I've been used to the fact that as a subscriber I routinely receive my
issue a full week after it arrives at the newsstand. I never did
understand it as its the only magazine I subscribe to that shows up
after it hits the newsstands, but I did accept it. But today I noticed
that the newsstand edition at Borders came with an extra airbrushing
supplement that I did not receive as a subscriber. Other magazines to
which I subscribe send extras as a way of saying "thank you" for
subscribing, yet FSM seems to short change subscribers and reward the
casual buyer. I doubt I will renew my subscription and instead wait
to see what I can get extra by buying at the newsstand.
In addition, I haven't been too thrilled with the quality of articles
in FSM either, but that's a gripe for another time.
Why would this matter? Is there something time-critical in the magazine
that you are missing out on because of this week difference in arrivals.
Cost for 10 issues by subscription: $39.95
Cost for 10 issues by newsstand purchase: $49.50
Reward for being a subscriber: $9.55
This reminds me of earlier in the year when my niece was circulating emails
in order to organize a "Pittsburgh Steelers Appreciation Day", as a way of
"saying 'thank you!' for a great season!" As I replied to her: "A
$650,000/year average salary is 'thanks' enough."
Your lucky to get only a week late, the newsagents here in australia
get it a month late. As for subscribing, well i would rather wait and
see if they have anything of interest to me in it. Mind you I have
nearly every issue that has arrived in australia since 1990.
No, there isn't anything time critical since most of the content is
fairly dated by the time it makes it into FSM. However, it is the
principle that subscribers should get their magazine before the
newsstands. As I previously stated, it's the only magazine I don't get
before the newsstand.
Then he says:
The subscription price isn't a reward in itself, but rather the
publisher's enticement to get people to pay for the year's issues in
advance. Again something that plays to their advantage because they
will be guaranteed to sell the subscriber $40 worth of magazines versus
people picking and choosing issues, potentially only buying a few
issues a year. And even with a savings of $9.55 the subscription cost
is grossly over inflated for the size and content.
Sorry, but since FSM isn't paying me, your analogy doesn't apply.
Basically, I just don't feel that FSM really cares that much about the
subscribers and I'll reward that by not renewing my subscription.
Isn't the calculation that the average magazine sends two issues
to the newsstand for each one it sells? Isn't the subscription
deal an acknowledgement of passing (some of) the savings on to
the customer? And the trading of a guaranteed circulation for
not missing an issue? (Which to me means I don't have to haunt
the newsstand, but someone else, seeing an issue there they don't
have might have doubts about this end of the bargain.)
There's value-for-money, but there's something extra to be said
Writing books and magazine articles is my profession yet I don't
consider writing for FSM. Why? FSM doesn't look for articles by writers
about modelers, which is what you would get in a non hobbyist
publication. That would involve somone like me suggesting an article
on, say, Shep Paine to use an old and obvious example. The magazine
would agree, would give me a contract, and I would go out and do the
interviewing, photography, writing, etc. Then I'd submit it, we'd go
through the editing, and they'd publish it. FSM doesn't work that way.
It looks for articles by modelers about their work. Other than the
handful of staff written pieces a year...how to decal, how to
airbrush...it relies on over the transom, unsolicited submissions from
Now I have, as a hobbyist, thought about submitting a piece or two to
them just for fun. The problem is they require in progress photos. Now,
I don't know about everyone else but it's hard enough for me to find
the time to work on a model, let alone set aside the time to document
every step in the progress with a camera. Sure, with digital
photography that's easier now than it used to be, but it still requires
a conscious effort. I just don't pick up a kit and think to myself,
this will be worth an article and so I'll document my every action.
There are plenty of submissions to the galleries because that allows
you to simply document completed work. Most of the Euro magazines, on
the other hand, take submissions without in progress photos, basically
consisting of after the fact descriptions of the work and photos. If
FSM did that they'd great a deal more submissions, IMHO. However, they
clearly don't see that as their mission. They see themselves primariy
as a how to publication and, as such, stress the process over the end
I don't subscribe to FSM anymore because it simply doesn't fill my
needs. It's too general for me. I prefer Military Modeling and
Minitanks just as I'm sure there are aircraft modelers who prefer SAM
Just my $.02.
I've know Paul a long time and I can assure you that he has NEVER scratch
built a 1/48 scale anything. Where do these things come from? That aside he
has entered many contests and won many prizes. As far as being written by
volunteers, I can assure you that everything I've ever done for FineScale
has been at their request and paid for.
I choose Polesoft Lockspam to fight spam, and you?
Yes...you are correct....It was that *other* Paul: Paul Budzik, who was a
very frequent (almost "regular") contributor to FSM, in the late 80's and
early 90's particularly. I even seem to remember his contributions to the
magazine going all the way back to the early (1983-1984) days. It was he
who "wowed" everyone with a scratchbuilt PBY. Since he had "machined" many
of the model's components from acrylic...that made him a "professional" in
the eyes of some at the show...who felt intimidated...lol.
Probably not around here, coin boxes usually get the later edition on
Sunday although 7-11 gets a bundle of the same early edition we do on
As long as it's here by 7 and the paper goon manages to get it near the
porch I don't much care.
Takes two to tango, and the ad hominem escalation is always the
invitation to the dance. Hey, you seem to be having a great time on the
dance floor--don't let me distract you.
Apropos of nothing at all, FSM obviously has a business model that is
sustaining it in the for-profit magazine market. I think I've bought
three issues in the past five years, so it's not making much from me,
but someone is buying the darn things or they wouldn't still be turning
up on the news-stands. Griping about content is valid, since maybe the
gripes will change the content, assuming anyone is listening. However,
griping about customers not being worker-bees as well for a particular
product is a curious way to look at the problem, if only because you are
unlikely to learn much by telling others how to do something.
The griping also becomes a little absurd when it veers into the
territory of the forsworn lover. If the money you pay for something does
not give adequate value and seems unlikely to do so in the future, fair
enough. But to describe the provision of differential content designed
to entice readers to pay more than subscription price as a breach of
faith is to ascribe almost matrimonial characterisitics to a
relationship most of us treat as strictly commercial.