October 23rd 2017
Today I went for coffee with a fellow magazine editor. I mean, I say ‘fellow’ as if we are somehow in parity, but we aren’t. He’s been running a successful print publication for 8 years, whereas I’ve been uploading a magazine onto the internet (www.feedthemag.co.uk) for every month this year. I went to him for advice.
Through a bit of old-fashioned “it’s who you know” networking, I’ve managed to get a local University to agree to put printed copies of the magazines in 5 campuses around the county. Although that sounds like really quite good news, it comes with a very specific problem: financing.
If I want to put printed copies of the magazine into the campuses, then I’ve got to get copies of the magazine printed. And to do that is going to require funds. Of course, I could just dip into my own pocket at front the printing costs, but I’d suggest that that is not a particularly long-term solution.
If I want to become serious about this, then I’m going to have to start considering taking on advertising. So that’s why I went to my editor-friend. For advice on beginning to source advertising.
He had some helpful advice on how I could structure the layout of my magazine to incorporate advertising, and he gave me the contact details of the printing company that he uses for his magazine. Effectively, I have to go away, do a bit of research, make a couple of phone calls, and build a spreadsheet that calculates how much printing will cost, and what advertising revenue I require to cover that cost. Then, I just have to go away and source the advertising. Simple, right?
The thing is, I know exactly what I have to do to make this work. I could write a five step plan to getting this thing done, and I’d be in five universities by Christmas. I feel like I have the knowledge now.
The problem is that I lack conviction.
It’s not that I’m lazy, or that I don’t want to do it, because I do really want this to work out. I’m just scared.
I’m scared of writing the email to my new printing contact. I’m scared of contacting the Universities to ask if they’re interested. I’m scared emailing local businesses to ask if they want to advertise in the magazine.
None of those things are difficult to do, physically, but they feel impossible to do, mentally. And I don’t know why.
There’s nothing stopping me. Writing an email will, theoretically, take less time than it’s taken to write this 434 word (so far) blog post. Except, actually, it won’t. Because I’ll stare at it and rewrite it and delete it sixteen times before I send it. If I even build up the courage to send it.
I think what I need to do is just write out all the emails, and then get really drunk and just click the send button. That’ll do it. I can write. I know (most of the time) that I can write. I’m just scared of…
Of rejection? Maybe. Of putting myself out there? Partly. Not really. I think more than anything I’m scared of being bothersome.
I’ll do it though. I will.
Until tomorrow, I want to do it, but I’m scared.
You can read my online magazine on the Feed Magazine website. This month’s issue is all about student life.