Model Railway Forum banner

Hornby Magazine Yearbook

11307 Views 43 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  King Edward 1st
Hi all.

After another wasted trip to our "local" WH Smith in town, I am asking the ultimate question...

When is the Yearbook going to be in the shops?

No one in Smiths knew, and it seems that I am unable to order one from them.

Now, I do not want to miss out, but at this rate I will have spent more than the £5.00 voucher in transport fees!


21 - 40 of 44 Posts
QUOTE (rosenblad @ 30 Nov 2008, 17:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm not so sure I need to bother bringing the voucher along when we leave for Glasgow!
Hi Tom
Welcome to the forum.
Bring the voucher along in any case - there's also a WHS on both Central and Queen Street stations, too.
QUOTE QUOTE (rosenblad @ 30 Nov 2008, 17:45)
I'm not so sure I need to bother bringing the voucher along when we leave for Glasgow!

Hi Tom
Welcome to the forum.
Bring the voucher along in any case - there's also a WHS on both Central and Queen Street stations, too.

Yes bring it anyway Tom and have a good browse. I don't think any of the station outlets have it Purley oak but WH Smith in argyle Street certainly do- and if going further out the Braehead centre has copies.


Thank you for your quick replies! We will actually be staying at a hotel in Argyle Street, so this is already looking brighter! I will bring it along (it's not really too heavy
) and now I'm really looking forward to our trip!

Best Wishes,
See less See more
Well, sadly it seems my experience is rather typical.

But at least I am not alone...
See less See more
Agree entirely with Malvern Road's comments about it being regrettable that the Hornby Magazine Yearbook voucher was tied-in with W H Smug - as Private Eye likes to to refer to the once respected newsagent. I avoid WHS like the plague.

See less See more
I quite like WH Smith. Every trip into Glasgow , Paisley ,Helensburgh,Largs,Ayr usually includes a visit and invariably I pick up a mag or something.

Can't comment on its distribution of books. But it certainly seems to have most of the things I want, and failing that there's always Amazon.

Where else will you find such a huge range of Mags for all tastes? Not your local newsagent I'll bet.

I suspect like good old Woolies people will only miss it if it isn't there!

QUOTE invariably I pick up a mag or something.

That happened to me yesterday. Went in for an ink cartridge - sold out, end up browsing and picked up a book which I am sure was on the wrong shelf and enjoyed it so much I wrote a mini review - here

There was also a copy of the Hornby Magazine Yearbook - bottom shelf at the end of an aisle which constituted the entire history, military and transport section. Oh, and the pile of books had fallen sideways.

I was in Ian Allan's London bookshop (in Lower Marsh, near Waterloo Station) this morning and they still have a large quantity available. It's well done, but most of it has appeared in the magazine already, so I decided not to buy it.

John Webb
I too agree with Malvern Road. My nearest WHS is also about 12 miles away. Publishers including certain daily papers often have offers like this or dvds etc and can only be obtained at WHS. I think there is a real need for publishers to be more flexible on this sort of thing which to my mind could be considered as anticompetitive behaviour perhaps.

Never mind I will continue to enjoy HM every month and buy from my local village store where I have an order and so far have not missed a copy since issue 2 - I bought no.1 at last year's Bristol Exhibition at Thornbury.

As for the yearbook - mine is on order from Amazon having seen the earlier comments on here.

Anyone like to buy a voucher from me for a fiver???

Great magazine anyway!

See less See more
[quote name='Malvern Road' date='30 Nov 2008, 13:06' post='69209']

Ian Allen marketing people need a jolly good kicking, they have got it woefully wrong. Not for the content, as I can appreciate old articles being revisited and expanded with a mix a some new as that is standard fair for any annual. I refer to the pricing and availability.

I agree with your sentiments Malvern Road, and those of others posting here, but I wish you appreciated the difficulties we publishers have in distributing magazines.

