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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Magazine subscriptions

Thanks to Douglas McPherson (who writes for womags under the pen name of Julia Douglas) for this topical guest post.

Just a word on the importance of magazine subscriptions during the lockdown.

The closure of WH Smith has hit all magazine sales, including the womags. And while they're doing everything they can to keep going, we writers can help them to survive and keep buying our stories by encouraging everyone to take out subscriptions.

There are some great deals available, such as DC Thomson offering 13 issues of My Weekly or People's Friend for just £4 (about 31p per issue, delivered to your door).

To protect our incomes during this time and going forward, I think we all have a part to play in encouraging friends, family and social media followers to switch to subscriptions or digital issues (which can be bought issue by issue).

Remember, we don't know how long the shops will be shut or whether lock downs will become a regular future occurrence, so the less dependent that magazines are on retail sales the more secure they will be.

This applies to all magazines and especially to titles more commonly found in Smiths etc than supermarkets. Some monthlies have entire print runs shuttered up behind the closed doors of Smiths that will never be sold.

I hope you can all help to raise awareness of this issue and how we can all help.


Jenny Worstall said...

Yes indeed, switching to digital or postal delivery for single issues or subscriptions makes sense and should be widely suggested/encouraged.
I'm hoping too that D C Thomson will consider digitising their Pocket Novels, although of course they already deliver 'real' copies by post for single issues/subscriptions.
No doubt people are going to access more magazines digitally through their libraries too, and of course, through Readly, although not all magazines are available in either of these collections (not sure Writer's Forum is...but happy to be proved wrong).
There will probably always be favourite magazines that it's worth taking out a separate subscription for.
Oh, and as a PS, I'm reading, enjoying and learning so much from 'How To Write And Sell Fiction To Magazines' at the moment. Thank you Douglas!

Douglas McPherson said...

I'm glad you're enjoying How To Write and Sell Fiction To Magazines, Jenny. Thanks for mentioning it!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for that timely reminder, Douglas - especially for those of us submitting to magazines as well as reading them!

Bendywriter said...

Thank you, Douglas. The knock-on effects from this isolation are many and varied. When you're feeling overwhelmed, it's good to be reminded that simple acts make a difference.

Lynn Love said...

Excellent point, thank you, Douglas

Patsy said...

Thanks, Douglas. Useful reminder of how we can help ourselves and the publication.

I'd like to add that a magazine subscription would make a great gift for friends and family we can't get to see at the moment – and one we can buy without risk of exposure to the virus.

Bea Charles said...

Thank you for the timely reminder. I have as a consequence renewed my subscription to one magazine ahead of the due date and taken out a fresh subscription for one that I normally buy from the newsagent but will now have delivered to my door instead.

Julie P said...

Although I agree with supporting magazines by getting out a subscription in principle, sadly a lot of people, myself including just cannot afford to because they've either lost their jobs or seen their wages decrease as a result of Covid 19 restrictions. I would also baulk at supporting a magazine that currently will not accept any short story submissions from writers who have not already been published by them. They have to meet us half way. If they opened up their submissions to writers like me then a lot of writers would willing subscribe to them I'm sure. I did subscribe to Tab FF and WW Fiction Specials until they introduced their new submissions policy when I stopped. I still, however regularly buy and read People's Friend and their specials and also The Weekly News until they sadly folded. I have to look at t buying magazines and subscriptions from a business point of view.