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  1. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    another one bites the dust

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by NaCl, Oct 13, 2008.

    I wrote fishing articles for a wonderful full-color magazine called Inside Line. It was a wonderful read, specializing in fishing information for western USA tournament bass fishermen. Hall-of-fame fishermen Dee Thomas had a regular column as did million dollar winner, Gary Dobyns. This year, Inside Line ended a long run (almost two decades) of bimonthly editions and switched to an e-zine with over 40,000 "circulation". I wonder if this is the tip of the iceberg in publishing???

    I already miss the print magazine.
     
  2. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    If the magazine has not actually come to an end--and it sounds as though this one is still flourishing--then there's nothing to mourn about... er, unless you have a grudge against trees, or something.

    Think of all the magazines, books, and newspapers that have been printed since the dawn of the industry. Think of how many mountains and mountains of printed pages there are, languishing in the basements, attics, and garages all around the world. I can see how someone would feel nostalgic about the really great old periodicals such as Life, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, etc., but I would rather have the trees, personally. They make air, ya know--I can get along without Life magazine, but I can't get along without air.

    For every great magazine or book, there are millions that are an absolute waste of paper, ink, and natural resources, and good riddance to them. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of magazines do a hybrid type, with some content online and some in print. There is overlap, but often the print has content not online to lure readers into subscriptions.

    Don't know if that model works, but it's popular at this time from what I've seen.

    I know that postal costs could be a factor in the decision. Some pro SF magazines are switching sizes and total content reduction (by a small %) to help alleviate some of the print costs.

    A big question for Inside Line is if the loyal following will follow online, and if not, if enough new folks will frequent and support the site and those that advertise on it.

    I hope so.

    Terry
     
  4. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    ...Its a fishing magizine...
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, it's a fishing magazine. Important and enjoyable to read for those who have an interest in the sport or hobby and important to those writers who have articles published in it.

    What is considered an abolute waste of paper and ink is quite subjective. What you think has value, others may not. What determines if they get printed (and continue to be printed in subsequent issues) is if enough people believe they are worth it--and pay for it--or at least the advertisers trying to reach an audience do.

    As far as the trees being cut down, they are a renewable resource. Trees are cut down, new trees are planted to replace them. It provides renewal to the forests and jobs for the logging industry and paper industry and printing industry and authors and editors etc.

    Many folks, like myself, prefer to read paper magazines and paper books whenever possible.

    Terry
     
  6. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Going online is "dying" now?

    Crap. I don't think I've read a paper magazine or news source since I was twelve and canceled my seven-year subscription to "Nintendo Power." I must be mummified. :D

    Seriously, 40K readers is pretty good, especially for a niche-interest magazine. Sounds like it's thriving, not dying.
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fishing? It's only the #1 outdoors activity in the entire USA. Last report I read, over 11 million Americans fish for fun or competitively every year. Fishing related sales exceed a billion dollars annually. The winner of the FLW Championship this year won one million dollars! The monthly qualifying events pay from $100,000 to $145,000 for first place. The BASSMaster Classic champion won $500,000 and endorsements worth another $500,000. I'd say "fishin" is pretty big industry in the USA.

    As far as the loss of a print magazine (Inside Line), there have been many fishing magazines in this country for a quite while now. I subscribed to most of them when I was actively writing in that market. Many great regional reads are now going out of print and a few of the national magazines have reduced their quality. Why? Sponsor advertising dollars are drying up as the economy suffers. People think that the cost of producing and mailing a regular magazine is covered by membership payments. It's not. It costs a lot of money to edit, layout, print and pay contributors (authors) for a full color magazine. The mailing cost alone takes as much as 25% of a typical subscription fee (12 issues at $.35 each equals $4.20 out of the typical $18 "discount" membership). Profits come from advertising revenue, not from subscription payments. As fishing product manufacturers see sales slip with the worsening economy, they direct their diminishing advertising dollars into only a few major national magazines.

    Yes, I do lament the loss of Inside Line as a print magazine. The computer is a great place to do research, but for me, it cannot compete with a cup of hot chocolate and a favorite reading chair on a cold winter morning. I can lug that half-read article to bed with me, to work or just leave it open on the coffee table to pick up at random. The computer will never replace a print book or magazine for me. Guess I'm just old fashioned...LOL
     
  8. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Yeah? And millions upon millions of people play video games, it's a multibillion dollar industry that has branched out into movies, snacks, and even frickin' novels, and even Penny Arcade, a far-from-universally known webcomic based on two guys who talk about games, has founded a charity which donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, wholly from gamers and game makers, but I'd still describe that as a "niche market."

    Your average person isn't going to go into a store and buy a fishing mag any more than they'd pick up my old friend Nintendo Power. People who care enough about anything to buy a magazine devoted exclusively to it tend to be in one niche or another.

    As for the other stuff, well, yeah. Print isn't as useful as a medium any longer. Advertising was the only thing keeping the stuff in production, and now that you can get the same content in a more convenient package (and one that costs a heckuva lot less to produce and "ship" to your base), it's only natural that the print mags are drying out. Doesn't mean the readers, the content, or the quality is.

    It's change, and it's worth noting the passing of an era, but I still don't think "death" is the right way to think about it. (Unless you're reading Tarot cards, I guess.)
     
  9. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the problem with this discussion is generational...

    We don't get magazines at my house except for Seventeen (a guilty pleasure, plus I was supporting my bro's school's magazine drive). I don't think any of my friends buy magazines or have subscriptions.

    However, when I go to my grandparents' houses or my aunt's house, there are magazines all over the place. They sit and read that stuff. I find it completely boring.

