Grimoire and Bear it

Is there any interest in using this site to set up an online yet printable newsletter/magazine (pdf format) that contains How-To articles, gardening stories and serialized fiction? Because the last attempt to set one up ran into a lot of trouble with small business regulations, printing costs and so forth. I was thinking if people made pdfs of their work available, they could be collected into a quarterly print-on-demand magazine suitable for keeping offline. Not sure how to set up a PoD account though.

David Trammel's picture

I saw your post right after you did it. I've been working over on the new site and wanted to finish up a few of those same "how tos" before I replied, to use as examples. I got distracted and didn't so I'll reply anyway.

While the most recent attempt to get a "Green Wizard" magazine ran into problems because he was in Canada, and had to deal with the IRS, if he wanted to pay the writers, had he been in the US and not had to deal with that, I doubt the project would have moved forward anyway.

The reason is the difficulty in getting people to contribute. The people who seem to be interested in what Green Wizardry is, seem to also be introverts and non-joiners.

I've made repeated requests for guest writers and have had only a few actually step up. Even something as simple as taking pictures of your garden, plants and vegetables would be a great help. People don't realize you can't just do a how to article and put a picture you found off the Internet with it. Someone owns that picture, and has a copy right on it. You have to find royalty free pictures or buy the right to use them, which I do, and that takes money and time.

So too does creating a tutorial. You have to consciously plan for it, and take the time to document it as you do it, for a good and informative tutorial. Its one thing to write about doing something, its much better to have tons of pictures too.

(I can write an article about using a solar cooker to make candles with the Sun, but it would be dry. Throw in loads of pictures and you get people interested.)

That said, the four "Grimories" are intended to evolve into full scale books one day, that will be available online and in print. There will probably be one or two more books as well, in the series on Green Wizardry, following up on Greer's original title.

That's going to take time.

My number one focus at the moment is getting the website moved and the forum posts here transferred over. With something like 13 thousand posts to manually transfer, its going to be at least until June before I can consider any new project.

Our visitors here has also fallen to almost nothing. Perhaps a dozen or so people post here regularly. Once Greer comes back online in February, the new site should have all of the basic pages done, and the last 6-8 months worth of active posts on this forum transferred. I plan on having a concerted push to get people to come back then. I'd like to see our post count double or triple.

If we can get readership up over the Summer, and the forum posts successfully moved, then I'd like to see if I can generate some local interest in a Green Wizard group here in St Louis. The lecture Sophie Gale and I had at our local sci-fi convention, two years ago (in October) had a couple of dozen people at it. While it was billed as a talk about writing climate fiction, it didn't take long for people to start talking about the real world and the problems and challenges we face.

I firmly beleive in Green Wizardry, both as a change agent for our society and the children of the Future AND as a way to make my life easier and better when I retire, so I'm going to be doing this stuff, posting, making tutorials even if the audience is only a few. Its just that until I see people stepping up and helping, I'm going to not neglect my real life and day to day work.

Its almost seed starting time, given our mild Winter, and I'm already planning how to do seed starting tutorials and planting guides for the website. I'll be planting alot more than I would, because I need the pictures of seed, seedlings and growing plants for the "Green Wizard Book of Plants" entries.

It would help out alot if people just took some pictures too, and sent them to me.

That said, if someone wants to try and get a magazine going, I'll promise at least one article per issue, and advertising on the new site.

Thanks for the reply; it answers my question pretty well. If the readership/contributor pool is so pond-sized, then no wonder there is little interest in making an ongoing printable magazine a reality. At least you are planning to collect the existing material into book form down the road a piece. Yes, as a technical writer, I know how much a formal structure and format for How-Tos contributes to understanding the documented process. But most How-Tos can follow the structure of a recipe: list of ingredients/materials; tools needed; workspace and ambient conditions needed; then a five-to fifteen-step procedural description should take care of the basics and only need a little editing. People can video their work process in short sequential bursts of activity and write them up after the doing if that helps them marshall their thoughts.