Forums General Reviews
  • Topic: REVIEW: Garden RR renewal promotion letter

    Back To Topics
    (0 rates)
    • July 3, 2015 1:53 PM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        1,494
      • Thanks
        30
      • Thanked
        20

      REVIEW: Garden RR renewal promotion letter

       

      From Kalmbach Publishing you may have received a "Special Discount Renewal Form" and notice of "Special savings if you renew your yearly Garden RR subscription today." Large bold type extolled the 'LOWEST PRICE OF THE YEAR".

      However, the total savings from this urgent renewal "savings" promotion is $1.65

      per year.

       

      The renewal "special discount" and "lowest price of the year" offer is $31.30 for the year.  In the month prior, the yearly subscription was listed at $32.95. All this hoopla for $1.65 one time savings! This "savings" was never stated.

      However, in 2014, at this same time, the standard rate was $29.95. 

       

      My take is the REAL message is in the last line of the promotion letter:  "After 7/10/15, the price will go back up to our standard renewal rate on all future renewal notices." They don't say what that will be.

      My guess is what is not being said is expect another subscription rate increase.  So the publisher wants as many renewals prior to making that announcement.

      The urgency to renew saving under this "special discount" is the gimmick to attain those renewals before the increase. The "savings" is based on the shelf price NOT on any reduction in the subscription price.  Now, the current shelf price is 10 cents a page.

      Here's my point: Be upfront with what the subscription savings really is and if an increase is anticipated indicate renew now.

       Wendell

       

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at August 30, 2015 6:31 PM EDT
    • July 3, 2015 2:30 PM EDT
      • Cape Cod,
         
      • Posts
        3,050
      • Thanks
        157
      • Thanked
        267

      I think GR Mag has been on the ropes for years. Before the recession really hit the Mag was thick with advertisers and then it got pretty slim as dealers went out of business.  

       Also what helps to keep the Mag going is contributions by the readers something that I feel is also down. 

      I think GR is trying to do the best they can to stay alive in a niche market and maybe offering a savings of $1.65 is the best they can do?  My wife gets home style magazines for next to nothing and in one case my Mom buys a subscription and gets a free one to give ot a friend. 

      These  magazines can stay alive due to the huge amount of advertisers in them.  The mag is more than half ads!    GR doesn't have this luxury.

       

      I subscribe and have submitted much content over the years and will continue to do so.    I like GR magazine.

    • July 3, 2015 2:51 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
      • Posts
        12,596
      • Thanks
        602
      • Thanked
        385

      The latest issue is down to 74 pages.  I remember when it ran in the 160's  Times are hard. 

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • July 3, 2015 3:13 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
      • Posts
        2,435
      • Thanks
        102
      • Thanked
        308

      After my last issue this summer, I'm not renewing. GR is interesting, and fun to read, but when you can read the whole magazine in one evening it's not worth the cover price for me. I stopped subscribing to MR for the same reason. Instead, I find that I can find more interesting content (both large scale and in other scales) online through blogs, LSC, and MRH.

    • July 3, 2015 4:39 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
      • Posts
        7,570
      • Thanks
        262
      • Thanked
        935

      I think it's very hard to compete with the free content available.   Heck, it's also hard for them to compete with the price of a freight shed here.   I know I spend a LOT more time here at LSC than reading the bi-monthly issue of GR.    Let's see. a year of GR for $30+ or a year of LSC for $25 - doesn't seem too hard to make the decision.  

      Plus, here you get a chance to interact with the "author" of a post and gather ideas from the other posters.   Lots more fun in my mind.

      I don't think that contributions are down.   I know one of the last notes I got from Marc he said "The building is very cool but I'm really going to have to pass on the article, mostly because I've already stockpiled too much of your stuff and don't have enough pages to allow me to get it out in anything approaching a timely manner."    Not sure what timely means, since he published my 2010 article on the Mikado in the June 2015 issue.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 3, 2015 9:25 PM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        9,393
      • Thanks
        249
      • Thanked
        862

      Getting too skinny..

       

      I also read GR for information. I'm not a scratch builder, so those articles were not super interesting to me... much more here the forums.

       

      Also, I was hoping that there would be technical tips and how-to's, like tips on loco disassembly, etc. Well, no joy there.

