Months are spent debating the potential order, the beginnings, ends, and contents of each poem selected to spill flawlessly into the persona-free poems of its neighbors on the page. It's like assembling an eclectic mixtape, and we become deeply attached to the included poems and poets in the process.
As for production, American Mustard is intended primarily as a digital resource for the showcased poets to virally share with friends and fans. The journal is formatted in such a way that it can be adapted to print, by uploading to the self-publishing site Lulu, if anyone really wants to hold a printed version in their hands. Once the template appears on Lulu, no physical copy exists until someone pays Lulu to print it. It takes about two weeks usually from when a copy is ordered to when it shows up on a doorstep.
Any physical copy purchased is a bushel of revenue for Lulu.com, unaffiliated with American Mustard, and we've arranged to receive about a dollar from each purchased copy. We do not aim to make a profit in any way, just to hopefully make up for out-of-pocket expenses. As a digital journal, we found that opting for a print copy was a little bit of added fun. Each editor has to pay for their own copy as well.
One day, once we have achieved recognition and success, we'd like to be able to provide free copies for everyone involved (and break away from the digital/self-publishing model). Right now, we rely on our contributors to be involved in the process with us democratically.
In Mustard We Trust