Hello, everybody. I’m Steve Casimiro, the founder and editor of AJ. Also, the photo editor, copy editor, fact checker, sales and marketing director, and vp of distribution, LOL.
I’m gonna be blunt. As you know, these are challenging times for the media. If we don’t get significantly more subscribers to AJ in print, something major is going to change. We will put up a paywall, shut down in print, or—god forbid—sell AJ. And given that the vast majority of outdoor magazines are already owned by a monoculture company whose content is behind a paywall, I don’t think any of us want that.
From the beginning, we have taken countless actions that put you, the editorial quality, and the environment first, at the cost of lower revenues for us. We do this because we respect you and because we think businesses should be ethical and customer-centric; in return we ask just one thing: Buy yourself a subscription to print.
You’re already giving us your most precious resource, your time, so you obviously care about adventure and AJ. Every month, 350,000 individuals–you’re one of them—read between 500,000 and 600,000 pages on our site. And yet, just 6,000 or so people do subscribe, carrying the load for everyone. They’re strong and extremely generous, but it doesn’t seem fair to them.
Justin Housman and I spend all day every day thinking about adventure and the outdoor culture, working on stories, ideas, new features, etc., to bring you the absolute highest quality we can. Mary Butler, Joni Casimiro, and Beth Norby don’t work on AJ full time, but they are equally devoted. We get paid not by venture capitalists or some corporate mothership, but by people just like you.
I don’t want to raise prices on the journal or charge for the website. I sure as heck don’t want to shut down our quarterly or sell AJ to That Other Magazine. But we need another 2,000 subscribers, ideally 4,000, to reach a level where we can keep the lights on, get some production help, and focus on making the journal itself. After 13 years of free content and the creation of a magazine as good as any, I hope that doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Please be a part of AJ. Subscribe today. Like, right now.
Want another way to be a part of AJ’s friends and family? You can contribute directly right here, either recurring or one-time.
Hi. I want to add a few remarks here instead of in the comments so more people see them. We’ve gotten quite a few emails and notes in response to this post. First, to those of you concerned, AJ is not going away today, tomorrow, or next year. We are trying to move up from “okay, fine” to “good, solid.” And the reason is that we want the resources for there to be a sustainable workload for everyone involved. We want to give Mary and Beth more hours and I want to have to stop doing these pleas. If people respond the way they have so far to my “asks,” we will be fine.
Second, I don’t see us shutting down print, not unless things were dire, and they aren’t, but if we did find ourselves in that situation, we would print the remaining issues that we’ve promised to deliver. If that was impossible, we would refund your money. But it’s not going to come to that. I have faith.
Third, we are not going to create a digital edition of the quarterly. We have considered this many times from many angles and it doesn’t fit our vision for the magazine or how you experience it.
Fourth, the people who do support us are exceptionally generous with their money and their praise. We know that we have a wonderful group of AJ evangelists out there and that means the world to us.
Fifth, if you’re keeping count, we’ve moved from 5,773 subscribers Tuesday morning to 5,930 today. Just 70 more to go to make 6,000!!
That’s all. For now, LOL.