W H Smith are responsible for 44% of our retail sales of Hornby Magazine. If we don't spend thousands of pounds in retail promotions, we get de-listed. This means instead of being in 545 outlets we drop a ranking and end up in say 300. Fail again and it's down to 210, and so on. It becomes a downward spiral and eventually you have to increase cover price to stem the losses. Other retail chains are generally worse at promotional compliance. Independent retailers are best, but unless they are switched on or empathize with a specialist subject, are generally less likely to stock a magazine like HM. So we are stuck with WHS. They are after all Britain's biggest 'range retailer' in that you can walk off the street and probably get a magazine on a subject that you are interested in.

But, and it's a big but, unless we spend money with them on exclusive promotions or 'in category display units', they really will execute their threat to de-list. Some have called it blackmail, others blood money. But that' s the way that it is and Tesco are ten times worse! You will see HM in Tesco shortly and it has cost a fortune to do. I am responsible for twelve Ian Allan magazines. Trust me, it is a nightmare!

So we are guilty of dancing with the devil, but if we didn't we would stagnate and die. If we don't support them they won't support us. Simple as that.

But I have to say that the Hornby Magazine Yearbook fiasco is nothing to do with the magazine publishing team. It was commissioned by our Book Publishing department. Okay, so Mike edited it. But the shortage of copies in Smiths tells you something about the way Smiths run their business. We printed 6,500 of them and Smiths orders 1,000. To go into 545 stores! They have since apologised for underestimating demand and have ordered a further 3,000 which should satisfy demand.

However, it was their idea to run the promotion, to increase footfall in their stores. Our Book Dept people obviously wanted to get it into WHS Book department so approached us to run the promotion, and we (in all honesty) thought it was a good idea and that we should support our colleagues, so agreed. But we have no control over the way Smiths Book Dept is run, or their magazine department - and clearly the two don't talk to each other. I now wish we hadn't bothered!

I don't want anyone out there to think that the magazine team are trying to profiteer or anything. But I can fully see why our Book Dept would seize the opportunity to produce an annual. And it has been very nicely done and makes a good compendium of modelling ideas.

I am very sorry to hear that so many forum members have been messed about with this promotion. Lessons learned. I will make sure that I have something to do with it if there is a 2nd edition next year!

Black 5 Man
Well, here it goes.

I have had a good look through/ read of most of the book now.

First thought is that the price IS too high.


It seems that though the photos may be different, the text in the layout features remains virtually the same. (I haven't actually put the two side by side, life is too short...).

There is a LOT of space given over to "how to start" type articles. I would have thought most potential "yearbook" readers would have got past this stage from the magazine? I actually thought that it may have been a better idea to actually publish a seperate "How To Start" "Bookazine" (as a big softback is known.). (Maybe a voucher offer in Train Sets?)

The "Top Ten" layout plans is again a re-packaging of old material (some of the illustrations have "escaped" to another article by the way!.) Not very useful if you have been folllowing the mag. At this point my other idea came up. A "Hornby Magazine Review" bookazine. This would have the HR Readers favourites as voted for, the Review of the reviews of the year, a comlete list of trackplans as well as "top ten" or whatever, and maybe an index for the mag for the year?

This is what could "replace" the yearbook.

The How to build plastic and card kits items suffered from lack of space, especially the Card modelling in one page. (Contents List has wrong page for this.) I actually had to check the page numbers, as I was sure some pages were missing!

The same can be said of the Model Road Vehicle segment. Not very much detailing going on either.

The wagon and loco weathering again were good items, but too squeezed.

I think that there could be mileage in a bookazine, or even a real book covering this "next step" in detailing, weathering and more realistic modelling (I know there are already some, but none (I believe) aimed at the HR market segment, or covering step by step like these articles tried.)

The "Balance of Power" item would fit in here.


Well, the book tries to be all things to all men, I think. It does not have the space, so nothing is done very well.
Typically, I would start reading, and run out of words far too soon, wanting more.

What is there is very promising, but, in some parts lacked cohesion.

This book may appeal to some people, and some will be disapointed, I cannot say what YOU may find.

So, I strongly suggest that you "preview" the book to see if YOU find it value for the price you are asked to pay.

