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Volume 12, Issue 3: Anvil

Mother of All From Us's

Douglas Wilson

This special edition of From Us is intended for all our loyal readers, critics, and adversaries—in short, this is for all of Rabbit’s friends and relations. If you read Credenda at all, we would like to ask you to read through this. We are announcing a fairly important set of changes in how we publish the magazine, and we would like everyone who wants or needs to be up to speed to actually be so.

Our circulation continues to grow significantly, but for various reasons (one of them being the fact that it takes about $20,000 to print and mail each issue) our ability to reach our target of six issues a year has only been met once. We really want to do more than this, and consequently, some changes are called for.
Thus far, our pattern for raising the money necessary to run the magazine has been to include a genteel fund-raising letter with the magazine twice a year. The problem with this is that if we only get three issues out in that year, we are asking for help two issues out of three. We don’t feel right asking for money an increased percentage of the time, while those who respond and support the magazine are getting a decrease in the number of issues they receive. In addition, getting fewer issues out means that the salaries we need to pay (not included in the amount above) are not nearly as cost-effective, and are not a good use of the money we feel responsible for.
And so, this is what we propose to do about it.
We are discontinuing the fundraising letters that go out with the magazine. We have now established a separate mailing list of those who have donated to us, and those who request to have their name put on that list. Twice a year (probably May and November) we will send out a separate letter requesting help from that list only. These letters will be more financially-specific than our previous general letters have been. Every issue of Credenda will have a small box somewhere (probably near the masthead or in the letters section) that explains how the magazine is funded, and how to give or have your name added to the donor’s list.
Secondly, we have decided not to print and mail unless we have money in hand for three future issues. This will prevent the "coasting into the gas station" problem. In the past, when we have only had money in hand for the one issue we just sent out, it has been hard to know whether we needed to get to work on the next issue right away. Other work then presses in, one thing leads to another, and the next issue is delayed longer than we would like.
Third, our production of six issues a year will now be unrelated to whether we have any money or not. We will begin dating the magazines—Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, and so on. If Jan/Feb passes and we have been unable to print and mail, then we will publish that issue electronically. Once an issue has been published electronically (but was not published in hard copy), we will begin work immediately on the next issue.
This means that in the year 2001 it is possible, for example, that we will publish four hard copy issues and six issues on the web. The two issues that are on the web only will eventually appear in print, but not as a separately published magazine. At the end of each calendar year, we will have a "back issue" volume for the year available on our back issues page. Printed magazines would be available to order from that page separately, but those published electronically would only be available in the Credenda 2001 volume, brought to you by the Kinkos here in Moscow.
Incidentally, but still worth mentioning, this does not represent a shift in our philosophy of publishing. We would much rather publish a magazine, supplemented with e-publishing, than to publish solely on the web. But we would also rather publish in an e-format than not publish at all.
Our first support letter under this new system will go out this November (2000). If you have donated to the magazine in the past, you will probably get one. If you want to make sure you do, then please email us here at [email protected] and ask to be put on the donor’s list for Credenda. You may ask to be added even if you have not given in the past. It is worth noting that a request to be added is not a promise to give in the future, but rather is a simple request to be asked to give.
We are doing all of this because we want to be conscientious and above reproach in how we publish this magazine. We thank you for your support as we look for a good and effective way to do this.

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