GORE BAY—“So far so good,” commented Carmen Runnalls when asked about the success of the premier edition of Manitoulin Mornings—the 32-page full colour magazine that sold out of its first 100 issues very quickly. (The April publication goes to press on March 31 with 500 copies to be printed.)
Social media has played a part in getting the word out, the publisher explained. Ms. Runnalls is on Facebook and has recently launched a website, which, in only four days, has seen 3,000 hits.
While the first issue was free, the cost to publish the magazine is not. It is her intent that “no part of this magazine should ever have to leave the Island for production.” The cost to purchase the magazine is $7.
Thirty readers have subscriptions to date and several have contacted her about the magazine, both to express interest in being a contributor and share feedback, which has been “really good,” Ms. Runnalls said.
The challenge will be to get the magazine “built up all over the Island,” shared Ms. Runnalls. “I don’t want people to feel left out.”
Ms. Runnalls, who is originally from the Island, returned last summer after being in China for more than a dozen years.
Along with husband Jefrem Dorosch and daughter Cheyenne, the family makes their home in Gore Bay. “A lot of people who contact me (about the magazine) knew me from when I used to live here before.”
“As the magazine gets more well known the advertising base will grow. Everyone is equal,” shared Ms. Runnalls.
“I am interested in what’s happening in the communities. It is my goal to see east and west become interested in each other.”
Presenting a new and wonderful way to promote the people and lifestyles found on Manitoulin Island, Ms. Runnalls has been busy interviewing local artists, business people and volunteer groups while at the same time offering creative writers, professionals in their field and local historians a venue to present their knowledge and expertise.
“I want to focus on the good things happening here; make people feel a sense of pride and to help motivate and inspire tourism; and to feature artists and writers,” she said. “There is no room for negative content. Perhaps it will encourage people to move back (to the Island).”
“When I came back to the Island,” shared Ms. Runnalls, “I found tourism on the West End slowly dying in a big way—the little shops, gas stations and convenience stores were closing their doors. This led me to believe that I wanted to do something to bring tourism and culture back. Culture never left—perhaps people were just unaware that what they were doing was saleable and interesting to others.”
“These are the things that I want to bring people’s attention to so it gives everyone a sense of pride that they are making a contribution,” she continued.
The April issue contains many features including an opportunity for high school students to enter a writers’ contest entitled ‘What does Manitoulin Island mean to me?’ The top three winners will receive a free issue of the magazine and an exclusive Manitoulin Mornings t-shirt.
Check out the magazine online at www.manitoulinmornings.com.