Submitted by syntaxfactory on October 23, 2012 - 12:55pm
Hannah Harvey, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 22, 2012
After nine years and nearly 30 issues, Storytelling, Self, Society finds itself at a crossroads. Taylor & Francis, the commercial press that was our outlet from 2006 until this year, felt that revenues were not growing fast enough for their balance sheet. In the current economic climate, we have not been able to sufficiently increase institutional and individual subscriptions. So they are letting us go.
Because the SSS Editorial Board is as committed as ever to our mission of nurturing storytelling studies, we are working to turn this emergency into an opportunity. To that end, we have entered into negotiations with University of Illinois Press, a leading non-commercial academic publisher. They are host to a solid and diverse roster of comparable journals, and are excited at the prospect of taking us on, although they do so on terms quite different from those we have had in the past.
For one thing, we will return to our original publishing schedule of two issues a year, of approximately 84-96 pages each. In addition, the press will operate on a fee-for-service basis. That is, while it will handle marketing, typesetting and mailing, we will be billed for these services after each issue. They have given us an estimate of approximately $12,000 per year for these services.
Here are some moves that the new publishers and the editors are now making to increase our outreach and our revenue base:
New lower non-commercial subscription rates have been set at $175 for print and electronic formats, $150 for electronic-only; and for individual subscribers $50 for print and electronic, $40 for e-only. This is a substantial reduction from Taylor & Francis's vertiginous institutional rates of $279 and $251, and their individual rate of $79 per year. We hope that these more modest subscription prices will encourage many new institutions and individuals to try this publication out.
University of Illinois Press is working to get Storytelling, Self, Society established as a part of Project MUSE, the electronic journal subscription service, which if successful would provide a steady revenue stream. The caution here, however, is that we will still need to greatly increase our own subscription base to receive the premium terms from Project MUSE that would ensure our publication's ongoing financial viability.
This means that, more than ever, we need the support of friends and colleagues such as yourself in order to carry on. The advisory board of this journal and the members of the Storytelling in Higher Education Special Interest Group of the National Storytelling Network together form a basic map of the emerging field of Storytelling Studies. Without you there would be no such field, and so no such journal. But we need your direct input and assistance now more than ever. Without it, the journal may not be able to continue in its current form. With our current subscriber lists carried over at the new discounted rates, we will need to make up an annual shortfall of about $4500 to balance the books for each of the next two volumes.
Thus there are numerous ways that you can get involved, to help secure the future of Storytelling, Self, Society:
(1) You can purchase advertising for your publications or institutions in the journal, at the new and considerably reduced rates of $225 for a full page, $125 for a half page ad.
(2) You can encourage your institution and colleagues to buy subscriptions at the new reduced rates quoted above: for institutions, $175 for print and electronic formats, $150 for electronic-only; and for individual subscribers $50 for print and electronic, $40 for e-only.
(3) You can enlist the support of your department or organization to make tax-deductible donations of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1000 for the next two crucial, transitional years.
(4) You can make a year-end tax-deductible donation of your own, perhaps in honor of a colleague.
(5) You can refer us to other potential subscription, sponsorship, and grant opportunities.
When we have settled the issues set forth above of securing a new publishing arrangement with a sustainable financial footing, we will be asking your additional input in the following areas:
(6) Encourage quality submissions from students and colleagues
(7) Submit your own papers to the journal on a regular basis.
(8) Review submissions
(9) Copy-edit papers
(10) Suggest and recruit other potential advisory and editorial board members.
We recognize that as the first peer-reviewed, international academic journal for Storytelling Studies, SSS has always faced challenges in the academic marketplace. We are convinced, however, that with the right marketing plan and the support of our friends, we will not only continue to grow our journal, but also, more importantly, our field. To that end, we are pleased to announce our newest editorial board member, Dr. Jessica Senehi, from the University of Manitoba, whose scholarship in storytelling and peace-building is well-known and respected in the field. Welcome, Jessica!
And thank you for all you have done to support the journal thus far. As always, we look forward to your questions, comments and advice.
Joseph D. Sobol, co-editor email@example.com
Caren Neile, co-editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Harvey, managing editor email@example.com
Jessica Senehi, assistant managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org
John Gentile, book review editor email@example.com
Milbre Burch, performance review editor firstname.lastname@example.org