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

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

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 15th, 2008, 10:08 am

We make no money from copies sold in shops because we are forced to sell them at 50% off retail because that's what MAGIC charges.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Richard Hatch » July 15th, 2008, 11:00 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:We make no money from copies sold in shops because we are forced to sell them at 50% off retail because that's what MAGIC charges.

So with a print run of 6,000 plus, the printing cost per issue is $3 each? Just curious.

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

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 15th, 2008, 11:30 am

I don't know about anyone else, but I find discussing another person's business via speculation etc makes me uncomfortable.

Richard, what do you want? IMHO your magazine serves this community as social calendar, journal of findings both current and historical and as snapshot of the open market in magic.
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 Philippe Noël » July 15th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Richard,
Announce that you will raise the price of Genii next year.
In that way people would be well advised to subscribe NOW :)

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

Postby Baph » July 15th, 2008, 1:11 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:We make no money from copies sold in shops because we are forced to sell them at 50% off retail because that's what MAGIC charges.

So with a print run of 6,000 plus, the printing cost per issue is $3 each? Just curious.


I would imagine that is about the cost per copy to print, pack and distribute, I know that's about what it costs us on a 15,000 printrun, full color magazine. We do not have as much well paying advertising to support us, but that's not the main point. If you figure in all the costs associated with shops, plus a percentage of the production, office and incidentals costs, $3 an issue wouldn't be far off. We sell wholesale at 2.50 on a cover price of 3.75 in the UK - but we are the one that sets the trends and prices. We have to put a $9.49 premium price on the US version of the magazine, as our distributor wants copies at 60% off cover price, so shops can get it at 50% off in the USA.

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

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 15th, 2008, 1:14 pm

I don't mean to be insulting, but what is Pentacle Magazine?
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby mrgoat » July 15th, 2008, 1:35 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't mean to be insulting, but what is Pentacle Magazine?


Pentacle Magazine is still the Leading Independent Pagan Magazine in the UK.

So they say.

I would say they desperately need a new print buyer if they are spending that much per issue...

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

Postby Marc Rehula » July 15th, 2008, 1:36 pm

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

Paul Gordon


Absolutely. I recently received and am enjoying my REAL BOOK copy of the Cardiste that you are selling. I'm planning on keeping my subscriptions to Genii and Magic for the foreseeable future. I need that paper in my hands, and can't imagine 'reading' these magazines online.

On the other hand, I'm 46, and things are changing fast. I thought I'd never buy music online either, preferring the substance of an 'album' (meaning CD). But I must admit that my CD collection takes up a lot of space, as does my book collection, and I have been considering and buying more of my music online, keeping them on my computers. I can't say my attitudes would never change . . .

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

Postby Richard Hatch » July 15th, 2008, 1:39 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't mean to be insulting, but what is Pentacle Magazine?

"The UK's leading independent Pagan Magazine" according to its website:
www.pentaclemagazine.org
I wouldn't have guessed that Pagans would outnumber magicians to that extent in the UK!

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

Postby mrgoat » July 15th, 2008, 3:07 pm

Marc Rehula wrote:
Paul Gordon wrote:So, there maybe those who prefer web-based magic info, but there are still many (hallelujah) who prefer hardcopy!

Paul Gordon


Absolutely. I recently received and am enjoying my REAL BOOK copy of the Cardiste that you are selling. I'm planning on keeping my subscriptions to Genii and Magic for the foreseeable future. I need that paper in my hands, and can't imagine 'reading' these magazines online.

On the other hand, I'm 46, and things are changing fast. I thought I'd never buy music online either, preferring the substance of an 'album' (meaning CD). But I must admit that my CD collection takes up a lot of space, as does my book collection, and I have been considering and buying more of my music online, keeping them on my computers. I can't say my attitudes would never change . . .


I too love books. And this thread was based on an article about newspapers not books being doomed.

You reached a Tipping Point with music, it became easy and simple to do, and the experience was good. I reckon the second version of the Kindle might well get close, if not, the one in 5 years that we cannot currently even imagine will do it.

'They' will do to reading online what they did to music. Apple own the device, the operating system on the device, the place you buy the device, the shop that sells the stuff you put on the device. It all just works.

When something like that happens for books/mags/papers then exactly what happened with music will happen to publishing. When the experience is as 'good' as a book, people will get books online.

Oh and it will be. Really soon. I love books, don't get me wrong. Nothing SMELLS like the copy of Greater Magic I have. I love that.

But, sure as eggs is eggs, within the next 10 years a device will come out that will not only be as nice to read as a book, but have all the advantages of ebooks (searchable, carry round loads, embed video etc etc) and the idea of actual books will seem as silly then as having to get up every 20 minutes to turn over a piece of heavy, fragile vinyl does to me now. And I *loved* records...

