Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

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Richard Kaufman
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Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 12th, 2008, 7:47 pm

Read this:

http://www.time.com/time/business/artic ... ml?cnn=yes

My prediction is that over the course of the next ten years, three of the four major magazines in our field (which consists of Genii, MAGIC, M-U-M, and Linking Ring) will either go out of business or move to an entirely web-based presence for free. As the Time magazine article in the link above explains, the business model for publishing newspapers (and magazines) is quite simply collapsing in the face of free information on the internet.

The folks putting out "magazines" on DVD? Forget it: you're already obsolete. You'll be web-based or out of business in two years.

The rest of us? Who knows ...
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Cugel » July 12th, 2008, 10:21 pm

Don't give up. There'll always be a market for folks who like to sniff the ink and feel the quality.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mai-ling » July 12th, 2008, 10:32 pm

music industries business model has been turned
upside down on its head since the digital age
has taken up in full force.

despite it all, there's still many out there
who still believe in the power and feel of the
actual package in your hands.

i don't do any kind of digital distribution.
and very rare if any free music downloads.

i'd like to go vinyl eventually.
there's a huge surge in vinyl right now.
its said that more people are going back to it
for many reasons.

i think if vinyl has a resurgence, eventually
print will too. some people can not take reading
articles online for very long. i know i can't
stare a screen all day reading an entire newspaper.
i like opening it up, touching it, and looking
it over from top to bottom.

then i can tear out what i want to keep for future
reference.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista


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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Bill Palmer » July 13th, 2008, 12:58 am

I doubt that the Linking Ring, MUM or The Magic Circular will go entirely web based, since a large portion of their dues is to publish the magazines. There is still a significant portion of the membership of the clubs that are not computer users.

Many local groups, rings, assembliese, etc., have gone to an option system. They e-mail the newsletters to those who have e-mail and mail the newsletters (for a higher fee) to those who do not.

In the past four years, we have seen locally that the percentage of computer users has grown from about 50% to roughly 90%.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Terry » July 13th, 2008, 8:01 am

You can hardly compare the printing/distribution costs of a daily newspaper to a mass audience and the printing/distribution costs of a monthly periodical to a niche market.

If a periodical has not figured in all costs and then adjusted subscription/per issue price to meet that cost, then they should not be in business because they have failed to plan.

We exist in a free market economy. If a supplier meets or exceeds the expectation of the buyer, they will continue to receive business. Fail to deliver and your business fails. Pretty simple and direct.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 13th, 2008, 10:26 am

Thank you, Terry, your compassion and foresight are staggering.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Roger M. » July 13th, 2008, 11:19 am

Here's hoping it's Genii that's the only magic magazine left at the end.

I subscribe to Genii because it never lets me down, whereas ALL of the other magazines mentioned let me down, if not always, at least consistently.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Joe Naud » July 13th, 2008, 11:35 am

Having been in the retail book business for almost 30 years I have been hearing about the digital book for almost half of that. Amazon has a wonderful reader out, for only $350!! You can get a Sony reader for about half of that cost. Are publishers making all of their books available via digital downloads, NO, only a handful of new titles that are put out each year even make it to digital. I work for the second largest publisher on the planet so I have a bit of inside knowledge when it come to this. Digital fits a niche at the moment and is growing, but slowly. In the end as all things do it will come down to economics, as long as Genii can get enough advertisers and subscribers we should have a chance to read it via paper for a long time. Although I am not a subscriber, I buy by issue since I have a limited budget, I may have to subscribe since I am finding more issues I have to have and may have already spent more on single issues than I would have had to pay for a subscription!!
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby DrDanny » July 13th, 2008, 12:22 pm

Let me point out that Genii already has made a strong push into cyber-distribution: I get as much enjoyment out of the forums as I do from the mag. I'll remain a subscriber as long as I'm able, just because I like hardcopy. But I'll be online as well, because I've been involved with computers for over 40 years.

I've not seen a copy of either MUM or LR in a couple dozen years, but I suspect I'd still find them less than satisfying for a variety of reasons. I suggest there are really only two "majors" and one is fairly minor, in my opinion.

