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Yes - that is why I suggested it.

 

Of course that assumes the content is worth paying for - but the same is true of the paper magazine.

 

...R

 

Which raises a few questions:

 

1) How much would you be prepared to pay for a PDF magazine?

2) How could we stop it being posted on-line for everyone to grab for free?

3) How do we recreate all the features of the digital issue in the PDF? (Unless you just want an electronic copy of the paper mag with no extras)

 

This is an interesting idea, we just need to flesh it out a bit. Run it up the flagpole and see who waves etc.

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As I stated before, my interest in a pdf is purely long term storage. At present I buy a mag (paper price), read it, then store it. Amazing amount of bulk and weight in the loft!

IF it was digital, it would be on hdd or cd, with back up copies of course, saving oodles of space & weight. Memory is relatively cheap, but I would imagine there would be reduction in selling price of the pdf version that would offset the cost of hdd/cd - I'm not looking here for a cheapskate way of buying the mag. (Sorry guys if the price is now increased!).

As for security, well how do DVD films get made secure? Nothing is 100%, if there is a way to copy things someone will find it. But if a way could be found, and I'm sure the IT gurus could find something, there would still be a small leakage.

Digital features of the magazine? When I was a digital subscriber, I never really found them of any real value, in fact they smacked of gimmickery to me. And don't get me going on 3D, I hate it!

 

Stewart

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Which raises a few questions:

 

2) How could we stop it being posted on-line for everyone to grab for free?

 

 

Indelibly add a unique serial number to each page of the pdf.  If it ends up on the net then the publisher knows where it came from.......

 

edit: Idea Copyright to Polybear. Use it and it's free subscription for life, plus free early entry to BRM exibitions  :)

Edited by polybear
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As I stated before, my interest in a pdf is purely long term storage. At present I buy a mag (paper price), read it, then store it. Amazing amount of bulk and weight in the loft!

IF it was digital, it would be on hdd or cd, with back up copies of course, saving oodles of space & weight. Memory is relatively cheap, but I would imagine there would be reduction in selling price of the pdf version that would offset the cost of hdd/cd - I'm not looking here for a cheapskate way of buying the mag. (Sorry guys if the price is now increased!).

As for security, well how do DVD films get made secure? Nothing is 100%, if there is a way to copy things someone will find it. But if a way could be found, and I'm sure the IT gurus could find something, there would still be a small leakage.

Digital features of the magazine? When I was a digital subscriber, I never really found them of any real value, in fact they smacked of gimmickery to me. And don't get me going on 3D, I hate it!

 

Stewart

 

This isn't all about you. Robin2 wants to buy a 2-month-old PDF of the magazine. I can see why the idea of PDF copies appeals for storage, but we still have the security issue. Even a "small leakage" is probably more then any magazine could stand since a single post on Facebook or even RMweb would reach a huge percentage of potential readers and once it happens, you can be sure they will go hunting for the "free" version before parting with cash. 

 

Not sure how extra photos of layouts or videos of us making stuff are "gimmicks", but each to his own. 

 

Indelibly add a unique serial number to each page of the pdf.  If it ends up on the net then the publisher knows where it came from.......

 

edit: Idea Copyright to Polybear. Use it and it's free subscription for life, plus free early entry to BRM exibitions  :)

 

And if we take down one person for posting the file on-line, another will just take their place. Eventually, the entire budget is eaten by the legal department and the magazine ceases to be. I suppose that solves the problem, but no deal on the idea I'm afraid.

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1) How much would you be prepared to pay for a PDF magazine?

You are the seller - make an offer

 

2) How could we stop it being posted on-line for everyone to grab for free?

I proposed making it available a month or two in arrears so that that would not really matter. I am happy to give my word that I won't cheat.

 

3) How do we recreate all the features of the digital issue in the PDF? (Unless you just want an electronic copy of the paper mag with no extras)

I was just thinking of an equivalent of the paper magazine. I believe the videos are available via some YouTube channel so I presume that could continue.

 

Just to clarify, I am thinking of a special PDF annual subscription for those of us who don't have space to save paper back issues and who can't use the regular digital edition.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2
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 I am thinking of a special PDF annual subscription for those of us who don't have space to save paper back issues and who can't use the regular digital edition.

 

 

How about one in Black and white and on toilet paper........for those of us that are colour blind and like to be really miserly...

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You are the seller - make an offer

 

I proposed making it available a month or two in arrears so that that would not really matter. I am happy to give my word that I won't cheat.

 

I was just thinking of an equivalent of the paper magazine. I believe the videos are available via some YouTube channel so I presume that could continue.

 

Just to clarify, I am thinking of a special PDF annual subscription for those of us who don't have space to save paper back issues and who can't use the regular digital edition.

 

...R

 

Price - this is market research, I'm curious to see what you are thinking.There is always a gulf between what people claim they are willing to pay and what they are happy with when it's time to put hands in pockets, but it's a start.

