Welcome to 2015–may it be a bright and prosperous one all around!
So you’ve probably already noticed some changes to our site… While I think they’re mostly subtle tweaks, there were some pretty big structural shifts happening behind the scenes, facilitated very much thanks to our hard-working support staff! (Great work, ladies.) We hope they’ve made it easier for you to navigate our site, enjoy your stay, and share our content with fellow fangirls-at-heart!
In that vein, we’re officially dropping our paid archive model. :) The plan was to do away with the paywall if we hit 750 members, but the paywall itself prevents us from reaching new readers as well, so this was our compromise to make things easier on the public. So now it’s gone, and our entire chapter archive is free to read! Which means if you’re new to the site, you can go right now and read the entirety of Off*Beat for free! Or check out our two awesome short prose stories. Or read all of Jess Chavez’s spooky Dead Endings, and maybe consider buying a print copy (coming soon!). (Or listen to Awake, but actually, that’s been free to enjoy pretty much all along. Although you can now purchase an awesome digital download of the full series, which has a ton of bonus content!)
Sparkler Membership still conveys what we hope are meaningful benefits–early access to new content (now about a month earlier than free readers), multi-format digital downloads of the current issue, Member Exclusive bonuses, and for VIP Members, we’ve sweetened the pot again: now every single Cherry Bomb story is yours for no additional charge! But most importantly, your membership dollars pretty much go straight to our creative teams, and help keep the magazine afloat! We’re proud of the fact that we pay people up front for the great content they make for us, but we can’t do it without you. In the coming months (and years!), we need to get our readership high enough to sustain this place. We want our magazine to be something you value, and while we think we’re getting there (we’re already incredibly proud of the work our creative teams have done!), your feedback is always welcome, so let us know what you’d like to see in the future to make that paid membership precious to you.
(From a personal perspective, I’m really psyched that each of our short comics series get their own series page now! You can really see how much great stuff our teams have produced in the last year! More about that in our podcast this month. ;-) )
On the content front, this month we’re bringing out new chapters of Skyglass, Dusk in Kalevia, Windrose, Gatesmith, and Tokyo Demons for you to enjoy! Plus our Sexy Couples Calendar from last month will soon be available as a series of spiffy downloadable desktop backgrounds for members. We’ll have a team podcast with our editorial staff, talking about highlights of 2014, and what we’re all looking forward to in the new year!
As always, thanks a million for your enthusiasm and support! 2014 was a really exciting year for us, and we think we’re on track to make 2015 even better!
The Sparkler Team