Thursday, July 17, 2003

Read But Dead XV

Just received this via email from a Media Dietician:

One of my favorite magazines, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, is about to go the way of many other feminist outlets recently (Sojourner, New Words) and succumb to a struggling budget... but you could save it.

We all know we need more independent media.

Subscribing to Bitch is only $15/year, and your support could make or break them. (See letter from the editor below.) -- Sady Sullivan

Dear friends:

As many of you know, Bitch has always functioned on a shoestring budget, especially in the spreading-the-word department. Well, our mid-year financial statements show that the shoestring has gotten even stringier of late. We're falling pretty short of our projected magazine sales for the year, and to ensure that there's a Bitch next year and for many years to come, we need your help now. To put it bluntly, we need more subscribers. About 3,000 more.

Here's why subscriptions are so crucial to our financial health: When people buy Bitch at a bookstore, we eventually (four to five months later) get between $1.77 and $1.98 of the $4.95 plus tax that it costs. When people subscribe, they pay only $3.75 per issue (better for them), and we get all of the money right away (better for us).

A lot of people think that buying Bitch on the newsstand supports us just as much as subscribing. Some even think it's more helpful because it convinces bookstores that Bitch is worth carrying. But the bottom line is that Bitch is much better off having you as a subscriber than as a newsstand buyer. (Of course we'd rather have people buying it in the bookstore than not buying it at all, but I promise that stores will continue to stock the magazine, and new newsstand buyers will always come along.)

And then there are all those folks out there who say, "Oh, yeah, Bitch, I've thumbed through that in the bookstore/been to the website/read a friend's copy, and I always meant to subscribe." Now is the time to get all of these people to actually sign up!

Here's what you can do to help:

  • If you are not a subscriber right now, become one today. Go to the Web, call us toll-free at 877-21-BITCH, or send a check for $15 to Bitch, 1611 Telegraph Ave Ste. 515, Oakland CA 94612.
  • Buy gifts for your friends and family. Multiple subscriptions are even cheaper: $15 for the first and $12 for each additional. See info above, and please note: If you are ordering online, the discount for multiple subscriptions will not show up automatically. Write a note in the comments field about it (along with the other addresses, of course) and we will manually adjust the price.
  • Pass this message along. This e-mail is going out to about 700 or so people. To meet our goal, every one of you would need to buy 4.3 subscriptions -- or we would collectively need to reach out to a whole bunch more than 700 of Bitch's closest friends. So please send this to anyone you know who likes the magazine or who you think would like the magazine. Help us get the word out!
  • Tell people about Bitch. Read it on public transportation. Leave a copy in places where people will discover it (your local coffee house, your college's student center, the waiting room at your friendly women's health clinic, etc.). If you want to take part in a more formal effort to do this, e-mail publicity director Marisa Meltzer at and tell her you're interested in helping to promote the magazine in your area.
  • Buy a t-shirt, too. We have a bunch of styles now and they're super-cute. If you're an exhibitionist, we also have very happenin' underwear for sale. (Pictures and descriptions are online.)
  • Pester your local library to buy a subscription (they really do listen to patron requests).
  • Donate a subscription to your local campus women's center, community resource center, or the like.

    Anything you can do to get us further toward the goal of 3,000 subscriptions will help Bitch be strong and healthy!

    With gratitude,
    Lisa Jervis

  • Thanks to Media Dietician Sady Sullivan for bringing this to my attention. Bitch is an amazing read that combines straight-up media studies-style critique and analysis with a healthy, forthright feminist bent. Think Bust plus Stay Free. If Bitch folds, the media world is the lesser for it. And the staff does good work, so supprt their efforts and spread the word!

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