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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 12:50 am:   

Two days ago we were ready to call it quits for Talebones. A few special people told us just too many nice things and asked that we reconsider (thanks, Ellen!). So we're shamelessly doing a subscription/single issue drive.

What follows is an email message that went out to a lot of folks in our address book. If you feel moved to contribute to a good cause... Or you can post a reply here and say so long and thanks for the memories or something... :-)


Dear Family, Friends, Peers, Acquaintances:

Talebones has been a part of our lives for almost 11 years now. We have enjoyed every minute of putting all 33 issues together for our readers. It has truly been a labor of love. Most of the time that labor has cost us money, and now, because the amount of money we can put into the magazine has dwindled and, for whatever reason, subscriptions and renewals have not been as strong as we had hoped over the past year, we figure we may have to close down the magazine.

A couple of days ago, it was actually a final decision. “That’s it, there’s no way can we keep going.” There were tears. A few VIPs we mentioned it to asked us to reconsider. So we took a step back and decided: We will issue renewal notices as usual, but put an extra strong plea in there about this. And then we will send a more detailed email to everyone in our email address book who might have an interest. Based on what renewals come in over the next month, based on the response to this email, we will see if Talebones can continue on past 2006. Issue #33 is already in its final preparation stage. With our decision to make this final stab at keeping things going came the decision to at least have an issue #34, to be published in November of December. We will make a determination then if it is to be the last or not.

If you’ve subscribed to our magazine before, if you’ve never subscribed, but maybe sent us stories (or had stories published by us), or have wished us well with our little venture, we hope you’ll consider helping out. (We didn’t go through our files to know which of you are current subscribers and pull you off this email list, so forgive us if you’re already subscribers in good standing. If nothing else, we wanted you to know what was up.) At this point, even a single issue copy of our upcoming issue #33 will help. (We’ve put the order form/info up on our website early.) We have Paypal ready to go if you’d like to go that route. Or you can send money order or check payable to Talebones to our physical address at 5203 Quincy Ave SE; Auburn, WA 98092. (Rates on the website.) Or you can ignore this, delete this, or, do whatever you like. It won’t change the way we feel about ANY of you. We just thought we’d do something we’ve never done in over a decade of publishing the magazine: beg! J

That’s our sermon. Thanks for your support. Regardless of what happens to the magazine, never fear: Talebones and Fairwood Press will continue to have a presence in the SF world.

Patrick & Honna Swenson
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 08:43 am:   

In addition to buying the magazine, would it help if we blogged about this?
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 11:26 am:   

Any bit would help, Mary! Thank you. And thank you for your order. I'll get it shipped up to Iceland so you don't have to wait until you return to the U.S.

I hate to think that people look at a magazine like Talebones and take for granted that all is rosy and that we're rolling in dough. We've put our own money into this since day one, and it's never paid us back (except with satisfaction, pride, and love). Over a period of 10 years, it adds up to a huge chunk of change. I have a teacher's salaray, and my wife only works two days a week so she can stay home with our son. We probably could have paid cash for a really nice SUV with the amount we've spent! So blog about this, and blog about supporting the small press. There are other excellent small mags out there that need as much help as us! (Just look up a few topics on this board--you'll see Electric Velocipede, to name just one. A few days ago, I bought two issues of the e-book magazine Aeon (not on this board, but available at www.aeonmagazine.com
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 04:55 pm:   

Heck, I know exactly how you feel. I work with Shimmer which is a new small press magazines; we've got to stick together, eh?

I'll subscribe when I'm back in the States, but thought it would be easier to deal with the postage rates this way.

The post is up at http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/journal/save-talebones/
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 07:31 pm:   

Go Go Go!
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 10:21 pm:   

Stay Stay Stay! :-)

I'm a fairly recent subscriber to the magazine, but so far, I've really enjoyed every ish I've seen. I hope you decide to stick around.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:30 am:   

Thanks all! Well, one day later, I've received 45 subscriptions (6 of them for double issues, one for triple), and about 25 single-issue orders. Still coming in, too. I'd say more than half of them have come from people I didn't email initially with our little sermonette. Folks I don't even know are rallying behind the TB cry! People are posting it everywhere. Y'all are amazing.

I think this may even beat out the SAVE FERRIS campaign.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:32 am:   

Mary, I didn't realize you were a Shimmerite when we were emailing about this! I have a copy of the issue Ken Scholes & Jay Lake were in (signed of course). Great job on that.
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Ken Scholes
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 05:48 am:   

I've posted it to my LJ, too.

http://kenscholes.livejournal.com

Hey Patrick -- Mary is the brilliant art director who got comic artist Karl Kessel to illustrate my story in that issue. And she's an excellent writer (and Wandering Portlander) as well.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

A Portlander wandering far afield, as you can tell from my Icelandic address. I'm glad you enjoyed that issue, Patrick. Ken has promised us a sequel to Action Team-Ups Number Thirty-Seven.

