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Fictionwise subscriptions gone?

(101 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by stevemowbray
  • Latest reply from Toast

  1. tiger
    Member

    Sony owner. Not gonna read it on my computer either. Didn't have a good experience with a sub, waiting months to get my copy here down under. Have been a loyal reader since 1980 something. Feel like I've been kicked in the guts. Please reconsider-
    T

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. myshortname
    Member

    Gordon - ill renew my subscription when f & sf comes to amazon. You have i think made the right call on this.

    In practice books i have purchased from audible (i.e. amazon) - i can still get to after a few years.
    Printed books are fine if you have the space. The kindle is an excellent device and relatively cheap.

    David

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. swoon
    Member

    I registered on the forums simply to add another voice of disappointment.

    There is nothing wrong with offerings F&SF on Amazon. That's great. But to remove the format that was an open standard, I believe, is a mistake.

    All the readers, present and future, with Kobos, Nooks, Sonys, Asus -- a whole slew of devices -- are in the cold. I specifically ditched my Kindle in favor of a Sony because of its proprietary nature.

    I switched from paper to electric, with no intention of looking back. For various reasons, not least of which is sheer reading pleasure, I don't buy paper anymore. With this move, my relationship with F&SF (20 years, now), is at an end.

    Nonetheless, good luck.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. PaulFraser
    Member

    I don't want to whip up a firestorm, but putting F&SF on Amazon is a no-brainer and I can't understand why the editor would have agonised for a moment. Probably over the religious objections of the few above, I suspect. Look guys, if you have problems with print or DRMed AZW then I respect your strongly held beliefs, but you can't expect the magazine to ignore a chance to seriously increase its (ever declining) circulation. I imagine the circulation gain from this will be thousands. IIRC Asimov's is selling around 4000 copies this way; I would doubt if F&SF is selling anything like this through Fictionwise et al.

    Further, they didn't call it 'Kindle Xmas' last year for no reason. I have talked to several people at work who have bought Kindles either for themselves or for wives/sons/daughters -- these are people who would not have gone near a Nook or Sony or whatever with a bargepole. I do not mean to disparage these devices in any way it is just that they will never ever have the reach that Amazon has.

    Apart from reach, the other thing that may propel F&SF from Amazon is pricing: at the moment Asimov's is £1.99 per issue for UK subscribers (about three, three and a half bucks), much cheaper than a paper sub because they don't have to pick up foreign postage. So cheap I subscribed to Asimov's without thinking when I got my Android tablet and recently switched it to my Kindle. I haven't susbcribed to Asimovs for about a decade, too expensive for a foreign sub and no distribution over here (UK) to speak of. If F&SF follows a discounted pricing model it will sell by the bucketload; if it goes down the Penguin Books route of selling for the same price as the paper edition I think it'll be less successful. I suspect we'll see the latter...

    Finally, I thought that AZW was effectively a Mobi file with DRM so I assume that the reason the DRM free sales are gone is because of contractual reasons with Amazon?

    Good luck with it in any case.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. pdurrant
    Member

    I am concerned that it's been four weeks since the fictionwise subs were cancelled, and there's still no sign of the magazine at Amazon.

    I just picked up the back-issues that I was missing from Fictionwise (60% off sale - code: spring60off) so I'm not short of books at the moment.

    But It would be good to know that the March/April and May/June 2011 issues are going to appear at Amazon at some point.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. jasonkchapman
    Member

    PaulFraser: You should get your facts straight. You seem to be the one bent on making this some kind of platform-based holy war. All juvenile attempts at belittlement aside, you're simply wrong about almost everything. Asimov's, which you mentioned, was also available on FW. When they moved, they became available on both the Kindle and the ePub-based platforms. As did Analog and a host of others.

    No one in this thread has urged NOT being on the Kindle. They've urged not going EXCLUSIVELY to the Kindle and dropping those of us who don't own/want/plan to buy a Kindle and have no use for the "Kindle for ..." apps.

