Want to go to stiff parties and receive free tail pads in the mail?
I love that social media does 90% of my work for me. I don’t know how it worked backed in the day. I assume life was an exhausting series of phone calls and bro-sessions dedicated to chasing down stories.
Or maybe your day was spent sitting around waiting for sponsors to call and spoon feed you propaganda. I don’t know, the only real experience I have in publishing prior to the digital revolution was in the skate media, and that’s a whole different world.
But, if you’ve got a spare chunk of cash and would like to experience the hell that is trying to wring a profit from a dying medium, now is the time to buy in. According to my facebook feed, Skip Snead is looking to unload his 35% stake in Ghetto Juice.
What is Ghetto Juice?
I’ll admit, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen a copy. But, assuming things haven’t changed, it’s a fun little ‘zine dedicated to the hellishly white coastal conservative stronghold that is Orange County, California. A new issue drops every month and a half, and their website claims a circulation 15,000 strong.
While I wouldn’t go running to mortgage your house for the capital, a sufficiently deep pocketed individual could have some fun with it. If you’ve got a few tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of dollars floating around, and are keyed in to a good tax guy, I’m sure you could write off the loss each year and essentially turn it into a hobby that kind of pays for itself.
Whether that’s the actual print run, or the result of the mental gymnastics typical to circulation numbers (“We print 5,000 issues, but figure each one is seen by, I don’t know, three people?”) is anybody’s guess.
But there’s some upside potential to the investment.
Is it likely that a niche print ‘zine will ever catapult you to the heights of the surf industry? Probably not. But you can rest assured you’ll be drowning in free gear and spend your nights awash in a sea of industry party invites. Which is pretty cool, up until you actually get to meet a few of your heroes and realize they’re just normal, flawed, human beings.
Of course, consult that tax guy first, I’m no expert. I do know that my total inability to turn writing into a paying career keeps the missus and me from jumping into the next tax bracket, which is nice. And actually saves us more in taxes than I’m likely to earn in the few areas, outside of writing, for which I have any qualifications.
Which are waiting tables and selling surfboards. A kind of depressing realization, at thirty five years old. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.
This BeachGrit thing better pay off or I’m gonna be fifty, desperately trying to beat a drug test for an entry level job at the local grocery store, before I know it.