. We want to make people think. We want to make them laugh. We want to shock them as well. And yes, there are a few swear words littered through our zine, and few controversial topics as well. But we're all adults, aren't we?
We felt we needed more of an Internet presence for The Literary Commune. We're now three issues in, and our readership seems to have stabilized around the 100-150 copies per issue. Now, while this is good for us insomuch as it only costs us about £50 to print and distribute each issue, we'd definitely like to see our readership spread.
There are two ways this can be achieved. Firstly, we can produce a PDF version of each issue, so it can be downloaded and read by anyone across the entire globe. But that kind of defeats the object of a "lit-zine". We like being a cheap, paper zine. It's old school. It's a tactile format. And reading on a computer screen is never as easy as reading from a book or a magazine. Of course, we have considered releasing a PDF copy of back issues, say, three or four issues later. But it's still not the same as a paper magazine, and it may mean that at some point in the future, we won't be distributing paper copies because nobody asks for them. Now, the second way we can get our readership to spread and grow is to get our name out there. That's why we've started up this blog. And that's also where you guys come in. Tell your friends about us. If you know someone who writes, give them our contact details. We want new writers and poets. We want those indie writers out there to get their work read by more people. If you know someone who is an avid reader and is prepared to give fresh writers a chance (what have they got to lose? This lit-zine is free, and most of the stories are less than 2,000 words) give them our contact details so they can get on our mailing list. And if you know a place - a hip, beatnik bar, a book group, a writing group - which might be interested in having a dozen or so copies of The Literary Commune, get in touch with us. Our dream is have a distribution of about 500 copies per issue.
Now, here's the flipside to that. If our readership grows, then the cost of producing the magazine will increase. Of course, we're a bimonthly publication, so the costs aren't overly excessive, but we may need to introduce some adverts to keep our costs down. At the moment, we bung in three or four ads per issue, basically to fill in the white space after a story or article finishes. We definitely don't want the ads to take over the magazine. But if four advertisers are paying £10 to put an ad in the mag, then that reduces our costs by £40. Don't get us wrong, we don't want to be advertising corporate shit. We want to advertise books, societies, music, art - stuff like that. So again, if you know anyone who wants to chuck an ad our way, give them our contact details.
On a final note, we'll be keeping comments open, so you can all have your say, if you want. We won't censor anything (we don't censor anything in the lit-zine) but we will remove blatant ads or spam. We want everyone to get behind us - writers and readers - so do us all a favour and spread the word.