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It has to be said that competition in the magazine market has rattled a few cages.

I had not looked at Railway Modeller for a while.

Having grabbed a copy of the latest edition I must say that its content seems to be more to my taste that previously with several "How to do" features and other articles that are an interesting read.

I am a little biased though as you should all go out and purchase a copy immediately!

There is a 2 page feature by Paul Jones (Warley MRC member and show organiser) on 40 years of the Warley MRC Model Railway Exhibition. This includes several pictures of groups of club members taken 30 or more years ago including one of the first club layout. Many are still members and turn up every week for their regular fix of railway modelling. Sadly a few are no longer with us but their work survives. Railway modelling is clearly good for you though as members still have the youthful cheeky looks of 30 years ago!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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It's also interesting to note that they are publishing earlier each month for the next few issues "to allow maximum exposure of our December 2007 and January 2008 issues, both of which will have free CDs...". I wonder if the publication date will remain earlier in the New Year?

Regards,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 19 Sep 2007, 11:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It's also interesting to note that they are publishing earlier each month for the next few issues "to allow maximum exposure of our December 2007 and January 2008 issues, both of which will have free CDs...". I wonder if the publication date will remain earlier in the New Year?

Regards,
John Webb

John, I think it is an attempt to beat the other magazines on-sale. To my knowledge they have never done this before. It will be interesting to see if they gain or lose sales as a result.

Paul.
 

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If they wrap it in polythene it won't matter if they get it out first. I chose to buy Hornby Mag (because of the brilliant pic of Bath green Park) and Model Rail this month. Gave up on Railway Modeller because couldn't see what was inside.

Russell
 

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I think publishing a model railway magazine must quite hard work with tight deadlines. The need to write an orginal editorial comment clearly have caused problems for some editors recently
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I'm not sure railway magazine publishing would be my idea of profit producing organisation. I'm therefore amazed with the proliferation of model railway magazines. Change was badly needed in the Republic of Beer it's a good time o shake the tree a wee bit. Peco and their mouth piece the Toddler have long ruled the roost with a highly conservative hand. I agree the quality of the publication has improved. It had to it couldn't get much worse ! Perhaps Peco will learn the lesson and improve their track. Before someone else with better quality takes them on in a serious manner. Then UK modellers will obtain the sleeper spacings, and turnouts they deserve. So much more could be achieved with good will, and innovation and a desire to improve and not simply garner profit. For far too long the British modeller has suffered because of a highly protectionist policy emanating in Beer. Resale price maintenance in some guise or other is still alive. Remember the Canute policy made by Beer to internet advertising in their magazine. The whole organisation needed a shake up, and take a leaf out of the Model Railroader - who have embraced the internet. Even they face falling sales, so times might be getting tougher in Beer. In any credit crunch it's the hobby segment that suffers. The scramble to quality can only be to the benefit of the consumer.

The Toddler, Model Rail, have all fallen a long way behind British Railway Modelling. Quality simply ooses from this magazine with every issue. It's the one British Magazine I subscribe to despite my move away from 00 and British outline. It wasn't always like that but BRM have turned things around in a very concerted manner....WELL DONE .Hornby the magazine have made a fair start, most new magazines try hard at first. I'll pick-up a copy on my next drive into a town, it's perhaps pointed at a different segment of the market to my own interests. (Beer & Women).
 

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it would appear ''Modern Railway Modelling'' is to be closed down.

Apparently BRM is taking up something of the mantle.

I don't sit well with BRM....although it can be interesting, I prefer Model Rail......and MRJ..

maybe it's a 'loyalty' thing with Chris Leigh.....??
 

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QUOTE If they wrap it in polythene it won't matter if they get it out first. I chose to buy Hornby Mag (because of the brilliant pic of Bath green Park) and Model Rail this month. Gave up on Railway Modeller because couldn't see what was inside.
That's pretty much my plan for the month too. RM is not an "auto buy" for me and if they're going to wrap it polythene, I'm not going to buy it "on spec".

David
 

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QUOTE That's pretty much my plan for the month too. RM is not an "auto buy" for me and if they're going to wrap it polythene, I'm not going to buy it "on spec".
I've long stopped my subscription to the Toddler - if their going for birth control in beer - it can only be to their detriment.
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 25 Sep 2007, 05:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's pretty much my plan for the month too. RM is not an "auto buy" for me and if they're going to wrap it polythene, I'm not going to buy it "on spec".

David
I only buy it now if there is an article on their series on West Highland station or some other Scottish based layout. I would subscribe to Hornby mag if it wasn't for the far higher costs than the other mags.
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 24 Sep 2007, 20:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's pretty much my plan for the month too. RM is not an "auto buy" for me and if they're going to wrap it polythene, I'm not going to buy it "on spec".

David

They had to wrap it polythene so they could give the wiring booklet away. You can't stitch the booklets into a perfect bound mag like you could when the mag was stitched (stapled). Hornby Magazine will have to do the same if it wants to give away a booklet or anything that isn't joined to the mag. It's one of those technical problems at the printers rather than a desire to hide the pages.

Black 5 Man
(Paul)
 

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QUOTE Hornby Magazine will have to do the same if it wants to give away a booklet or anything that isn't joined to the mag
I take the point that it is unavoidable, but I suggest that anyone in that position makes sure all the featured articles can be read off the front cover with the polythene in place. And to counter the argument "But then when the polythene is off, the cover looks naff!", I suggest printing two covers with the real one underneath the "fake". Maybe make the outer cover a 3 page advertising pulloff for a big manufacturer splash?

