Friday, September 30, 2011

Support Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders and you Support the Community

By now, y'all are probably aware that I'm the Publisher/Executive Editor and Founder of Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders, an online and POD print magazine. Our mission statement there is to be "Reporting on the Steampunk world, one cog at a time." As a result of this, we've managed to get some very awesome writers and artists to volunteer their time into creating articles for the website and print magazine and in actually designing the print magazine.

We’re currently selling the print issues through MagCloud, a print-on-demand service offered by Hewlett-Packard. The problem with this approach is that we have to sell each magazine for $15 (plus shipping of $2.63) in order to make any revenue off the print copies of the magazine. The e-version is sold at $3.99, incidentally, which offers roughly the same margin.  

Since the post title says "Support Doctor Fantastique's," you're probably off and wondering now what the heck that's actually about.  

Here's the thing: we want to start printing the magazine on a traditional offset press. This will allow me and my volunteers to do a whole mess of fun things as it regards the magazine, including turning the print copy into what amounts to a Victorian magazine printed using 21st Century technology. This would be ridiculously cool, and we really want to go this direction to bring you the best product possible.  

To do that though, we need funding because currently ... well ... we have none. Everything as it regards Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders has been coming out of my own pocket since June 2010 when I launched the website. I've funded it myself because I believe in the project, and though we've broken even and made a bit this year it's all gone back into funding the magazine or the website for one reason or another. My volunteers and I are doing this all in our spare time (in my case what little of it I have), and love every minute of being able to promote the Steampunk community and write about the amazing people involved in this subculture that we all love. 

We want to provide the best product we can to all of our readers, but to do that we need to be able to switch to offset printing for the magazine. Once that happens, the price per copy drops significantly. I'm talking $6.99 in the U.S. and $8.99 in Canada as opposed to $17.63 (with shipping). We can also then offer subscriptions to everyone who wants one and be able to fill them at a significant cost savings to both Doctor Fantastique's and to you the reader.  

Yes, we could go with just an electronic edition to save some serious money, but Steampunk is about bringing the past into the future and the print medium just has so much more to offer than electronic right now. (At least in my mind it does.) It taps more into the true spirit of Steampunk. We don't have the capital to make offset printing happen for Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders, and so that's why I'm coming to you to ask for help. 

There's a number of ways you can make a difference:
  1. Tell people about us. I know it’s ridiculously simple, but whether you Tweet about what we’re doing, our kickstarter fund, mention us on Facebook, blog about the publication, take a copy to a conference with you and show it around, it all makes a difference. And costs you nothing!
  2. Buy a subscription – While the Kickstarter funds us for the first 3 issues, buying a subscription, on the other hand, will fund us for the entire year if we get enough people to sign on. It costs $40 for a full year of Print or Print/Electronic, and $20 for a full year of Electronic. One year is 9 issues by the way. And there's also a subscription drive going until the end of 2011 with some cool prizes.
  3. Donate to our Kickstarter fund – Our goal is $12,000 by November 23rd. This money will allow us to print the first 3 issues (January/February, March, and April) on an offset press and sell them at conventions/ship them out to subscribers. There's some killer rewards, including hand-made pins from jewelry designer Kristin Berwald and a special letterpress item from Nicole Sylvester (aka Calliope Strange, author of Aeryn Daring and the Scientific Detective). Whether it’s $5, $10, $50, $100 or more, every bit gets us closer to the goal.
  4. Buy an advertisement -- We've got some very attractive advertising rates, including web rates as low as $10 and print rates as low as $35 for 3 lines of text listing your product or service. Email me at if you're interested in advertising and I'll pass along the pricing information.
  5. Buy an entertaining read -- We've currently got Chapter One of Aeryn Daring and the Scientific Detective and Chapter One of Steamsteel available as eBooks through the Amazon Kindle store. They're only $2.99 and every sale benefits Doctor Fantastique's. Alternately, you can pick up a copy of our (admittedly expensive) magazines at MagCloud. We're going to be releasing four issues this year total and a total of 14 eBook installments of our serialized stories. I'll keep announcing the releases, and if you like them please purchase a copy. Honestly you’ll spend more on a cup of coffee in a single morning at Starbucks, why not support a fantastique Steampunk magazine instead?
Because at the end of the day, we serve you the Steampunk community, and any investment you make the magazine, and the wonderful volunteers is an investment in making the community better. So please help however you can, and know that I appreciate it.

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