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Keeping lip in print – seeking ideas and feedback!

The ANU Women's Department girls serve up soup at the Canberra launch!

Sometimes, working on an online magazine can feel a bit isolating – all of our staff is scattered across Australia, our readers are names and not faces, and it can feel a bit like it’s just us, in our bedrooms on our laptops, shouting into the abyss.

This is what I said in my speech at the Canberra launch party for Issue 21 of Lip, which was held last Friday night.

“Seeing people here though, in person, flicking through a real magazine, reading our words and supporting our work is an incredible feeling,” I continued.

And it was – it was so incredibly gratifying to watch our readers skim through articles, chat about the magazine, and most of all, be there to support us.

The Canberra launch party, which was sponsored by the ANU Women’s Department and held at the ANU Food Co-Op, was a huge success.
Tons of people showed up, we had bands and soup and cider, and everyone seemed to have an awesome time. Best of all, we raised almost a third of our goal for fundraising for the next issue of Lip.

That’s what I want to discuss today – the need for funds, and why we think that the print magazine is important.

Lip was always envisioned to be a regular print magazine. We wanted to be a tangible, physical force in girls’ lives, we wanted to take over the newsstands and put up a real fight against mainstream magazines that we felt pigeonholed us and marginalised us into stereotypes groups.

It was only after we ceased to receive regular government funding that we started to cut back on print issues. When I took over as Editor-In-Chief in 2010, I organised a redesign of our website, and turned it into a web magazine. We now have tons of followers, excellent staff, and regular content daily.

I feel that we’ve made strides in creating the kind of modern, feminist community that we were looking for.
However, at the end of the day, a print magazine is still a huge part of what we want to do at Lip. Something permanent, something tangible, that showcases our work and our amazing staff’s work. In an industry where being published in print is becoming more and more of a pipedream, this is even more important than ever before.

This year, we are trying our utmost to make Lip sustainable, and to install a regular printing schedule. We’ve already suffered a set back, and are down to printing three issues this year, instead of the aimed-for four. But we want to do this without filling the magazine with advertising, and without compromising our content values for a publisher or agency.

This is where you guys come in – we need ideas, and we need them badly. What would you like to see us to do raise money?

Are there any events you think we could host, any products you would buy? Are there any awesome campaign ideas you have that we could use for Lip? What would you like to see more of, and what would you like to see less?

Give us your feedback, and we’ll endeavour to keep the magazine in print with your help.
This is as much your mag as it is ours, and your input would be greatly valued!

If you’re in Melbourne or Adelaide, you could also do your bit in person, by attending our launch parties in those cities. Melbourne is on May 5th, and Adelaide on May 12 (click on the city for event details).

Help us do what we love, to bring you a mag that you love!

If you’d rather get in touch privately, shoot me a line at [email protected]!

6 thoughts on “Keeping lip in print – seeking ideas and feedback!

  1. Perhaps some sort of event that goes for 24 hours? I’m not sure what exactly, but it would be a representation of how women’s equality and changing the magazine landscape (not to sound cliche) is somewhat of a marathon, not a sprint.

  2. I’m involved with an organisation and we have hosted many fundraisers to help raise money. The cause is a little different, however I feel people are very generous and if you have lots of supporters then it should be successful.
    We held an ‘art sale’ fundraiser which collected over 100 pieces of art work from around Australia and even some photos from international people and sold them for $50 in a one night event at an awesome venue in the CBD which would suit your mag. We raised over $2000 and also go our name out there amongst lots of new people.
    We also had a trivia night which was smaller and more focused at family and friends but that was very easy also. The last one we did was a ‘music’ night at The Penny Black in Brunswick where we had local bands play for free and people just paid an entry fee. We had a raffle and the like but generally it was just an easy night out with friends watching some bands. This was the least amount of work for a good return (about $3000) and again it was great for advertising. If you like any of the ideas, I’m happy to give you more info. Just email me! Good luck!

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks so much – those are awesome ideas. If you have any info on Melbourne venues that hire out for cheap or free, that would be really helpful!

  3. Furthering on Rebecca’s ideas above, and thinking about the events my uni women’s collective put on:

    An art show is a great idea – finding a supportive gallery space or other space that will let you show the work for free (a derby group up here once had a show in the downstairs area of a cool cafe/bar – they had plenty of wall space and were happy to have the extra customers!) and put a callout for feminist art. Throw a launch party where everyone can drink cheap wine and eat cheap brie (hopefully donated by someone!) and charge a gold coin donation for entry and then sell the art.
    A feminist movie marathon – either set up a big projector in someone’s backyard, hire a tiny indie theatre, whatever – and screen three or four great movies back to back. PJs encouraged! I think normal cinemas charge well over $20 a person for these nights and I know I’d be happy to pay $20 for a night like this. BONUS: have a bake sale table set up AT the movie marathon so that people can buy their movie munchies straight from you guys!
    Reclaim the Mic: Poetry/slam night at a bar that will let you have the venue for free, gold coin donation + another gold coin each time you want to take the mic, maybe a signature Lip cocktail.

  4. Expanding your stockists might be an idea. It might not make that much money, but it could bring along more readers and more readers means more support for Lip. Mag Nation is a pretty good bet and you might be able to get Lip stocked at a couple of their different locations (the Newtown shop could be keen). And pillage the stockists of other Australian publications, like Kill Your Darlings: OR Pan Magazine:

  5. Have you thought about starting a campaign on Indiegogo? People are usually pretty happy to donate small amounts for nothing in return. Even without big donations, small ones will add up, and with Indiegogo even if you don’t reach your funding goal you get to keep whatever has been donated.

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