CLMP (The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses) Review

The CLMP Newswire
A Biweekly Email News Dispatch on Independent Literary Publishing
A Project of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses
January 15, 2002 (Volume 2, Number 1)


North Carolina-based The Pedestal Magazine ( celebrated its first anniversary with the poetry of Fred Chappell, North Carolina's Poet Laureate and writing professor at UNC-Greensboro. "This is just part of an ongoing effort to feature prominent writers," says the magazine's Marketing Director, Cindy Ballaro. In the last year the online literary journal has published, among others, the work of Sharon Olds, Stan Rice, Michael McClure, and Susan Ludvigson.

The magazine's greatest challenge so far, according to founder John Amen, has been to establish itself as a credible publishing outlet and "bridge the gap" between the online and print publishing worlds. Though he believes that the caliber of writers to dress the site thus far has helped him further this goal, he continues to work on new ways to increase the presence of the magazine and legitimize it in the eyes of the literary world.
Similarly for Ballaro, the biggest hurdle comes with marketing the magazine. "It's really been a struggle to get written up in national reviews," she says. "The challenge is to convince people we aren't some fly-by-night magazine, that we need to be taken seriously." To that end, Ballaro continues to solicit reviews of the work The Pedestal Magazine publishes and has also entered the site into several competitions in an attempt to increase national exposure.

The magazine is doing a lot of unusual work to raise revenue. For instance, features an art gallery, launched last July, where selected artists can display and sell their work. In addition to the sale of art, the online publication has recently taken part in's affiliation program. The way it works is this: the online magazine will set up a page for each of its writers displaying their work and then link them to Amazon for readers interested in purchasing books. As a part of the program, a portion of the profits from each sale will go to The Pedestal Magazine.

At the same time that Amen searched for ways to increase revenue, he also wanted to provide a service to his readers by creating an interactive discussion group area. What emerged was the Forum, a popular destination for readers that allows them to dialogue back and forth about their own work as well as discuss the poetry published in the online magazine.

According to Ballaro, The Pedestal Magazine hopes to increase the interactive aspect of the site in the coming year. "We're very excited about doing video segments where, for instance, we might show Fred Chapell teaching a workshop," says Ballaro. She also says that the audio segment will contain writers reading their work. "We're still in the preliminary stages," says Ballaro. "But we're hoping to engage our audience in a more interactive way in the coming year."

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