No discount for no magazine?

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A lot of people wonder about this, and at first glance, it sounds reasonable. If a portion of my dues goes towards printing the magazine, why can’t I get that back if I choose not to receive the mag?

The answer is the economy of size. Or maybe it’s macro economics, or trickle down something, I don’t know, I nearly failed high school econ. Anyway, the biggest cost of printing the magazine is the setup. The savings in printing 20,000 copies versus 30,000 copies is so small it’s laughable.

The next question is, why can’t I get an online version for less money? Well, not only do we pay just about the same to print the magazine for everyone else, but it actually costs a good amount of money to make an e-version that’s in any way usable, cool or helpful. We could pretty easily put together a pdf or flash page-flippy-dippy thing, but to be honest, those tend toward lameness. We think the quality of photos and layouts merits a decent looking magazine, and we haven’t found a reasonably priced way to do that electronically. Yet.

What we really need at headquarters is YOUR OPINION. Not just yours, either – your friend’s and their friend’s and even those silly 4-way guys over in the corner you mock (but secretly want to be like – admit it). If 25,000 of you would prefer an electronic version to printed, well then, obviously we’d do our best to make that happen for you! Or, do you know of a fantastically brilliant way to make all this happen? Let us know – by e-mail, phone call or comment here.

7 Responses to “No discount for no magazine?”

  1. paige rudolph Says:

    Most of the time, you send a pdf to print. Why not just have the same pdf available for download as you send to print? Layouts will be the same, as will photo quality, it wont’ cost extra, and is easily made available online.

    You export for a web pdf by clicking a few buttons and you can put everyone at bay for a while until you find an adequate solution that is less lame. Seems like an easy solution that won’t cost much time or $. Posting a link on the uspa website will take moments not hours as will the export of a pdf.

    Just a thought.

    • Lara Kjeldsen Says:

      Many of our pages are spreads, which wouldn’t work viewing as a single-page PDF. It’s also frustrating and time-consuming for the user to download single pages to view. We have looked into software and companies that combine the PDFs to allow the user to flip through the pages like an actual magazine. Of course, there’s a cost associated with it. The good news is costs are coming down since more programs are being offered. We’re keeping a close eye on it and hope to offer a comprehensive e-magazine one day soon.

  2. Mike Cordell Says:

    google books is offering online magazine scans for free for end users. I would assume there would be little to no cost for a magazine publisher to include their magazine in the available online issues. I’m sure there would be a delay, but a delayed online edition would be better than none at all.

  3. John Vander Veer Says:

    I have seen several companies that have incorporated an actual magazine in their online ads, w/ full color, photos, page turning, etc. Staples.com is one site. I don’t know the cost comparisons with regards to print versus online files but the technology is there.
    That being said, as a USPA member for many years, I am for keeping the costs down as much as possible. If the dues raise much further, I might have a very difficult decision to make and I’m sure I am not the only one.

  4. clinton peterssen Says:

    i work offshore so always traveling, never at my home address so never receive any magazines.
    would like a electronic copy or a website where i could view the magazine.
    cheers clinton

  5. Paulo Silva Says:

    The electronic version, in my opinion, has the advantage of being environment friendly. No trees chopped only parachutes. Also, no ink, paper recycling, printing or any other type of industry polluting the environment.

    Plus I can read it on my iPad, which is far more confortable to carry around than say even 4 months worth of printing material. Let’s face it, printing is becoming a thing of the past – just look at the example of news papers. Additionally, I can have much higher resolution photos on there. Bytes do take space, but the weight of an iPad “won’t change” whether that space is used on not.

    On the negative side, the end of the printing industry will possibly put a lot of people in the unemployment. However, the end of printed media seems to be the tendency. And therefore the associated unemployment problem should be tackeld with a different approach, other than prolonging what seems to be rather unavoidable.

  6. LVD. Says:

    Every skydiver out there (and often their friends and family) wish they could find that article from 7 years ago or that picture that was on the front page of the parachutist magazine after that really fun boogie 12 years ago… But how many of us realistically can or do keep our magazines in good conditions for years? And even if we did, how would individually kept magazines benefit us as a community?

    With each jump that is made we make history, and maintaining archives of our sport’s history and making them accessible to the world and future generations is our responsibility.

    If people out there like their paper copies (and I know I do), that is great, but that should be considered as an addition to the much needed electronic version.

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