A Bit of the Bay Magazine has reached several important milestones during its inaugural 2019 volume, a four-edition set published in September, October, November and December. The first edition for the 2020 volume is being released Jan. 10.
During the first four months, we have been supported by 50 different advertisers, which was crucial to get our legs underneath us and the business foundation built. Many of our clients have signed up for multiple insertions through to March, providing a base to build on to get through the slowest period for ad-supported media – January and February.
We are also approaching the 100 mark for copies distributed to paid subscribers, although we certainly want to increase that number. Our goal is to get 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2020. We’ve also had the honour of helping several local not-for-profit and charitable groups which generally lack the funds for advertising – they’re too busy doing good work in the community. Every business that paid for ads have basically assisted in this effort, allowing us to give space to the Nipissing Serenity Hospice, Gathering Place, North Bay Cancer Society, North Bay Pride, Warriors of Hope, The Rotary Club of Nipissing, Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective, J.O.Y. Band, Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre and North Bay Food Bank. And last month, we initiated paid copy sales at several outlets with a retail sales price of $4.43 (+ HST).
It’s not clear yet how that went as we will be in contact with the outlet managers while delivering the December issue. It’s a tricky gambit, going for paid copy sales, as we still must circulate the full 5,000-print run advertisers are promised. It’s important, for many reasons, that we put a value on the magazine and seek revenue through copy sales. Producing a quality magazine costs money and despite strong support from advertisers, not all the costs can be recouped through ads alone. It’s also a philosophical issue because we know people who get things for free on a regular basis don’t appreciate them.
We’ve got a lot to learn and we are open to new ideas to make A Bit of the Bay Magazine a long-term part of the North Bay community. If you have any ideas how to increase advertising, subscription, or retail sales revenue – or even good places to circulate free samples – please contact us via email: [email protected]