There was a point to this diatribe, but I've forgotten what it was now. You kids get off my lawn!

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby erlandish » July 13th, 2008, 12:37 pm

One of the real downsides of this is the lack of a proper historical record. I've noticed that journalism standards online have gotten pretty shoddy, with some news websites (CNN included) putting up whatever they like, and then altering it later on. It's a real hit to accountability.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mrgoat » July 13th, 2008, 2:11 pm

On the contrary, I find the idea that you can be edited after publication a wonderful asset of interwebs publishing.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 13th, 2008, 3:02 pm

mrgoat wrote:On the contrary, I find the idea that you can be edited after publication a wonderful asset of interwebs publishing.


Double plus good mr Goat! BB looks favourably upon such goodsight and wellspeak.

AmWay!

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby erlandish » July 13th, 2008, 6:52 pm

mrgoat wrote:On the contrary, I find the idea that you can be edited after publication a wonderful asset of interwebs publishing.


If we're talking about cosmetic/style changes, then I agree. If we're talking about the substance of the content, though, I really very much disagree. It's just too easy to rewrite or outright invent history.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Ted M » July 13th, 2008, 7:24 pm

I thought it was unfortunate that the Genii Forum lost so much history when all the user accounts were reset. So many old posts are now attributed only to Anonymous. The Erdnase thread, Derek Verner's memories, etc.

Digital information is perilously fragile.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby erlandish » July 13th, 2008, 7:36 pm

Ted,

You know, I just checked, and a lot of genii's old threads are available on archive.org.

This is venturing off-topic, but if you point out which threads you want to have updated, it might be possible to do something about it.

And yes, I know, this observation almost totally invalidates what I wrote two posts ago. So, sorry about that. Ignore the lunatic rantings.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 13th, 2008, 8:39 pm

We have the entire Genii Forum backed up just before we made any changes. Brad Aldridge has been busy laying out the program for the upcoming IBM/SAM convention, but perhaps now that he's finished he will find the time to set up a mirror site so the old Forum can be accessed and all the original names are accessible.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Roger M. » July 13th, 2008, 9:22 pm

Staying off topic briefly, I mentioned elsewhere on this forum recently, and as is already known to a lot of regulars here on Genii, the ERDNASE thread is probably one of the most precious threads on any magic forum, on any topic.

That thread contains information in it that is found NOWHERE else, either on the web or in print.

I have it printed out and bound for my personal use, and I update it as often as seems smart to do so.

Whether you're personally interested in the subject matter or not, the thread itself is quite priceless.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Geno Munari » July 13th, 2008, 10:58 pm

Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business?

Because if we enjoy the material and sources we should be loyal amd support the Forum. I believe it hardly makes any profit and is in most part a labor of love by the moderators.

If you didnt have this wonderful "Forum" you would have naught.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Arnie Fuoco » July 14th, 2008, 12:36 am

I do believe that newspapers and news orientated mags like "Time" will be under intense pressure to survive. This is because most people only read one or two paragraphs of the on-line news. To sit and try reading significant amounts of text on-line off a screen is uncomfortable and hard on the eyes.For this reason, I don't believe that niche, hobby, or narrow focused magazines will come under the same pressure. Unless people are struggling economically, I can't see them crawling into bed and reading full articles in Genii and Magic off a screen.
Arnie Fuoco

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mrgoat » July 14th, 2008, 5:03 am

erlandish wrote:
mrgoat wrote:On the contrary, I find the idea that you can be edited after publication a wonderful asset of interwebs publishing.


If we're talking about cosmetic/style changes, then I agree. If we're talking about the substance of the content, though, I really very much disagree. It's just too easy to rewrite or outright invent history.


I was specifically talking about 'facts'. Say you publish an article and state something. You are wrong. You get some comments on the piece that there is a mistake. You research, find out they are right, and correct your mistake.

I think that is wonderful for two reasons. a) interacting with your audience in a way and speed that is otherwise impossible and b) fixing mistakes.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 14th, 2008, 10:21 am

We forfeit credibility when we unlink data from their chiseled custody.

