Cirsova: Iron Age Marketing Podcast 023

In today’s episode of Iron Age Marketing, I talk to Cirsova, a thrilling adventure magazine publisher and pulp fiction enthusiast.

Let’s Meet Iron Age Creator Cirsova

Cirsova Publishing has been putting out its flagship magazine since 2016. Their quarterly magazine pays homage to the classic sci-fi and adventure pulps of the 1940s. In addition to their critically acclaimed magazine, Cirsova is home to Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars, Jim Breyfogle’s Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat, plus a boatload of short fiction from Misha Burnett.
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The Mighty Sons Of Hercules & More Product Means More Sales

I open my interview with the editor of Cirsova magazine with a brief aside about the Iron Age movement and ask what The Mighty Sons Of Hercules is. The answer is a value-added volume featuring some of the best authors from the Cirsova magazine stable. Our discussion lays out the financial benefits of having an extensive catalog of titles to sell as a means to create a reasonable monthly income. In this manner, even minor celebrity can pay dividends because your best customer is always the person who’s already made a purchase.

How A D&D Blog Takes On Pulp Magazine Publishing

In the next part of my discussion with Cirsova, I ask how somebody finds their way to creating a magazine for adventure fiction. The tale that unfolds is one of a Dungeons and Dragons blog during the “sad puppies” era. As our editor discovered and dove deeper into pulp fiction he got to wondering where he could find this type of fiction today. With an ambition of reading more of the content he wanted, he created an incentive for creators to make more of the adventure stories he desired. From there it quickly cascaded into a quarterly endeavor.
The next question that comes up is what made you think you could do this? Was your background in publishing? The answer sounds like “not really with a stop at my grandpa edited a journal back in the day.” Lack of experience shouldn’t slow anyone down and Cirsove tells us about the never-ending learning process as both the market and landscape change around them.
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Adventure Doesn’t Include Eggheads Talking Around Tables

Having published the magazine since 2016 it seems obvious that things would change. True to form, things did change at the magazine. In an effort to really nail down the audience they were appealing to and differentiate themselves from other offerings in the market, Cirsova changed its name and content to reflect the focus on action and adventure they wanted to see.
The conversation takes a wild turn when my guest lets out his true feelings on the fiction of legendary sci-fi writer Isaak Asimov. While his comments about eggheads talking around tables might draw the ire of some, my guest offers up some alternative names with a focus on more action-filled stories.

Pick A Favorite Child Then Tell Me How To Grow An Audience

In an unfair cornering, I put Cirsova on the spot and make them play favorites. While I don’t get favorites necessarily, they are happy to gush about some of the more interesting works they have published. New installments to Adrian Cole’s Dreamlord stories, a lost Edgar Rice Burroughs story, and serializations of Michael Tierneys Wild Stars novels all make the shortlist.
Having let them gush about some of the more cool entries into their publication, I move into the more direct marketing territory, and ask what they think is most important to growing a readership? There is no splitting hairs when they answer how the nature of being an anthology makes advertising a team effort as there are more people hoping for a return on their investment.
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Keeping Connected With An Audience As Movements Shift And Dissolve

Bringing the interview to a close we get into the types of communication and content Cirsova relies on to keep connected with its readership. The big outlets seem to be their blog and Twitter interaction. Some of the types of content Cirsova relies on are gaming content and book reviews.
Considering their history I feel obligated to ask how much the shift from games to fiction has affected them. By their estimations, the audience changed but never went away. The Pulp Rev movement and Sad Puppies era affected the audience in broader ways. In response, I get on my pedestal about what I see as limiting factors with other movements like ComicsGate.
Hopefully, today’s episode with Cirsova serves as both inspiration and education in your own journey to bring your creation to the world.

Shilling In The Iron Age

Need help connecting with or growing your audience for your book, comic, TTRPG, or other creative endeavor? Check out Nicky P @ ironagemarketing.com
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