 

"Your word" that you won't post it online? That's alright then... I suspect the publisher would want something a little more concrete. 

 

If you have a computer, you CAN use the digital edition. If you want a PDF AND to be able to use the videos as you suggest then that's basically what we are talking about. Now if you, or anyone else, wants a bespoke service, then I'm sure that can be arranged, but the price will be scary!

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An idea that is used by some computer magazines is to issue an annual CD-ROM with the previous years issues on it in PDF format.

 

By the time the CD-ROM comes out, I would've thought the risk of piracy was minimal. If somebody was going to steal the magazine, they would no doubt have found a way by then.

 

I would expect an RRP of at least £10-15 for it to be worth Warner's while to produce the disc in the first place.

 

Considering how much more extra content you get in the digital issue vs. a PDF copy of the printed magazine this could be a tough sell.

 

When you consider the regular sales held by pocketmags of back issues for 99p, including all the digital goodies, a CD of PDF's doesn't really make financial sense, either for Warner's or the customer.

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If you have a computer, you CAN use the digital edition. If you want a PDF AND to be able to use the videos as you suggest then that's basically what we are talking about. Now if you, or anyone else, wants a bespoke service, then I'm sure that can be arranged, but the price will be scary!

I guess that means NO.

 

Well, it was worth asking.

 

...R

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An idea that is used by some computer magazines is to issue an annual CD-ROM with the previous years issues on it in PDF format.

 

By the time the CD-ROM comes out, I would've thought the risk of piracy was minimal. If somebody was going to steal the magazine, they would no doubt have found a way by then.

 

 

Model railway magazines don't date as fast as computer magazines. Those shots of Black Country Blues from 5 years ago are still just as interesting as they were when they were new for example. Heck, I still browse magazines from 40 years ago at my local club - many of the techniques and products have changed, much has moved on, but they are still interesting.

 

I'd suggest that there are many readers who would be perfectly happy with a year-old magazine they could download for free. Once they got the idea that every year there would be another years worth, they would happily stop buying the mag when it's new. We really aren't talking about master criminals or hackers, just people who will see a link on a forum and download a file. Half of them will probably moan they "don't know how to work this PDF thing" anyway!

 

Dishing out PDF copies of our sort of magazines isn't likely to happen any time soon IMHO.

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I'd suggest that there are many readers who would be perfectly happy with a year-old magazine they could download for free. Once they got the idea that every year there would be another years worth, they would happily stop buying the mag when it's new. We really aren't talking about master criminals or hackers, just people who will see a link on a forum and download a file. Half of them will probably moan they "don't know how to work this PDF thing" anyway!

 

 

 The club exhibition has a stand by a local transport society that sells mags, the first to go (within an hour) are the most recent of any of the modelling mags, especially if they're bundled into a years worth (from the previous exhibition) The fact they are a year old matters not, as they don't date.

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Model railway magazines don't date as fast as computer magazines. Those shots of Black Country Blues from 5 years ago are still just as interesting as they were when they were new for example. Heck, I still browse magazines from 40 years ago at my local club - many of the techniques and products have changed, much has moved on, but they are still interesting.

 

I'd suggest that there are many readers who would be perfectly happy with a year-old magazine they could download for free. Once they got the idea that every year there would be another years worth, they would happily stop buying the mag when it's new. We really aren't talking about master criminals or hackers, just people who will see a link on a forum and download a file. Half of them will probably moan they "don't know how to work this PDF thing" anyway!

 

Dishing out PDF copies of our sort of magazines isn't likely to happen any time soon IMHO.

… Aaaarggh!! That spoils the fun!!

 

Seriously though, you make a number of very good points there.

 

A lot of people see something presented as "free" - and there's a "feeding frenzy". Don't believe me? Just try visiting a trade show - specifically any stand where they've got a box marked "please take ONE", containing a load of tacky, plastic items.

 

Now switch your attention to magazines - and the sites offering "free" downloads of every magazine imaginable - including ones that only went on sale 5 minutes ago.

 

Who cares if this stuff should really come with a "DVD and crossbones" logo?

 

Who cares? Certainly not the people who stick this bootleg stuff online. Certainly not the people who see the word "free" - imagine this must be some amazing new bargain - and then some of them might even have the cheek to expect everyone else to tell them how to read their amazing "free" publications.

 

I mean, it's all too good to be true, isn't it? In fact, you could say it's a "steal". I guess that's one way of putting it.

 

 

Occasionally, "gauge societies" and "special interest groups" put one or two old issues of their magazines online, as "tasters" - and some of these can be very useful, too - like one group who put up a magazine in which a (then) recently deceased member described how he'd built a very decent model of a shunter loco (complete with usable drawings).

