Monday, 1 November 2010

People's Friend - no more contributor copies at all

I posted a while back that People's Friend were suspending the issuing of contributor copies, but would send a PDF if requested. Now (with thanks to Linda for forwarding this news) it seems the PDF idea has not worked out.

PF say:
As you may know we had hoped that we would be able to e-mail a PDF of all of your stories which appear in the magazine. I’m sorry to say that, for a number of technical reasons, this has proved unworkable. I can only apologise for any disappointment this causes.

You will be notified of the issue date prior to publication and if you’re unable to locate a copy of the “Friend” in your local shops, do remember that back issues can be purchased from our Sales Dept. on 0800 318846.


Shame. PF publish about 15 stories a week. Does it really cost that much in money and time to send out 15 contributor copies?

22 comments:

blogaboutwriting said...

I agree. And I must admit that People's Friend are not my favourite magazine at the moment anyway. I've had a few stories accepted by them in the past but now they seem to take forever (ie: 5 or 6 months!) to come back with an answer - and it's not always a 'yes' after that length of time - it can just be a request for a rewrite. Makes me lose the will to live...! Helen

Queenie said...

I can't believe they can't do pdfs. A friend of mine is a journalist who writes for the glossies, and she gets pdfs of all her articles. If Easy Living, Good Housekeeping etc can do it, why can't The People's Friend?

If they're no longer sending out contributor copies, I think at the very least they should increase their payment to writers by the cover price of the magazine. I know it's not an expensive mag but that's not the point, it's the principle of the thing.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Bonkers. WW manage it and they publish the FS as well as the weekly which contains 2 stories and a serial. It makes you love them all the more.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit sad not to receive a PDF of the story when my story eventually comes out. (They have had it for ages and I'm beginning to wonder when I'll see it.)However, I can understand it because it takes time to make a pdf file, then it has to be sent out to the individual concerned. When time is so precious, sorting out half a dozen stories and a few articles, printing them as pdfs, then emailing them to the right person could easily take up a morning, could easily end up costing more than the contributor copy if you take into account someone's time. I can understand why they have abandoned this.

I have another story pending in a different magazine so I have a look every week in those magazines, which is easy except when we're away. I've only ever had one other fiction story published so I'm itching to see these two, and not knowing when they're coming out doesn't make it any easier.

L

Anonymous said...

It is also a way of editors making sure contributors don't break the golden rule - buy and study the magazine you want to write for.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but it gets a bit expensivce to buy all the mags every week. I tend to buy ones with friends' stories in and have a womagfest whenever I visit my Mother-in-Law's.

x L

marian h said...

So far as I'm concerned, sending a contributor's copy is just professional courtesy. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

I agree it's disappointing, but remember, it's not all about us, guys. Each story has an illustration, so every artist had to get a copy, too. Then there's the cover artist, the travel features contributors, for both text and photographs, all the filler and poetry features....I think you'll find it was amounting to more than just 16 copies a week. And then multiply that by weeks in a year. It must have been costing them a fortune!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Anon. And the pdfs business. I don't know how it works, but you know how their stories are spread over lots of pages? Wouldn't that mean a million pdfs? Doesn't sound easy to me!

Anonymous said...

Anon 22.59. That's a good point. The simplest way would be to write the whole magazine to a PDF file and email the whole thing out rather than individual stories and articles.

(Except they're not going to do it at all now.)

x L

Lydia said...

I know, I know! But maybe we should all stop moaning and just buy the magazine? It only costs
82p guys! And they will at least email you to let you know when it's going to be in - that's the main thing after all. Complimentary copies were lovely, but times are tough all round. I guess we'll just have to get used to it! x

Anonymous said...

I’ve got a real soft spot for The People’s Friend, because they gave me my first break years ago and have been a constant supporter of my writing ever since – as they have for so many of us – and I hate to see them coming in for so much criticism. As I said, they gave me my first break. Think how many magazines have closed their doors to new writers over recent years -- we’ve complained about it here. And yet the Friend still welcomes them. With nowhere else to send their work, new writers must be flooding the poor old Friend by now, and yet still the Friend welcomes them. So, if it means some of us have to wait a bit longer for a response, don’t you think that’s only fair if it means hopeful young writers still have the same opportunity we did to get their first work published? The alternative is that they close their doors to unsolicited material as My Weekly and so many others have, and that would be a very sad day indeed, for all of us, and for those who dream to follow us.

Anonymous said...

I don't think people are criticising, so much as disappointed. And I wanted to share information, not leave PF open for a kicking over the matter.


Times are tough and it's no big deal having to buy a copy. (Though for me the issue is making sure my Mum knows when to buy a copy.)

I like People's Friend because they are kind enough to put a few words as to why the story was rejected.

womagwriter said...

I agree, I can't see what's so difficult about compiling a PDF of the entire issue, and sending it to all contributors (writers and artists) each week. Can't be more than 1/2 hour's work once they get a system up and running. And as Geri says, WW manage a posted contributor's copy for everyone.

I suspect it's a cost-cutting measure, which, translated, means the the mag is not selling as well as it used to. Now that's sad.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anonymous who said it was no big deal to buy a copy at only 82p. If you're a contributor, you would have made many more times that amount from the story's sale!
I'd be much more worried about missing a story that was published.
And as another anonymous so rightly said, if you are contributing, you should be buying the mags every week. It's a golden rule.
If you write for a few it can mount up, but as a business the overheads for writing aren't that much and it can be tailored to your budget. If you only want to buy one or two mags, then only contribute to one or two.
At the end of the day it depends if you consider your writing a career or a hobby, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Can you get back copies of People's Friend posted to you? How?

Anonymous said...

Re back copies, when I missed one of my stories being in, they gave me a phone number to order the back issue from. A FREE number! It's 0800 318846.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 4 Dec for that.
How did you pay?
And did you have the pub date or merely the title or by-line you submitted under?

Anonymous said...

The magazine can give you the issue date if you tell them the title of the story, then their subscriptions department can take your order. I paid by credit card. The sub dept won't know the issue date so check with the magazine first. oh, and congrats on the story acceptance!

Rosie said...

Hi Can anyone tell me how I can locate a back issue of the people's Friend from (I think) 1973? I'm looking for an article about the actor Donald Burton which I'm sure appeared about that time. Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you all

womagwriter said...

Hi Rosie

You'll need to contact People's Friend directly. They may well have the back issue you need.

Rosie said...

Hi, and thank you very much for your help and suggestion; I contacted People's Friend first, but was told they didn't have their archives organised for those years and I'd need to know the exact issue before they could go any further. If I knew that, I'd have told them in the first place! Have you any idea where I might try to find this out? Obviously they can't help me until I know the issue details. Thank you again and best wishes, Rosie