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Just another modeller
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***First an admission!

Looking at the naming I was openly skeptical when the mag was announced but I can now say quite happily "I was 100% wrong"... It clearly started well and has become better with each issue, so congratulations on an excellent magazine.

Re the new Website: You need to make a "splash" and promote it - it is really well done!

It also led me to take a look at Ian Allens site which has also grown to be a far more sophisticated presentation than it was on my last "long ago" visit! As a lover of good reference books I can never resist - and as its a while since I indulged that quick look at the current IA selection may cost me dearly later this weekend after I've spent more time and looked a little closer!

A positive suggestion for the Hornby Mag site if I may though...

It would be really helpful to take a leaf from the IA website and show the bar at the bottom which indicates which payment methods are accepted... or at least show somewhere on the home or subscribe pages the options available... perhaps not all that much of an issue for local buyers, but for us way out on the other side of a globe, its often an issue!

I made this suggestion as I right now am motivated to look towards a subscription by the contiued positive comments on the last couple of issues, and it was only as I noted that PAYPAL was accepted on the IA website that I realised I could probablty also use it for Hornby magazine....

and that happens to suit me fine IF it is so - can you confirm please? (It suits me to use my PAYPAL balance as a sort of "hobby fund" on occasion and I might have gone ahead and subscribed much earlier if I'd known that before! - I suspect the same may apply to other "remote" modellers too)

The idea:

I have a huge bookcase groaning under a decade or two of magazines. I actually weighed a couple of them and worked out I have over a tonne of paper there already!

An idea: Could you perhaps offer an added or alternate subscription by email/ high definition PDF file or on a CD ROM?

Options:
* subscribe to paper mag only

* subscribe to CD copy only (I know you can't reduce revenues but post will be less and publishing production will be less too so net margin must be better for you even if it was a wee bit cheaper... - but to me it'd be OK even if cost the same as the paper one)

* subscribe to both for a combined better price....

Why do I would want it.... and why I think others would like it....

(1) I can read many mags in paper form and find many useful articles there and then .... but when I actually need them months later, it takes me an age to scan back through the hundreds of mags I have to find the article. So.... if I had each issue on a CD ROM I could copy those articles to my computer and create a "compilation" of useful data as time goes on.

(2) I can read it at my leisure as a paper mag then on my own "CD copy" of the disc when I transfer to the PC I can delete the pages I don't want (PDF can be locked for editing but still allow page deletion etc)

(3) I can easily create a new PDF with only those articles I want stored - or even create my own new PDF for each category

(4) I can then have it BOTH ways... in fact, Personally the MAG + CDROM subscription is the option I would take myself, as it would allow me to...
* read it in a relaxed fashion as I like to do.
* Then when the mood takes me I could load and store the pages I want off the CD ROM for easy reference on my PC....
* After a while, I could then donate my mag without pages removed to my local club, further promoting the mag to new readers.....

Please think about it - it would also be a stand-out bit of innovation to further differentiate Hornby mag from the others - if costed well it might even increase the bottom line a wee bit perhaps?????

Many thanks for reading this and again, congratulations on your continued success (and congrats on the award too)

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Excellent idea's Richard - personally I would go for both. Initially, IMHO you really cannot beat reading a hard copy - I can even sit in the same room as Maggie when she watches her "programmes" on the telly, but the CD-Rom is ideal to create your "own" reference favourites.
 

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Excellent idea Richard.

I know with one of the other Model Railway magazines you can order a Cd copy of any paticular year of that magazine.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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I have to agree Richard,

An E-book would be really good.
Hornby Magazine could also inlcude some special video clips of testing locos or a little video documentary showing how to do something.

I also like to keep the magazines 'complete' which is why I've only made two of the Scalescenes kits, these are a downloadable pdf file from Scalescenes anyway so that should be easy enough to include on a CD-rom or emailed pdf file.

I would also go for the combined subscription of CD-rom and magazine.

Very forward looking!!
 

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Options:
* subscribe to paper mag only

* subscribe to CD copy only (I know you can't reduce revenues but post will be less and publishing production will be less too so net margin must be better for you even if it was a wee bit cheaper... - but to me it'd be OK even if cost the same as the paper one)

* subscribe to both for a combined better price....

Hi Richard,

Some good ideas here, well thought out and well presented. And thanks for the kind words as well, including those about the new web site.

As far as I know, if anyone wants to subscribe, it hooks up to the Ian Allan Superstore for the shopping cart part, and then sends it to the magazine subscription department, so PayPal should be equally acceptable for a subscription.

Regarding the on line and down-loadable versions of the mag, we have been approached by many different organisations keen for us to adopt (buy) their technology to offer back issues on line with downloadable features and e-subscriptions, so it can be done and it is something that we have been looking at.

However, we are a small team and apart from Mike, the rest of us also have the whole Ian Allan portfolio of magazines to look after, so resources to put such ideas into practice are limited to say the least.

Our web-designer is Matt Gottschalk and he has designed and maintains the Hornby Magazine web site and has also developed one for Modern Railways. He is currently putting the finishing touches to one for Combat Aircraft and he has a few more titles to tackle yet!

Our priority was to get good, user friendly and credible web sites up and running first, along with Doug's efforts in getting the Forum up and running. Once we have cracked that, I guess we will look at going down the route you suggest. It's about time and money when it comes down to it, but I would love to be able to offer subscribers the option of printed or e-mags, or both if they chose, and the price could be reduced because there would be no paper to print on. It would also be instant, but you might have trouble reading the latest issue whilst you are sat on the loo!

Thanks again for the encouragement,

Paul Appleton,
Publisher.
 

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QUOTE (black 5 man @ 23 Jul 2008, 04:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Our priority was to get good, user friendly and credible web sites up and running first, along with Doug's efforts in getting the Forum up and running. Once we have cracked that, I guess we will look at going down the route you suggest. It's about time and money when it comes down to it, but I would love to be able to offer subscribers the option of printed or e-mags, or both if they chose, and the price could be reduced because there would be no paper to print on. It would also be instant, but you might have trouble reading the latest issue whilst you are sat on the loo!

Thanks again for the encouragement,

Paul Appleton,
Publisher.
I guess that's where a laptop has its advantages.
 
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