Since when is errata a cause for historical revisionism? Do we wish the Wikipedia to serve as our icon of googled truth?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 14th, 2008, 10:30 am

Arnie Fuoco wrote:I do believe that newspapers and news orientated mags like "Time" will be under intense pressure to survive. ...


Such make good "light" reading in small rooms -for those who want less lurid fare or feign a more adult perspective on the world.

IMHO serious research will progress via primary sources - notes, letters etc - where one can obtain artifacts of unfiltered personal perspective which tends to differ from what others (editors, publishers, reviewers) proffer as what their ideal readers are ready to purchase at the time of publication.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Joe Pecore » July 14th, 2008, 10:31 am

What is wrong with Wikipedia? Every revision is there for all to see.
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 14th, 2008, 11:05 am

Can we please return to the subject of this thread? It has nothing to do with revising material already posted on the internet.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Chris Bailey » July 14th, 2008, 12:03 pm

I'd like to think there are enough people out there who enjoy sitting in a comfortable chair reading a magazine that this won't happen. Whenever I buy a PDF online, I always print it out and read it. I simply don't feel comfortable reading things on my PC.

On the other side of the coin, I think eliminating paper is a good idea for things like newspapers as well as all of that crap added to the Sunday paper not to meniton the spam I get in my mailbox every day.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 14th, 2008, 12:21 pm

oh? - some of my posts can be found on this site without my name and some of my work went published without my permission or name as well. Quite topical and pertinent IMHO as the digital age adds ways of eroding personal hard work into gossip and hearsay -then opens the door to false attribution and flickering context.

Be that as it may - I'm a hands on reader by preference and believe that non-acid paper does a great job of preserving a record of who we are today and what we feel is of interest.

I subscribe and find myself going back to older issues to re-read an article etc. The transition from readership to historical research utility is a tough one - and I do very much support having fully searchable online materials as we progress.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Philippe Noël » July 14th, 2008, 12:47 pm

Hi Richard,
I think that the questions are:
Are your subscribtions decreasing?
Is the number of advertisers decreasing?
Are your costs increasing?
By the way, I personally find that the price of a Genii Magazine is very low relatively to the number of pages in color that you receive.
Perhaps should you send a satisfaction survey to all subscribers to know precisely what they think about Genii, its price, its content etc...

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Naphtalia » July 14th, 2008, 1:02 pm

Genii provides excellent value for the price. I still buy at the shop where I work when there is something I can't pass up. Like another poster earlier, I find more and more often that I end up not being able to hold off.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Hatch » July 14th, 2008, 2:05 pm

Richard, I agree with Philippe that the price per issue is too low. I would encourage you to raise the cover price without raising the subscription price (yet). This might encourage those who buy single issues from magic stores (such as ours!) finally to subscribe. At the current $6/issue, an annual subscription of $54 is equivalent to 9 issues. Raise the cover price to a very reasonable $9/issue and the annual subscription pays for itself after just 6 issues. And while some dealer sales might drop off due to this, my understanding is that the shop copy sales are not as important to your bottom line as subscriptions, and the higher cover price would mean greater income per copy sold for the store anyway. I realize that to some extent the cover price is dictated by the competition, but if you keep the subscription price the same, the impulse shop purchases would be the only niche negatively impacted, I would think. Magician Magazine (the former Street Magic Magazine) has a cover price of $8.95 and sells well in our shop. Perhaps the higher cover price would make it economical to supply copies to the jobbers, such as Murphy's, Fun Inc, etc. which might translate into higher print runs, which advertisers would likely appreciate. Just thinking out loud. But I'd have no problem with a higher cover price.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 14th, 2008, 2:12 pm

Since it's already in a plastic bag, maybe something racy on page three and ... perhaps a centerfold of some apparatus revealing its workings ?
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mrgoat » July 14th, 2008, 2:27 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Can we please return to the subject of this thread? It has nothing to do with revising material already posted on the internet.


Sorry. OK. Yes. I will take the original article further. I think print publishing period will be gone in 10 years.

So...do print publishers bury their heads in the sand and ignore the changing tide, as the music industry did, or do they work out how to adapt and survive? The music industry screwed up by being arrogant and pigheaded about the internet. Apple now are making all the money they should be.

