Well, what do you know -- issue #2 of CCLaP's new monthly magazine, The CCLaP Journal, is now finished and ready for download, and only nine months after it was first due! As longtime readers remember, this is basically my attempt to get a little pay to the new blog contributors I've been bringing on in the last year (including Chicagoans Travis Fortney and Rex Brink, Minnesota's Karl Wolff and New Jersey's Madeleine Maccar), by "remonetizing" the huge amount of original content these people are generating; namely, by collecting up all this material each month and re-outputting it as a traditional magazine, then doing things like typing up our podcast interviews and adding original short fiction. We then offer this up as a free PDF that you can download, or view in a "flippable" form online at "YouTube for magazines" service Issuu.com; and we also offer a print-on-demand paper edition over at MagCloud.com, as well as special optimized versions for Kindles and iPads for $4.99 apiece. And all was going fine when I first launched the magazine back in February; but then just a few weeks after that, Lori Hettler came on as our first-ever marketing director, and the first thing she did was quickly double and then triple sales of our original books. Which was great, but which immediately threw us behind the curve again as far as things that have needed done; and it's only now here in October, when we're finally done releasing all our 2013 books, that I'm getting a chance to get caught back up with old projects again.
Issue #2, coming out today, features material that first appeared here at the blog last month, in September -- so that includes over a dozen book reviews and rare-book overviews, interviews with Mason Johnson and Chris L. Terry, and four photographer features, including the Cat Power tour photos from band guitarist Nico Turner -- plus the bonus reprinting of Mark R. Brand's short story "Red Rocket," which appears in his new CCLaP book Long Live Us. And as you can see in these screenshots, the optimized Kindle version is not just a reformatted version of the PDF, but an entirely new document in the MOBI format built from the ground-up (a big part of the reason why it takes so long for these issues to get finished); so visually a more boring layout, to be sure, but that nicely does all the things we Kindle owners like our ebook documents to do, like automatically reflow when we adjust the text size, let us hop directly from the table of contents to individual articles, etc. Your purchase of the Amazon or paper editions, or your voluntary donation for the PDF, are the only ways our contributors get paid; and instead of treating this as alms, I've worked very hard to provide a value-added experience for anyone who spends extra money, so I hope all my fellow Kindle owners will appreciate this and spend a little more for the slick, hyperlinked Amazon version. (Optimized versions for iPads coming soon; but the iBook creation software is even more complicated than the Kindle's, and the learning curve has been steeper than I imagined.)
Like most book nerds, I grew up with a real love for traditionally laid-out magazines, a format I believe provides a kind of heft and sense of completeness that daily posts to a website page simply cannot; so it provides me great delight to present again the content from our blog in this kind of traditional way, and I hope it provides a greater understanding of all the gears we constantly have in motion around here. It's been another overwhelmingly busy year for us around here, our sixth such year in a row, and I love now having this monthly opportunity to provide all of you an easy-to-digest round-up of it all. Here are all the direct links for issue #2, which I hope you'll get a chance to check out soon.