The mag & the mission
The Riveter is a women's longform lifestyle magazine in print and online, dedicated to exposing the power of women as longform journalists. It is an effort to fill the void that exists in women's media and to diversify the narrative surrounding women in publishing. The Riveter publishes stories that can't be summed up in a sell line, because women, as writers and readers, deserve more from a women's magazine.
As readers, we noticed a gap in the media. To borrow Gloria Steinem's words, "Most women's magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers." Why isn't there more intellectual, thought-provoking content out there targeted toward women?
As journalists, we noticed a gap in the industry. According to this Nieman Report, in 2013, only 37.2 percent of journalism jobs were held by women, whereas women received 62.5 percent and 67.6 percent of bachelor's and master's degrees in communications respectively -- statistics that were consistent with what we noticed in journalism school. Never mind the almost $10,000 income gap in the industry. So, where did all of the lady-journos go?
We're not the only ones who noticed... (and we need your help!)
Since The Riveter's founding in 2013, we've put out two "beta" print issues and launched a fully-functioning online platform. We've sold out of every copy of The Riveter we printed, so we know we are on the right track. Because of this demand (and of course the lessons we learned with issues one and two), we are ready to scale up our circulation and become a regularly-printed quarterly publication.
This Kickstarter campaign marks the first time you can get The Riveter on a subscription basis, and we're SO excited to have you. Before now, we were in a bit of a financial catch-22. We wouldn't be able to offer a subscription model until we had money to print regularly, but it'd be difficult to get enough money at once to promise a regular print schedule unless enough people actually subscribed... Enter Kickstarter.
Kickstarter's all-or-nothing model is the perfect remedy (and litmus test) for our dilemma. If we get enough subscribers, we can give the people what they want. If, heaven forbid, we don't get enough subscribers, well, no one is charged any money, and it's back to the drawing board for us. But we've grown so much and fielded so many questions about how to subscribe that we think we can do it, with your help!
We've structured the rewards to reflect the actual price of a one-year subscription, but we're so excited to have you as our first subscribers that we're going to throw in free shipping to anywhere in the world! A one-year subscription to The Riveter is $60, and that gets you four, beautiful issues of thought-provoking content. While we won't make an eternal promise that there will never be ads in print, we are committed to finding an innovative business model that allows us to keep partnering with some of our favorite brands without littering and interrupting our content with mindless ads.
Where your money is going
Spoiler alert: No one on The Riveter's managerial team takes a salary, nor will we use any of the Kickstarter funds to pay ourselves. However, we do pay our writers for the content they produce because we value our content, writers and thus our product as number one. Admittedly, even with this philosophy, we haven't always been able to offer the rates to writers that we'd like to. With this Kickstarter campaign, we will be changing that. Your money will be going to a publication that believes that the undervalued ranks of journalists, writers and creatives deserve to be paid for their work and paid more. We can't wait to offer more money for even better content.
Just as our mission is two-fold, our objective with this campaign is two-fold as well. In addition to paying for better content, this money will also ensure that we can get The Riveter to each person who feels the same void we did in our media diets. With your help, we will be able to print and distribute far more copies, far more efficiently.
We've done the math, and this Kickstarter is the first step in launching us into a sustainable, long-term business model for our quarterly publication.
Oh, and who are we?
Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz are the two original founders of The Riveter. They met at the Missouri School of Journalism, where The Riveter was conceived. Natalie Cheng joined the duo in 2014, having also earned a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism as well as a degree from the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. All three now run The Riveter from uptown Minneapolis.
Under our collective team belt, we have a couple of successful entrepreneurial ventures and editorial experience ranging from working at local- and national-level publications (magazines, newspapers, TV, radio and digital platforms) to working on an anthology about women in journalism with award-winning journalist Mike Sager (who has always been incredibly supportive of The Riveter).
You can find out about the rest of our amazing staff here.
A big, huge special thank you to Dylan VanBoxtel for helping us out with the video. You can find more of his work here.
UPDATE! - Video testimonials:
As a special treat, we'll be releasing video testimonials from some real #rivetingwomen we've worked with in the past. First up, we have HBO's Girls writer Sarah Heyward! She's one of our favorites, and you'll notice that you have a chance to get a 30-min video chat session with her as one of our rewards!
Hilarious and insightful, humor writer and founder of Purp Magazine Ziwe Fumudoh (contributor to The Onion and Reductress) tells us why she supports The Riveter. We absolutely love her work, and we love that she's been flexing her longform muscles with us lately! Check out her piece on the authenticity of Fox's Empire and the recording industry.
The Hairpin should be a staple in any woman's media diet, and we've got a big time journo-crush on the super-awesome-crazy-cool editor Haley Mlotek. Take a look at this Q&A we did with her -- you can see why we feel like we can relate.
Our final video testimonial reveal, here's journalism and feminism legend Ann Friedman! Ann has always been SO supportive of us, and if you'd like to learn a thing or two from a previous GOOD magazine executive editor and contributor for publications like NYmag.com, ELLE, The Gentlewoman, NewYorker.com, The Guardian, etc (there are too many to list!), you can get a video-chat mentor session with her as one of the rewards!
You've been asking about our first two issues, and now you can get 'em! For those of you who'd like to collect The Riveter from the very first issue and see where we started, we've decided to do a small reprint run of Issue 1 & Issue 2. For $90, you can get the one-year subscription starting with Issue 3 in September, AND we'll send you Issue 1 and Issue 2 as soon as we get the reprints in the spring! To help you get really excited for your yearly subscription, we might even pack those first two up all cute for you. ;)
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for The Riveter is what some might consider an industry-wide challenge. It's no secret that print journalism is expensive.
But, the combination of our print-driven demand, our commitment to quality and innovation with The Riveter, and the fact that this very Kickstarter campaign will give us the boost we need to produce the magazine in quantities that will significantly offset printing costs gives us confidence that we can, in fact, build a sustainable business model.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)