Thursday, January 15, 2009


No, we’re not going to shoot Jake (the dog), but without you, we may well have to shoot the magazine. Seriously.
InsideOut was started a mere six years ago. We all know that 2002 was, in retrospect, a different era, a different time—one of halcyon days, which among other things assumed that local advertisers would and could pay the full cost of edit, art, production and staff. It was always a fragile magazine existence. And no, it doesn’t take a weatherman to see that the economic climate has changed. Drastically and with startling speed.

My prior national magazine experience taught me that free publications get hurt disportionately in a recession. So my goal from the beginning, when I joined InsideOut two years ago, was to make this endeavor sustainable for the long term. I knew that if we wanted this one-of-a-kind regional magazine to be robust in any climate, we would need to eventually cover 30 percent of our operating costs with contributions from you, our readers.

Over the last twelve issues—and through the distribution of over a quarter of a million free copies up and down the valley—we’ve invested in the overall quality of the magazine: Our stories, the writers, the design, the photography and production (we print locally with the best quality ink) are all absolutely top-notch. We wanted to make it perfectly, inescapably clear to you exactly what kind of magazine we think this area deserves.

But more than that, we’ve really tried to tap into the soul of this valley. The response to this? You have pretty much uniformly told us: You love it. Through letters to the editor, appreciative emails, grins on the street, attaboys and attagirls in the bar, and thumbs up in moving cars, we’ve been encouraged, flattered and thanked again and again.
You’re out there, and we’ve heard from enough of you to believe you mean it. As one of us here quipped, “if we could get subscriptions from all those affirmations—we’d be set.”

So now we need to manifest this wish. Yep. We need your vote: a subscription, a willingness to write a check for $18.95 for a year of InsideOut. This is what we want you to do.

And here’s why. If you think that what we’ve been doing has fundamental merit, if you think that we have, in our own small way, made a difference in the quality of your life here, if you think our chronicles of the people and places are right, that our photographs and interviews are stirring and interesting—in effect, if you think we’re doing a good job—we need to hear from you, by January 31st, in the form of your one-year subscription. Our goal is neither modest nor aggressive. It’s 1,000.

Either we’ll start a new chapter, or we’ll make this the last one. Please take your cues from Jake. Subscribe to InsideOut with the insert card, by calling us, by going online or by making a gift to a friend.

It’s worth nothing less than everything to us.

Owen Lipstein