Trent Reznor (from a popular beat combo called Nine Inch Nails) self-released an album. He gave away half of it on torrent sites for free. He made 750k in 3 days selling limited edition hard copies.

I am not saying Genii will ever make 750k in a weekend or that it should copy that idea. I am just offering an example of how someone challanged preconceptions, and made money by adapting and using the technology available to them.

Print needs to work out how to harness the internet (like craigslist did) and create something revolutionary. Something people have not seen before.

Look what Apple is doing with the Apps Store. They have brilliant little applications that are a few bucks. They will sell loads of them, cos it's cheap and good and works.

It's now about creating a Purple Cow that people will not able to resist talking about, looking at and engaging in.

I love genii, and I love reading it in print form, but with the way things are going, such niche publishing is destined, I fear, not to survive the revolution going on currently about how people consume news, reviews and features.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Pete Biro » July 14th, 2008, 2:42 pm

I have been working for an internet only magazine vieable at www.windingroad.com I have just been "deleted" from the staff, ss the publihsher said "Can't afford you anymore... we are still losing money and the investors told us to cut all outside writers/photographrs and do everything in house."

Argh... You should look at the site to see the state of the art in magazines online.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mrgoat » July 14th, 2008, 3:07 pm

Pete Biro wrote:I have been working for an internet only magazine vieable at www.windingroad.com I have just been "deleted" from the staff, ss the publihsher said "Can't afford you anymore... we are still losing money and the investors told us to cut all outside writers/photographrs and do everything in house."

Argh... You should look at the site to see the state of the art in magazines online.


Sorry to hear that, but I don't think that means online publishing is doomed.

State of the art? Possibly 10 years ago Pete...

This is 'shovelware'. Clueless publishers thing that by just 'pushing' their magazine online it will work. It won't. They then think by sticking on appalling flash 'make it look a but like a magazine' animation they will create something usable online. They won't.

You want to see what is working in terms of publishing online for niche audiences? I would look at IPTV. Revision3 puts out shows like diggnation everyweek, for free, and they are getting 500k downloads a month. That's a lot of 'eyeballs' which is what gets the revenue from the advertisers.

I have never seen an "online magazine" that is nothing more than the PDF of the magazine presented in some poncy way. That will never ever work. Aside from the horrible user experience it delivers, it is appalling for accessibility, web standards and all sorts of things. I don't like them :D

Think about the medium, and change what you do to make sense of that. On the internet there is the option for video, audio, instant feedback via comments, a community that can be interacted with and astounding analytical data about the people on the site and about how they use the site.

OK, I do online marketing so here are a few thoughts....

1) Use video. In a variety of ways. The easiest is user generated content. Make genii a YouTube for magic videos. Building from that, request user reviews of product submitted via video. Then move onto interviews. Then, after 6-12 months you will have built the best place for magic video on the internet. Genii is totally in a postition to do this. THEN you can have dealer demo videos that are on the site, but paid for. Yup, paid for dealer demos. They will be watched, because people WILL WANT TO WATCH THEM. So, if the demo is good, they will make the money then need to. Also pre and post roll ads could be placed in all the clips. 3-5 seconds.

2) Use audio. Do round table one hour weekly chats about magic. This would be really easy to do using skype. (which is how the very successful This Week In Tech show works). Get a few regular folk to agree to talk about the week's news in magic, a section on forum news/gossip/runny stuff, a feature section where popular topics are debated by well qualified magicians, viewer feedback etc Have this sponsored and use advertorial approach to their plug.

3) Use the community/interaction. This forum is a great example of that. Monetizing a forum is hard, but this is frankly, the best magic forum online and clearly is a challange to make money from. But, the people here are all buyers of magic and an audience. Need to work out the right way to get a cut of the money they spend. Easier said than done, I realise. But there options not tried here yet.

4) Profile building and more relevant advertising. Google uses the data it collects amazingly well. What if you could set a profile saying you liked - say - only card magic and when you came to the site, you saw card magic content. Same for mentalism. You got a weekly newsletter with info on the things YOU HAVE TOLD US you like. Around that is advertising based on things YOU HAVE TOLD US. Online allows segmentation like this easily, based on join forms, click stream analysis, and surveys. Clearly, you are going to get response to marketing if it is razor sharp targeting.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Terry » July 14th, 2008, 9:14 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Thank you, Terry, your compassion and foresight are staggering.


