Thank you for reading and watching and listening and seeing this issue of Things Created By People. This is a good thing to start a letter with.
While it is not our goal to become the next Buzzfeed, we care a lot about growing our audience and making the people who read our zine happy.
We don’t just do this for ourselves–we want to make sure that it’s worth our contributors’ time to submit, to go through the editing process, to sit down with us and talk to us about their art. We want to make sure that their art is seen and appreciated.
Right now, that’s all we have to offer. It’s a shitty offer, honestly. The worst thing you can tell an artist is “we pay in exposure.” Exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
We don’t have the ability yet to pay our contributors, but it’s coming. It is on our minds, but more than that, it is on our roadmap. It is our number one goal for the next year. We have no idea what form payment might take. We can’t tell you when it will come. But it will come, and hopefully it will look like money. (If it makes you feel any better, all of the editors have spent a lot of real, actual dollars to make this whole thing happen, so we’re in a similar–or worse–boat than you!)
In the meantime, here’s our deal: if we have to pay you in exposure, we’ll make sure it’s real, actual exposure. For our contributors, that means helping spread their new and ongoing projects–writing, film, dance, painting, music–over Twitter and to our newsletter subscribers. We don’t want to just promote your piece in our zine; we want to promote you as an artist.
A big part of making that worthwhile will be growing our audience. In the week after we released the first issue of Things Created By People, fewer than 40 people read it. In the week after we released Issue Three two months ago, 800 read it. We’re optimistic that we can grow this number much higher within the next year.
Of course, passing visitors do not matter if they don’t stay to engage in future issues or with our contributors’ other projects. To speak of it in business-like terms, we need to convert those visitors into Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers. Our newsletter is especially important to us; it will allow us to directly communicate with our audience in a way that is much more intimate than a tweet. It’s an essential part of our community building efforts in the next year.
How can you help? If you are a contributor, you can help us by spreading your work and the works of your fellow contributors far and wide, on Facebook and beyond. You can also help us by encouraging friends to sign up for our newsletter, signing up for the newsletter yourself, and by sending us your latest projects. If you are not a contributor, you can do most of those things as well.
Oh, by the way, did you notice that we completely revamped our website? It’s much more mobile friendly than the last site, so please, read everything on your phone or tablet or smartwatch. We have contributor pages for the first time, allowing our contributors to have their own page on the site. We’ve also made the archive a lot more fun to explore.
In your digital possession is the fourth issue of this zine. It is the last in our first volume. The next time you read a letter from the editor, it will be in the fall, and we will have been doing this for an entire year. We look forward to doing it for many more.
Thank you for reading and watching and listening and seeing this issue of Things Created By People. This is a good thing to end a letter with.