David
 

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Better still don't bother with the insert and just concentrate on producing a good magazine. How many of us were interested in the insert anyway?

It would be interesting if someone did a survey on the take up of mags wrapped in cellophane/polythene v editions that weren't. I'll bet sales of unwrapped ones are higher. While I have some staple magazines buys (like Hornby mag) , I certainly review the others like BRM and Railway Modeller before buying. With Railway Modeller I check if there is saturation coverage of narrow guage or garden railways- if there is I don't buy, but otherwise I normally would. With the wrapping I can't tell

Russell
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 24 Sep 2007, 20:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>it's perhaps pointed at a different segment of the market to my own interests. (Beer & Women).


I take it you weren't referring to Peco then.........


Regards
 

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How many of us were interested in the insert anyway?

Well anyone who wants to know how to wire points for both DC and DCC will be very well served by this particular freebie, simple easy to understand multi colour diagrams covering 3-ways slips etc etc. Particularly useful for those with limited experience of wiring.
 

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QUOTE (rb277170 @ 1 Oct 2007, 21:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It would be interesting if someone did a survey on the take up of mags wrapped in cellophane/polythene v editions that weren't. I'll bet sales of unwrapped ones are higher.
Russell

Nowadays, I don't buy any magazine every month - at one time I was buying something like 12/15 a month & not just railway (none from the top shelf either BRITHO before you comment !)- add that up - at an average of £3 each that works out at a new locomotive every three months !

I usually do the "Smiffs flick" & if there is just one article of interest to me I buy it, now I'm down to about 3 a month - therefore if I cannot see inside I don't buy.
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 24 Sep 2007, 20:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>it would appear ''Modern Railway Modelling'' is to be closed down.

Apparently BRM is taking up something of the mantle.

I don't sit well with BRM....although it can be interesting, I prefer Model Rail......and MRJ..

maybe it's a 'loyalty' thing with Chris Leigh.....??

My understanding is from all the letters from MRM is that a new modelling section is to be included in traction which will probably be similar to REX plus an increase in "modern" content in BRM but since i subscribe to REX and Model rail i don't see why i would want something similar but possibly less good I think they are making a mistake but if they do produce something better than either of my current subs I might switch I will like many others need a lot of persuading !
 

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QUOTE (rb277170 @ 1 Oct 2007, 21:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Better still don't bother with the insert and just concentrate on producing a good magazine. How many of us were interested in the insert anyway?

It would be interesting if someone did a survey on the take up of mags wrapped in cellophane/polythene v editions that weren't. I'll bet sales of unwrapped ones are higher. While I have some staple magazines buys (like Hornby mag) , I certainly review the others like BRM and Railway Modeller before buying. With Railway Modeller I check if there is saturation coverage of narrow guage or garden railways- if there is I don't buy, but otherwise I normally would. With the wrapping I can't tell

Russell

Russell,

I take your point and I like to think we do focus on producing as good a magazine as we can in the first place. However, the reason for the free inserts and giveaways isn't entirely to keep the readers happy.

There is an obligation on all publishers to promote their magazines, especially with W H Smiths. They charge us for magazine allocations. For example if you are in 200 out of 560 (ish) W H Smith stores, by spending money on a retail promotion, you can get into another 100 or more shops. If it works and they sell, you may be awarded an allocation at the higher level. Next time you promote, you get in to the next 100 and so on (these are just rough figures of course).

Smiths also expect you to spend some money on the product at the same time to add to its marketability. Sometimes they look for exclusives, but any free supplement, gadget, special offer or perhaps even a competition will suffice. They liked bagged issues, or magazines presented in wallets like BRM last month.

So publishers are forced to add these free gifts if they want to promote and maintain their listing. If you don't, you spiral downward because your retail sales are added to your promotional spend to give an overall RSV (Retail Sales Value). This is what you are judged on when the company makes its next range review. All multiple retailers carry out an annual range review and all publishers want to make sure that their magazine is included.

At the moment, the model railway press is slugging it out because popular thinking is that most retailers of an average size will only stock the three best selling titles - bigger shops with more space will stock more, and the biggest of all of them usually the entire range.

So unfortunately gifts and reply cards are another necessary evil - mind you, I haven't heard anyone complain about any of the three Scalescenes.com kits given away in three of the last four Hornby Magazines! There is definitely no gift on the next issue and I would attach a copy of the front cover if I knew how to do it, but that's a bit too technical for me!

Sorry to go, but hopefully this expalins the bag and freebie phenomena.

Paul.
(Black 5 Man).
 

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I wasn't aware of all the above - but it does make sense for all parties involved.

Regards
 

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Very interesting Paul. Thanks for the explanation. it does seem as if WH Smith have lots of influence on the mag trade. Frankly not sure if this is a good thing- although it does seem to ensure we have a good variety of magazines in Britain.

While I appreciate the need, I still hate mags wrapped in Cellophane. I do like to browse for interesting articles before I buy.

Congratulations on a good magazine!

Russell
 

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QUOTE While I appreciate the need, I still hate mags wrapped in Cellophane. I do like to browse for interesting articles before I buy.

From a health point of view I think I would prefer to buy a magazine which has not been browsed by another member of the public. While I feel sympathy with the punter who doesn't want to part with his cash for a poor issue. Why should I be subjected to a torn, dog eared copy, covered in germs, from someone who in fact didn't buy that issue. It's one of the main reasons for subscribing after discounts, " I only share my magazine with those who I choose to do". Very often at lunch times it's almost impossible to reach the magazine you want for all the browsers licking the pages in search of something that interests them. So on reflection I support the wrapping of magazines.
 
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