LensWork now subsription only ...

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Shawn Rahman, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

    Messages:
    999
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    Whitestone, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting decision by Brooks & crew to go subscription and direct sales only. In the latest issue (#75 - the last newstand sold copy), Brooks makes a compelling enough argument about wasted newstand issues that don't sell. I for one always see chewed up issues wasting away on the shelves long after I've bought my new copy.

    I guess I have to go back to subscribing again. I regret no longer being able to preview LensWork issues before I buy, although I did always end up buying just to complete my collection.

    Good luck to Brooks & LensWork for this bold move. I only hope this is not the beginning of the end for what is STILL the best photography mag printed.
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I guess one way to limit price increases is to cut the wastage and just print what can be pre-sold. Sensible move.
     
  3. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Because of its size, LensWork was always at a disadvantage on the shelf with larger magazines. It would often start out in front, and then get covered by people putting other mags back in front of it. OTOH, it appeared in stores sometimes two weeks or more before I got my copy by mail, and now maybe the posted issue will come sooner than it used to, and I won't be tempted to read it first at Barnes and Noble. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No more peeking at Barnes and Noble! I've always been curious about what was in _Lenswork_, but I would never subscribe. The pictures are just too small.
     
  5. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Prospect (Lo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As a satisfied subscriber, I'd say go for it. Not every issue is a home run, but the work is of consistently high quality and interest, and the magazine is printed with skill and care. I just re-upped for two more years.
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The problem is that the bookstore is how I discovered LensWork. It is a means of marketing & advertising. But, I think Brooks knows what he is doing.

    The magazine distribution model for bookstores is insane and only makes sense for publications that support themselves with lots of advertising.
     
  7. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I peeked, too. I think it's time I subscribed, though. I really like the magazine.
     
  8. MartinB

    MartinB Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Calgary
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    single copies also available

    In issue #75, he mentions that single copies will also still be available at the single copy price - you just need to go the website to pre-order so it gets printed with all the others. An option for those who are not sure if they want a full subscription.
     
  9. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,273
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Makes sense to sell only what is purchased (through subscriptions). I occasionally peek at an issue at the local bookstore and what 'jovo' says about the mag starting out in front on a shelf and then getting buried by the larger publications is true. On top of that, since they come out every other month, some of the hidden LensWork magazines get beat up for two months while on display.

    On the other hand, I allowed my subcription to lapse a year or so ago when I noticed more and more digital images appearing on the pages. I understand that a beautiful image is a beautiful image, but my interest simply lessened,....I can't help it. I have issues 1 through 60-something and will continue to enjoy those.

    Marc
     
  10. Cara

    Cara Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I too was introduced to LensWork at Barnes and Nobel and am sad that more readers will not have the opportunity. I am a subscriber and find something useful in every article. I also use the articles, darkroom tours, and interviews from the extended CD in my high school photography classroom.

    The announcement also stated that you could only pre-order single issues leading me to believe that back issue availability may no longer be an option. Again, very sad but I am still a happy subscriber.
     
  11. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

    Messages:
    809
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cary, North
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Printed back issues can be purchase if they are in stock. You can purchase all the issues of LensWork in CD format.
     
  12. lenswork

    lenswork Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Cara,
    You will still be able to purchase back issues as long as we have them. We always order extra copies of each new issue specifically for this purpose and will continue to do so. Our only caveat is that when we do eventually sell out, we don't go back on press to produce more paper copies. The LensWork Extended version, however, we do produce more, so they will be available in perpetuity -- or until I go into the final wash. :smile:

    The pre-order program (our "Virtual Newsstand") does have the advantage that we pay the shipping costs. Essentially, you can still purchase just one issue at a time and pay the cover price just as you would at the newsstand. We ship these with the subscriber copies and can take advantage of the lower cost "periodicals rate" for postage. Once they are back issues, however, we have to charge for shipping and handling the single issues, one at a time.

