SUN Up a Nickel for Better Distribution
Starting with this issue the Ann Arbor SUN will cost 15¢ instead of a dime. We used to give the papers free to street sellers with a policy of "Sell The SUN, Keep The Dime". Now that the paper is 15¢, street sellers will still make a dime, but the extra $.05 will go back to pay the people who work full-time organizing SUN distribution.
We found that it takes a lot of energy time, and commitment to organize distribution of the paper effectively. In the past people have done it part-time for a few weeks or months at a stretch. No one was able to do the job because the SUN couldn't afford to pay for their rent or groceries.
Many people have told us they don't know how to get a hold of a copy of the paper. We want to remedy that situation so people know where to buy it, whether it's at the corner store or the Diag or the free concert.
Most exciting to us is that the SUN will begin to provide an economic base for its ' workers. So far everyone has worked as much as 50 hours a week, on a purely volunteer basis with no pay in sight. Our goal is to pay all our workers a living wage, freeing them from the economic bondage of worrying about the rent, etc. Their energy will no longer be siphoned off by being a wage slave for a capitalist enterprise.
To be able to direct what we do with our own lives, the first thing we have to do is guarantee our economic existence so we don't get trapped into the vicious cycle of working at a job we hate until we can afford to quit. Being able to support our regular staff also means stabilizing the existence of the paper. Many alternative newspapers have had to fold because they didn't make enough money to pay the printing bills, not to mention their staff members. A paper's sources of revenue are advertising, distribution and donations-few and far between.
The SUN, which has missed several publication dates this year, has had acute financial troubles. The SUN costs approximately $600 an issue to typeset, layout, print, and mail. On top of that, we pay rent and utility bills (our phone bills are outrageous) on a monthly basis. (We hope to print full financial statements in future issues.)
In order to pay all our bills we found we needed full-time advertising salespeople. We are now paying them a percentage of the advertising revenue thèy bring in, making it possible for them to support themselves and the SUN at the same time.
We hope that people will support the SUN's need to raise its price and will look at selling the SUN-and keeping the dime as a way that they too can support themselves.
"We Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More"
"Sell the SUN, Make a Dime"
SUN Editorial Board