When Jim Gabel and I launched Camp in June 2004 at the Pride festival, our plan was to make a serious commitment to the Kansas City LGBT and allied communities. And from that first issue to this one – our 141st – we have stayed focused on this community.
To mark this milestone, we’re making some changes that you’ll see in the next few months leading up to our official 10th anniversary issue in June.
Camp could not have achieved this benchmark without the support of hundreds of advertisers and thousands of readers. In particular, the many writers, photographers, stylists and designers who have offered their knowledge and creativity have made each and every issue a pleasure to share with you. Of course, our editor and graphic designer make us all look better. And you wouldn’t be reading this magazine without the able services of our printer, who has never questioned printing a magazine of LGBT content (yes, some printers have refused our business, saying that our content would offend their employees), and our dedicated distribution person, Steve, who has delivered Camp through rain, snow or shine since our beginning.
Amazingly enough, we’ve managed to do this without the support of a corporation or a team of investors. We’re truly a Kansas City small business. That helps us identify even more with our advertisers, many of whom are small business owners who have embarked on their own entrepreneurial adventures.
Camp launched in 2004 as a monthly publication with a typical newspaper format — three or four lead stories that started on the cover. After a few years, we moved to a magazine format with a single-image cover. Immediately, our circulation increased. We learned from the experience: People like to see people on the cover, especially local people they know or want to know.
A few years later, we tried the bold step of publishing twice a month, thinking the increased frequency would make us even more timely. However, with our relatively small infrastructure, that meant working nearly seven days a week. We found that advertisers didn’t want to send new ads every two weeks and that many readers missed reading an issue if they didn’t find it during that two-week window. We surveyed our advertisers and readers about changing back to a monthly publication. Overwhelmingly, they said, “please do.”
One of our first changes for 2014 is to publish mid-month instead of the first week of each month. For that reason, we combined our January and February issues this year into a January/February issue publishing on Jan. 17. Our March issue will publish in mid-February, our April issue mid-March, and so on. This type of schedule is not uncommon for magazines.
The change also allows our staff, advertisers and printer to publish every issue before all the major holidays instead of working on a deadline during holiday breaks.
So we look forward to getting our magazine to you mid-month in 2014. Our revised website and digital editions are also coming soon.
As always, please email us any information and press releases about your companies and organizations. Friend us on Facebook (Camp Kansas City). And share your opinions in letters to the editor or SpeakOut pieces.
Thanks to you, we’ve been Kansas City’s leading LGBT community magazine for a decade, and we look forward to continuing for another decade and more. As always, we appreciate your advertising, readership and ideas.