This must be the $64 question that a lot of the subscribers and purchasers of the magazine must be pondering right now as they await delivery of issue #70. I call it the $64 question. Actually it’s the $29.95 to $153.70 question since the current prices for subscriptions are all over the place, depending upon whether you select a one year digital only or a two year international print and digital subscription.
In 2009, the magazine managed to get out one issue … under “new” management … that promised they would get the magazine back on its bimonthly schedule. That issue came out in October 2009 after months of delivery promises that began roughly in July of last year.
Then the magazine stated it would begin the bimonthly schedule in earnest in mid January of 2010. That was three months ago.
Now, on their Facebook page, the “owners, publishers, editors … whomever” have claimed that the magazine was mailed a “few days” before 18 March. That was a little over a week ago now. Even with the notoriously slow USPS media mail, surely someone should have received their issue by now. Yet, to date, there is no indication of that. Media mail can be notoriously slow, taking two to three weeks for delivery; but, if you live one town away from the mail drop, it shouldn’t take that long for delivery, not even a week. Yet, there’s no indication on the Facebook page that anyone has received an issue thus far.
A few weeks ago, a check of the list of contacts on the Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine page revealed that Ron Garant, the previous owner of the magazine, was still lingering on in the capacity of “assistant editor”. Tonight, a review of the lists of contacts reveals that the “assistant editor” is no longer listed. Interesting …
It should also be noted that, in that same time, the locations of everyone concerned has also , again, shifted from a township in mid upstate New York to New Jersey. I’m not sure of the cause for that, although some of the commenters on my previous post,“Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine” … !!!!!CAUTION!!!!!, regarding this magazine did mention filing complaints in New York state against the magazine.
Let’s assume that in the next week or so people will start receiving their copy of the magazine, issue #70. Then what?
This is already butting up against the advertised distribution date for issue #71, week of April 19th. If issue #70 is delivered within the next week or so, that will mean a time span between issues of over five months, … not exactly bimonthly, barely semi-annually. And, that’s being generous considering the one issue last year. Who out there actually expects to receive issue #71 in mid April?
Why can’t these people deliver the magazine as promised?
They seem to have no problem in getting material together. There seems to be a wealth of musicians willing to contribute to the magazine. I can’t comment on their advertising revenues since I’ve never seen a copy of the magazine, but certainly they do have advertisers.
I have a very simple hypothesis regarding the problems of the magazine … money.
Why would it take more than three months to publish a magazine whose content seemed to be formulated three months ago? In one simple word … money. They didn’t have the money to take the magazine to press. And, it’s taken them more than three months to scrap up the money, if, in fact, they actually have. That would require them to be taking in money faster than they’re spending it.
This also brings into question, the future of the magazine. If it’s taken three months to get together the money to publish one issue, what’s happened to the money that should have been held in reserve to publish future issues?
When I googled “Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine” tonight, the lead post that came up was my previous post. The magazine’s website came up on page 5 of the search … page 5. I know how many hits it’s taken to get my post in the number one spot … and that gives me an indication of the interest in the magazine, when their website is on page 5.
Their Facebook page, as well as pages on other social networking sites, may be having a relative amount of interest … but I haven’t noticed that people can actually subscribe on those sites. Correct me if I’m wrong, but people actually have to go to the magazine’s website to subscribe or buy an issue.
I guess a question has to be asked. Has my post been detrimental to the magazine. My surmise would be that it has to a small extent.
But, my post would be a dead and forgotten issue if the magazine had simply delivered as advertised. I would be written off as some disgruntled hack. Unfortunately, for everyone interested in the magazine, the failure of the magazine to produce a product and deliver it as advertised has fed the interest in my post, giving it significant validity.
If I’m wrong, someone please tell me.
I think it’s time for the “new” owner and all concerned with the publication of the magazine to be open and up front with the people who have already paid for subscriptions and issues as well as those interested in doing likewise.
Is there enough interest in the magazine to keep it going?
A little open and honest communication from the owner seems to be appropriate now. I don’t include the editor in that statement since I don’t think he knows what’s going on.