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Hot off the press: New geo-magazine

EXCLUSIVE

Extra! Extra! Read all about it … New Australian magazine set to wow caching community.

You heard it here first. James Parr, the owner of webstore Australian Geocaching Essentials, will soon be delivering the first copies of his new venture Geocaching in Australia – The cache is out there – named as a play on his online business and ‘The truth is out there’ slogan of cult TV show The X-Files, of which he admits to being a fan.

The Mt Gambier, South Australian resident (GC handle: JGC3) decided to publish the title just one week ago, settling on 10 issues a year – one every five weeks or so – with the first coming off the printer in late February/early March.

“So things are very busy and things are moving very fast.”

Parr, who began caching in October 2008, hopes his magazine will further grow awareness of our hobby. It will be sold through his online store and at selected retailers for A$5.95 each, with subscriptions also available for five, 10 or 20 issues – the latter costing A$169.50.

“Although most people that already geocache know how different and entertaining the hobby is … many muggles, dare I say, are yet to be ‘saved’ and I believe the best way to grow the sport is by traditional means, in my case printed media.”

Despite not having any publishing experience himself, he’s tackling the  project as a one-man band. “I’m doing everything from layout, graphic design, editing … the works. No wonder I lost 15 hours a day this last week.”

Issue No 1 will be 36 pages-long and in full colour. As you can see from the first few pages given to It’s Not About The Numbers,  it is bright, modern and clearly presented. Supporters of American print offering FTF Geocacher – of which Parr “enjoys, reads, subscribes to, and sells in his webstore” – may notice some similarity between its design and Geocaching in Australia.

However, his readers can expect extensive coverage of hides in each Australian state and a large international section focusing on the United States, Canada, Britain and New Zealand.

“Yes, we will have a dedicated section for New Zealand so we hope readers will send in some stories and photos … it could be as few as a page or as many as four to five pages if we get enough content coming in.”

He’s hoping for “an average of 2000 regular readers and a few hundred subscribers initially”, mostly aged 35 to 50 and spread across his home turf. “I’d expect to get 90 per cent of my customers from Australia as I do on my website.”

Initial public reaction to his idea has been positive. “It is very early – I have only been working on it a week and even less time has it been public knowledge – however, so far the emails have been encouraging and positive.”

But he’s not expecting to make a profit from the magazine’s outset. “Definitely not, I would be surprised if at all within the first 12 to 18 months and perhaps beyond. I have taken this into account but would be pleasantly surprised if it gains a big enough following to make a profit quicker. After all, it helps to improve the quality of the magazine and perhaps to add features that I could not otherwise.”

His first anticipated extra is a compilation CD of “useful geocaching apps plus things that can not go into the mag” to be posted to subscribers – “perhaps users’ videos, stuff like that”.

Should the magazine not reach the five, 10 or 20 issues being presold by subscription, Parr will refund his customers, saying “any other way is totally unfair”.

And if it’s a hit, he hopes to expand his entire operation, bringing in outside help if need be.

* Interested in buying, selling, advertising in or writing for Geocaching in Australia? Contact James Parr at The Cache Is Out There.


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