Okay dudes, so here’s the situation.
No Umbrella is not exactly in the business of making magazines for profit anymore (we now do this kind of stuff. But we do love, love, love producing big fat weird outdoor publications for our friends, and we admittedly owe it to our fans and supporters who we’ve teased with threats of new issues intermittently over the past four years.
So, yes, we are publishing an issue out this summer …
[deep breath] …
regardless of whether it makes money.
Yeah, I’m crazy for writing that. But hey, it’s not always about the money.
However, even with that said, I do have a humble plan to help pay for what now amounts to a hobby pursuit.
To set the stage for my explanation, here are a few facts:
- The cost of the issue is going to be about $3000.
- We have a budget of $1000 to spend currently.
- I am going to give the first 1,000 copies of the issue away free for the cost of postage.
- It is okay if the company loses a little coin on the project as long as No Umbrella gets some marketing benefit out of it (“Hey, look at the cool stuff we can do”) and we generally enjoy the process (this means making and organizing cool outdoor content, NOT spending dozens of hours on cold hard sales calls).
- I have dozens, if not hundreds, of friends in business for themselves, providing goods and services to a surprisingly complete segment of Maine’s economy: either as entrepreneurs, builders, guides, farmers, restaurateurs, brewers, media producers, artists, musicians, and more.
- These friends are too busy to talk to me about print ad sales (besides, I want to make music videos, event videos or web promos for them, not sell them $100 ads)
So, our plan is to offer out a low-pressure in-kind barter offer to our network: trade physical goods or a promise of services in exchange for a marketing relationship with our sweet annual magazine, and it’s new companion internet store.
Then, simultaneously with the issue launch, we will launch a small web commerce site, where we can sell the products people trade for advertising space.
So our friends’ companies can donate $40 (approx.) worth of gear/services/swag and we will sell it for half off to help pay for the issue. Who doesn’t have a bunch of swag laying around the office or storeroom that could be better served as barter for advertising? Who wouldn’t give up a gift certificate in exchange for some cool sub-culture marketing? Pretty cool way to swap your over-stocked items for something valuable right? Of course it is!
Also, inside the issue itself will be a multi-page section devoted to showcasing the products (and companies who offer them!) available on the new commerce site, complete with thumbnails and specs. (These pages will end up being a fascinating sampler of the fine products our friends are creating in Maine right now… Read: We are not friends with big box stores so you won’t see that Made in China crap in there, just an FYI.)
We will also offer (for cash or barter) regular old ad space in the Monster too:
Any company who barters a piece of gear worth approx. $100 gets a quarter page display, $179 for a half page display or $329 for a full page display. As in any barter, both sides have to agree or it’s no deal.
So, after failing at Kickstarter (we are just not cool enough) and selling ads the old-fashioned way this is how we plan to pay for the first issue of No Umbrella in four years.
The deadline for content is July 22nd and the issue launch party is August 6th at The Marshall’s in The Forks.
The official info page for this in-kind barter offer is forthcoming, as are a series of gentle emails inquiring whether you might be interested in collaborating on such a project. That’s it for now though. Stay safe out there friends.