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Was it better value?

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George Arnold08/09/2010 20:09:43
1834 forum posts
191 photos
I have recently been looking at some old  Pratical Wood Working circa 1978 cost 50p.
It had eight projects to do plus other articles and previews,
What I liked it was produced on a monthly basis! not on this four weekly period favoured by  Good Woodworking. a clever merchantising  /marketing plan to get 13 instead of 12 subscriptions for the year!
 A Dewalt band saw giving 6in cut 12in throat was a healthy £273-24 a radial saw  was £385-56.
 Was it better value food for thought
Big Al08/09/2010 22:22:22
1604 forum posts
73 photos
When you consider that in 1978 an average wage for manual labour must have been between £1.25 and £1.75 per hour, and so therefore at 50p per issue it took the average wage earner about 20 minutes to earn that magazine. It's probably about the same today.
It is difficult  to compare machinery cost's as so many different factors have changed since 1978. Back then things were made to different specifications than what they are today.
Was it better value? I dont know.
Dave Atkinson09/09/2010 11:55:48
672 forum posts
115 photos
In 1978 I was earning about £60 per week before tax - so take home about £43 to £45 and a gallon of petrol was about 75p compared with about £5 a fiver today.
I guess about the same in terms of price. As for value, like Al I don;t know either.
Cheers Dave 
George Arnold09/09/2010 14:50:24
1834 forum posts
191 photos
Hi Guys
If you base the cost today against the minimum wage  Age 22 years £5-80   Age 18-21 years £4-83 Age 16-17 years £3-57 You would have to work about 36 minutes on the top rate and on the lowest rate you would have  to work for nearly an hour. The stand price of the magazine is £3-50.
 I think machinery by and large  is better value today( price wise), with a bigger choice.
 I still think 13 mags a year is a con ?
Ron Davis09/09/2010 20:06:45
1619 forum posts
201 photos
George, some of us love the mag and cant wait for the next one!
It is all relative, though the cost of budget machines have put many of them in the reach of us hobbyists, i have several tools in the power tool cupboard which would be well out of my reach then
Darren Loucaides 110/09/2010 12:09:58
31 forum posts
18 photos
1 articles
I'm not sure how 13 issues in a year can be called a con, frankly. Subscribers are getting 13 issues for £36.45, which we see as great value for money (considering that total cost for 13 issues on newstand would be £45.50). Subscribers also get a free gift. You're perfectly entitled to buy the magazine off the newstand and miss out the 13th issue, which is our very popular Special, but it'll work out more expensive over the year. You get an even bigger saving if you pay by direct debit, paying just £7.50 every three months.
To call it a "con" is grossly unfair, because it's nothing of a sort. It's hard work making a magazine every four weeks, and we like to think we're doing it for your benefit!
As for the cost of the magazine, £3.50 is as cheap, if not cheaper, than almost any other 100-page monthly magazine on the newstand that I can think of.
Darren Loucaides

Good Woodworking
George Arnold10/09/2010 21:14:50
1834 forum posts
191 photos
Perhaps con was the wrong word, as I said in the first post a clever piece of marketing, to increase the turnover by one twelve at a stroke . I can't remember when it happened but I stopped taking it  at that time  for that reason, untill  I had a phone call and it was offered at a price I could not refuse,
Yes I have the option to discontinue the discounted subscription  and buy twelve copies, but I am afraid i would not buy many as it is not found in every newsagents, I only started the discussion  to see what interest I could  rouse, not a lot ! four replies counting yours,, That's par for course
It still does not answer the question" Was it better value" @50p
Andy King11/09/2010 14:43:38
170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
Hi George,
I don't  know about the 'better value'  theory, but I do know that the 13 issue situation isn't a Good Woodworking ploy, but was introduced by the original owners of Good Woodworking, Future Publishing.
They first initiated it with a couple of their computing titles as I recall, and it was successful and so the rest of the Future Publishing magazines were told to do the same.
That was just before I joined the magazine, so around 11 years ago.
I know at that time the staff on all the mags were none to pleased as they had to lose the days from the normal schedule to cover the additional magazine, and with no extra salary to do so.
The knock on effect at that time, and still in place today, is that rival publishers did the same thing to compete, so The Woodworker, at the time a rival magazine, went up to 13 issues (and is still at 13) If you look at other popular titles available today from many publishers, you'll find the 13 issue format while some stick to 12. (During my time with Future, when they had made some poor decisions in magazine strategy after launching on the stock market and had nearly gone bust, laying off hundreds of staff, the then MD had the bright idea of making some of the mags put out 14 issues per year to boost the coffers, same deal, you do it, no extra salary - of course, they did it, as their jobs were on the line, but it came close to mutiny!)
As Darren points out, it's a hard task to put out a magazine, especially when you have small number of people working on them - that four week cycle relates to 19 working days per issue.
It may be that budgets were different as were staff numbers in 1978 so the perception that value for money was better - I don't know.
How about the overall look of them though?
Back then they were printed in black and white predominantly - Initial Good Woodworking mags were a mixture of colour and B&W, with the colour pages denting the budget in a big way, and that was started in 1992.
But the 13 issue thing isn't new - its been around a decade or more, and I blame Future Publishing - I'd love to do 12 issues a year and take some of the pressure off, and I expect Darren will tell you the same!

Edited By Andy King on 11/09/2010 14:50:38

Edited By Andy King on 11/09/2010 14:52:46

George Arnold12/09/2010 12:15:44
1834 forum posts
191 photos
Andy & Darren
Thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules to reply to my post, it's good to see the fact that someone in the office reads the web site.
I understand Darrens defence of the position he along with you have inherited with the 13 copy situation, I don't think I critisised any body personaly, over this, but my assumption that the decision that was  taken by the previous owners was for financial gains.not to improve it for the readers.
As for the printing I personaly find the black and white on matt paper easier to read than some of the printing on coloured shiny paper, but that is a personal thing.
The argument about value is as hard as" how long is a piece of string " and it seems the majority of the people who look at the site ,253 hits are not bothered either way.
 Once again thank you for your answers, carry on the good work, I think that is about all I have to say.

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