One Year of BeerAdvocate Magazine!
When we first launched BeerAdvocate magazine (BA mag) this time last year, a lot of people thought we were insane. “Print is dead!”; “Monthly?!”; “No retail sales?!”; “Free?!”; “They have no idea what they’re getting into or doing.”; and “They won’t last 6 months,” blabbed some of the naysayers, as they typed from deep within the comfort zone of their anonymous online personas.
Well, despite never publishing a magazine before, having zero editorial skills and little creative expertise, working with practically no budget, going against the grain, breaking a lot of publishing rules, and running on a pure passion for beer and a dream, we’re still here. In fact, we’re paying the bills, experiencing amazing growth, and plan on placing even more copies of BA mag into the hands of beer enthusiasts in 2008.
Success aside, we’ve had our fair share of growing pains, and we can always do a better job of communicating some of them in order to have an open and honest dialogue with those who support us—you. In fact, we’ll start now. Normally we’d post this online, but many of you are not on the web 24/7 and we’d like to address some of the concerns we’ve received over the past year from subscribers and those thinking about subscribing.
Why is BA mag free?
Yeah, this is an extremely nontraditional approach. However, our goal is for someone to pick up every copy we print versus having to pay for them to be shuffled onto some rack where they sit stagnant, longing for eye contact from some casual walker-by, and forced to do battle with the shouting text and glossy covers of their desperate neighbors. BA mag deserves better.
Why do I get my copy so late?
Rather than clogging our heads by thinking up content months in advance, we prefer to work on the edge in order to release content that’s both timely and timeless. However, that’s not the real reason why some of you get the mag “late.” The biggest issue to date has been shipping via USPS Bulk Rate—we’ve all found that this can be rather slow—but thankfully we’re applying for a new rate in 2008 and we’re confident that this will help to speed things up. Look for updates from us early next year.
Why should I subscribe?
Good question, and we get this one from a lot from people who subscribe and then run into free stacks of the mag at their favorite place for a brew—usually in an accusing tone, as if we’re ripping them off. The answer is simple. You subscribe because you like the mag, would like to get a copy delivered to your door each month and find value in helping to support our ongoing beer advocacy efforts. If none of this interests you, then we ask that you don’t subscribe, don’t renew, and take your chances finding a free copy each month.
We hope that clears a few things up. Good or bad, we welcome your questions and feedback.
What’s in store for BA in 2008?
With the mag, expect some creative tweaks, new editorial content, increased distribution and the formalization of a long overdue partnership that’ll help us focus and grow. On the online side of the house, we’re on track to welcome our 250,000th user sometime next year and our page views are now reaching 6 million per month. We also have plans to archive portions of BA mag online, upgrade our servers so Todd can sleep at night and launch some new functionality, all of which we believe will make the BA online experience even better.
Of course none of this would be possible without your continued support. For that we nod and raise our beer in your general direction and offer you our most sincere thanks. Cheers and all the best in 2008!
Respect Beer. ■