And your attempt at sarcasm likewise.

As long as you publish a quality magazine, it will be purchased. If not, it won't. That is a fact of business.

Genii has survived worse problems over it's long history.

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 14th, 2008, 9:17 pm

Terry wrote:As long as you publish a quality magazine, it will be purchased. If not, it won't. That is a fact of business.


Terry, I can only assume from your remark that either didn't read the Time magazine article, or are ignorent of what is happening to ALL publications (niche market or otherwise) because of the free content on the Internet.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby ScottPeterson » July 15th, 2008, 12:27 am

Richard,

I buy each issue from my brick and morter shop, this man buys only a few copies each month and sells out most of the time. He has regular customers and I am one long time walk-in customer, very long time in fact. I choose to purchase my magazine from his shop because it allows a good reason to touch base, and the mail box where I live is among many and are too small to take a good Magazine and not distroy it in delivery.

If you raised the price of Genii I would still buy each and every months issue, maybe I am unique, however I don't think I am alone in this.

I love reading your great Magazine, and Magic too, you both can do what ever you want to the price, and I will still buy each one, every month.

I love holding these Magazines and just enjoy the contents so much, I am a true fan in this regard.

If I had other practical no damage mail service, I would subscribe, but for now, I will remain a long standing walk-in customer to my favorite book dealers shop, often going out of my way just to make this purchase each month.

Thanks for everything you create, and I understand all the business part of what is being discussed also.

Sincerely,

Scott Peterson

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby ScottPeterson » July 15th, 2008, 12:28 am

Richard,

I buy each issue from my brick and morter shop, this man buys only a few copies each month and sells out most of the time. He has regular customers and I am one long time walk-in customer, very long time in fact. I choose to purchase my magazine from his shop because it allows a good reason to touch base, and the mail box where I live is among many and are too small to take a good Magazine and not distroy it in delivery.

If you raised the price of Genii I would still buy each and every months issue, maybe I am unique, however I don't think I am alone in this.

I love reading your great Magazine, and Magic too, you both can do what ever you want to the price, and I will still buy each one, every month.

I love holding these Magazines and just enjoy the contents so much, I am a true fan in this regard.

If I had other practical no damage mail service, I would subscribe, but for now, I will remain a long standing walk-in customer to my favorite book dealers shop, often going out of my way just to make this purchase each month.

Thanks for everything you create, and I understand all the business part of what is being discussed also.

Sincerely,

Scott Peterson

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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Chris Aguilar » July 15th, 2008, 1:30 am

I think (and could be wrong) that Richard mentioned that copies sold at brick and mortar shops produce very little profit for the publishers of Genii.

Gordolini
Posts: 111
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Gordolini » July 15th, 2008, 8:16 am

Another industry indicator - the value added tactic to retain subscribers has become more prevalent today the Louisville Courier-Journal sent an early morning Thank You email and Reward notification for the first 90 responders to claim their reward for this month for being a loyal subscriber(Courier Journal duffle bags, minor league baseball tickets, etc.). Apparently they will repeat this promotion monthly.

Paul Gordon
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Joined: May 1st, 2008, 1:45 pm
Location: UK
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Paul Gordon » July 15th, 2008, 8:35 am

As a magic book publisher, I find that sales haven't dropped at all. There is still a BIG market for those - like me - who love the real deal. I mean, you can't beat taking a book to the park, on a plane, in a train, in a cafe etc., etc. It's not the same as staring at a PC.

Some youngsters say things like, "Books! Nah! Got any downloads or a DVD's?" My response, although harsh, is to advise them to take a reading course...or similar. I tell them the BEST stuff (which is often true) is in the books and magazines!

So, there maybe those who prefer web-based magic info, but there are still many (hallelujah) who prefer hardcopy!

Paul Gordon
Secure Online Magic Shop: http://www.paulgordon.net/shop.html


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