After a long summer of thinking about the future VT Times, we have decided, with great regret, that we will not be publishing it going forward.
We realise that this is disappointing for many – and for us too. However, the reality is that this has to be a viable financial concern and cannot be a charity. It has been a real learning curve over the past year and we hope you have enjoyed the issues produced. We’ve certainly loved producing it, discovering so much about the region and meeting so many great people along the way.
Put simply however, the costs of printing and distribution are not being met by the advertising revenue coming in. Let alone the value of our time in creating the editorial content and designing it.
As a couple with other work plus a young family, we simply don’t have the time to devote to advertising sales that is needed. However, we still believe that the idea was and is good and that the business model remains valid: getting enough advertising to cover the costs of printing and distributing a free publication.
For us, what’s been missing from the mix is someone who could devote their time to selling advertising and who could do so in both Bulgarian and English. AND who, like us, was willing to work initially on commission only, looking at the VT Times as a long-term opportunity. On this basis the VT Times could work. But until that situation can be achieved, the VT Times is something that is taking up too much time with no financial reward. In fact, the opposite. We have been financing it from our own bank account.
We’ve looked at all different models since July. Charging for the VT Times, franchising it, making it online only or changing the whole advertising rate structure. All have their merits, but their downsides too. It’s therefore with heavy hearts that we will say goodbye to the VT Times – we would love to hear from anyone interested in discussing what would be required to get the VT Times going again and hope in time to be able to resurrect what has been a very well received, much loved community publication.
We have a huge amount of content that we’ve put together, and that others have contributed through the last year. Over time, we hope to make it available here on the website – vttimes.net – because we’re part of a great community, and keen to keep on contributing whatever we can to it.