A year ago this week I was pretty nervous. We had spent a lot of time and resources to put together a new magazine, a tourism guide for the area, and it was about to be distributed.
Would the magazine meet your expectations? Would it achieve the dual goals of being both a tourism guide and a marketing tool for economic development? Would our plan to print enough copies so the magazine could be distributed throughout a 12-month period work?
And would the 48 advertisers, who stepped forward to make the magazine possible, consider their investment a positive one?
Anytime you try something new, there’s a chance it will not be successful. I’ve had plenty of experience with doing projects that flopped in 44 years in the newspaper business.
So, it was with both excitement and a nervous stomach that “Explore,” a guide to things to see and do in New Albany and Union County, was published last June.
Today, as we begin distribution of the second edition of “Explore,” I am a little less nervous. Last year’s 84-page magazine is now 100 pages and the number of advertisers who have invested in a community tourism guide has increased to 62.
Even though the magazine is aimed at visitors, we know from the response last year that you want your own copy. So “Explore” is included in each copy of the Gazette today.
But the principal distribution is through our local hotels, restaurants, welcome center, banks and other places tourists and newcomers frequent. We encourage visitors to take a copy, so we print thousands of extras so we can replenish the supply.
This year’s magazine features a cover photograph of the wisteria in bloom at the Faulkner Literary Garden at the Union County Heritage Museum. It’s the 20th anniversary of the museum, and we thought it fitting that the museum be the cover story.
You’ll also enjoy the story, “Birthplace of a Literary Legend,” about William Faulkner and the history of his family and its connection to New Albany. There’s a piece about our historic cemeteries and, of course, the Gazette’s walking tour of historic downtown New Albany. We’ve also given you the scoop on area places to eat, as well as our annual festivals.
And don’t miss the section on Famous People from New Albany (including Giants baseball catcher Eli Whiteside) and the section on Myths and Legends. On Page 90 is a calendar of community events for the coming year.
We hope this year’s edition of “Explore” continues to meet your expectations. The news staff of the Gazette, led by Managing Editor David Johnson, worked hard updating the stories and photographs. And Jill Smith, director of the Union County Heritage Museum, continues to be an invaluable resource for stories, historical material and photographs.
I also would like to thank long-time friend Leah Daniels for her help with the magazine’s design, and colleagues at our company’s glossy printing facility in Columbia, Tenn., for their high quality press work.
Let us know what you think of this second edition of “Explore.” All of us at the Gazette are striving to serve you with quality and integrity in meeting our community’s needs.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.