    It's just not that hard to support both, especially considering how much simpler it is to do periodical publishing on, say, the nook platform as opposed to Amazon's "Kindle for Periodicals" beta platform.

    I honestly don't know what financial incentives Amazon gives for exclusivity, but obviously Gordon considers it worth it. That's his call. I have no idea why you consider it some kind of insult to your chosen belief system that others would register their disappointment with that decision.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Sorry I haven't had time to keep up with all the posts here.

    The May/June 2011 issue of F&SF will be up at Amazon very soon. Every time I think it's ready to go, some other little glitch pops up. Yesterday there was some technical (coding) issue with the cover that I didn't understand, but I think it's resolved.

    PaulFraser, nice to see you here. It's funny for me to think how much the business has changed (and how much it hasn't) since you ran SPECTRUM.

    But Paul, Jason Chapman is right. The issue here isn't that F&SF going on the Kindle. The issue is that we're dropping other formats, including some we've had for a decade. So people who have grown accustomed to reading F&SF in one manner or another suddenly find themselves deprived of a preferred aspect of their reading experience. And it's not like we're talking about a technical manual here---we're talking about entertainment. People want to curl up with each new issue of F&SF and now they've found suddenly that they can't do so in their favorite way.

    I get that. I really do. And I'm sorry I decided to take that away from you.

    But as I said upthread, I made the decision because I think it's best for F&SF. See, Amazon is offering us some marketing and promotional opportunities we couldn't get anywhere else. They're giving us some chances we haven't had in a long time (if ever). And on balance, in light of those opportunities, it just didn't make sense for F&SF to be available electronically through other vendors.

    So I say it again: I'm sorry that some of you are losing your preferred way of reading F&SF. I know you don't like it, but please understand that I wouldn't have done it if (1) I didn't think this move was best for F&SF and (2) I was making F&SF utterly unavailable to you. But the magazine remains available in two wide-reaching formats---print and Kindle. If neither of those formats works for you, I'm sorry to lose you and I hope you'll come back sometime or other. Even if you don't, thank you for your past support, and good wishes.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. JSWolf
    Member

    Is this exclusive deal a forever kind of deal or is it a time limited exclusive deal? If it is time limited, how long and will all the exclusive issues also be available in other formats?

    If this is a forever exclusive deal, then you will lose a lot of people and a lot of good press too. If this is time limited say a year (for example), then maybe you'll get your lost subscribers back when the exclusivity is over and they can pick up the back issues along with the new issue.

    But, if this is a forever exclusive deal, I hope your conscience gets the better of you for taking away your magazine from loyal readers.

    This may be a good deal in your opinion, but it's not a good deal in ours. Also, in case you didn't understand, this is a VERY VERY bad move for eBooks. You are doing more harm then good. We don't mind F&SF going to be on the Kindle via Amazon. But we do mind the exclusive deal and we want you to stop this nonsense and get back to selling issues to your customers. A lot of your customers do not read Mobipocket/AZW and you will leave a bad taste so even if the deal is only say for a year, you may not get many of us back.

    I don't wish you to fold, but if it's a way to send a message that going exclusive is a bad idea, then going under it has to be.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. myshortname
    Member

    Gordon

    As someone who has commented often on F & SF subscription system - I must say that I think you have made the right decision I hope everyone who enjoys reading the magazine will support it on Amazon.

    The books that i have kept longest and which are most available are the ones from amazon (ebook s and audible.) When I have ordered stuff from Amazon it has always arrived - well sometimes there were glitches but Amazon has been impressive in its determination to keep its promises and in fact provides (imho) excellent customer service.

    I've renewed my paper subscription but the post is unreliable sometimes - its easier reading a paper copy. However an ebook on Amazon will be an excellent backup copy - and I don't keep paper copies all that long.

