When we launched the Coachella Valley Independent in late 2012, we knew that we’d face numerous obstacles and dilemmas along the way.
However, our latest print issue presented us with a unique dilemma that I didn’t see coming. The question at hand: When should the Independent start its new volume?
For years, magazines, newspapers and other print publications have divvied up issues into volumes. Most publications change volumes on a yearly basis—quite often on the anniversary of the publication’s launch. For example, the publication I worked at before the Independent came to be, the Tucson Weekly, will start its 31st volume in late February, when the publication celebrates its 30th anniversary.
That’s all well and good—but in the Independent’s case, we have at least four “launch” dates.
We launched CVIndependent.com in beta in October 2012. We took the website out of beta on Jan. 1, 2013. We published our first print issue, a quarterly, in April 2013. After another quarterly in July 2013, we published our first monthly edition in October 2013.
So, taking this all into consideration, when should we start our new volume? One could make the case that we could have done so in October 2013, with our first monthly, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of our beta launch. But that was only our beta online launch; our full launch happened a year ago this month. However, we didn’t do a print issue until April—and it’s the print edition, not the website, that is divided up into issues and volumes.
After much inane back-and-forth—I think everyone can agree that when to start a new volume is not a dilemma that anyone would categorize as “serious” in any way—we decided to start Volume 2 with our January 2014 issue. It marks the fact that the Independent has a year of great, full-time content and coverage under its figurative belt, so it felt like the best answer to this silly question.
On a not-so-silly note: We’re kicking off Volume 2 with quite a bang; there’s a lot of great stuff in this issue (most of which has already been posted online). Our cover package looks at some of the issues that people within the Coachella Valley’s homeless population face—including a crippling amount of petty legal citations, with not-so-petty fees. Our News section features a story on the Desert Ice Castle, and its ties to potential Winter Olympics glory; our Movies section offers a quick history of the Palm Springs International Film Festival; and our Music section is packed with coverage on everything from the newly restored Purple Room to a third-wave ska act that’s making an appearance at The Hood. And that’s just scratching the surface.