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Author Topic: New leadership at BCM  (Read 4386 times)
kyle4501
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 05:39:52 PM »

HEY MIKE!
Welcome back to the insanity! I hope you enjoyed your 'vacation'.  Cool
Speaking for myself - I really, really, really like the printed version. If it must go to an on line version only, please keep the format in such a way the hard copy nuts among us can print off our own archive copy.

After hosting a recurring rally for several years now, I know first hand the time, trouble & expense involved. & my rallies are simple eat & greets!  Grin

Maybe, we east coasters could work together to make things easier to have rallies over here too.
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2011, 06:54:33 PM »

I vote to keep the hard copy.

Richard Olson
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lostagain
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2011, 07:00:27 PM »

The online version is good enough for me. I have been happy with it. I save it and have it forever. Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to do without the printing and mailing costs?

JC
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JC
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2011, 08:07:02 PM »

Well I have to say that I prefer the printed copy. I take it with me on trip and read it on the bus.
It's also neat to have on hand to share with newbies I meet on the road that have conversions and have never heard of the magazine or the board !
Just my 2 cents worth which ain't much but still worth slightly more than a wooden nickle!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2011, 08:53:39 PM »

I'm new here and not yet a subscriber - but I have been around avocation  - hobby - club - magazine publishing.
I don't know how many subscribers BCM has but I have a hard time believing that there are enough to support printing a four color magazine let alone mailing it out. Newsstand sales of an esoteric publication such as BCM...if and where possible...would likely be a money loser what with the costs of the additional press run, the unsold returns, it's hard to imagine there's a future in that.

As much as I enjoy having a printed magazine to have and to hold it just doesn't make sense. 

As for advertisers...if they're like everybody else in business today they're hanging on by their teeth. They'd probably pay something if only to support the cause but it won't be much.  Look at the general RV magazines out there. Shrinking in size - advertisers falling off. Only the British seem to be able to support large magazines...and they do it very well.  Online would seem to be the only way that makes sense  - at least until the economy turns around but even then I wonder if things will ever really be the same as they were before the crash.

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Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2011, 03:52:25 AM »

I would agree with the comment about the style of British (and probably European generally) magazines being very different to American titles. I sell magazines for a living, including quite a lot of American car magazines (not generally available here so quite sought-after by the muscle car / hot rod / pickup truck community).

Based on my experiences I would say that the business models for magazine publishers are quite different between here and the States - here the money is made by selling the magazine, whereas in the States it is made from the advertisers. This is reflected in the quality, type and number of articles in each issue - typically it seems an American car magazine will have several editorial / column pieces (fair enough), various pages of news (mostly product launches, but fair enough), and a few - maybe only three or four per issue - feature articles.

But the feature articles are almost always product placement pieces:- "We fit Corporation X's high lift suspension to our Bronco", or "Make 400hp from your small block with Company Y's cylinder heads". Alternatively, a particular modified car will be featured (fair enough), but the feature will then largely comprise of a list of which parts and suppliers were used, almost all of whom co-incidentally advertise in the magazine. And, surprisingly, the products are always reported to be fantastic, with never a bad comment printed.

It may be that this reliance on advertisers rather than magazine sales is a consequence of distribution costs in America, where the average distance between printing press and reader is obviously vastly higher than in the UK. I personally love selling American magazines because they are so cheap to post - typically they have only half or third of the pages of a British magazine.

On the face of it, and from a 'British' magazine mindset, it seems that BCM's survival would be best assured by selling more magazines. This seems an obvious thing to say, but may not be because of some aspect of magazine publishing in America which I don't know about. My earlier post mentioned various ideas for increasing circulation by broadening the coverage of the magazine, although I notice no-one has made any comments on those ideas. The other change (again assuming a 'British-style' approach) would be to make the magazine more attractive to potential readers by improving the quality of the content (not relying on unpaid submissions for the articles), and the quality of the production (decent photography for instance - I've got some issues of BCM where full-page photos consist of heavily pixelated blown-up Jpegs).

Jeremy
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JackConrad
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2011, 05:07:49 AM »

I have both the online and hard copy subscription. I like the magazine if I'm sitting in a campground or in my backyard. The online is nice if I'm in my office or on my laptop. Each one has it's positives. However, doesn't the online magazine drop off after three months. It sure is nice to look back in print form when you need to. I know my one opinion is not going to set the tone for the future, but I have heard a lot of people vote for the hard copy.

Good Luck and keep us all happy. LOL

Mike

    I save the online PDF copies in a file in my computer for future use. I have all the online versions that have have been published.  Jack
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robertglines1
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2011, 05:29:21 AM »

In the end: don't let any hobby/business take you down. While I am computer challenged and would have a difficult time with that. Do as you must and if you must walk away as sad as I would be to loose this tie to the bus owners. I and many do understand.  Been a great ride!!!   Bob     THANKS!
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2011, 05:39:46 AM »

Thanks Jack. I didn't know that I could save them. I will try it with the versions still available.