    David

    BTW - will it be possible to subscribe to F & SF from outside the USA? (Just curious - F & SF subscription service has been very helpful)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. pdurrant
    Member

    Having seen how the circulation figures have fallen over the past few years,
    (2001 Averages: print run of 36,874, paid circulation of 22,316;
    2010 Averages: print run 23,596; paid circulation of 15,172),
    it's obvious that something needed to be done, and hopefully the incentives Amazon offered for an exclusive electronic deal be a help in reversing the decline.

    I'm slightly concerned that the March/April 2011 issue seems to have fallen through the electronic cracks. The last issue at Fictionwise is the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. Gordon mentions the May/June issue, which is naturally his main concern as it's the current issue.

    I hope that the March/April issue will be available electronically at some point? Perhaps if/when the rest of the electronic back issues become available at Amazon? (This would seem to be a sensible move, I think, as it appears that Spilogale has the rights to keep the electronic versions available, as they are at Fictionwise.)

    And I would like to say how nice it is to get direct, clear information directly from the Editor/Publisher, even if it's not what some of us wanted to hear.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. PaulFraser
    Member

    Jason, you need to reread my post. All I was saying was that there seemed to be a either/or choice to be made and Amazon was the unsurprising winner.
    I know it it simple to support multiple formats and said so at the end.
    Finally, why on earth would I feel insulted that people aren't happy with what is happening? Of course I understand their disappointment, I was merely pointing out the commercial inevitability of what has happened: look at the circulation figures above...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. mermaniac
    Member

    I still haven't seen an answer to my question: Will it be possible to subscribe to F&SF electronically if you use Kindle for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)? I notice that magazines such as The New Yorker and Time are NOT available on iOS devices.

    Also, if the answer is no, will single issues of F&SF be available on iOS devices?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. jasonkchapman
    Member

    mermaniac: "Will it be possible to subscribe to F&SF electronically if you use Kindle for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)?"

    That's up to Amazon (and probably Apple). Many Kindle periodicals are available on Kindle for Android now, but not on Kindle for iOS apps. This likely has to do with Apple's insistence on retaining control of subscriptions.

    On a side note, Amazon themselves make it difficult for periodicals to get onto the Kindle reading apps. For some reason, they ignore publisher requests on the subject. Poets & Writers has been rather successful on the device, but I can't get Amazon to even tell me what it takes to get onto the K4x applications. It goes hand-in-hand with the mess that is the Kindle Periodical Publishing system.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. rkloh
    Member

    Mr. Van Gelder: About two weeks ago you said the current issue of F&SF would be up on the Amazon site "very soon." Obviously, that was an optimistic estimate. Could we have an update on the issue's likely availability? Thanks!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Soon, I expect. To be honest, I haven't heard what's holding it up.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. ByronBailey
    Member

    I can start busting kneecaps if you want to start seeing results. ;-).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    I got word today that it's going to be at least another week before the issue goes up. There's one technical thing we're handling now plus some unavoidable delays that are just the nature of business. Sorry to try your patience.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Update: Amazon has pushed the F&SF Kindle launch back to July. Sorry to try your patience.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. arowhena
    Member

    Gordon,

    Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with eBook publishing. However, I’m sure you have an able and capable staff, and for just 0.99 cents you can do it yourself.

    And it’s easy!

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TTX60E

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Thanks for that link, arowhena, but we're a magazine, not a book, and we're working with the periodicals division.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. arowhena
    Member

    Gordon, the process is the identical. There is no magic to it. Software engineers and their marketing overlords make their products just difficult enough to make people think they need expert help. With a little knowledge and a little effort your staff could put together a whole eMag in just a few hours.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. jasonkchapman
    Member

    If you want Amazon to handle subscriptions and to auto-deliver new issues, the process is most assuredly different.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. arowhena
    Member

    Jason, that’s true, but F&SF magazine is not really bound by the same rules of marketing as some other magazines. I say this because there is very little advertising to be found between its pages. Magazines that advertise loudest are those that have only a few articles couched amidst hundreds of advertisements -- and therefore need the services that Amazon provides. Let’s face it – none of us seek out advertising – it must be pushed. Advertising is not content – it is space. Magazines like “Time,” and “Newsweek,” and the rest, are nothing more than advertising whores. Who, in their right mind, would seek out their bad electronic facsimiles? So yes, of course, these monolithic structures need Amazon to do their work for them. And yes, for a time, they will still believe that they are in control of their own destiny.

