Hub Magazine ditching hardcopy

Look what I found in my inbox as soon as I got home – an email from Hub Magazine:

“The format Hub is changing. As we have not been able to employ a full-time advertising salesperson we have not had the ability to attract a sufficient amount of revenue to keep the magazine going in its existing format. Even though we almost sell out each issue, sales revenue is never enough to cover costs. You may be aware that the cover price of a magazine (for a magazine of our size, at least) is usually a loss-leader. The aim is to attract advertising, and though the subscribers were with us we simply did not have the business acumen sufficient to sell the quantities of advertising needed. Hub was put together by a couple of people with an interest in genre fiction – not by an experienced publishing empire.

Hub will therefore move to an electronic-only format from issue 3.”

I’m kinda chuffed; it adds weight to my earlier assertions about electronic publication as a better potential business model. I’m kinda gutted, because that’s one less dead-tree mag I’ll be receiving (and I do like them, you know).

Furthermore, it’s distracted me from dwelling overlong on the fact that I just got dumped by text-message on the last leg of my journey home. Happy Easter!

13 thoughts on “Hub Magazine ditching hardcopy”

  1. I just saw an article come across my feeds that said magazine ad sales only grew 1% in the last quarter. Sounds like they’re making the right move. Now, if they can just keep their subscribers when they move online.

  2. Thanks for the comments, guys.

    I don’t believe that there’s anything intrinically wrong with dead tree publishing, and I truly believe that it can still work in this field; it was our lack of experience and skill at selling advertising space that let us down – the magazine sales were actually pretty good.

    As we’re moving to a free-to-read model, I’m anticipating a rise in subscriber-base, rather than a drop. Undoubtedly we’ll lose a few readers who don’t like to read online, but since making the announcement 24 hours ago we’ve gained a lot of new subscribers, and (so far) not lost any of the existing base!

    We’ve got some superb fiction lined up for the next few months, already, including some rather well-known names among the newbies and up-and-comers. And if that just sounded like a plug, well, it was! 🙂

  3. Well, crap. I actually subscribed… and now I won’t get pretty magazines in the mail. That pretty much sucks.

    I just got dumped by text-message on the last leg of my journey home.

    We truly do live in the future, don’t we? Still, sorry to hear that, Paul. Other fish and all that.

  4. Sorry to hear about your two losses. Particularly being dumped by text message – shows a lack of tact as well as a lack of courage.

    Best wishes

  5. Thanks for the kind words, folks. I usually keep my personal life away from here (so as to avoid having emo moments such as the one above), but that just crept in against my better judgement. Professional hat now securely jammed back on head.

  6. Paul–

    Very sorry to hear that you got your ‘Dear John’ via text. Hope you don’t feel too bad about it, and the Finnish Prime Minister dumped his girlfriend by text (I would put a link in here, but that got me blocked as spam last time, so if you google Finnish Prime Minister, dumped, and text, you’ll find the story), so it happens on all levels.


    Sorry to hear that HUB goes electronic only. I liked the print format (although I would say that, obviously), and I hope my story* wasn’t the cause of this…;-)

    I certainly hope it thrives online, and if I have something suitable I’ll definitely send it your way, keeping in mind that I don’t quite have as much time to write fiction as I would like.

    * = just before EasterCon I found out that it sold — as a reprint — to a podcast you’re very familiar with.

  7. Ouch! I think an emo moment is entirely justified in the circumstances. I hope many good things happen to distract you from it.

    Good to meet you at Eastercon.

  8. My condolences as well Paul, sorry to hear about that.

    Re. Hub: you know, I really am going to have to start deliberately putting time aside to read magazines and journals online. With the dead tree specimens I like to spend a few hours on the sofa and work through a few, but with eprint stuff it’s a bit as-and-when.

    Also curious about this shift to a free-to-read model. Not complaining, but I’m wonder if recompense is intended to recent subscribers. I shall go read the official announcement…

  9. SCG – All subscribers will receive a refund of the unused portion of their subscription – that was always a given. We’re certainly not going to take folks’ money and run – that would just be plain wrong!

    We’ll be producing versions of the magazine suitable for PDAs as well as for online reading, so if you have a PDA or an Archos you’ll still be able to lie on the settee and read. We’ll also be experimenting with a version for the iPod.

    We’re not going to be cutting down any more trees, but we’ll certainly be continuing to burn the midnight oil…

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