:)

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

Postby Baph » July 15th, 2008, 3:09 pm

Mrgoat, I'm working on a print cost per copy of about 0.98 for a 72pp full color A4 magazine. Add to that a cost of about 0.65 for postage and wrap. so not too bad purchase-wise. Also we pay a slight premium for alcohol-free inks and sustainable paper, but it's in line with our ethic. As to being leading independent Pagan magazine, that's comparing sales figures from the others in the same area, but that is another discussion.

Richard, we met at the International Conference in London about 2 or 3 years ago... I gave you a copy of the magazine then.... but you probably get a number of magazines over time - you did say you rarely had time to read other magazines, but it would kill time on the flight back.

The 15000 figure is worldwide... not just the UK. (but for reference the number of Pagans in the UK according to the last government census in 2001 is about 42000).

Jon

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

Postby mrgoat » July 15th, 2008, 4:06 pm

Baph wrote:(but for reference the number of Pagans in the UK according to the last government census in 2001 is about 42000).

Jon


Seems like you'd make more money doing a magazine for Jedis ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_censu ... _and_Wales

(And I was right, you do need a better print buyer, you are paying too much. I can probably put you in touch with someone that can help).
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Dan Magyari » July 15th, 2008, 4:12 pm

I too have bought my issue of Genii each month for many years from my local brick and morter (thinking that I was benefiting both the brick and morter as well as Genii by doing so). Had I known that Genii makes $0 from my purchases, I would have subscribed long ago.

Richard, if it makes a big enough difference for all of us that purchase Genii similarly to buy it directly from you, I will do so. I definitely don't want Genii to ever have to stop publication because of misguided purchasing patterns similar to mine. Are you asking us to purchase direct from you, Richard?

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

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 15th, 2008, 4:36 pm

Your purchasing is not misguided: it's important to support your local shops by visiting them--they carry Genii because it's an incentive for folks to come in once a month and buy it. And they hope you'll buy something else while you're there. While we may not profit from the copies sold to shops, they do increase our circulation which is very important to advertisers.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Debbie Leifer » July 16th, 2008, 1:07 am

Richard,

Say it ain't so!! We love Genii, and we love receiving it in our mailboxes every month! Lifelong magicians who've read Genii since childhood and the Bill Larsen Jr. era feel like it's part of our lives. And we'd dearly miss your fine magazine if it ceased to be a PRINT publication we can touch, take with us, peruse for up-to-date information, read as a leisure activity, store for future reference, and just plain enjoy!

Genii Magazine in the Kaufman era is a modern, world-class publication that serves the magic world every month, year after year, as a much-loved, on-time, intelligent contribution to our industry. Thank you for all that you do to keep us informed, inspired, and educated.

Debbie Leifer

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

Postby Disparity1 » July 16th, 2008, 2:01 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote: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.


Interesting...so it should be very possible, then, for him to write a short routine that goes through the posts of both databases, compares the text and upon finding a match, replaces the "anonymous" in the new database with the actual author name from the old...

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

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 16th, 2008, 2:29 pm

I don't think Brad knows how to do that, Disparity1, however I'll pass your idea along to him. Perhaps you could guide him through the process.
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Ian Kendall » July 16th, 2008, 3:41 pm

Perhaps not that simple; if I recall, the earlier version of the forum software used flat text files, and this one has a database backend.

And then there's the cycles overhead - we wouldn't want to invent tea, now would we?

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

Postby Jim Maloney » July 16th, 2008, 3:46 pm

Depends on how everything is stored. It's certainly possible, even if it's not simple. Without knowing how everything's stored behind the scenes and what exactly is available, it's hard to say what can and cannot be done.

I don't see any reason, though, why a script couldn't be written which would do the whole thing automatically.

Richard: I can provide help with this, if needed, though I imagine Brad would be able to handle it.

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

Postby Jim Riser » July 16th, 2008, 5:40 pm

These are tough times for many businesses. Costs for everything are increasing. To remain in business (profitable) means carefully controlling expenses and selling as much product as possible at optimum prices. This last statement does not mean expanding to sell more product, but rather, to keep unit price realized at its maximum.


For some businesses this selling at optimim price might mean little or no wholesaling to squeeze every possible cent out of each sale without having to raise prices. For a business like Genii, it might mean selling subscritpions.


There really is no "free lunch". If people who claim to love magic want to keep resources like a magazine and the added value of a great forum alive, then these resources need to be supported.


Since the cost of everything goes up daily, it is well for purchasers (who like a business must live within financial constraints) to buy at the best prices possible. With Genii this means subscribing. The 3 year subscription makes for a good deal.


There will be those who say they do not want the mag but want the forum. The forum is here only because of the mag. To keep the forum means supporting its lifeline. This means buy Genii at the most profitable price for the Genii business. In other words subscribe.


