Sunday, June 28, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions:

With six issues under our belt, SPOKE(a)N(e) Magazine would like to answer some of your frequently asked questions. If you have a question that goes unanswered below, please leave it in the comments section or email us: spokenspokane [at]

Q. How in the world am I supposed to pronounce the name of your magazine? I stumble every time I read it.

A. The answers lies in our email address, as well as this blog address where we post the links to each issue. We are “Spoken Spokane” Magazine. You can call us Spoken.

Q. Why the weird parentheses?

A. We were trying to be clever. From now on, we’ll aim for actual cleverness rather than attempted.

Q. Did you know the name of the magazine is misspelled on your Facebook page?

A. Yes. Our bad. The copy editor dies a little every time she sees it and can’t believe it took her months to notice.

Facebook does not allow us (yet) to change the name without making a brand new page. Around the time we noticed our mistake, our number of fans jumped from around 6 to 60, and the number (as of this date) is now over 80. Rather than make all of you ‘become a fan’ all over again, we’ll hope for a day when we can just edit our name.

Q. Is SPOKE(a)N(e) available in print anywhere?

A. No. We like holding real magazines, newspapers and books as much as the next print fan, but we don’t have that kind of cash. Print publications require either independent wealth or plenty of consistent ad revenue, and at this time, we have neither.

That said, if your home printer can accommodate an 11x14 inch page size (or 8x10 for Issues #1-2), by all means, print yourself a copy.

Q. Why make the magazine a PDF? Why not a flash-based page?

A. The short answer: convenience. Long answer:

1. PDF files can be viewed on any computer, web-capable mobile phones, iPod Touch, etc. We picked a format that’s visible on the greatest variety of platforms. Flash pages often do not load on mobile devices. We also like how a PDF mimics the feel of a print magazine.

2. Editors Tyson and Sara Habein both come from print publication backgrounds and have more experience with double-page-spread design over web design. Since we are a design staff of two, we prefer a format with the least amount of headache.

3. Believe it or not, but some people are still stuck on dial-up. Flash is a pain to load on dial-up. We know this from personal experience.

Q. Do you pay your contributors?

A. Every contributor receives a free 1/4 page ad within that issue. Use the space to promote yourself or promote something else. Design it yourself or we’ll design it for you.

Any advertising revenue the magazine receives is divided equally among all contributors of that issue. Ad rates are listed in every issue from #3 on.

No one’s getting rich from this publication, but we do want to compensate the work contributors do in whatever way we can.

Q. I would really like to write/take photos for SPOKE(a)N(e). How can I?

A. Email us. Tell us what you would like to cover, and we’ll go from there. We’re always looking for new contributors, especially when it comes to First Friday Art Walk coverage and the monthly photo editorial.

We want to cover anything creative and we don’t have strict rules about what we cover other than it should focus on the Spokane area.

All content is copyright to the contributor and all contributors speak for themselves, not necessarily SPOKE(a)N(e) Magazine as a whole.

Q. The Compulsive Chronicles column doesn’t focus on anything local. What’s up with that?

A. Local people listen to and obsessive over music that isn’t local, don’t they?

Q. I don’t live in the Spokane area. Why should I care about your art and music scene?

A. Presumably, you like artists/photographers/musicians/writers who are not from your hometown. You never know where you might see the next thing that has to hang on your wall. And you never know who will be the next ‘big deal’ on a larger level.

Jess Walter, Timothy Egan and Sherman Alexie? All award-winning writers from this very neck of the woods. Local favorite Kaylee Cole just signed a shiny new deal with Chrysalis Music, and she’s worked with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio. Former-Spokane band Hockey have gone on to greater success with major label deals and major festival appearances.

If nothing else, bask in the warm feeling of being ahead of the curve. The magazine has fans from all over the world. We may be different from Seattle or Portland, but we’ve still got some pretty great things going on. And hopefully, SPOKE(a)N(e) will have had the foresight to talk about them.

Q. I really love your profiles on local artists, but I’d love them a whole lot more if you profiled my genius (or my friend’s genius). How can I get you to talk about my (their) work?

A. Email us, spokenspokane [at]

We have no problem with self-promotion. If we like what you’re doing, we’ll talk about it.

Painting, photography, sculpture, music, clothing, jewelry, writing, theatre . . . pretty much anything is fair game.

Q. I’d like to draw your attention to my upcoming event. When do I need to let you know about it?

A. Email us.

However, we don’t have an Event Calendar. We figure enough publications and websites have that covered. However, from time to time, we do have articles relating to specific events.

The sooner we know about your event, the better. At the latest, we need to know about it by the 3rd of the month. Please keep in mind our publishing schedule.

We publish between the 15th and 17th of every month. That buffer of a couple days allows for any technical or scheduling problems our staff of two may encounter. All content from contributors is generally submitted by the 10th of that month.

If your event occurs in the first half of the month (i.e., September 4th), then we need to know about it before August 3rd.

If your event occurs in the last half of the month (i.e., September 22nd), then we need to know about it by September 3rd.

That said, we can’t be everywhere. Again, if we like what you’re doing, we’ll talk about it, but we still have to be choosy.

Q. Why would I want to advertise in an online magazine?

A. For the same reasons you might advertise on Google or Facebook, except we have the added benefit of being locally targeted advertising. And compared to most print publications, we’re inexpensive.

Advertising with us not only directs the eyeballs and wallets of Spokane’s creative community to your business, but you will also be supporting the people who cover that community.

Q. So what’s this business about participating in First Friday?

A. If you’re a regular reader of the magazine, you know that in every issue, we feature the First Friday Art Walk held in downtown Spokane (when else?) the first Friday of every month. We have photos from a handful of the exhibits as well as some commentary about the work itself.

While we’ve had a handful of people contribute to the coverage, we would like to see First Friday become a more social event. We welcome anyone who wants to submit photos from the night or even write art reviews, but we also recognize that some readers might also want to just come out and have a fun evening.

Every month, we plan a meet-up somewhere downtown before walking to different exhibits, and we end the night around 8pm with coffee/beer at Empyrean. Become a fan on our Facebook page, and you’ll always receive the details.

Q. I’m not a smarty-pants when it comes to art. Would this really be something for me?

A. Don’t be intimidated. We’re not smarty-pants about art either, and we don’t think it would serve our readers even if we were. It’s more about gut reaction, and we’re all about just saying, “Wow, we thought this was really cool. You should see/hear it.”

You don’t really need us to tell you why something is good. We’d rather point out the art and let you decide all on your own. Why would we tell you what to think?

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