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SEA SOLDIER
October 26, 2002, 05:06 AM
I renewed my subscription with a 2 year commitment to SWAT magazine this evening and downloaded a couple of back issues in .pdf format. I am thrilled to see back issues archived and available in this manner. This is a big step forward, I'm not sure who else in the publishing industry is offerring this right now, but I'm happy that one of my favorite magazines is.

I'd like to know if the publishers would consider making subscriptions available in electronic format. While I realize that I can probabably download them one at a time as they become available, I'm a bit of a penny pincher and would prefer to get the subscription at the standard subscription rates.

Either way, you have a terriffic product and have backed it up with a strong commitment to service. Thank you for your efforts.

Rich Lucibella
October 26, 2002, 10:40 AM
SS-
Thanks for the renewal. You're the one that pushed me to focus on the PDF project, so you deserve an explanation.

This electronic market is really dicey. On the one hand, I think any magazine that wants to position for the future should be in the market now...so we are. On the other, when you start to convert print sales into electronic sales, it can be real dangerous.

Advertisers look for print sales as these can be audited. They can't do that with electronic sales. And most people prefer a print copy (I do). So the question was what to offer electronically. One of our colleagues offers individual articles for download...this is not a bad idea as single articles are quich to download.

However, the way I see it is that, even at nominal price ($.99 each), the buyer winds up paying well in excess of $15 for one issue of S.W.A.T.. Additionally, connection speeds are increasing by the day, so that a 5 or 6 MB full issue download becomes less and less a concern.

That said, we finally settled on offering "Back Issues" in download format. In that way, readers get a bargain (back issues are usually $8.00 each), we get to test the waters and our print sales are not adversely affected... print subscriptions are still the best value.

In the coming months, we'll be playing with the idea of offering a deal on package deals for the previous year of downloads. However, there's not plans to offer current issues in this manner.
Rich

SEA SOLDIER
October 27, 2002, 04:37 AM
Sir,

Thank you very much for your efforts and your attention in this matter, they have not gone unappreciated. You have a strong publication and I'll continue to support it.

Please continue to explore and push the envelope in electronic media. I can't speak for anyone else, but I think it's a tremendous value for the consumer.

For those of us overseas especially where mail is slow at best and frequently unreliable, this advent is a Godsend. While scrolling over a electronic .pdf back issue of SWAT isn't nearly as satisfying as leafing through a print copy of my favorite magazine, there is simply no comparison to having the ability to archive and retrieve volumes of information via computer.

Keep up the good work, keep pushing the envelope.

By the way, how are sales of online back issues?

Ranger Grant
October 27, 2002, 07:45 PM
Another option is to offer several years of back issues on CD, in pdf format. I'm a locksmith by trade, and one of "our" trade journal's, "The National Locksmith", does this. This allows you to keep the info for archival purposes, and clean out those issues you no longer have room for.

best, RG