    BUT:

    F&SF magazine is a magazine that only those few who want it will seek it out, and when they find it, they will buy it. That is how it always was, and always will be. The same applies to Analog and Asimov’s and other manuscript-type driven magazines.

    There are new rules for this new electronic age. Those rules are this: “no one makes the rules!”

    The legacy magazines are dinosaurs. They are already dead – they just don’t know it yet.

    Independently owned magazines like F&SF will thrive in this environment. I expect Dell to sell both Analog and Asimov’s over the next few years because the entrenched corporate mindset dictates that it must.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. pdurrant
    Member

    I'm sorry to see that the F&SF launch has been delayed. I know that getting the current issue available there is your main concern at the moment, in terns of electronic publication.

    But once the magazine is at Amazon, will you be making the 'missing' issues also available? Those that came out between the Fictionwise subscriptions being cancelled, and the Amazon subscriptions starting?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    The launch should happen soon---probably this week.

    The two issues that were skipped (Mar/Apr and May/June) will have electronic editions, but I'm not clear yet which way they'll appear on Amazon's site. I'll pass along more info when I have it.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. jjr183
    Member

    I am a little curious as to what the marketing/promotional advantages that Amazon are if they are forcing you to drop the 20-30% market share (depending on who you get your numbers from) of Barnes & Noble Nook users from the start. I for one never look at the Amazon site and I think that this is the same for most nook users who would normally just use the store feature on the device to shop for books.

    Is there some reason why you cannot also release a B&N subscription in epub format? You make is sound like that would just be too much work, but I am of the school that if you want more money you should expect to do more work; it only makes sense.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. arowhena
    Member

    I believe that if you make the a Kindle eBook and sell it on Amazon, and then it turns up for sale in some other format, then Amazon has the right to sell your Kindle eBook for $0.00

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. ByronBailey
    Member

    Is that actually Amazon policy? If so, deeply troubling.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. Althalus
    Member

    This will be a big decision, I have a kindle (and love it), but have been subscribing to (and loving) the paper version of F&SF for years. My latest 2 year subscription is expiring in Feb and I'll have to decide whether to get another 2 year paper version, or change over to the kindle.

    Do you know what the price will be?

    Either way, you won't be loosing this subscriber. I hope the contract with Kindle helps you guys find more subscribers. It is sad that so many magazines have been struggling to keep their numbers up over the last decade. I think your magazine is a great value, and there have to be many fantasy fans out there that would enjoy it if they tried it out.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. arowhena
    Member

    Byron wrote: “…Is that actually Amazon policy? If so, deeply troubling…”

    I may have misspoken. This a quote from the account page of the Amazon eBook creators page. Note: it only references the 35% Royalty pricing selection only.

    "...[]
    iii. From time to time your Digital Book may be made available through other sales channels as part of a free promotion. It is important that Digital Books made available through the Program have promotions that are on par with free promotions of the same book in another sales channel. Therefore, if your Digital Book is available through another sales channel for free, we may also make it available for free. If we match a free promotion of your Digital Book somewhere else, your royalty during that promotion will be zero. ...[]"

    I have emailed a query to Amazon over this paragraph. Originally, I priced my books accordingly (under the 35% Royalty program), to take advantage of the words “free promotion.” I was under the assumption that a well prepared Kindle eBook would more likely be chosen for this “free promotion,” because it highlights their hardware product. However, on rereading the language I am not so certain.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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