 

Meanwhile, one gauge society have a very strong presence at certain regional shows - to the extent of often having a table full of "surplus" copies of some of their magazines from the last 4 or 5 years - magazines that, right now, are effectively providing me with a "how to" guide for the lion's share of an ongoing project. Thanks, guys.

 

 

Although this last bit might sound like cynical exploitation on my part, I don't think it is. If I hadn't come across these magazines, I would not have been in a position to get this stuff any other way.

 

However, now that I have come across them, I'm actively looking for sensible ways of getting to their major shows by public transport. If I find myself in a position to get that sorted, the society in question would be likely to gain a new member.

 

They certainly haven't lost by putting this stuff out there. They probably won't gain immediately - but they certainly haven't lost.

 

 

However, returning to the "PORTABLE document files" of commercially produced magazines, I suspect that some foreign publications have managed to make a go of this - even not being too worried if the files get passed around - but they've used a completely different business model to any major UK publications.

 

The ones I am thinking of are paid for completely by advertising - and uploaded every few weeks to their website for free download - while regular readers are encouraged to register (free) for updates. Some of the articles and adverts in certain versions of these magazines also contain links to advertisers, who would be only to happy to keep readers supplied with various model making essentials. That's considerate of them - well it is, because that's what's keeping the e-zine afloat.

 

Somehow though, I don't think we'll be seeing this particular business model appearing in the UK any time soon.

 

 

Huw.

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"Dad, what's a CD? What' a DVD? What's a PDF?" 

 

:)

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"Dad, what's a CD? What' a DVD? What's a PDF?"

 

:)

I gather it's short for "pirates downloaded free".

 

(Other definitions are also available … .)

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths

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Clearly you have rose tinted specs when it comes to the environmental impact of paper and paper making.

 

One ton new paper requires 4 tons clean water to effect the manufacture - and each time it goes round the recycle route that is another 4 tons.  Oh and speaking of recycle, paper is not infinitely recyclable.  Each time paper is recycled the fibres become shorter and it is estimated that after 6 uses the fibres are so short that they go out in the waste water from the process.  That waste has to be captured using flocculating agents such as Aluminium sulphate - which got a bad name in Camelford in the West country in 1988 when too much was put in the water and the local village suffered poisoning.

 

Paper is most certainly not environmentally neutral.

 

 

Having said that I prefer paper, but the cost of shipping it to France means that my tablet has paid for itself with my BRM subscription though Pocketmags.

The problem with this argument is that it can end up putting some off the concept of recycling and protecting the environent. I have worked in part of the paper industry, including a big recycling project.

Yes, paper can only be recycled a certain number of times, but that is only a problem if you are wanting to recycle it back into same quality, wheras is you reduce the quality then it can be re-used far more times. Egg box type boxes and packaging is one of the ultimate uses it can be turned into. I have , myself,managed to reuse paper by mashing it down. There is a surpringly high amount of glue still in paper, less as it gets poorer quality.

Water seems to be an issue, but only if you don't source it properly.

Bleaching of paper and adding other chemicals is one area that is being looked at , with a lot of good research into alternatives(I know because of family connections in Finland).

 

Compared to what is required for much of our electronic equipment, paper is not that bad, as it is more sustainable.

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 That is one resason why other odeas have to be considered.

Printing locally and only if required, ie print to demand. Reduce size of page to a standard say A4, then it can be printed bty a new type of newsagent, who prints the magazine(it does not take that long), then can be finished off with metal spiral binding. Alternativly print off on A3 , fold and staple. It could be pre-ordered online, for collection. It still means large quanties of paper have to be transported around, but there is less wastage.

 

The candle issue did actually arise a couple of years ago, when power supplies to part of Scotland were cut for more than a few days. It was commented that people could not read their e-books! It does not have to be candles. A gravity powered LED light system has been developed for countries where there is poor electrical suply, and it is replacing oil lamps. Similar concept to the wind up radio and torch, but actually simpler.

 

We have oil lamps in order to replace the electricity supply if it goes down.  but while lamp oil is n't too difficult to find (although pricey) getting the right size wicks for items over 100 years old can be difficult, and as for replacement lamp chimneys :scratchhead:   (although there used to be a good little shop in remote Herefordshire for such things).

 

But coming back to the point - if I had an electronic version of the magazine which I could download, including saving it to disc/external drive, and take anywhere I might consider it although I do find reading across and referencing back through printed pages far easier (probably an age thing).  As far as I'm concerned a critical point is that if I pay for something then that's it - I have bought it, it is now my copy which belongs to me and I can retain it, complete, for use and reference for as long as I want on technology/a reader which will still work in at least a decade from now.  I currently have a computer which, without extra parts, can interface only with a particular type of camera card - it cannot accept any sort of floppy disc (I finally ditched the big ones some years ago), cd or dvd.  So in reality a lot of computer storage technology happens NOT to be truly future proof.  I can however got to my magazine collection and access any or every edition of BRM from the first one right up to the latest one - yes they take up space but at least if and when I want to I can actually get at them and read them, which is a darned sight more than I can do with data stored on memory sticks (although that just needs a lead) or 3.5" floppy discs, or cds and cvds (although they can be read with a peripheral device).  

