Register or log in:

F&SF Forum » Other Topics

Fictionwise subscriptions gone?

(101 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by stevemowbray
  • Latest reply from Toast

  1. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Gone
    Gone
    REALLY gone
    Into the Blue
    Oh, Mama!
    Gate
    Gate
    Paragate
    Parasamgate
    Svaha.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. jakewoodblues
    Member

    Good news! I just got an email from Amazon. The subscription is now available thru them. The email said that there's a free digest that has 1 story and a bunch of the editorial features. However, if you follow the link, you'll see extended subscription options, including the full magazine, bi-monthly for .99 per month

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Yes, we've finally launched:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Science-Fiction-Exclusive-Digest/dp/B004ZFZCKY/

    Next step is to get the May/June and the Mar/Apr issues into Kindle editions.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Althalus
    Member

    You might want to post something on the page of the free digest version stating that it really is free. Some people are only half reading the amazon description and because it talks about a 14 day trial (like all their subscriptions) they assume that they are going to be tricked into paying after 14 days. Of course if they read more carefully they would see the charge is $0.00...but instead they just post a 1 star review.

    Maybe if you posted something stating that you are the Editor it would clear things up.

    I do like the fact that you have a free version, so I can try it out before my print subscription runs out in 6 months so I can see if I want to switch.

    Though at only 12 bucks a year, I might just subscribe to it in addition to the print version so I can have my kindle version, but still have a print copy as well.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. Althalus
    Member

    I posted 5 star reviews on both the digest and extended editions.

    Also, do you know why it won't work on kindle for the PC? I don't really care, since I read on my kindle or iphone, but several people on your review page have commented on it so I thought I'd ask.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. KarlBunker
    Member

    Althalus said: "You might want to post something on the page of the free digest version stating that it really is free."

    I agree completely; also you should (try to) get Amazon to remove all the language about "14 day free trial". I imagine that's their standard boilerplate for all their Kindle magazines, but in this case it's incorrect and misleading.

    Also, lose the scare quotes around "novelettes" -- it's a real word, for heavens' sake.

    I see that this deal is getting a lot of publicity, so that's great.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. darwinmac
    Member

    I'm very glad to see that F&SF is available electronically from Amazon. I took the opportunity to re-subscribe. I was shocked that the yearly rate was only $12. I was hoping it would be a little less than the paper edition, but that big of a price difference was a very big surprise. I saw no reason to bother with the free edition since I was already aware of the quality of your magazine.

    Hopefully, this is working out well for you financially. It doesn't help us if the subscription is cheap, but you can't pay the authors. However, I'm hoping this ends up as "Angry Birds" marketing for you (charge only $0.99 and you make boatloads of money).

    I definitely think getting on Amazon will get F&SF more publicity. l know I only heard about F&SF years ago because it was lying around at a friend's home so mainstream publicity has to help.

    The Kindle edition looks good. I will say that the "Table of Contents" section looks like it didn't convert correctly. At least on the iPad Kindle reader, it just looks like a jumble of lines trying to show the contents of the magazine. However, the Kindle structure itself seems to make the TOC section redundant.

    However, that's a minor quibble. Once I found out how to turn off two column viewing, it looks fantastic.

    Congratulations on getting this done! I realize that non-Kindle readers are disappointed and I completely understand that. However, I'm assuming that Amazon's marketing makes it worth the exclusivity.

    Bob Carpenter

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. pdurrant
    Member

    I'm impressed with the pricing. I thought it was going to be a lot more than I was paying at Fictionwise, and it turns out that it's about the same for me*, and a lot less for people in the US.

    It will certainly get a lot more exposure on Amazon, and I hope the change works out for you.

    Hopefully you'll be able to list the two 'missing' magazine issues in the Kindle ebook store, or similar. I currently have the all issues from January 2002, it would be a shame to be missing these.

    Hey - would it make a good promotion to get Amazon to list them as freebies?

    * I usually bought a subscription during a Fictionwise sale. Over the time I was subscribed, my average yearly subscription cost was $19.24. At current exchange rates that's £11.77. At Amazon my average yearly subscription cost will be £11.88.

    (Price in UK store is £0.99 per month, which includes £0.165 VAT, so that's really £0.825 per month, or $1.35. A little more than the US price, but OK, and, as I said, about the same as I was paying at Fictionwise, which is a lot better than I expected!)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. pdurrant
    Member

    I'm now subscribed, and I've taken a look at the July/August issue, purely from a technical perspective.

    The first thing that stands out is the high resolution cover. Great. Also The higher-res cartoons, and the section graphics (like in "Books to Look For") are nice to have in there.

    This is the first 'magazine' kindle ebook I've read, and it works well on my iPhone, although I find the word count next to the article title a bit distracting.

    The articles links are good, and are presumably part of the special magazine formatting. The table of contents would obviously work better on a bigger screen, but I think it's a shame that it isn't hyperlinked to the stories. I know we can get to the stories through the articles links section, but it would seem natural to also be able to get to places through links in the table of contents article.

