Archaeology Odyssey 1:3, Summer 1998

Editors’ Page: Between Scylla and Charybdis

The perils of publishing

By Hershel Shanks

Archaeology Odyssey

Jack Meinhardt, our managing editor, just called: We need the “Editors’ Page.” Six hundred words. Click.

Truth to tell, my mind is not on the editorial side of the magazine. We are in the throes of a major decision. When editors get together to talk about the “book” (their magazine), the first question is, “What’s the frequency?”

We’re considering whether to change our frequency from quarterly to bimonthly, from four to six times a year. It’s not an easy decision. We “launched” (more lingo) half a year ago as a quarterly. It would be nice to start our second year as a bimonthly. That would show confidence, reflect success. People would not forget us between issues. But it’s a 50 percent increase.

Our first year, so far, has been wildly successful. Everyone seems to like us—or, rather, our product. But that’s all anecdotal, as they say. The proof of the pudding will come when people decide whether to renew. We don’t know the answer to that question. But if we wait to find out, it will be too late to make the decision. On the other hand, we’ll have many new subscribers, our marketing director, Lauren Krause, says. How many? I ask. She doesn’t know.

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