       

      Finally, when all the reviews of products are glowing and there is never anything that needs improving, well, it's like most "reality" TV shows, NOT reality.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 3, 2015 9:41 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        5,439
      • Thanks
        1,982
      • Thanked
        1,368

      As the number of manufacturers decline so does revenue at the mag for articles.

      I get it and Trains and they reside by my throne, the lap top don't go there.

      True the look is thinner, but I understand 'it's the times' we're in.

      My subscription gets me into the online material too, so that fluffs it a tad....

      What ever floats your barge, as it were.

      John

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • July 4, 2015 10:17 AM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, General Contractor???
         
      • Posts
        2,192
      • Thanks
        82
      • Thanked
        256

      Ya just can't please folks these days....

       

      Wendell, I agree the cover price of GR has gone up a bunch since I first started purchasing the mag about 8 or so years ago, but then so has a loaf of bread, gasoline, and my home owners insurance. And I am sure they will continue to rise just as GR will. The difference is most of us can't do without the other products/services, we can do without GR. Unfortunate for the magazine.

       

      I agree with Todd in that I think ANY product/service that is tied to the 'disposable income' of the purchasing public has been having a more difficult time every year as disposable income dries up more and more. Combine that with lost income from the advertisers that are also adversely affected by the diminishing disposable income and the problem is compounded. Power comes in numbers and the numbers of folks buying model trains, especially large scale, is miniscule next to the number of folks interested in home improvement or decorating.

       

      Bruce also makes a very good point regarding the cost of content. ALL CONTENT here is free. No one is forced to pay an entry fee to read the forums, and there is a wealth of information available here and on the other large scale fora. Not to mention that the subject matter of the information is much more highly controlled on the reader's part here than in the magazine. If I ask a question here I usually have 'an answer' (not always the one I want to here) usually within 24 hours. Add to this the 'real time' interactivity of the chat room and this format is hard to beat. IF you get an answer to a specific question in the magazine, it will be at best the next publishing cycle. As for timely publishing of articles, I guess that a five year wait tells a lot about how many articles are in the pipeline to be published (quality not indicated). I don't envy Marc or Kalmbach in their decision making on what or when to publish articles or advertising.  It is a tough crowd they are selling to.

       

      Greg, it is hard to provide 'how to' articles, especially in the high tech end of things when by the time the article is chosen, and put into the publication schedule, the technology is already obsolete. As for specific produce maintenance (dis-assembly and failure fixes), I would like to see the manufacturers step up and do that. It is after all their product. For folks like yourself and George S. to have to put web sites together to aid the new/inexperienced modeler in 'how to' repair their defective product is fortunate for us, the hobbyist, but not particularly your responsibility. I would take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts, they are appreciated.

      As for 'glowing' reviews, I would expect no less. I am sure no manufacturer is going to PAY for advertising to have the magazine highlight the product's flaws. That is what you and George are for. 

       

      As John eludes to, it's all about the money. It costs a fixed amount to publish a magazine in print. That funding is going to be found somewhere or the publication will cease publication. If anyone has any questions of that, just look at Carstens. I am hoping the RMC mag will survive, not sure yet.

       

      Just my tuppence worth.

       

      This post was edited by Bob Cope at July 4, 2015 10:19 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • July 4, 2015 12:23 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
      • Posts
        2,435
      • Thanks
        102
      • Thanked
        308

      Bruce Chandler said:

      I don't think that contributions are down.   I know one of the last notes I got from Marc he said "The building is very cool but I'm really going to have to pass on the article, mostly because I've already stockpiled too much of your stuff and don't have enough pages to allow me to get it out in anything approaching a timely manner."    Not sure what timely means, since he published my 2010 article on the Mikado in the June 2015 issue.

      Bruce,

      Have you considered submitting anything to MRH? I know a few years back when they started publishing, they didn't want much to do with large scale, but with Ray's column, and a recent article about detailing a USAT caboose, maybe one of your articles might be something they are looking for? I really enjoy the articles in MRH because many of them have video's or 360 degree views of the model, something that a print magazine would have a hard time doing.

      http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/authors/submission-guidelines

      This post was edited by Craig Townsend at July 4, 2015 12:24 PM EDT
    • July 4, 2015 12:35 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
      • Posts
        7,570
      • Thanks
        262
      • Thanked
        935

      Here is good

      Craig Townsend said:
      Bruce Chandler said:

      I don't think that contributions are down.   I know one of the last notes I got from Marc he said "The building is very cool but I'm really going to have to pass on the article, mostly because I've already stockpiled too much of your stuff and don't have enough pages to allow me to get it out in anything approaching a timely manner."    Not sure what timely means, since he published my 2010 article on the Mikado in the June 2015 issue.

