Overseas Subscription - Poor Deal

Comments, suggestions and questions about Linux Format magazine and the coverdiscs

Moderators: ChriThor, LXF moderators

Postby shelmed » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:08 am

Rhakios wrote:If LXF is printed like a parish magazine, it should certainly bring down the cover price. :)

Depends how good the Parish Mag is! :wink:
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Postby Bruno » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:56 pm

Well its quite professional, but obviously not a 116 page, A4 colour mag with a glossy cover.

On a recent edition of In Business (or was it Global Business), Peter day was talking with the head of a company who can produce book print runs of 1 at (they say) cost effective rates. I had assumed that something similar may also exist for mags, so I did some digging. The results are, however, mixed.

Taking the USA as an example, PrintPelican.Com (I don't mean to endorse them, but they have a good website for specing print jobs and promise reasonable rates) can do a print run of 10,000 for $2.00 per copy, including mailing but excluding disc, for what I'm guessing are the specs of LXF. I'm not an expert, so can't tell if this is a good deal but it doesn't look bad to me as a ball-park figure, as our American cousins say. However, to determine if such an enterprise were profitable, the margin obviously needs to be added to that in order to pay for salaries, offices etc.

The trouble is, given the circulation report inside the mag (assuming that it includes overseas sales), I doubt that there are even 1,000 subscribers in the USA, and for a run of 1,000, it will be $8.83 a copy.

So in conclusion, sadly the economics of overseas printing don't stack up for the volumes likely to be required This isn't a slight on LXF, as a larger, more general UK computer title to which I also subscribe has only double the circulation of LXF. That's impressive, but it isn't a factor of ten.

So where to from here? Digital subs will certainly help, and appear to be in the pipeline. At a stroke that would remove printing and shipping costs, speed up delivery and ensure the product arrives in perfect condition. For now, better marketing overseas would also help, as one day overseas printing could be viable in the USA. However, it is unlikely to be so in Oz, given the smaller size of the market. However, poor service from postal service providers will negate a marketing push overseas. Yep, I think that the future is digital, as it is the least hassle solution. But the devil is in the detail of the implementation, there.

However, you are unlikely to be mugged on public transport/in the street for a paper copy of LXF, which is also better suited to reading in the bath, from a getting it ruined point of view.

Take care,
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Postby Bodie_CI5 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:31 am

GregS wrote:
nelz wrote:AIUI the shop copies are sent by surface transport while subscription copies are air-mailed, so the real benefit to you is to get the magazine around or before the time it appears in the UK shops, rather than several weeks later.

Actually, deliveries down here are often so erratic that the shop copies arrive first...

Shelmed has a point - we colonial subscribers don't get a whole lot of advantage out of subscribing. Now, I know there are economic pressures that make it so...but the only reason I subscribe is that i can't be bothered chasing up shop copies - and my nearest shop (if they stocked it) is over 12km away; and the nearest town with stores that LXF is regularly stocked is over 80 km away.

Out in the nearly-bush we don't have corner stores!

<Edit coupla days later...This months issue appeared just two or three days after hitting the webpage...an exception that proves the rule, perhaps? Last issue was about three weeks later.>

Hi Greg (if you are who I assume you are, hope you've been well!),

Actually for me, it's becoming hard to justify the sub. Financially, yes, there is a bit of a saving. But just around the corner from my workplace, magnation has had stock of the newest edition (the desktop one) since Wednesday. It's $24.95, but if the copy can be purchased earlier from a bricks n mortar venue, I think I may be voting with my feet when my sub runs out next year.
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$10 saving approx

Postby James100 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:43 am

£108 is currently equivalent to A$182.56. For 13 issues this works out to about A$14.04 an issues. Compared to over A$24 at Magnation, this is a saving of about A$10 an issue, which is a considerable discount. I accept that the OP was comparing on-line single issue to an annual subscription, and that the same degree of savings is not available in such a case.

I currently purchase individual issues from Magnation on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne. Sometimes the issues, which they claim are air-freighted to Australia, are available within a few days of being published in the UK, but I have known occasions when they were not available until 3 or 4 weeks after the publishing date. I have also know of occasions when the cover disk was not available with any of the current magazines - possibly removed by another shopper. On those cases they sold the magazine at a slight discount.

On the whole, if you can afford the initial outlay, an annual subscription is a much better deal - it is much cheaper, arrives sooner, contains the cover disk and is delivered to your door.
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Postby Bodie_CI5 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:25 am

Hello James,

You've put forth very salient points. I know you were addressing the thread as a whole, but I just wanted to clear up I have no issue whatsoever with the sub price. It's actually the better way to receive the mag. But, it's now one week almost, since magnation received their copies, and nothing here yet.

In any case, I don't blame LXF - probably more so Format Publishing and the various postal services (the latter mostly).

Don't get me started on magnation's practices (I go to the same one!) - I've copies of the same mag three times.... I thought I had missed on a previous edition or something, and have since pared back the number of purchases I make from there. Chaddy's newsagency is more consistent (and better range).
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