Show of hands, please. Who can’t stand those National Public Radio fundraising drives? Yeah, me either. I change the station, but not after ponying up, because NPR is important to me and I know that my donation goes directly to their work.

It’s the same for Adventure Journal, although on a much, much, much smaller scale. To put readers first, make the best magazine and website we can, and publish responsibly, ethically, and sustainably, we limit our advertising, don’t accept sponsored content, and don’t sell our posts or social media content. We plant a tree for every purchase—and one for every magazine sold. That means we need readers to be a part of what we’re doing, and I don’t just mean by liking us on Instagram. Specifically, we need you to subscribe to AJ in print.

(TL;DR? SUBSCRIBE HERE NOW)

I’m not asking for a handout. We think that Adventure Journal is one of the best outdoor publications ever made. That’s certainly our goal. 98 percent of our susbcribers renew—a number so high it’s unheard of in publishing. Almost every day, a reader emails us with a lovely note about what AJ means to them. I’m saying this not to boast, but just to say there’s pretty good evidence that if you like what we publish online, you’ll love what we do in print.

Small independent publishing demands low overhead. AJ’s “shipping room” was our daughters bedroom. We haven’t gotten too far updating it. 🙂

 

And here’s the thing: The Adventure Journal model is not sustainable. We’re profitable. But we’re also the only high quality outdoor quarterly that provides multiple stories online for free every day and has a robust stream of original social content. Did you know that there are only three of us working full time on AJ or close to full time? Justin Housman runs our website, Joni Casimiro is our art director, and there’s me. We need more help—to bring you better stories, improve the website, and not blow up in a pile of ashes—and for that we need more support.

Our print circulation is tiny. Getting new subscribers is hard. I don’t know much about marketing and our time is spent making the magazine and website, not selling it. We don’t rely on cheesy magazine tricks, like putting sexy adventure athletes on the cover or promising that we’ll make your life better through new fitness tips. AJ is comprised of amazing stories and photography, shared with respect and honor, about the people, places, and things that matter to the outdoor culture. There is stoke and passion and fun and joy. Our pieces are evergreen and our product is beautiful—we’ve designed it for you to have a lifelong relationship with each issue, and with us, not to be some flash in the pan where we take your money and you throw it away after a quick flipthrough.

For Adventure Journal to be sustainable, we need at least another 2,500 2,300 subscribers (thank you to everyone who’s joined us since this post posted!). More than 300,000 individuals read our free stories every month on the website. A handful are carrying the load for everyone else. I’m not saying that AJ will go away, but if we don’t get the support from readers that we need, it WILL change. We need you to be a part of ethical, beautiful, independent publishing. That means you, not someone else. And I know if I don’t ask, and ask regularly, it won’t happen.

So, I’m asking. Please subscribe right now. Not tonight, not tomorrow. Right now and then it’s done. You can cancel any time and if you don’t like the current issue we send, we’ll give you your money back. 🙏🏼👊🏻♥️

Thanks,

Steve Casimiro
Editor and Founder

P.S.: If you already subscribe, THANK YOU. Would you consider giving an AJ subscription as a gift? And/or sharing your experience with AJ below?

Hey all. Adding this on Sunday evening to address a couple things. Kevin McCallister, a key member of the AJ community and frequent commenter, asked below what I mean by AJ “will change.” I touched on that briefly in the comments but will talk about that in a post later this week or next. I’ll tell you guys what change might look like, but more important, I’ll share what my vision is for the AJ we want to build for the longterm.

Next, I need to emphasize that we are blessed to have an incredibly generous group of subscribers and fans. You guys are amazing—you are so quick to praise and encourage, so committed to the AJ…we get emails from you every day and it means the world to us. It’s just that we need more help around here and, darn it, people insist on getting paid.

Also, many of you have mentioned Patreon as a way to support AJ. We’ve started building our Patreon page and are working on new merch to offer as rewards as the levels scale. We expect to have that live by the end of the summer, along with a brand new product that we’re really excited about.

Finally, in case you were wondering who’s behind all this, here’s your AJ crew. That’s Miss Olivia Jane helping her dad work on stories on the couch:

 

 

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.