2008: Much to my shock, wonder and surprise, I discovered that Hasbro had allowed their trademarks for AMAZING STORIES to lapse.
Action Item: apply for and obtain the marks for Amazing Stories.
Resolution: Filing successfully transmitted; runs into a prior-date filing for “travel books”.
Follow-up: Cross fingers. Chew nails. Retain original application in holding pattern
2011: Prior application fails. Current application published in the registry. No objections.
Action Item: Analyze on-line magazines; analyze print magazines. Create business plan. Seek investment
2012: Trademarks Grant. Press releases sent out. Many fans relieved the name has not become Amazing Stories of Travel in Timbuktu.
December 2012: Beta test a “social magazine” website.
Publish issues of the magazine (re-launch, pre-launch issues) to secure “in commerce” status
Action Items: Seek to provide multiple daily postings on subjects of interest to science fiction, fantasy and horror fans. (Look for investment dollars)
January 2013: Website goes live.
Action Items: Learn how to corral cats.
2014: Seek to license the name;
Action Items: negotiate licensing agreement with Open Road Brands and Futures Past Editions books.
Follow-up: Seek T-shirt printer for licensing deal
April 2014: Under strong pressure from fans, produce an 88th Anniversary issue of the magazine.
Follow-up: Graciously accept compliments and fend off requests for another issue in the immediate future
1. Find additional ways to reward contributors
2. Follow-up on T-shirt licensing deal
3. Work with partners and others to develop stronger advertising revenue stream
4. Work with partners and others to establish regular publication of new fiction (paid)
5. Obtain funding for broader, more wide-ranging advertising campaign
6. Complete site updates to include more social networking tools including individual member landing pages
7. Continue to seek funding
Well, here we are at the end of our second year. A lot has been accomplished during that time frame. We’ve had ups and downs, some controversial posts, some fubars on the managing/editing side, the happy arrival of new contributors, the sad departure of some existing ones.
We’ve published several thousand posts – many of them receiving good attention; I may not be hearing all of the negative criticism out there, but I do constantly here that we’ve become known for publishing good, thoughtful content.
Both of our licensing deals are selling product, though we’ve not yet received any royalty payments (schedule stuff, expected); with the new year we hope to announce another deal, this one for t-shirts (valued because they are advertising as well as product to sell).
Our two big hold-ups are lack of funding for significant advertising and lack of funding for regularly publishing new fiction. Both of these subjects are constantly on the lips of those who comment and advise.
We’re certainly mindful of these needs and, at least around here, no proverbial rock has gone un-turned (and hey, I think we found Cthulhu under one of them – but it disdains money and so has none to invest).
So, at the end of one year and the beginning of another, this:
We’ve got over 10,000 members & subscribers. Our daily traffic equals or exceeds most of the online fiction mags (all of whom we support, we hasten to add); we have two, going on three licensing deals that should provide a steady income; we’ve got a core team of over 150 contributors, many of whom work in the field, who possess a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience. We believe that all of the basic elements to support a fiction magazine – especially one NOT dependent upon advertising and subscriptions – are in place. Surely there is someone out there who is looking for a turn-key operation that would SHINE with the application of a little funding….
BE WELL. ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS. BE GOOD TO ONE ANOTHER.