April 17, 2020

LitMag and Covid-19 — Please read

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This virus has hit so many so hard. Lost lives. Lost jobs. Difficult changes to daily lives. And  so much more. It is not over yet, and we do not know when it will be over, or how long it will take to “recover” once it is.

LitMag was hit hard in a number of ways, most significantly the destruction of copies of the beautiful issue that had just been printed weeks prior. LitMag #3 shipped off to our distributor in late February. Weeks later we received from our distributor an email saying that due to the Covid-19 crisis all of the copies our printer had shipped were being destroyed and counted as “returns.”  A few clarifying emails yielded the better news that of the three shipments of LitMag to the distributors three different warehouses (East, Midwest, and West) only the total shipment to one of those warehouses (West) was destroyed. The other two warehouses had received the copies and shipped them in turn to Barnes & Noble stores.

So two-thirds of copies of LitMag #3 did make it to the the Barnes & Noble stores. But there was further bad news, the distributor told us: most of the Barnes & Nobel stores are closed, and those few that remain open have no traffic.

We had worked with our distributor to change the on-sale date from March 25 to April 25, and posted the change on our Website in bold. It said: **WE CHANGED THE ON-SALE DATE FOR B&N STORES TO APRIL 25TH, SO YOU CAN ALL STAY HOME AND SLOW THE SPREAD!!!** But the distributor later told us that the change did not take (for some very technical and inhuman reason). The result: LitMag has been sitting at closed Barnes & Noble stores since March 25, with the clock ticking. Literary magazines stay on the shelves for only 12 weeks. Given the stay-at-home shutdowns  in many states, LitMag #3 will be destroyed and deemed “returned” without ever going on sale at many of the Barnes & Nobel stores.

We will miss hearing from all of those new fans of LitMag who find it where it should be, on a shelf in a book store. But the graver reality is that financially LitMag #3 is a total bust. Printing costs have put many literary magazines out of business before–and that is without all of the copies being destroyed weeks after the printing. Every dollar spent to print those beautiful copies of LitMag #3 is gone and unrecoverable, and LitMag depends on that income to continue running.

LitMag intends to be around for a long while. But there are things we are going to have to do, drastic measures we are going to have to take to keep LitMag going: First, we are going to have to decrease by half what we have been paying writers. Since we have for four years paying a rather good rate for a non-glossy, even after the decrease the payment will still be good.

What you can do: There are still some copies that we did not ship, copies we reserve for new subscribers and back orders. You can buy them now and tell your friends to buy them now. You can call Sheridan at 717.632.3535 or click here to buy online.

During this Covid-19 crisis many worse things have occurred than the destruction of LitMag copies before they went on sale, but we ask you to support us as you can. Stay healthy and be safe.

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