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Cover to Cover: Submerge Magazine

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If you've been living in (or visited) Sacramento over the past several years, you've probably come across Submerge Magazine. The magazine, which is printed on good old fashioned paper, is what I like to call an anti-glossy publication.

You know what I'm talking about, right? When you thoroughly enjoy an article and then reach for your cup of coffee to find newsprint stains on your hands? Yeah, it's that type of publication... and I love it. Submerge comes out every other week and covers everything happening in the Sacramento region -- from music and art to food and style.

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I had a chance to ask the founders, Jonathan and Melissa a few questions about the magazine and, lucky for us, they were super candid!

Let's dive right in, shall we?

Q) For those who are just being introduced to Submerge Magazine, how would you characterize the publication? What can people expect to find between the front and back covers?

A) Submerge is an arts and entertainment publication available for free every other week all over the Sacramento region. We feature interviews, previews and reviews based around the music, art, comedy, fashion and food happenings in our region. People can expect national coverage blended with regional coverage. So in any given issue you might find an interview with a touring band or comedian coming through town mixed with plenty of regional coverage, as well as restaurant reviews, an entertainment calendar and we also have regular columnists. As cliche as it sounds, there is a little     something for everyone in every issue of Submerge.

Q) How long have you been publishing Submerge Magazine? What prompted you to start a publication like this?

A) We are currently on issue #135 (that's crazy to think about!) so it's been over five years. We launched this bad boy in early 2008, just as the economy was hitting rock bottom. We didn't care much about that, because we knew we had a strong idea and a solid business plan. Being a free publication, we rely on advertising dollars and right away we got the attention of some of Sacramento's best bars, venues, restaurants, retailers, etc. and partnered with them. We owe so much to our advertisers! It's a beautiful partnership that we've built with all of them. What prompted us to start a publication like this was just taking a look at the Sacramento region and thinking, "Wow, there is SO much cool stuff happening here between the music scene, arts scene, restaurant and beer/cocktail scene, etc." and we knew we could provide some fresh,     hip coverage of all that. My business partner (and soon to be wife) Melissa had tons of experience in the publishing world, specifically in the design and editorial departments. I've always been a natural at marketing and sales, so our two skill-sets combined really made launching a business like this possible.

Q) What were you both doing for a living before you started the magazine? (Care to share any funny career/education stories that led you to where you are today?)

A) We both graduated from CSU, Chico. That's where we met. Years ago when we moved to Sacramento and started thinking about doing Submerge, we had part-time "regular" jobs to pay the bills. I worked at a local brewery for a while (RIP Sac Brew!), Melissa did graphic design work for a local print shop. Eventually the mag got so busy   that we both were able to drop the part-time gigs to focus solely on Submerge. We don't make a killing by any means, but we make enough to pay the bills, and we can do so by supporting and promoting the regions arts and entertainment scenes, so we're pretty happy with how things have worked out!

Q) What are your favorite elements of magazine publishing? Is there anything you've discovered over the years that surprised you about the industry?

A) I love that we are one of only a few remaining print publications in town. As we all get more and more connected and dependent on our digital devices, it's nice to know that we are giving people an option of something to physically hold onto and read over a cup of coffee, or a beer, or at a boutique in midtown, or while waiting for a bus or train, etc. We do have a website as well as a digital flip book version of every issue available online, we aren't dinosaurs over here, but giving people something to physically hold onto feels nice.

Q) The magazine focuses on the Sacramento region. What is it about Sacramento that inspires you to continue creating a free, local publication?

A) We are so proud to call Sacramento home and to be able to focus on some of the cooler things happening here. Melissa and I both grew up in really, really small towns, so I think that helps us appreciate all that the Sacramento region has to offer. There are amazingly talented musicians and artists here, as well as countless chefs, bartenders and restaurants to be proud of. We get some of the best comedians in the world touring through on a regular basis, and on top of all that, this region is just so extremely diverse. We absolutely love it here and can't imagine doing Submerge anywhere else!

Q) Submerge Magazine is pretty involved in the community and Sacramento's summer event season is coming up. Any cool collaborations or projects coming up that we should know about?

A) We're excited to be involved with Concerts in the Park, which happens every Friday evening in downtown Sacramento at Cesar Chavez Plaza and features free live music from many of the region's best acts. We're also stoked to be a big part of Launch Music/Art Festival again this year, we truly believe in the vision of the event's founders and we think that it is only going to grow each year and help to bring more attention to what Sacramento has to offer. On top of that, we've got some cool stuff in the works: some killer interviews and features scheduled for this summer, possibly partnering with a local photographer to produce Submerge video content, as well as continuing to grow our circulation and distribution. It's an exciting time for us here at Submerge!

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Be sure to check out the Submerge Magazine website for their latest edition + archives. If you want to follow the publication elsewhere, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Looking for newsprint-stained hands of your own? You can pick up the print version at just about every coffee shop, record store, boutique, salon, book store or hip restaurant in Midtown and Downtown Sacramento.

Happy reading! 

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Follow Friday: Launch2012

The Sacramento region is full of creativity. Those of you who live here already know that and it's probably safe to bet that you tell people often. Am I right?We're proud of our creative tendencies here in the capital city and we celebrate them every chance we get. However, it is my humble opinion that we truly haven't seen anything. Yet.

Enter: LAUNCH2012

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{Screen shot taken from launchsacramento.com}

LAUNCH started back in 2009 as a way to showcase all of Sacramento's creative talents in one place. I attended the event last year for the first time and it was incredible.

This year, they've stepped it up. Big time. The festival will span six days (six days!) at eight different venues around Sacramento's central city and will be the biggest art, design, fashion, music and architecture mash-up this city has ever seen.

There is no way I'm going to do this collection of awesomeness justice by simply writing about it, so your best bet is to first visit the LAUNCH2012 website.

Then do yourself a favor and check out the Facebook and Twitter pages set up for the event. Then for the love of all things sacred, go BACK to the website and buy tickets! Do it! You'll kick yourself in the shins if you miss this.

Okay, it's really tough to kick yourself in the shins. I'll do it. Don't make me.

Oh alright, I'm a lover not a fighter.

But seriously...why are you still here. Go get your tickets!

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See you all there! Happy Friday, friends!

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