Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Plans for "imago" are tentatively back on.

(Let me make it quickly clear that this image by Jules Andre Brown is only being used for test purposes today, for mock-up versions of things that don't yet exist, and that nothing pictured here today is actually for sale yet.)

Did you hear? I got hit by a car last year! And that led to a shattered hip, which led to a settlement check this fall, which after paying all my bills left me with enough left over to buy my first-ever top-of-the-line Macintosh, and by that I mean a 27-inch iMac with quad-core Intel i7 processors, PLUS my first-ever legal copy of Adobe Creative Suite 5, including the software needed both to design publications again and convert them into iPad magazines for sale. So that has me thinking seriously again about imago, an idea I've had for awhile for a hipster photography magazine run by my arts organization, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, which I've been thinking of maybe trying to put out every three months next year in a whole variety of formats for each issue -- a PDF that a person can print out or load on an e-ink device; an copy that people can "flip through" online, and then order a glossy paper version of if they want; and an enhanced iPad version for sale at the Apple iBook Store, which includes multimedia elements not present in the other versions.

The whole idea behind this project is to try something I could do literally just in my spare time on the weekends, for example while watching "Svengoolie" and drinking beer on a Saturday night, but that after publication could simply exist labor-free as part of a "long tail" of bringing in small yet tangible amounts of real money slowly with a big catalog over time; so not only would I sell each issue of the magazine itself into perpetuity, but I'd put together "hipster museum" style posters of each of the five artists featured in each issue, and sell them as a series of print-on-demand merchandise that people can order online, with the above image for example available as everything from a coffee mug to refrigerator magnet, t-shirt, three-by-four-foot poster, bookmark, button, etc etc etc etc. That essentially gives you six new, unique revenue streams with each issue, or 24 at the end of a year under my plan of quarterly issues, which once you're done actually setting up would simply sit there and exist to draw in pure profit, albeit just a tiny amount of profit per artist. That's why you have to have so many for the endeavor in general to be worth the center's time, and also why it likely wouldn't be worth it cutting into my weekday time used for book reviews, publishing original books, planning live events, etc. This would mostly be about putting out a very cool new product, something a little edgier and more visually oriented to add to CCLaP's overall repertoire, to not have it take up too much time but hopefully by the end of the year make at least $500 if not more, and in the meanwhile using the center's resources to creatively highlight 24 very deserving photographers over the course of a year.

Anyway, more news on this as it develops!

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