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.
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 for enthusiasm.
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 hobbyists.
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 result.
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 or SAMI.
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.
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.