I have tried to be positive here. The quality is good as usual for HR. It is the quantity and the price that lets it down in my opinion. Maybe that "Hardback" was a mistake?
See less See more
Dear Blackman5
Many thanks for the full and frank explanation of the difficulties Ian Allen have when dealing with WHS.
It confirms all of our suspicions, WHS are the devil incarnate of retailers, cousins of Old Nick Tesco.

I must apologise for incorrectly directing my dispersions at Ian Allen marketing. Clearly it is WHS who need to be dealt with, but I also hope your books division has learnt its lesson. Let's hope that Annual 2 will not be sold via WHS and no token will be offered that sends us all on a wild goose chase. A more realistic price at around £10 would also help especially if much of it is earlier material.

Given that so many publishers have these problems and as an earlier post said newspaper promotions suffer also, I am surprised the publishers do not band together and pull the plug on WHS by forming your own retail chain via a corporation of independent outlets. We your readers could also decide to boycott WHS.

Still annual aside the magazine is and will hopefully remain an excellent publication

Thanks again.
See less See more
QUOTE (sarah @ 4 Dec 2008, 02:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well, here it goes.

I have had a good look through/ read of most of the book now.

Thanks Sarah for this breakdown of the book. As an expat it is not possible to browse a copy on the shelf... or even take advantage of the discount... please take note Ian Allan to remember your faithful subscribers overseas!! So well done for helping me to make up my mind.

Doesn't look like something I will invest in if the majority of the book is revamped from the magazines. However, as many people on this forum have commented on excellent articles found in the magazines over the year... why not have more detailed articles on topics that have proved popular. The essence of this idea is there with previously unseen photos being included... but maybe deadlines meant that the annual was rushed (I totally understand the pressure). As a suggestion, it might be good to plan earlier as you see reactions to articles month by month. In that way the annual will be a 'can't do without it' read.

Still devoted to HM mag... long may it reign!!

Brian in Sunny Phuket
See less See more
QUOTE (Bigdog @ 11 Dec 2008, 13:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Sarah for this breakdown of the book. >SNIP
Brian in Sunny Phuket

Hi. I'm glad somebody found it useful.
See less See more
QUOTE (sarah @ 11 Dec 2008, 19:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi. I'm glad somebody found it useful.

Hi Sarah!

I found it very useful too! Having returned from Glasgow without being able to find the yearbook at any of the many outlets, I am happy to read that I won't be missing anything interesting!

The rest of Glasgow was a great success though!

Best Wishes,
See less See more
I got mine from WHSmith for £6.12

I used £5 off the £16.99, £5 voucher when you spend £10 on any book and then my staff discount.

Working at WHSmith is useful for some things.

I brought the Hornby yearbook and also the British model trains 2008 book with all the reviews. Both are excellent reads and worth buying, but the BRM annual didn't look that good if you ask me, so I didn't buy it!
See less See more
Having read what W H Smith are like to deal with I am glad I have a subscription direct from Ian Allan. I also now have an explanation why after many visits to my local WHS Ii never once caught sight of the annual.
QUOTE (Bilbo @ 5 Jan 2009, 22:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Having read what W H Smith are like to deal with I am glad I have a subscription direct from Ian Allan. I also now have an explanation why after many visits to my local WHS Ii never once caught sight of the annual.


I dont quite know what you mean, but I hope I can help. The BRM annual and british model trains 2008 magazines are with railway moddeler and model rail in the magazine section. Where as, the Hornby yearbook is with Transport in the book section.

Hope this helps you to find it.

See less See more
Actually, your branch of WHS must have been one of the "Lucky Ones" to receive some copies of the HMYB. Chester branch has never phoned me to say that they have received any. And I still haven't seen any anywhere else!
See less See more
QUOTE (sarah @ 6 Jan 2009, 19:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Actually, your branch of WHS must have been one of the "Lucky Ones" to receive some copies of the HMYB. Chester branch has never phoned me to say that they have received any. And I still haven't seen any anywhere else!

Hi Sarah,

I'm sorry to hear that. They can definately order it in for you and it will take less than one week. If they say they can't do that then they are liars.

Have you tried Amazon? If you cant get one there I will happily get one from our branch for you and post it to you if you like. I dont mind doing that at all.

See less See more
21 - 40 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.