Is it true that white guys make us the money?

a diverse selection of Elska issues on display at Glad Day Books in Toronto
our Elska Cape Town issue on the shelves of a bookshop in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Of our top five all-time selling issues, three of them were set in rather white places: Reykjavík (Iceland), Berlin (Germany), and Perth (Australia). However, the other two in our top five were made in Asia: Taipei (Taiwan) and Seoul (Korea).
  • Our second-lowest selling issue was our only one so far to be made in Africa, our Cape Town (South Africa) issue. Certainly black men are some of the most invisible men in gay media and I genuinely think that Elska Cape Town is one of the best issues we’ve done, but perhaps race is a reason why it didn't perform as well as others. Incidentally the only time we ever got letters complaining that the guy on the cover was "ugly" and "not worthy of a cover" referred to a cover with a black guy on it. Gross!
  • We sometimes see racialised patterns in orders. For example, after we released our Seoul (Korea) issue, we noticed several people who chose to buy three issues at once, and those three were our three East Asian issues — Taipei, Yokohama, and Seoul. And last week a customer ordered eight issues at once but all of them were ones made in Western cities. However, while I am quick to notice such patterns, they are by no means common overall.
  • Interestingly our two lowest selling issues were both made in Western and rather homogeneously white cities: Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden). The low sales of these may suggest that race isn't such a big factor at least among Elska customers. Perhaps it could be explained by the fact that these two issues had the lowest amount of nudity of any Elska issues!
Our current top five best selling issues.

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Liam Campbell

Liam Campbell

Editor + Chief Photographer of Elska Magazine, a gay photography + culture mag, sharing local boys and local stories from around the world.