Radio Silence Now Available Everywhere

scratch.jpgLast week, Radio Silence supplemented their print magazine with a mobile and a web version of their publication on our platform. Radio Silence is a magazine of literature and rock & roll based in California -- now available everywhere. In each monthly volume, you'll find a selection of writing from a line-up of literary and musical talent, along with media and illustrations.

Radio Silence also produces live events with writers and musicians, and raises money to buy books and musical instruments for kids.

In an interview with Modern Luxury, founder and editor-in-chief Dan Stone said:

I think our culture is still trying to figure out how to create a digital magazine, and while we view our print magazine as a throwback to an earlier era we see the online edition as an opportunity to explore the possibilities that the new medium of digital publishing has to offer.

The launch was a success, and Apple called attention to it by highlighting Radio Silence in the App Store and on Twitter.

Radio Silence joins Scratch and Bikehugger in implementing our new feature, Universal Subscriptions, which we rolled out a few weeks ago. As our developer Greg Knauss explains,

up to this point almost all of our subscriptions and issues were bought inside the apps themselves, via an in-app Apple purchase. Because of this, all purchases were tied to Apple's iOS devices. There was no way to read the same articles on the Web, or to purchase issues or subscriptions on the Web and have them appear in the app. With Universal Subscription-enabled publications, subscriptions can be purchased in the app via Apple, or via a website through a variety of services we support. Each of those purchases enable access both on the Web and in the app, as well as other reading clients we might add in the future. The upshot is that readers get to choose where they make their purchases and where to read what they bought.

Volume III is out this week -- an eclectic mix of wide-ranging musical and literary associations.

Who would expect to find Vladimir Nabokov and Steely Dan in the same small volume? Is that even legal?

This issue introduces Thao Nguyen's series exploring the conflicting worlds of a touring musician and women prisoners in the California state system, and features a conversation between creative talents Daniel Handler and Carrie Brownstein.

Check out Radio Silence on the web or on your mobile device and start reading. As always, the first issue is free.

Scratch: Writing + Money + Life

scratch.jpgScratch is a new digital quarterly magazine about writing, money, and the business of publishing, by editors Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin. It's now out on our platform and available on iOS devices as well as in your desktop browser. A subscription gives you universal access across all devices.

Downloading or signing up for Scratch is free and comes with a complimentary issue. After that, subscriptions are available for $20 per year. Like every issue, the first subscriber issue, "Hunger," is filled with interviews, features, and personal stories about the economics of being a writer. In an interview with Susan Orlean, she reflects on freelancing, earning money, and why being a writer is like running a small business.

The world we live in now is much more about individuals. Especially for writers--ugh, can we think of another word than brand? But the fact is, it is the right word. You create a professional persona that can be applied in many different ways, some of which you don't get paid for, like Twitter, and some of which then lead to other interesting work that you maybe didn't even predict.
-- Susan Orlean

In a personal essay, Rachael Maddux critiques the common advice that writers "stay hungry".

"'Stay hungry,' as it happens, is terrible advice. Taken literally, it suggests welcoming the symptoms of starvation: fatigue, anxiety, depression, muscle atrophy, stunted growth, compromised immune response, death."
-- Rachael Maddux

In line with their commitment to information, at the end of each issue is a Transparency Index, revealing the relationships and finances behind the making of Scratch

Scratch is all about the intersection of writing and money. Writers are used to scrambling for money but the economic realities of the publishing industry are undergoing tremendous change. Even if writers don't expect to make a fortune, for some it has become difficult to make even a living wage. But useful, transparent dialogue about money and creative work is still surprisingly hard to come by. That's why there's Scratch.

Like us at 29th Street Publishing, Manjula Martin and Jane Friedman want to empower writers to advocate for themselves and further their careers. Since 2012, Manjula has been shedding light on what different publications pay writers on the popular tumblr Who Pays Writers, and Jane has been a sought-after speaker and teacher on the future of publishing for more than a decade. Who Pays Writers is now hosted on the Scratch website. But Scratch is more than just transparency and information; it provides context, personal stories, and depth. It's like your own writing mentor, bringing you timely advice and the latest scoop three times a year.

We hope you share our excitement! If so, sign up and start reading at scratchmag.net.

Feast by Lukas, "Weeknights"

feastbylukas.jpgFeast by Lukas released a new issue today. Feast by Lukas is a vegetarian food quarterly written and photographed by Lukas Volger. "Weeknights" is dedicated to that window between 5pm and 8pm when we make the difficult decision: Order takeout... or pull out the knives and start cooking? With recipes like Eggs in Kale and Breadcrumbs, Anything Risotto, Beets and Tahini, and Parsnip Soup with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah, this issue will inspire you to start weeknight cooking on the regular.

Feast by Lukas is a great example of what our platform does best. It provides more inspiration and guidance than looking up a recipe on Google would, but it is also digestible enough that you won't be overwhelmed. Most of all, it's pleasant to read and cook from, and filled with beautiful pictures.

This is the second issue of Feast by Lukas. To mark the release, we asked Lukas a couple of questions about the issue and what he has going on right now.

Tell us about the creative and editorial process of making an issue of Feast by Lukas. How do you decide what to put in your magazine?

LV: The thing about writing a full cookbook is that you have to do your best to exhaust its topic. What I love about these quarterly issues, which are an essay and 10-12 recipes, is that I can take a lot more creative liberties and go at the topic from just one angle, offering more of an interpretation of the theme. I'm always cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, and what usually happens is I make something that's exceptional and think, what can I do with this? Maybe that's the beginning of an issue. From there I work from notes and ideas to flesh out the issue.