Mike
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Mike Everard
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2011, 06:20:36 AM »

First of all..  Thank you Mike S. for your time and effort at the helm. 

And welcome (back), Mike K. We look forward to becoming acquainted with you.


As to the ask for feedback on the magazine.  I personally know how much effort it is to run a magazine of this size, I started my career out publishing a similar magazine style in a niche computer software industry.  The hope of ever breaking even for the costs is far off, never mind including the volunteered time to put it together.  These efforts are truly a labor of love, no matter how you slice it.   And for that, I commend everyone involved in the process- from the editors, publishers, authors, contributors, subscribers, readers and advertisers.

As digital nomads without a physical address, we're not the target audience for a printed magazine. And we very much appreciate that an online version is available for us to subscribe to in order to support the community.   Having a resource like the magazine is a great resource for pointing folks to however, and we seem to encounter folks on a weekly basis who are wanting to break into the bus lifestyle.

In this digital age and the costs of printing, the magazine style is going by the wayside. Both online and printed.  While having a PDF version of the printed magazine is nice, there are also many other ways of compiling online content.  For instance, as a full time traveler who lives on capped and slow cellular bandwidth, downloading a PDF that contains mostly content I don't need or want is an inefficient use of our resources.

Personally, I'd love to see a subscribe only newsletter that is delivered electronically on a regular basis with information, and then a quarterly or bi-annually finished wrap-up publication (that can be more magazine or book style, printed and/or online).  I'd also love to see targeted special editions of compilations of the best content from the past, covering such topics as:

'So, You Just Bought a Bus, Now What?' (A Bus Conversions 101 wrap up of the best of the best)
'Plumbing'
'Preventative Maintenance'
'Electrical'
'RV Safety'
... etc.

Anyway... just some ideas mingling in my mind.

But ultimately, whatever is created has to be what those who are creating it are passionate about creating.  If its not, it won't be sustainable and won't be done to a level that is usable by all of us.

 - Cherie






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luvrbus
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2011, 06:33:26 AM »

Magazines come and go Mike S gave it his best shot BCM died a long time ago let it rest in peace advertisers and classifieds ads kept it going now days so many free classifieds for buses and parts and not many advertisers it's had a good life

good luck
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Peter_Crowl
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2011, 08:29:00 AM »

I tried to include Jeremey's post but I then couldn't enter mine  Huh

Oh for an RV/Conversion magazine the likes of Practical Classics! What you say about content is so true. You're lot has to go to 9 point type to fit it all in. Here they use 12 point to fill space.

I totally agree that since the pie is so small it shouldn't be sliced too thin. A conversion focused magazine should include Busses /Schoolies/restored and reinvented RV's - the whole lot. But printing is still a killer expense.

There are ways to present information in a digital magazine format that's a lot more inviting and useful than a static PDF. I'd cite Classic Yacht as a prime example
http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/ClassicYacht/classicyachtjulyaugust2011/2011070701/#0
Notice that it's an actual magazine layout - you can use links embedded in the material and video can be embedded as well
http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/ClassicYacht/classicyachtjulyaugust2011/2011070701/#26. It's really a terrific publication.

But it costs money to do even simple layout. To achieve a publication quality online magazine that would attract subscribers and advertisers you need pro quality  production. But...an online publication could  garner a lot of people at $10 a year.

Just my opinion
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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 08:49:53 AM »

I'm going to get some people upset with me but I'm going to say what I really feel.  The original magazine got to where it wasn't much to read by the time it went down.  Mike Sullivan took it in hand and, though there were problems, it was starting to become a magazine worth reading again.  Now, it has been handed back to the original owner, the one that let it go downhill to start with, and they state that it is an improvement.  How???  I'll believe it when I see it.
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 09:31:32 AM »

Once again, thank you for all the input. I'm meeting with a printer and a ON line e-magazine provider today.  I will have more info tonight.  I'm excited to move forward. Yes, things have changed, companies have come and gone and the media has made changes that make it hard for small magazine to continue.  But we will figure out something by weeks end.

For those that know me, when I started the magazine I had a 1 year old child.  As it grew to 4 kids, my time for the magazine vanished into family life.  I now have 3 teenagers (13,16, 18) and my oldest, my 20 year old daughter. 2 in collage. So maybe I'll have a little more time to put into the magazine.... I'll check with Karen, my wife of 26 years to see how much time she'll give me.

If we can't smile, it's time to quit!
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 09:50:47 AM »

I think you should consider downgrading the quality of the paper in the short term.  There are many acceptable colour magazines published on a cheaper grade of paper.

Also, the "on line" version could include more content than the hard copy to encourage people to take the digital version.

I personally prefer to receive the hard copy in the mail.

Bryan
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Bryan
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