Section: A Word From…
Blogger: Joseph Clay
Hello everyone. This month (October 2019) we released our official first issue, the 2019 Halloween edition. That makes the Halloween edition special in two ways. Not only is it the first official issue, but the first holiday edition.
How it Happened
From the data gathered from our Social Media sites, Facebook and Twitter we decided to test the waters so to speak with an online magazine.
The Corral would be different from the other magazines out there. This magazine wouldn’t be genre specific and…showcase the talents of the independent author with features and their writings.
After searching hosting sites we decided that Issuu was the best fit for us. The Corral, in June (2019) released a sample version of the online magazine; to give the public a look and feel of the layout and features.
The data from the sample issue has been compiled and analyzed. Issuu reported the following.
Impressions, (number of times the publication was displayed to a potential reader) 677. These numbers do not reflect the number of times the magazine was seen on Facebook and Twitter along with other social media sites. The total number of reads to date 106. The publication was shared 13 times.
The numbers listed above are for four months. I will admit they are not where I would prefer them to be. Every coin however has two sides. Considering the sample issue was only 22 pages the numbers are not bad.
Below is the sample issue of The Corral
All new start ups go through growing pains. Some of the pains you endure and learn from. The pains caused by an outside force, the ones you can’t control are the pains that will kill a company.
The Corral kept it’s social media followers, readers and writers, informed of the two Visual Writing Contests that were open. We let them know we were seeking authors for the Author Spotlight, Q&A sessions and for books to list in the Books from the Barn feature. We also asked for submissions from writers to help fill the pages of the magazine.
The lack of of participation from the independent writing community was shockingly low and for some features there were no entries or inquiries.
The Corral was developed for the independent writer. The online magazine features poems, short stories and flash fiction writings of the independent author/writer. Unlike other online and print magazines which only focus on one genre, The Corral accepts and publishes all genres including Erotica.
The books we review are written by independent authors. We interview independent authors, feature them in an author’s spotlight, and list the works of independent authors in what we call Books from the Barn.
I can understand if the lack of participation was because The Corral charged a fee for these services, but we don’t… it’s all free.
The Corral was not designed to gain exposure for the staff of The Corral.
The Corral’s goal is simple. The pages of The Corral are to be filled with the writings of Independent authors/writers. That is not happening at this time.
The authors/writers who are on the staff of The Corral understand how valuable exposure for their work is. During the conception stage of The Corral the staff insisted the magazine have a feature from them. We created Staff Stories from the Silo for them to showcase their writing.
We have yet to use the Staff Stories from the Silo feature as the staff has been picking up the slack due to the lack of submissions.
Since we had no takers for our Halloween Edition Author Spotlight I moved an independent photographer into that slot. The photographer was scheduled for the winter edition due out in January 2020.
The Corral is getting more requests from independent musicians, photographers, and visual artists than we are independent writers. Maybe we should change our focus. Feature a mixture of independent author/writers, musicians and photographers along with visual artists.
My goal as the Founder:
- Keep the magazine free for the readers. (This hinges on getting advertisers to help cover the costs.)
- Make sure The Corral survives the growing pains for 12 months. That is a minimum of four issues, one a quarter.
- Grow our social media following through advertising and other means. Followers to date: Facebook 66 – Twitter 19.
- We shall begin that task with this blog. Give us a follow on one or both of the social media sites below.
Toward the middle of December I will evaluate the numbers for the Halloween 2019 edition. I will see where we are on submissions for the Winter Edition, 2020.
Once all the data is compiled, I will make a decision on what route The Corral should follow. Do we move forward as is or refocus our attention on other independents.
I urge all independent writers of any skill level to enter a contest and/or make a story submission. Inquire about being featured in a spotlight. Request to have your book reviewed and/or featured in the Books from the Barn feature.
Founder/CEO of JosephClayDotCom
Parent company of The Corral