Between constantly trying new things versus endlessly iterating and perfecting old recipes, where do you find yourself? What advice would you give others? 

LV: I have a shortlist of recipes I don't bother tinkering with, which are mostly baked things -- Alice Medrich's Cocoa Brownies, the Tartine country bread, that one almond cake that Amanda Hesser's mother-in-law gave her; I follow those recipes to a gram. But with most everything else I am either expressly in development mode, where I'm coming up with something of my own, or using someone else's recipe as a jumping off point for experimenting. I love to experiment -- I'm always in search of the new and more interesting. My advice for those who want to develop recipes and become better cooks is: if you can learn to discriminate between a good recipe and a bad one, you'll go pretty far. Does the recipe leave you with questions? Good recipes will preempt your questions and concerns.

What are you looking forward to in 2014? 

LV: I launched Made by Lukas Fresh Veggie Burgers last fall, and we have lots of plans to grow through 2014. With a book in the works and more Feast by Lukas issues to write, I have plenty of writing and recipe development to do -- I'm very excited about that. At this very moment I'm looking forward to that one sweet day this summer when I will take a nap on the beach.

What are some of your current influences? I love David Tanis's new book One Good Dish. I always love reading Alice Waters and Deborah Madison cookbooks. I've been a longtime fan of Martha Rose Shulman's "Recipes for Health" column, and lately she's been on a roll -- she's just exceptionally good. I really like this surging trend of creative vegetable cooking. There are lots of terrific blogs and books out now that make vegetarian and vegan cooking very creative and exciting, and that inspires me.

What is Lukas Volger of a parallel universe doing right now? He is an in-demand backup singer, touring the world with Bonnie Raitt.

Exact Change Has Launched

skating.jpgWe recently launched Exact Change in collaboration with Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, who you might know as the band members of Damon & Naomi and Galaxie 500. Exact Change is a monthly e-zine of literature, music, art, film, and video. But like its founders, Exact Change is versatile -- while the new app is a short format publication, the Exact Change press -- founded in 1989 -- publishes books of experimental literature with an emphasis on Surrealism, Dada, Pataphysics, and other nineteenth and twentieth century avant-garde art movements.

Like all our apps, you can download the Exact Change app and one free issue in the Apple Store. A subscription is $2.99 per month, or $29.99 per year. Purchasing an individual issue costs $4.99.

Five Questions for Damon Krukowski

1. What inspired you to re-launch Exact Change as a mobile app?

In part, it was simply the visual appeal of the iPad - images look beautiful on it (and I don’t even have a retina screen!). We’ve never had the luxury of working with images inside our books, because it’s very important to us to keep the texts we publish as affordable and widely available as possible - which translates in trade paperbacks to one-color printing on the inside, with anything more lavish restricted to the cover. Electronic publishing - cheap, but open not only to color but also to moving images, sounds… - is in many ways a utopian dream for me. Yet e-books, for all their promise, I find tiresome to read - there’s too much staring at a screen, and too little of the pleasure I take in the printed page. When I saw what 29th Street was doing with the electronic format for journals, I thought this could be the way for us to use the advantages of e-publishing, without trying to reinvent the book.

2. You’re calling it an e-zine; what significance does the zine have to you?

Zine is a word that dates to our first experiments in music, writing, and photography - it was the punk rock of publishing. To me, the word still represents the DIY spirit that led us to start a band, as well as Exact Change - the idea that anyone can do it. We weren’t trained as musicians, or publishers. Much less e-publishers, which is why we are very grateful to 29th Street for their technical expertise!

3. What can we look forward to this year from Exact Change?

The way I’m thinking of this is to build an interesting space, and then invite people to fill it. I’m not planning what will go in it, as much as how the space can work for the reader, and for the artist.

4. Who are your influences?

In publishing, we’ve always looked to independent press heroes like New Directions and City Lights, but also to smaller series that may not have endured as long but made a complete statement, like the great Fluxus press Something Else. I also admire a number of current publishing projects, both on paper like Primary Information, and online like Ubuweb, which I feel are carrying on the tradition of underground publishing from the 20th century.

5. When did you last interact with one of your neighbors, and what happened?

Ha, funny you ask this - Cambridge is in many ways an old-fashioned town, we know most of our neighbors and we all get along in an eccentric, New England kind of way. However, I have an ongoing battle with a church on our block because of noise pollution caused by their leaf-blowers - and now, because of some obnoxiously bright exterior LED lights they installed this winter. Do you know about the International Dark Sky Association? God love them, they are trying to keep our nights night. They have been helping me and a number of my neighbors battle the church’s infernal light.

Exciting 2013 and hopes for 2014!

skating.jpg It's been a big year for 29th Street Publishing. We signed contracts with magazines, writers, and publishers whose work we're eager to showcase in 2014. We launched a Harper's Magazine app that represented a fundamental shift in that venerable magazine's publishing strategy. One critic found it "far superior to the print magazine," and while we do still love reading in print, we were grateful to hear those words! And we launched and continued to support the publication of twenty other app and web magazines.

It's also been a big year for media companies in general -- a year of rapid change and competing, seemingly contradictory trends. David mentioned in his Nieman Journalism Lab post today that he feels we're reaching the peak of a boom in "the viral-friendly packaging of news stories." But we're at the dawn of an era when publishers will package content for more specific audiences and use better analytics and smarter editorial strategy to reach readers more directly. Our apps are on the forefront of that movement. "The core appeal of these kinds of services, at least for me, is that they cut though the cascade of stories, tweets, links and other media that flow across our screens every day, and serve up something reliably good," wrote Jenna Wortham last weekend in the New York Times.

We're thrilled with what we've accomplished and excited for what's next.

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