      Bruce,

      Have you considered submitting anything to MRH? I know a few years back when they started publishing, they didn't want much to do with large scale, but with Ray's column, and a recent article about detailing a USAT caboose, maybe one of your articles might be something they are looking for? I really enjoy the articles in MRH because many of them have video's or 360 degree views of the model, something that a print magazine would have a hard time doing.

      http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/authors/submission-guidelines

      I haven't really thought about it.   It's just much easier to post here.   I like the immediate feedback, plus it is nice to "get to know" people, even if I never meet them.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 4, 2015 2:15 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
      • Posts
        1,698
      • Thanks
        2
      • Thanked
        150

      The more it costs, the bigger the tax write-off..., assuming that Kalmbach pays you at one point or another.  

    • July 8, 2015 11:46 AM EDT
      • Newton, KS
         
      • Posts
        2,875
      • Thanks
        5
      • Thanked
        116

      I noticed the latest issue is about 8 pages less than previous one, which were 82 pages. I don't keep them around very long, so can't go back. I still think it is worth the price, nice to hold a magazine in your hand.

       

      I do hit the forums daily and have learned a LOT and received a lot of help that I could not have found any other way. Guys here help me find stuff or give advice, quick responses, really makes the hobby a lot more accessible, too bad more train guys are not on forums. 

       

      Since many are older(like me!) they may not like computers. Anyone bring that up at a club meeting?

    • July 8, 2015 4:12 PM EDT
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,424
      • Thanks
        1,831
      • Thanked
        1,470

      I'm still subscribing, in spite of my gripes.... which include lack of coverage on current rapid prototyping trends, and lack of depth in general (IMO). Like John, my issues reside near the throne.

       

      By comparison though, once in a while I put down $20 or so for a year of back issues of Finescale / Outdoor Railroader, or Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette, and am always amazed at what folks did. Mining those back issues is many times more informative, for me at least. It's heartbreaking to think that many of those layouts didn't survive, and I can help but always wonder, "Where are those models now?" And the manufacturers! Wow, so many gone, so many products no longer available. But even so, for raw thrill factor, I turn to those stacks. Not GR.

       

      Still, I appreciate GR's coverage of amazing layouts I'd never heard of before, and with greater interest as I'm getting into that phase, their gardening articles. Of course, it's good to have a reasonably good set of up to date ads, showing who's in and who's out. But I agree with Wendell, they shouldn't be sneaky about rate increases, that just adds to people's ire.

       

      My 2 penny's worth,

      Cliff

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at July 8, 2015 4:15 PM EDT
    • July 8, 2015 4:42 PM EDT
      • Peoria, AZ
         
      • Posts
        384
      • Thanks
        3
      • Thanked
        11

      My lack of interest stems from another direction. While at a convention a couple of years ago, I approached the GR booth to ask a question. Marc was sitting there talking and apparently joking with someone, and ignored me. It was obvious that I had a question, but he still ignored me. I was trying to be courteous and not interrupt, but he kept ignoring me, even when the conversation slowed down and the two of them were just looking around. I finally, said, "Excuse me ...". Marc looks up and says, rudely,"I'm at lunch, OK?!" Now, there was no indication that he was doing anything other than ignoring me (and another person who came into the booth briefly) and joking with the other guy (no food present, etc.), so I felt he was off base. I went to another booth where I knew the people, and told them what happened Their response was, "That's Marc. No people skills unless you have something he wants."

      That incident put me off the magazine for good, and I enjoyed the magazine, even though it was obvious that it was losing content. I've thoroughly finished enjoying any thing Marc Horowitz is involved in.

      ____________________________________

      - Never Ask Permission. Only Forgiveness
      - Check Out my Website: http://www.sourdoh.com

    • July 8, 2015 6:12 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        11,131
      • Thanks
        127
      • Thanked
        919

      Hear hear. Anderw, I got the same feeling, but I do still get GR. For some odd reason I even have the GR anniversary  LGB boxcar.

