What’s Wrong with Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine?

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?

So …

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.


26 Responses

  1. I have every issue up to 72. Subscribed for years, renewed and then it stopped coming……..

    • Hello do you have any back issues of Fingerstyle guitar magazine in pdf format to share with me???Thanks a lot!

  2. I paid for 2 years and only got 1 mag. Something is wrong with the company.

    • Tom,

      Browse through the comments of the original post if you haven’t already and you’ll get some idea of the frustrations others have shared with you.

      The original post is approaching two years old and remains very active … unfortunately.


    • The four-flushing individuals have taken the money and run it seems, and continue to do so from postings like this. Am I the only one that finds such irony in the fact that a continuous thread of born-again-christianity from the editor and many of the contributors ran through this magazine issue after issue. As usual, hypocrisy reigns supreme.

  3. I have recently encountered a problem with my favorite magazine FSG
    They gladly took the money and that was on august 5 2010 and now it’s one week before Thanksgiving and I have received a goose egg, nothing.
    They are impossible to contact via e-mail or by phone which won’t even allow you to leave a message.
    I believe that crooks run this scam of an outfit.
    I am actually having everyone I know via facebook myspace and other websites inundate their phone lines. I actually was able to get a number through the bank that actually works.
    I was a subscriber for years and am bummed that they are cheats!
    Too bad because I really loved that magazine.

    • Sorry about your problems, Beowulf.

      Are you going to be able to get your money back through the bank? I posted this blog nearly two years ago in hopes of helping people to prevent problems like you’re experiencing now; but, if you weren’t expecting trouble based on your previous experience with the magazine, there was no reason for you to expect any. That’s unfortunate.

      If you’re interested, a number of people have posted the names of other magazines that might provide you with some of what you’re looking for in a magazine. Their names can be found throughout the comments … which are fairly extensive now. Unfortunately, none of them appear to be exactly what FSGM would be if it weren’t being run like it is … of isn’t.


  4. I received issue #70, but no CD was enclosed. Does anybody have one ? I would be happy to pay for a copy of it. I, too, have sent tons of e-mails, fax, etc. to Fingerstyle, and no response. THANK YOU !!

  5. I have STILL not received #70, despite several emails to individuals within the company – AND I actually spoke to someone on the phone about a month ago who assured me if I sent an additional email to their subscriptions@….com address with my subscription confirmation receipt then she would send me my magazine with no problem. Why is this still happening?

    • Have you tried asking that question on their Facebook page?


      • Excellent suggestion, I just did, thank you.

        • Good. Let’s see what happens.


          • I saw this morning that they “finally” responded to your remarks on their Facebook discussion board. It sounded like they were implying that they had already sent you a copy, … whatever. Their remark “yet another” sounded slightly, or overtly, petty. Hopefully, this will resolve your problem … “for issue #70”.

            Being petty is a two way street and I put examples of what I consider possibly “petty” in quotes above regarding my remarks … and theirs. It can indicate a certain level of frustration and doesn’t necessarily bode well for either PR or marketing.

          • Thanks Earl Agreed (on your comments below). I will chime in when/if I receive #70. Just so I say it and in case the magazine is reading this – I don’t care how many issues they put out per year b/c it is of a high quality, but only as long as those who signed up receive the allotted number of issues.

          • Earl,

            I wanted to let you – and whoever else may be interested – know that I have not received #70, despite a comment to me on their Facebook board indicating the Company would send it out “this week”. That was at the beginning of last week, by the way. If they had sent it, it would have been here by now. I will remind the audience that I was a 12-issue subscriber as of October 2009.

            I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and I would encourage anyone who has similar grievances to do the same. This company needs to be held accountable. If they have taken your money and failed to deliver on the terms of your subscription, it equates to stealing. http://www.bbb.org/upstate-new-york/business-reviews/publishers-periodical/mi-media-llc-in-lewiston-ny-212154715/

            By the way – I tried calling the past two days, their main number is no longer functional, after two rings, the standard phone company message greets you, “Your call cannot be completed as dialed, please check the number and call again.” This begs the question, is the Company now insolvent? Or, just plain out of business?

          • It arrived today – I spoke to soon. Issue 70 looks good.

          • I wouldn’t feel too bad about complaining, Jon. After all, issue #70 was supposed to come out at the end of January … and it is July. I’m glad you finally got your copy of the issue, but it still helps to keep things in perspective.


  6. I contacted Bill Piburn right after # 70 was received in the mail and alerted him to the fact that my pc wasn’t finding the videos and the pdf’s. He seemed to think that you need a mac and I suggested that I have subscriberd for years and have most mags and never needed to buy a mac and that my pc was just fine until issue # 69. SO.. I believe they are working on correcting that detail and should be going back to the old ways and issuing in the very near future.

  7. so dear friend
    i want to subscribe for 2 years of digital Editions
    so you mean i mustn’t do this!??

  8. so dear friend
    i want to subscribe for 2 years of digital Editions
    so you mean i mustn’t do this!??

    • I’m not saying don’t subscribe. I would advise you to read all of the comments on this and the other post I did as well as the comments on FGM’s Facebook page before deciding to commit yourself to a 2 year subscription in any format. If I recall correctly, at least one person had a complaint about the digital edition although, theoretically, that format shouldn’t be a problem. It’s apparent there were distribution and content problems (regarding CD) with Issue #70 when it finally came out, not withstanding the fact that only one issue has been published this year as well as only one issue last year.


  9. I haven’t received the latest magazine that was supposedly shipped on March 8th if I recall correctly. I have sent emails and left voice mails but I have not received any response from the magazine. So I am going to call my bank and dispute the subscription charge. I am done with Fingerstyle Magazine.

  10. Got it today can’t believe it.

  11. It’s great to find this, I gave up on this magazine. I just thought I would check it out and found your blog. No I haven’ t received magazine # 70 yet it’s April 2nd. That Ron was extremely difficult to deal with I tried to get answers back in Dec 08, caught me by surprise when I got #69 a year later. I paid for a 2 year subscription, never got the free strings either.

  12. Well, its now March 30, and NO Fingerstyle #70 Magazine has crossed my mailbox (and our kind mailman has already made his appointed rounds).
    Sent an email to the appropriate email address, we’ll see what the next go around is.

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