Online versus On-paper? This is a battle that has been raging for several years. My own preference is; I don’t have a preference. Some things are better on paper, and some things are better online. I do believe that long articles are better handled with black stuff on a white background (AKA paper). Unfortunately publishing on paper is a much more money intensive medium than publishing online. Online you have no ‘per issue’ costs, it matters little if 10 people, or 10,000, or 100,000 people read your magazine. Paper is a whole different world, you have to print, you have to place, and you have to incur large costs before you make it to the news stand.

“Where is this ramble leading?” I hear you ask! The answer is “Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine”. This is a new magazine, and one that shows great potential. As my Gym teacher from 40 years ago would say “you need great intestinal fortitude to do this”, he meant ‘Guts’, and guts is what these people have.

Frontman  Kaolin Fire has assembled a formidable crew, with Julia Bernd, Sal Coraccio, Sue Miller, and  Debbie Moorhouse. It is one thing to produce a 12 page throw-away rag, but to assemble a 212 page high quality magazine covering all aspects of the literary world, is an entirely different thing. Issue Zero (yes they started at the number zero) had a small print run, issue One will have a larger run, and I think it will do well. Using my huge ‘clout’ in the literary world I managed to snag a pre-release copy, and I was impressed. The quality of the writing is outstanding. It far surpasses many of the books that I review.

I was talking to Kaolin the other day and I asked about the online/on-paper dichotomy, the answer was surprising, yet in another way it was not. Personally I love paper, you can hold it, you can read it on the bus, you can even read it while sitting on the ‘throne’, you can not do this with online. I recently review a book, unfortunately the paper copy was not available so I had to deal with a 300 page PDF, I hated it! My solution was to print it out! To quote Lewis Carroll “I am old father time the young man said”.  Kaolin told me that while they like paper, online would be the favored medium, however only 10% of subscribers are going for this choice.

Kaolin has a great concept, and I hope that Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine is a huge hit. Although issue one is still 6 weeks away from being published, and Kaolin specifically told me that they are not ready to accept subscriptions, I think that you should drop them a line (and tell them Simon sent you!). You can get a preview on their Web Site.

Simon Barrett



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