Have a question or wonder why we do things a certain way? Here, we’ve tried to address several questions that come up on a regular basis.
Well, it depends on how you look at it. The $7/month subscription isn’t the only subscription option—you can subscribe for just $2/month and get the digital version emailed directly to you as soon as it’s published. The premium subscription gets you both the print version and the digital version—and the printed issues are sometimes as much as $25 per issue. That means that you’re actually getting the printed versions at a 40% discount with a subscription.
Most other magazines aren’t the same quality as a print copy of Under the Gum Tree. Our magazine is printed in full color and on high-quality paper. Besides that, the biggest difference between Under the Gum Tree and other magazines is that we are completely 100% ad-free. Other magazines cost less for the consumer because the majority of their revenue comes from advertising, which we just don’t—and won’t—have.
Our magazine is also primarily digital, but we offer a print-on-demand option. That means we aren’t ordering print runs of thousands of copies at a bulk discount—a print copy doesn’t get printed unless someone orders it and pays for it.
So when you buy a hard copy of Under the Gum Tree, we like to think that it’s something you’ll keep on your coffee table—not throw into the recycle bin when the next issue comes out.
We’re a quarterly magazine, which means we’re reading submissions quarterly. It usually takes us between 4-6 weeks to respond to submissions.
Charging submission fees is a bit of a controversy in the lit mag world. There was a great article about it in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Poets & Writers—publishers and editors sit on both sides of the issue with a lot of conflict in between. We choose to charge a submission fee for a couple of reasons.
We are run by an all-volunteer staff and currently the only compensation we offer contributors is a hard copy of the issue they’re featured in. We are working toward paying contributors, and we’d definitely like to pay our staff. And since we are committed to producing a high-quality, ad-free magazine, that means we have to get creative about revenue streams.
Because we don’t really have one. We have a publication schedule, but otherwise we don’t do themes for individual issues. If you have a well-told personal story, we would love to read it.