If you do not want the mag, there are other options available:
1) you could pass the mag on to a young magician who can not afford it right now
2) you could pass the mag on to an older retired magician now living on a very limited income
3) you could tell Richard that you are buying a subscription but do not want him to send you a mag (this would really help his business remain profitable)

It would greatly benefit those interested in magic to keep Genii alive and well. It appears that the best way to do this is through subscriptions. This really should be obvious.
Jim

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

Postby Disparity1 » July 16th, 2008, 5:42 pm

Conceptually, it would be very simple. It could be finessed more, but the brute force method would go something like this:

Copy current database.

Open archive database.

Do Until Archive Database Reaches End of Recordset

Select Post #1 in Archive Database

Select from COPY of current database all posts that match
Post #1 from Archived Database (or perhaps, just find the
post that has the same number)

If match found, find the same post in the current database
(NOT the copy) and change the poster's name.

If match not found, do the same thing with Post #2 in
Archived Database.

Repeat until you've cycled through all records in the
Archived Database.

This way, there is little load time on the actual database being used, as it will only be hit when the poster's name is being inserted. I doubt visitors to the forum would notice anything at all. And I doubt it would matter how the data is stored, since you can SQL database files, flat files, etc., with equal ease, and if really necessary, you could convert the format of one or both files before doing the matching process.

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

Postby Disparity1 » July 18th, 2008, 1:47 pm

I'm such an idiot. There's an even faster way to do it:

1) SQL the current database for all posts with the poster name, "Anonymous."

2) Create a recordset with the results. Let's call it "RecordsetAnonymous."

3) Enter a Do While or Do Until condition, where the following steps are repeated until you reach the end of RecordsetAnonymous.

4) Examine the first post in RecordsetAnonymous.

5) Query the archived database for a matching post (by post id, assuming this wasn't changed from the archive to the current database...otherwise, match on the post's text).

6) If one exists, grab the poster's name.

7) Get the post number from the record in RecordsetAnonymous.

8) Query the live database for that post number and replace "Anonymous" there with the poster's name.

9) Go to the next record in Recordset Anonymous

10) Back to step 5.

Because you're only cycling through the "anonymous" posts (copies of which are segregated into their own recordset) rather than through the entire archived database, the run time is much shorter. I'll bet it could complete the task in just a minute or two. There may be extra steps in that the poster's name is sometimes not stored in the same table as the post text, but one extra query will grab it within a microsecond.

Just a thought.

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

Postby Ian Kendall » July 18th, 2008, 1:52 pm

If you are going to go down that route, you may want to query the archive database for post time, which would be the most accurate match.

However, the original BB software used flat text files, so I very much doubt they are SQLable. You'd need to hack the code to see what kind of query is being done.

If you can do this in a couple of minutes, you win my admiration!

Take care, Ian

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

Postby Jim Maloney » July 18th, 2008, 2:13 pm

I could be wrong, but I don't believe anything is stored as "Anonymous". Rather, I think that it's stored by the poster's member number (e.g., I am #6). That would be why there were problems with posts being associated with the wrong user when everyone was re-registering. If that's the case, it's simply a matter of looking up the member number in the old DB, finding the matching name, and applying that name to the member numbers in the current DB.

Then again, this is all speculation, as are the above posts. I'm sure Brad's capable of handling this task in a manner appropriate to the info he has and how it is stored. If he needs help, he knows who to ask.

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

Postby Mark Phillips » July 19th, 2008, 2:25 pm

Again trying to steer things back to the original direction of Richard's post; I heartily agree that anyone who wants Genii to survive and thrive should subscribe now and urge others to do so as well. The good news is, if enough people do so, Richard may not need to raise his cover price. I think everyone with a grasp of the facts agrees that print media is being negatively affected by Internet media. Newspapers and magazines across the country are laying off employees and will be struggling to keep the quality of their product high. Erlandish has perceptively pointed out the hot topic of shoddy journalism and accountability in electronic media.

Though it is my opinion, I am sure many will agree that Genii, under Richard's helm, has set a new standard for Magic magazines in terms of both breadth and depth of coverage. Genii has a dedication not only to magic, but to the improvement of magic. The level of writing along with the level of proven performance material makes each issue a bargain. The well-researched historical insights on a broad range of subjects is otherwise only available in more expensive specialty publications like Giberciere. At this point, there is nothing online, free or not, that comes close to what Genii now delivers consistently each and every month. Without Genii, readers would have to pay for all of this piecemeal at an undoubtedly higher price; the cost savings alone is reason to subscribe.

Regardless of the cold-blooded honesty of the free-market system, there are things I want to survive at the same level of quality even if it means paying a little more. The likely scenario should Genii perish, is a short term savings (provided by magic on the internet) followed by a decline in quality product, an increase in crap, and an eventual, and inevitable increase in cost. (In the free market, no product stays free very long.)