       

      This post was edited by David Maynard at July 8, 2015 6:20 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 8, 2015 6:32 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
      • Posts
        7,641
      • Thanks
        172
      • Thanked
        309

      Somehow I'm paid up until June 2017. The recession has hit everything 'G' hard alright, I suspect one reason the rag has gotten thinner isn't from lack on content, its from lack of advertisers. Less advertising $ means less $ to cover publishing means they print a thinner rag to keep the $ down. Look how many former big advertisers have bitten the dust since 06, St Aubins, SanVal, Ridge Road, etc etc and we've lost some big mfrs, Aristo, MDC, LGB is still MIA for the most part. Those stores that remain, many don't advertise with full page many pictured glossy ads, it any wonder the rags gotten thinner ?

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • July 9, 2015 7:27 AM EDT
      • Shut up Rooster
         
      • Posts
        6,914
      • Thanks
        26
      • Thanked
        288

      After reading back issues from the 90's and realising how much better it was back then vs now.  I feel the older issues had more intresting things for me.  Latley it seems to be all about electronics.  Thats is fine if its your thing but I have no intrest in that end. Seems the older issues covered a little of everything.  I like seeing pictures and reading about peoples layouts, scratch building, be nice to see more on live steam rather then jsut one page.  I understand you cant make everyone happy but I see no reason why they cant devote a section for each intrest. I think Vic would agree but it would be nice to see smaller more affordable layouts. Also try to lure the new person in by showing what can be done without spending a fortune.   

      This post was edited by Shawn Viggiano at July 9, 2015 7:29 AM EDT
    • July 9, 2015 9:41 AM EDT
      • Lancaster, Ohio
         
      • Posts
        693
      • Thanks
        40
      • Thanked
        135

      It's not just GR, I subscribe to several aviation related mags and they have gotten noticeably thinner in the past couple of years and the subscription costs have gone up as well !

    • July 10, 2015 12:45 PM EDT

      •  
      • Posts
        366
      • Thanks
        0
      • Thanked
        49

      Hey Guys you should buy from Magazine Line. You get a $10 gift certificate every now and then. I just got Garden Railways for $22.95 for the year ... I usually wait until I get the Gift certificate before I buy..

      From My Email:\

      Take advantage of your $10.00 Summer Gift Certificate today! View in a web browser.
      Visit www.MagazineLine.com today!
      See All Women's Magazines See All Men's Magazines See All Children's Magazines See All Cooking and Food Magazines See All Entertainment Magazines See All News Magazines See All Magazine Categories
      Your Summer Gift Certificate Expires
      at MIDNIGHT Tonight!
      Dear Landrel,
      Today is the last day for you to use your $10.00 Summer Gift Certificate. You may use it toward any purchase of $30 or more on the MagazineLine website. So shop with your gift certificate right now!
      Redeem Your $10.00 Today!
      To claim your gift certificate, simply choose at least $30 worth of magazines atwww.MagazineLine.com, and your gift certificate will automatically be applied to your order.But hurry, your gift certificate expires tonight!

       

       

      TY

    • July 10, 2015 3:14 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
      • Posts
        7,570
      • Thanks
        262
      • Thanked
        935

      The times they are a changin...

      If I'm an editor, I don't know how I compete with the free stuff available.   They are trying:  if you are a subscriber, you can get videos and other "bonus" content via the web.   But, if you do have web access, there is even more  of that same stuff available, so I'm not sure how the printed medium will continue to compete.

      I have never had a friendship start via any of my articles, but I sure have had a lot initiated via  web sites like LSC.   

      LSC certainly doesn't have the numbers that even a small magazine line Garden Railways does, but I'm not sure that is a bad thing.   

      As I look at my near term plans, I will be visiting several railway events this year, all hosted by people I've met online.   Again, how does a printed magazine compete?

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

Forums General Reviews

    Icon Legend

  • Topic has replies
    Hot topic
    Topic unread
    Topic doesn't have any replies
    Closed topic
    BBCode  is enabled
    HTML  is enabled

Add Reputation

Do you want to add reputation for this user by this post?

or cancel

Ads by Google