91 The Driving Force

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So how did December creep up so fast? I’ve really got to figure out a way to get time to pass a bit more slowly. For the last three months, I’ve barely had time to talk with people about the developments we want to make before it’s been time to get the next issue going. And while there have been some interesting starts and ideas, nothing has actually been implemented. Then it seems like I’ll bring up a practical or what- if scenario, and a conversation will end as if my saying “What about…?” is saying “no”. Which it isn’t, and shouldn’t ever be.

Here’s what’s in my ability to do: Keep this magazine going as-is. Any development of the magazine into one that can pay its staff and writers relies on the funding project Doug is developing, and on publishers starting to support the magazine with ads.

I have the ability to start up the Availability Guide idea in 2016. I took some time, and I looked at the software I have, and found a way to produce a catalog that will show what is available from who, and how to order it, from a manageable standpoint of being able to add new entries and have them automatically integrate to the right spots of the catalog. I am pretty darn sure ‘Im going to be able to pull that off. I’ll be adding a way for publishers to submit publications online in the down-time between this issue and the next; as is normall, we’re giving everyone the majority of November/December off, and next issue will come out in February. I won’t be taking any time off myself; I’ll be working harder to get this done. But I don’t have a problem with that. I really, really want 2016 to be the year we make the big breakthroughs that we’ve been building towards for so long.

Also for next issue, I am hoping to begin presenting publication reviews in the magazine again. At this point, I have two individuals interested in actually writing reviews. We’ll have to see how that pans out after the holidays and if anyone else can be talked into it, or whatever it takes to make that happen. I feel that reviews are an important part of bringing back an atmosphere of belonging and “home” for creators. We have to be able to bridge the gap between “Is this something you should buy?” and “This is what you need to work on…” in positive ways. Perhaps I’ll be able to mesh part of it with the new Availability Guide setup, as part of the problem was always the time it took to type up the entries when I ran reviews myself in the past. I don’t think it will be too hard to set up so that books we review can pull from the data listings. I would love to be able to do some reviews myself, we’ll see if I ever have time to do so.

A few months back, I declared that the Indyfest Network was ready to be called “beta” stage, but I then ran into a number of software updates—some really good advances, some that I wasn’t as happy about, and overall enough that I think I have to retract calling things “beta” and re-enter some “alpha” level re-build and strategy shifts. Like, instead of the stores/sites system having a % that we’d place on sales of other people’s stuff, I think it will be easier to just have a membership system. A flat yearly thing. Anyway, I’ll look at it all before next issue, and please, if you have an opinion on how you would like to see things go, tell me!

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