    It's been so long since I've had the paper magazine, I don't know if you use ALL CAPS for the first words of articles, or whether they should really be small caps instead, which is trickier formatting. either way, it's nice to see the typography is much improved in this edition: No indent of the first paragraph, the special initial words.

    A minor item: I don't like the small gap between paragraphs. Looking more closely, I see that this probably isn't intentional, but by default the Kindle renderer puts in a small gap between paragraphs unless the space above the paragraph is explicitly set to zero using the height="0" attribute of the p tag, or the equivalent CSS in the source code if you're coding it up in real XHTML/CSS and relying on the Kindlegen conversion.

    Overall, a really nicely done issue, with MUCH better formatting than the Fictionwise mobipocket conversions, which is presumably why it took a while to get into the Kindle store. Changing production procedures is never easy.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. pdurrant
    Member

    I forgot to mention that unfortunately the Kindle edition does indeed come with DRM applied. I'm assuming that this was forced on you by Amazon?

    I wouldn't be subscribing if Kindle DRM wasn't easy to remove. Kindle magazine subscriptions are extremely vulnerable to loss because of the DRM.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. arowhena
    Member

    pdurrant,

    The Amazon Kindle does not actually follow the normal standard of XML. Not all formatting Tags are allowed. But on top of that, font in the Kindle will behave in unexpected ways.

    One of my Kindle books allows the reader to view the first few pages. I played around with it the other day and was shocked to see that text that I deliberately shrunk using the <small> Tag (as per Amazon’s Guide), was actually enlarged and out of whack from the way it appeared during its making. Naturally, this will mean an "editing" to get it right.

    Formatting for the Kindle is undeniably a pain. I’ve found it best not describe any Font Face at all. This allows the user to manipulate the text without interference from the internal Tags.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. ByronBailey
    Member

    $12.00 for a year's description does seem like an unbelievably good deal to me. Too bad I'm not in a position to take advantage of it.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. LukeJackson
    Member

    You want to increase circulation rates, just stick in a glossy Kayden Kross pictorial. Betcha having Kayden Kross' name on the cover will sell more copies than Robert Reed's.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Actually, I think Robert Reed's name on the cover of F&SF sells more copies than Kayden Kross's name would, but I'd be very happy if she'd discuss an issue of F&SF on a book show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC9DtgP69CE&feature=share

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. LukeJackson
    Member

    That's quite a find there, Gordon. It's almost enough to make me believe that porn stars read novels. :)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. arowhena
    Member

    HA! Very nice Gordon. I wonder what those two would make of F&SF.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    The May/June 2011 issue of F&SF is now available for the Kindle:

    http://www.amazon.com/Magazine-Fantasy-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B005HFL0UC/

    We expect to have the Mar/Apr 2011 issue up soon.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. KarlBunker
    Member

    I just noticed the following on the Amazon page for the freebie edition:

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
    #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Magazines & Journals > Arts & Entertainment

    Nice!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. rturner
    Webmaster

    This also works for those who hate typing:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HFL0UC

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. stasw
    Member

    After all the fear and loathing in earlier posts I was relieved to see that the Kindle version supports iPhone etc. Have just bought the 'extended' Sept/Oct and am generally impressed with the readability. Won't say more as pdurrant did a nice job on the technicalities. Will stay with my print subscription for now, and would probably be more ready to shift if I had an iPad or similar device.

    I appreciate the concerns about DRM but I really trust that this is a good deal for the magazine.

    And I just have to say that, as dorky as it might sound, as a 52 year old there is a still a thrill in the idea that I was able to magic a copy of the magazine onto my phone out of thin air. THIN AIR PEOPLE!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Thanks, Stasw. Our deal with Amazon looks like it's a good deal for us ... and for Amazon, I think.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    By the way, I forgot to mention that the March/April 2011 issue is now available:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KJLRQW

    That issue got caught in limbo as we switched from Fictionwise to Amazon. Readers who missed it previously can catch up now.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  23. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    And here's the July/Aug 2011 issue if you missed it previously:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005L4IBCY

    Posted 8 years ago #
  24. BlueTyson
    Member

    A couple of questions

    If I understand this correctly :-

    You can get a subscription for $12 a year? which is only usable actually on a Kindle device and never anywhere else - or buy a current issue similarly at $2.99 if you just want them ad hoc.

    Or, pay $7.50 and get a single issue that you actually can read on a computer, at least via Kindle for PC etc. Are these DRMed like garden variety commercial books?

    If they are, that is 50c more an issue than the start of the year for a considerably inferior product in usability terms?

    I do have a Kindle, but never use it for short stories. The PDA gets that job on the rare times I might want to do it while mobile. I don't leave magazines on them either. Do the magazines via the subscription go into the Kindle amazon archive and become redownloadable if you delete them, like books do?

    I am guessing that the standard more expensive buy an issue version gets treated like a book and stays around for good like any book purchases?