 

So simple downloadablility of the entire contents and - nowadays - the ability to easily store all of it on an external back-up drive as well as on the 'puter itself is the very least I would expect from an e-mag which I have to pay for.  Including of course simple printability of any particular item which it would be useful to print for use/reference away from the 'puter (just as I can photocopy such a thing from a printed magazine).  If it does not offer all of that then as far as I'm concerned it's a waste of money, however many bells & whistles it might be packaged with.

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So simple downloadablility of the entire contents and - nowadays - the ability to easily store all of it on an external back-up drive as well as on the 'puter itself is the very least I would expect from an e-mag which I have to pay for. 

+1

 

...R

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You can also open as many old magazines as you want to, all at the same time, and easily compare content across each of the articles.

 

As someone who uses a three screen set-up at work, working off just the laptop is extremely frustrating. I would hate to use a tablet or phone to read a magazine article - far too much scrolling & zooming to make the experience enjoyable.

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Seems we are only looking at this from one direction, the reader. Look at the whole magazine/publication and an important part is advertising and the money that is generated. Then you have to think of the selling process. I assume newsagents still work on a 100% markup and return any unsold copies. There is then the distributor, also taking a cut, so how much of the £5.50 goes to the riginal publisher, and how dependent are they on it. Paper prices have gone up, but so have other costs.

From a potential advvertisers point of view(with one brief trip with BRM) I have to look at the whole package, and if a publicationis not reaching my target audience then I won't adverise in it. Look at the adverts in most magazines and you will get a pretty good idea of the target audience.

It always worries me when gimmicks are introduced. Some might actuall work, but many don't. They are there to promote the product, and if they don't actually boost the product then they have failed.

One thing about digital, and again it is from an advertisers point of view. When you read through a digital coy of a magazine, do you read the adverts in the same way, or do you skip over them. Maybe it is just me, but I tend to look more at printed adverts than digital ones. It might be that we get bombarded with digital ones so much online that we automatically switch off. If that is the case then digital advertising is a waste of time and money.

I believe digital does have a place, one being a good way to archive info in a way that can be easily searched through. On the other hand, when the power goes down it is easier reading a paper copy by candle!

 

This is a really interesting point. Publishing is changing and we, as publishers, need to change with it. The advertising model is a great example.

 

Paper advertising is tried and tested and it works! Just look at the number of adverts in BRM and the other three main railway modelling magazines. However, digital advertising brings with it some exciting possibilities. Take RMweb as an example. We can guarantee how many times your advert is shown, we can host it in a forum(s) of your choice so you're targeting the right people, we can have it shown in specific locations, we can have it shown more at certain times of day...it is, in my opinion, the most effective way of advertising. 

 

Email Newsletters achieve an incredible response. Some adverts get 300+ 'clicks' per email newsletter.

 

I suppose  what suits one person may not suit another...exciting times though, different advertising solutions for different people.

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You are the seller - make an offer

 

I proposed making it available a month or two in arrears so that that would not really matter. I am happy to give my word that I won't cheat.

 

I was just thinking of an equivalent of the paper magazine. I believe the videos are available via some YouTube channel so I presume that could continue.

 

Just to clarify, I am thinking of a special PDF annual subscription for those of us who don't have space to save paper back issues and who can't use the regular digital edition.

 

...R

 

Hi Robin,

 

We have something in the pipeline. Not exactly as you describe, but a half-way house I suppose. 

 

Steve

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We have something in the pipeline. Not exactly as you describe, but a half-way house I suppose. 

 

Thanks. I will keep a lookout. Hope it works with Linux.

 

...R

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 Hope it works with Linux.

Don't hold your breath ~ I haven't seen any mention of Linux being offered by BRM/Warners in any of their publications or by the moderators on this forum.

 

It seems that far too many companies/publishers think that the General Public only use Windows or Apple Operating Systems and bury their heads in the sand when it comes to even acknowledging the existence of Linux.

 

If only they talked to their website IT staff, they may well find that their website is actually hosted on a LINUX SERVER !!

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Don't hold your breath ~ I haven't seen any mention of Linux being offered by BRM/Warners in any of their publications or by the moderators on this forum.

 

It seems that far too many companies/publishers think that the General Public only use Windows or Apple Operating Systems and bury their heads in the sand when it comes to even acknowledging the existence of Linux.

 

If only they talked to their website IT staff, they may well find that their website is actually hosted on a LINUX SERVER !!

 

 

Out of interest What is the percentage of Linux users ?

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