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Fictionwise subscriptions gone?

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

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    pdurrant, we'll have to look into it. If the May/June 2011 issue has been removed, it wasn't by our design.

    ---Gordno V.G.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. rturner
    Webmaster

    I checked what the status of the May/June 2011 issue was and amazon says it is live. It's URL is http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HFL0UC.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    That link gives me an error message.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. kiki
    Member

    I was a Fictionwise subscriber for 5 years before the change to Amazon, and up until now I've been happy with the Amazon FSF subscription. I've just discovered a problem with Kindle magazine subscriptions - they only keep the current issue plus 6 back issues. FSF hasn't reached that limit yet because it's bi-monthly, but I've lost 3 issues each of Asimov's and Analog (which I changed over to at Amazon at the same time as FSF). It is possible to manually keep older issues but you have to do it before they're deleted (which is where I got caught, because I hadn't realised what was going on), and they're only kept on the device you've got the subsciption set to. The DRM is device specific, so you can't backup the files to a PC and copy to a new device when your old one dies. You can change your subscription to a new device, but you can only get the last 7 issues, not older ones that you had paid for. The magazine subscription seems to work differently from other ebooks, which you can redownload to other devices whenever you want (which I was able to do with Mar-April 2011 and May-June 2011 which were purchased as ebooks). I can understand how getting rid of old issues might be what you want for other periodicals, but it doesn't make much sense for science fiction magazines (which I at least like to re-read). I complained to Amazon, and they gave me a refund for the issues I'd lost and said they'd look into how to keep back issues. For me it's not about the money but access to the back issues when my device dies - I want a way to be able to transfer all issues purchased to a new device. I know one way to solve this would be a paper subscription, but I don't have the room (and that doesn't get around fire etc.). I still have my 5 years of Fictionwise issues, through several PC rebuilds, all I needed to do was back them up. I hope FSF can work with Amazon to make all issues of a subscription available to be re-downloaded as necessary (no device lasts forever).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. pdurrant
    Member

    Thanks rturner - I can see May/June at that link. It must have been a temporary glitch that I (& Gordon) saw.

    As for keeping back issues - the DRM is indeed the problem here, as even though you can keep backup copies yourself, they will only work on the device they were originally downloaded for.

    Of course, if you know about Apprentice Alf, and don't mind using the tools, DRM is no longer a problem.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. LizD
    Member

    Well, I have had a subscription for the paper version for more than 10 years now (closer to 20 now I think!) but I will not be renewing. I own 2 ereaders but neither is a kindle so I can't have an esubscription and I resent having to pay almost double the price for the paper magazine. I have read through this entire thread and it seems that Amazon will continue to have a monopoly for F&SF.

    If this situation should change no doubt someone will post the news on mobileread.com ;)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. kiki
    Member

    pdurrant, I don't have a problem removing DRM so that I can keep backups of issues I've paid for (I have no intention of distributing them - this is purely so that I'll have access to the issues when my android tablet dies, which eventually it will). Unfortunately, the tools don't work for Kindle for Android.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Thanks for your posts, kiki and Liz D.

    Concerning the electronic storage of back issues, that's entirely up to Amazon but FYI, I think you can store as many issues as you wish if you buy them individually as back issues. It's a function of how Amazon treats magazines.

    Liz D., your post succinctly makes several points that I've been raising about electronic publishing in general (even before F&SF struck a deal with Amazon). But yes, the short answer is that electronic F&SF will be with Amazon exclusively for the coming future. I don't know ereaders well but does the Kindle for PC app allow you to read F&SF on something other than a Kindle?

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. Kevin C.
    Member

    Normally the Kindle will allow only seven issues of the same periodical on the device. It is supposed to display an exclamation point by the periodical name prior to deletion. However, you can mark the periodical "Keep," and the Kindle will not delete it. Previous issues are stored under "Periodicals: Back Issues."

    I also normally back-up my Kindle to my computer on the off chance that Murphy's Law comes into play. This is easy to do through the USB cable. Just make a folder on the computer and copy the items from the Kindle. It can be transferred from the computer back to the Kindle the same way.

    Amazon also keeps a record of your purchases, and you can download them again if you happen to delete them. However, there's the issue of more than one device having access to the same purchases, which can be problematic. I normally back-up purchases I don't think are age appropriate, and delete them from Amazon. Unfortunately, if something happens to your back-up, then you'd have to buy the publication again.

    I don't know for certain that the Kindle apps will allow you to read magazine on non-Kindle devices. It should, and that's that Kindle claims over on Apple apps store, but I've not used it. FWIW, if that cheap Android tablet I had my eye on hadn't sold out, I intended to load the Kindle and Nook apps and have the best of both worlds.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. kiki
    Member

    Gordon, you can't get FSF on Kindle for PC, only on a Kindle or Kindle for Android/Ios. Kevin C., yes you can copy issues to a PC, but you can't read them on a different device than the one you originally downloaded to, so there's no point - the DRM is device specific. The exception to that is if you've used a device from which the ebook DRM can be removed, in which case, you will be able to read them on a new device. When you're current device dies, you will be able to download the rolling last 7 issues (which are stored in the cloud like your Amazon books), but will lose the rest of the issues back to the start of your subscription. The only single issues available for sale is the current issue, which they treat the same as the subscription - only the last 7 you purchase will be kept in the the cloud; also, the 2 issues in the fictionwise gap, which are ebooks, so are treated the same as all other ebooks. This is the way magazine subscriptions work at Amazon, they're designed for periodicals you don't want to keep, not for science fiction magazines you do want to keep. I've had an email from Amazon confirming this, thanking me for my feedback and saying they've passed my query on to their technical team but nothing will be changing in the near future. Since the Amazon subscription doesn't provide the service I want (ability to keep all subscribed issued without cracking DRM (which I can't even do because I went Android)), I'm about to cancel it. The only options available if you want to retain access to FSF issues are a paper subscription, Amazon with DRM removed or get it from a library.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Toast
    Member

    If you mark your issues to "keep" and you have an Amazon subscription none of your back issues will be deleted. If you don't mark them as such you can only keep 7 issues... that applies to all Amazon magazine subscriptions.

    I read FSF on a Kindle and a iPad. You can also remove the DRM and read them on a Kindle for Mac however you loose the table of contents...

    Posted 1 year ago #

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