I hope this upward subscription trend continues.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 12:20 am:   

It is a-continuing. 65 subs, a messload of single issues. "The message" has been plastered across blogs and boards all over the ether by all manner of people. I have people offering their services, people asking to buy ads, and so on. I'm more than a bit stunned by all this.

And Ken--damn it, what a nice post on your LJ. Geez, I'm getting a little misty-eyed...
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John A. Pitts
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 09:25 am:   

I can't imagine the field without Talebones. The editorial work is superb, and the stories are wonderful.

This is a gem of a magazine.

You folks keep up the good work.

John
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 01:45 pm:   

Thanks, John! We truly appreciate the kinds words. (And, btw, we miss seeing you on Thursdays!) Hope things are going well for you.
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Crystal Sarakas
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2006 - 01:13 pm:   

I saw the message on various LJs and checked out your website. I was very impressed with your list of authors so I just sent in my subscription for a year. Here's to many more!

Crystal
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2006 - 10:34 pm:   

Crystal, did you use Paypal? Or send a check? I was just checking because I didn't recognize the name--believe me I've been entering new subscriber names into our database for days now! A nice problem to have. :-)
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Ken Scholes
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 03:30 pm:   

Sequel is underway: "Detection Comics Number Nine." :-) Happy to sling tales towards my Shimmery Pals. Heck, it might even get read at Talebones Live this upcoming year....
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R.Wilder
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 03:37 pm:   

I'll be sending a check in mid August. I've been comtemplating a Tailbones sub for a while, and this seems like the time.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 09:03 pm:   

Thanks, R.W!
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 12:20 am:   

As of today:

112 new subscriptions (and renewals)
47 single-issue copies
2 paid advertisements
1 considerable donation
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Neil Clarke
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 07:04 am:   

That's great news! I hope it continues.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 12:01 pm:   

Thanks, Neil! About 80 of the subs came in the first two whirlwind days.

BTW folks, Neil's Clarkesworld Books is one of these advertisers who came through for us, in MULTIPLE ways.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 07:58 pm:   

Great news, Patrick.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 - 10:41 am:   

Thank you, Ellen. Did you get the Talebones copies okay? DId I send you three (30-32)?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 08:23 pm:   

Hi Patrick,
Just got home from Seattle and checked through the mail. Yes, they arrived. Thanks --yes you did. The one from summer 05 (which is too late for me to consider this year) and the other two, which I can.
thanks
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, July 24, 2006 - 09:27 pm:   

Great! And shoot, sorry I didn't see you while you were here for Clarion West. Our schedules were too crazy and we didn't make the reading or the Friday party. Hope your week went well.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 04:43 pm:   

That's ok. I was pretty busy :-) I was interviewed by Eileen Gunn Tuesday at the SF Musuem. The party was a good one although I was pretty wiped out by then.
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james beach
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   

Holy Shit! 112 subscriptions and 47 single copies. That's awesome!!! Congratulations Patrick and I hope that keeps you guys going for a while. It's nice to see the support for a good magazine.

- James
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 11:35 pm:   

Subscription drive totals as of today:

130 new subscriptions (and renewals)
60 single-issue copies
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 02:47 am:   

That's fantastic! Hurrah!
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 03:14 pm:   

Great news indeed. And thank you once again, everyone, for your MASSIVE support...
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Elizabeth Thomas
Posted on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 - 06:14 pm:   

I found out after this whole thing had already happened and blown over by reading a reference to you guys closing down (which scared me!) and then a query on the Asimov's forum told me Talebones was saved. Anyway, keep up the good work (says one clueless subscriber).
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, September 06, 2006 - 08:26 pm:   

Hi, Elizabeth,

Yes, everything's fine here now thanks to the generosity of people all over the web!

I have your address change. Thanks. Issue #33 shipped to subscribers near the end of August. Did you get it before changing addresses? If not, I'll probably need to send you a new copy. Bulk mail does not usually forward mail.

Email me and let me know.

Patrick
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Elizabeth Thomas
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 12:25 am:   

Patrick--

All is a-okay. I got Issue #33. Now if I can only find the time to read my mag. subscriptions! :-) Thank you!

P.S. Just saw that you asked for an email, and I will do that as well in case you don't see this.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 08:30 pm:   

Looking now at the final numbers for the summer subscription drive, those 130 subs, 60 single copies, it looks like SINCE then, we've added another 23 subscriptions. A few of them are those folks who had single issue orders who have now subscribed. Hopefully we get more of those singles to do that.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 09:40 pm:   

Congratulations. That sounds healthy!
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 10:02 am:   

Not a peep on this site since November. Is it the LiveJournal effect? I don't know, but I wanted to bump this topic to the top to remind everyone that you can't just save Talebones once and assume it will stay saved. Buy and give subscriptions year round. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 09:08 pm:   

Hi, Jim. Wow, you're right, it has been a long time. Definitely, it's the live journal for me. Everything I've felt like posting has gone there, and not much here. Today's the first time I remembered to check this in more than a month.

And I agree with Jim! We had great success with the subscription drive, but TB issues are not cheap to put out. One or two issues, without any new subscriptions or renewals coming in, and we'll be back in the "iffy" category.

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