About the Sonoma County Gazette
Vesta Copestakes, publisher of the Gazette, is a graphic designer by trade and has been in the advertising/marketing and public relations field for more than 40 years. "Publishing a newspaper wasn't even on my list of things to do, but when the opportunity to take over my local newspaper (The Forestville Gazette) came up, I took it. The paper was 12 pages with a 4,000 reader circulation at the time, so it seemed like something I could fit into the spaces between client work." That was in the Fall of 2001 and since then Vesta has increased the paper to 64 full color pages and a print circulation of 28,000 copies plus this website, designed to keep readers informed between print editions. The print edition of the Gazette comes out the first Wednesday of every month and is distributed county-wide to nearly 800 newsstands, cafés, coffee shops, restaurants, stores and businesses.
"Because I have graphic design skills, I can publish this paper solo in my home office. My writing background in editorial and public relations helps as well. But the greatest asset is the fact that the paper is Written by Readers. People submit more material than I can use every month, which is why the page count keeps growing. Articles are written by people most involved in the subject, volunteers, producers, business people who come to a topic from personal perspective. There's a lot of passion on these pages. Our COMMUNITY Columns are written by volunteers in each community who are intimately connected to their homes and want others to know their communities from the insider's perspective."
Connecting our Sonoma County communities and promoting local businesses and organizations to residents and tourists is what this paper is all about. We feature articles on important issues that need attention, local non-profits and government agencies to help them get recognition and support, and we support businesses with profiles. Our annual special supplements: Small Shops of Sonoma County that comes out in December; the Sonoma County Gardener's Resource Guide (also on www.sonomacoumtynurseries.com) that comes out in March; and our Vacation at Home summer series are personal-perspective editorials. "I publish these self-guided tours to encourage readers to support our local economy by providing inspiration to doing business with entrepreneurs who feed their money back into our local economy through jobs and taxes."
The Sonoma County Gazette is 100% advertiser supported and FREE to readers. "My advertisers are why this paper exists. I encourage readers to support the businesses that support this paper. And I make sure their ads are placed with good stories, that they get good positions and that the ads don't clash with each other". Supporting advertisers with good graphic design and layout in the publication is part of Vesta's philosophy of supporting Sonoma County's economy and communities. "I want my paper to be attractive so people pick it up, the layout to be clean and easy to read so people spend time on our pages, and ads to be visually attractive so people's eyes are drawn to them. Supporting the success of our advertisers is key to this paper's success."
The Sonoma County Gazette continues to grow and gain respect from readers because of its unique perspective on news...proud to be 100% opinion...representing the values and priorities of our communities. For a current list of where to pick up a copy of the print edition, please visit our home page.