    As to new subscribers, we have always relied on word of mouth advertising rather than big ad budgets. Most of our new subscribers come that way rather than the random discovery of LensWork on the newsstands. Along with the rest of the periodicals industry, we've seen a steady decline in the importance of newsstand sales ever since the birth of the Internet. It's just time for us to let go of an old business paradigm that is no longer working and at the same time reduce the waste of resources I mentioned in the announcement in the current issue.

    We are hopeful that those people who were still buying on the newsstand will come on board as subscribers, but we do understand that for some folks this is just not an option they will choose. Hopefully they'll keep us in mind at some point down the road. We'll still be here!

    Brooks Jensen
    Editor, LensWork Publishing
     
  13. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As MartinB reiterated, and Brooks stated in the current issue (#75) you may pre-order a single issue. That said, I'd go for a subscription because IMO the magazine pretty much always presents interesting and/or thought provoking work and it just a joy to read. If you spring for the Extended CD version you'll have even more of a good thing!
     
  14. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

    Messages:
    1,043
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    As a random buyer of the magazine I too will miss seeing it at the local book dealer. I understand Brooks and company's plan (Both ecological and economical) and wonder how many other magazines will follow suit. Will we soon only see Popular Photography and Shutterbug be the only journals in the newstand! I hope not! How else will one find treasures like Lenswork. Word of mouth only goes so far and seeing is always believing to me.
    Brooks, I get your email ads on a fairly regular basis. Does this mean I will get more when a new issue of Lenswork comes out?
     
  15. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,413
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Brooks, is there any consideration of selling through indie booksellers if you can sell direct, and not through an I.D.?
     
  16. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

    Messages:
    697
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That article a year or so back about how to be creative by the guy who does the cartoons on business cards? Worth the price of my subscription just by itself.

    Good lord. I must be getting old. I just basically said, "I only read it for the articles." :D
     
  17. lenswork

    lenswork Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    We do have an email opt-in program for folks who want to received email notices. Feel free to sign up. Please note, however, that this is the only way to get email notifications from us. We detest -- with a passion -- junk mail :mad: so you have to opt-in or just keep checking the website.
    Brooks Jensen
    Editor, LensWork Publishing
     
  18. lenswork

    lenswork Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Yes, we'd love to. LensWork will still be available in camera stores and other photography-related outlets who buy directly from us. These folks buy only what they can sell, so they don't create the overprint waste problem that is inherent in the magazine distribution paradigm.

    The hurdle we've frequently seen when approaching the independent bookstores is that most of them buy only through book distributors like Baker & Taylor. I can understand their reasoning -- too much of a hassle to purchase directly from a gazillion independent publishers. That said, however, we wouldn't turn them down.

    Look soon for a new page on our website that will list all the individual photography stores who carry LensWork directly from us.

    Brooks Jensen
    Editor, LensWork Publishing
     
  19. lenswork

    lenswork Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Hugh MacLeod at www.gapingvoid.com. An every-day stop for me in my web surfing rounds. Love his stuff. Wouldn't you love to be the fly on the wall observing he and Bill Jay in a conversation? -- Over adult drinks, of course.

    Similarly, the other guy I just love is WhattheDuck.net -- simply hilarious and a good remedy to the seriousness we see at every turn.

    Brooks Jensen
    Editor, LensWork Publishing
     
  20. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    5,888
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting insight into the industry... I've noticed a few independent booksellers near me who don't have a magazine racks any more at all. Maybe they didn't like the waste either?
     
  21. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think the greatest challenge with web promotion is a problem shared by Lenswork Extended: that it's just pixels. A great part of the charm of Lenswork is that each copy is so clearly an Object of Craft. This characteristic is lost on Extended and the web.
     
  22. Macwax

    Macwax Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Bethlehem, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    But......some of the best pixels on the net. As I've stated before, I love my Lenswork extended.

    John
     
  23. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I didn't say they are bad.

    But all DVDs look the same until you actually load them.

    A paper copy of Lenswork does NOT seem the same as other magazines. It's instantly recognized as something particlar.