    Trying to work out if it possible to keep doing what I was in the past, and not lose 23 Robert Reed short stories for good if I left a device in the range of an overenthusiastic dog's tail by mistake. Or lose it, gets stolen, the magazine issues are autodeleted or whatever.

    7.50 is still going to be cheaper than the dead tree version here if I can use them (and also happy to pay more for lack of DRM), although with only 6 issues a year presumably a decent chunk of that nasty overseas postage has gone. Don't really feel inclined to risk subscriptions physically with collapsing post offices, either (or yet another spousal complaint about magazines lying around, despite the few I have being seriously outnumbered!)

    There's a free version sub with the book reviews etc. I see, so I'll sign up for that. It will at least replace the really useful 'New issue delivered' email from Fictionwise that used to happen to some degree, as don't use Kindle internet every day.

    Thanks,

    bt

    Posted 8 years ago #
  25. pdurrant
    Member

    I'm pleased to see the March/April 2011 ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KJLRQW/ ) and the May/June 2011 ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HFL0UC/ ) issues (which were the ones missed in the transition) now available. But I'm a little shocked at the price. In the UK, they come to £5.27 each, which means that they're over 2.5 times as expensive as buying the issues through a subscription.

    Are all the new issues of the magazine going to appear as separate items once the next bimonthly edition arrives?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  26. Timffl
    Member

    A year on from my Fictionwise subscription ending and F&SF moving to the kindle, I'm a lost subscriber with a Kobo bookreader.

    I subscribed in total for around 18 years, via newsagent order, direct print subscription and then finally via electronic subscription for 8 years, reading first on a Palm pilot then PC and now a Kobo.

    The multi-format flexibility of Fictionwise worked really well for me, I haven't used my Palm Pilot for 5 years but I can still redownload those magazines in formats that didn't exist in 2003 when the subscription started.

    I hope the Kindle deal works out well for F&SF, but I hope the small print includes a guarantee that anyone who buys the magazine now will be supported by Amazon bookreaders in 50 years time. I've got my books in PDF and EPUB formats from Fictionwise, much safer for the long run.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  27. Kevin C.
    Member

    This gets into the issue of how long we want to save a periodical. Ebooks change the parameters a bit since they only take up space on storage medium (which is why I went to an e-reader recently), plus, for some books it's decidedly cheaper. Still - and I say this without offense to any periodical - the odds that I'll save them all for the rest of my life is very low, indeed.

    That said, I'll merely note that the EPub format doesn't automatically mean DRM free, either. I suspect the magazines over on Barnes & Noble have DRM as well. To tell the truth, the drop in ereader prices this year has caused me to begrudgingly accept DRM as a necessary evil.

    No, I can't guarantee you'll be able to open any electronic document fifty years from now, not even straight ASCI. Nor can I guarantee that the DRM from Amazon or Barnes & Noble will allow you to read the same magazine you enjoyed this month even one year from now. If you intend to archive your magazines, paper is still the best bet for at least three to five decades.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  28. Kevin C.
    Member

    arrowhena wrote, four months ago:
    The Amazon Kindle does not actually follow the normal standard of XML. Not all formatting Tags are allowed. But on top of that, font in the Kindle will behave in unexpected ways.

    I recently faced the same issues in formatting a book I wrote for the kids for their Kindle as a Christmas present. It's sort of an odd mix between old and new HTML, with both depreciated tag attributes and a little CSS. Not coding in the font is a good way to go, since the Kindle only recognizes two, IIRC, and the reader can resize it to their heart's content. I used a percentage of the base font in a style definition in the header for my chapter headings, and that seemed to work well.

    I also found that Mobipocket Creator and Calibre processed the code differently. It could be that Amazon's widget has its own quirks in processing HTML.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  29. ET
    Member

    So, how did the move to Amazon work for you so far?

    I didn't know about all this. Might have noticed the issues were missing from Fictionwise but didn't pay that much attention since I don't regularly buy them. I did buy a couple of Analog and Asimov's issues last year, and I'm ashamed I didn't notice F&SF gone. But I just now went to Amazon and subscribed to the free digest. My only Kindle reading platform is my Android phone, which is not convenient for reading (I tried), but I can't resist free. :) (By the way Amazon asked me for my credit card even though it's a free sub.)

    Frankly I'm pretty much against e-books these days, or e-anything. I was an early adopter and have books in Mobipocket format which died when Amazon bought it, and then B&N bought Fictionwise and most high profile books became US only. I hate how electronic versions create borders which don't exist for physical media. In many cases I can't buy books or music or video in electronic format that I can order from abroad in physical format.

    Enough ranting. I'll be looking forward to reading the F&SF digest on my phone.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  30. pdurrant
    Member

    I was considering filling in the hole in my collection - the March/April and May/June issues of F&SF - despite the high cost.

    The March/April has changed its ASIN (now http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005KJLRQW/ ) and the May/June issue seems to be missing altogether!

    Will we see the ebook version of the May/June 2011 issue available again in the future?

    Posted 7 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.