Slake: Los Angeles is a new kind of city publication that is quickly becoming known nationwide for the quality of its writing, design, editing, art and photography. We publish Slake in book form to give readers a collectible, physical alternative to the glut of instant-reaction journalism and unfiltered opinion on the web and in budget-strained newspapers and magazines. We are devoted to the endangered art of deeply reported narrative journalism, literary essay, memoir, interviews, fiction, poetry, art, and photography with a sense of place. That place is Los Angeles, but our writers travel the country and the world with an Angeleno perspective. Our goal is to create a next-generation template for print and, soon, a daily website with narrative at the core of its coverage.
To read selected stories and excerpts from previous Slake issues, check our website at slake.la.
Are you nuts to start a print publication in this economy?
Well, yes. But we seem to be on to something. Each of our first three issues has made the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Our first issue was the No. 1 bestseller in all categories for 2010 at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park and the No. 4 bestselling nonfiction book in all of 2010 at L.A.'s Skylight Books. Our third issue is currently the No. 3 bestselling book so far at Skylight's 2011 in-store events and we've made the monthly bestseller lists at most Los Angeles independent bookstores. Recently, we acquired newsstand distribution at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. We have nearly 400 subscribers to date, and we're building community—our packed readings and events are helping to revitalize Los Angeles' literary community.
To read and hear what people have been saying about us, check out these links to some of the stories and radio pieces that have been done on Slake:
Sounds great, so why do you need Kickstarter and what will you do with the money?
We are deep into the editing and design process for our fourth installment of Slake—we're calling it the Dirt Issue. That means everything from a narrative investigation into how Los Angeles County dumps its sediment to stories of sex and dirty secrets of all kinds, plus interviews with New Yorker writer and L.A. native William Finnegan as well as painter Walton Ford on Hollywood legend King Kong. To get all of these stories into your hands, we will apply $25,000 in Kickstarter funds toward the three biggest costs of publishing Issue 4: printer fees, design costs and modest contributor fees. Even with limited resources, and no institutional backing, we feel strongly that writers and artists should not give their work away.
Now that you've reached your Kickstarter goal, do you really need more backers?
Yes! In addition to covering the necessary cut that Kickstarter and Amazon Payments receive, as well as postage costs for our rewards, funds above our $25,000 goal will provide a financial bridge to our continued sustainability. Slake has been independently funded and financed by its founders (who, alas, are not part of the 1 percent and have tapped their financing capacity). Now, as Slake arrives at that crucial stage where it’s making a deep impression with readers, an infusion of funds will help us grow continue our quest toward growth and stability. Also, we've got some pretty cool rewards from great Los Angeles artists that shouldn't go unclaimed.
Do you have anything special for Facebook friends of Slake?
Yes! Photographer and Slake contributor Anne Fishbein—her work is in New York's MoMA, SFMOMA, LACMA and the Art Institute of Chicago—has offered to sweeten our $450 reward level for anyone who is Facebook friends with her or Slake. Facebook friends of ours who become backers at that level not only receive a framed 20-by-17-inch black-and-white signed photo from Fishbein’s “Long Shots” feature in Slake No. 2, they will receive an additional 20-by-17-inch photo by Fishbein. Head to our Facebook page and "like" or friend us; then mention the Fishbein Facebook Challenge in a Kickstarter message to us after you pledge to get the extra photo.
More About Slake's Kickstarter Rewards
I know the deadlines have passed for making my subscription a holiday gift, but I'd still like to give the Slake subscription I get through Kickstarter to a friend. How do I do that?t
It's easy. When you make your pledge, send us a note through Kickstarter with the information requested below and we'll send a special Slake gift card to your intended receiver announcing your good taste and generosity. Here's what we need to know:
Do you want to begin your gift subscription with the current issue, Slake No. 3 "War and Peace," or the forthcoming Slake No. 4 "Dirt"?
Gift Giver's Email:
Gift Giver's First and Last Name:
Billing Address, City, State, Postal Code and Country:
Gift Recipient's First and Last Name:
Gift Recipient's Address, City, State, Postal Code and Country:
Gift Recipient's Email:
(Email and phone are not shared with anyone outside Slake and are requested in case an issue is returned in the mail or anything else goes awry.)
What if I need more than one gift subscription?
If you want to purchase an additional gift subscription, visit our Slake Shop through our slake.la website or at shop.slake.la and choose the gift subscription link, or click here http://shop.slake.la/collections/frontpage-bottom/products/gift-slake-subscription
What if I'm already a Slake subscriber and don't need a gift subscription? Can I renew my current subscription through Kickstarter?
Yes, all of Slake's Kickstarter rewards at the $75 level and above include a Slake subscription. If we reach our goal and see that you are a current subscriber, we will contact you and ask if you'd like your subscription to be extended or if you'd like to give it as a gift.