If you love Genii buy a subscription, and buy someone you care about a gift subscription.

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

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 19th, 2008, 3:15 pm

Brad has several trips coming up, including Louisville, and has also just accepted a free-lance assignment which means that the sorting out of "Anonymous" will have to wait until September. But we are working on it!
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Re: Why You Should Subscribe to Genii if You Want Us To Stay in Business

Postby Mr. Stickley » July 19th, 2008, 10:13 pm

Howdy All...

I' reading this thread with interest as publishing, printing, and Internet distribution interest me.

How do the changes effect your "business" - ie cash flow? I guess it depends if you see yourself as a "printer" in the technical sense, or if you are a publisher of content. I buy Genii for its excellent content - and though I prefer the printed mag, I want the content! So who cares if you have to go to another medium? It will still be printable. And chances are high that in 10 years the main media-medium won't be the www, but something else anyhow. And if you keep up the quality, it will be profitable - even if the revenue comes from different sources.

As far as not making money off of the brick-and-mortar shops, I disagree. Many people go into shops (most from my experience behind the counter) flip through the mag, and ask about the effects being advertised in your magazines. This generates biz for your advertisers, and in turn encourages them to purchase ad space from you. Seems to me no distribution in magic shops = less effective ads = less profitability.

So I guess I am saying, don't sweat it so much! Keep churning out great stuff, adjust the rates accordingly, and try and have a little fun doing it. You'll be fine.

Mr. Stickley

P.S. - And after reading that article again, one of the major reasons that those papers are folding is the overabundance of lackluster content provided within. Genii doesn't have this problem as of yet.

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

Postby Mr. Stickley » July 19th, 2008, 10:38 pm

And one more thing re:

"We make no money from copies sold in shops because we are forced to sell them at 50% off retail because that's what MAGIC charges."

From my observations spending some time behind Denny Haney's counter, Genii usually was bought by a very different demographic than MAGIC. It's a whole different beast (though many buy both). Why competitive benchmark against a mag that is really in a different "game"? What forces you to sell at that level? Just wondering. Maybach doesn't cater and price to Chevy customers. Why would you want to? Is it really that cut-throat?

Mr. Stickley

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

Postby magicman1953 » July 20th, 2008, 12:03 am

Richard my collection goes back to 1999 though I only recently started subscribing, had I been aware I would have started my subscription a long time ago, it saves gas, its easier, and I don't have to worry about missing an issue tahboot. I must agree with Mark you have provided an excellent magazine all these years. I hope print media does not change to quickly though we know it will. History will change with the change to electronic media. guess I'm old school but touch it feel it smell it to me is still the best.....Thanks for an excellent publication. Scott B

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

Postby Erik Hemming » July 20th, 2008, 1:53 am

While I think there are substantive differences in the basic financial models of newspaper publication and magazine publication--periodicity, and the ability to deliver information to a very targeted, specialized audience, to name two--I also think Richard's concern is a valid one, and should be shared by the community.

Now is an unsettling time to be the publisher of a paper and ink magazine. (Or anything that is physically printed and distributed, for that matter.) It requires a long-term commitment to production and distribution costs that will--for the foreseeable future--escalate. Plus, it's competing with a medium with lower core costs, format advantages, and exponentially expanding use and content.

Speaking from personal experience from a slightly different angle, if you hope to finance a college education or two and retire some day, you're nervous.

The way any publisher circumvents publishing solely online is by maintaining a healthy circulation/distribution audience with the paper and ink product. In asking openly and deliberately for increased subscription support, and in speculating about the doom of the paper product for several of the major magazines, Richard is simply being honest. Provocative and honest.

Richard has been more forward-thinking than many by going online relatively early and developing a robust online offering that parallels and enhances the paper and ink Genii. It leaves some breathing room to be able to "transition" the product totally online if those cold "market forces" necessitate the move.

If you are a book lover, a devotee of paper and ink, it's a hard decision. It's made a little easier by having other, deeper devotions. You fight the fight on principle for as long as you can, then make the decisions you need to make to protect the people who depend on you.

Sometimes art and life are the same thing.

Sometimes, they are not.

I had a friend in business once bemoan the fact that he was keeping a particular store open, seemingly, to amuse the shoplifters. He kept that particular storefront up and running on principle for as long as he could. Then he closed it, when principle alone couldn't sustain it.

I think Richard is asking for our assistance to avoid having to make a similar decision.

Personally, I think it's a reasonable request.

Erik

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

Postby Furneaux » July 20th, 2008, 2:35 am

After having let my subscription lapse... I am immediately subscribing again.

It's taken alot of dialogue over time to convince me.

I'm convinced.


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