    But I read the regret and longing in the OP's post and feel sentimental for his fishing magazine.
     
  10. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    That fishing magizine would have went out of print as the costing of printing etc was more then the sales they were getting.

    And yes maybe there are billions of anglers in the US but the point is not many people were buying it. For instance her in Australia there was a great gaming magazine which i was buying but then it disappeared. Later i found out that not enough people were buying it so they stopped printing it, even though there were plenty of gamers her in OZ.

    My point is, yes it was a great fishing magazine, but nobody was buying it, thus no money for printing. Consider it lucky that they 'e-zined it.'

    The reason for turning from print to electronic is to keep the fans happy and maybe make a bit of cash, as nothing to print, while it lasts.

    enough said methinks.
     
  11. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    I don't think I'll ever get comfortable reading stuff on screens. I'll always want something physical in my hands. There's something cathartic about turning pages after a long day...
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Besides, paper is recyclable. It's not that much of a waste if we keep planting trees and turn boxes into books. I guess the thing that matters is finding the most cost-effective way of doing it.
     
  13. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    I think you're underestimating the sheer cost of printing and shipping all those copies. Magazines are just not cost effective any longer; we can send the few KB of information printed on a page around the world for about the cost it would take to have one truck driver move one box of paper products about ten feet down the road.

    I'm not crowing about this; I've got fond memories of my Nintendo Power, and I shed a genuine tear when I had to get rid of them during one of our moves when I was younger. But it's the truth; give it ten years, and there won't be any magazines at all. Another ten, and it's likely that books themselves will be fairly expensive collector's items, the equivalent of buying a modern day artist's music printed on an old vinyl record. (However, the comforting thing is that the capability to produce books and suchlike will still be readily available, and likely far from prohibitively expensive.)
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    One thing to consider is advertisement. As was discussed, what has been the mainstay of print magazines (and even newspapers) has been advertisers.

    Now it does save money in paper, printing, shipping costs, among other things. However, will advertisers be supported by the online readership? Will the ezines raise enough revenue to produce a quality product, by being able to attract the best talent to write and provide photographs and art for them--beyond the need to pay for quality editors, layout and technical support to run the ezines.

    There are some ezines that pay very well (Jim Baen's Universe, for example pays 6 to 25 cents per word depending on the name and quailty of the work). I am less well versed on nonfiction markets.

    How many folks here 'pay' for online ezines and content? How many use the links on ezines to purchase products, supporting those advertisers?

    I don't, but I do still carry several magazine subscriptions.

    Just a few thoughts thrown into the discussion.

    Terry
     
  15. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is definitely a factor that could make paper in the long run more cost effective, depending on the magazine. Why pay to read something on the internet when there is so much free stuff? And who really pays that much attention to on-line adds? Also, a paper magazine is more convenient unless you can afford a blackberry or the iphone. If I read them, I know I wouldn't bother with on-line ones because I wouldn't be able to read them on the bus or during my break at work.

    And Scattercat, I'm not. I'm just the kind of person who believes there is nearly always an alternative.
     
  16. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    That's the problem with the Internet; the model of commerce is completely different, and the old rules don't work very well any longer.

    I don't think advertisers are going to be the way to go any longer. And I'd certainly pay for an e-zine, if I found one that really did have stories that were to my taste. On the flip side, I never found a print magazine I liked well enough to subscribe to, though; I'm a titch hard to please, I suppose. I'd be an easier sell on an e-zine, though; less work for me means it's more likely to get my money.
     
  17. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually lump all online advertising into the "spam" category. In fact, I use my ad blocker to prevent their pop-ups. I don't believe there is much future for e-zines as viable paid subscription replacements for the paper magazines, considering all the free stuff available. Most will deteriorate into web based manufacturer-oriented infomercials connected to product websites, rather maintaining than any semblance to literature.
     
  18. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    I think the micropayment/tip-jar style approach actually has some merit and warrants further investigation. Yes, you'd give out a lot of stuff for free, but once you have a fanbase you can begin to monetize your product. Some of the current big-name authors have done some experiments in this vein. Stephen King, Tad Williams...
     
  19. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    I can read only so much on a screen. It just doesn't hold my interest. And many people I've talked to about it feel the same. Give me a printed book or magazine any day.
     
  20. Credulous Skeptic
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    If books will no longer be printed, I will spend all my expendable income on the ones left. Luckily in America, not many people read the classics.
     
  21. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this area of the USA, "used" bookstores are doing pretty brisk business as people can access everything from junk to classics for pennies on the dollar. My wife frequents such a place, buying a dozen books a week. After reading them, she "sells" them back for 50% of what she originally paid. That makes her cost per book around $1 each. And, if she particularly enjoys a book, she adds it to her considerable library instead of selling it back.
     
  22. sophie.
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    I had to butt in :p
    I'd hate to read a magazine online, I much prefer to read on actual paper..and even if it wastes less paper, it does use up electricity to run a mag online.

    Newspapers are also being threatened by the switch to online, as they lose customers. I find it hard to see the appeal in reading off a screen all the time, makes my eyes feel funny and isnt nearly as nice :redface:
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    And computer screens are no good for lining birdcages, potty training puppies, lighting fireplaces, or protecting work surfaces from painting projects a few days later.
     
  24. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Yeah, have you ever tried 'hiding' behind a laptop in a hotel lobby? Newspapers all the way! Big ones!!
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    add to that the great loss to fiction, if we can't write about gutsy reporters and cranky city editors anymore!

    heck, we'd have never had Superman, if computers had taken over decades ago!... nor the inimitable Kolchak, to do battle with all those demons...
     

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