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Thread: Question for Ephemeris readers

  1. #1

    Question for Ephemeris readers

    I posted a similar thread over at Snuffhouse, but I know not everyone here is a member there so ...

    What would you folks think of a digital version of The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris? We get dozens of requests every week for an e-book edition, and up until recently we've always said no. My reasoning was that I wanted to "keep it real" and I thought a digital edition would be the antithesis of what we're all about. But I realize that we may be alienating a large potential readership who prefers carrying their e-readers with them instead of a stack of books and magazines.

    I'm personally one of those people that can't stand anything other than a real ink-and-paper book, so a digital edition will never replace the hard copy of The Ephemeris. Even if the audience for the print edition dwindles to twenty or thirty readers an issue, we'll still make a print edition.

    So far our argument against a digital edition is mainly built on our own arrogant idea of what the magazine should be. I was reading a Jann Wenner interview the other day and I pretty much agree with his whole "print>digital" ad campaign. But there's a big difference between Rolling Stone and The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris - Rolling Stone can be found at a quarter million newsstands worldwide. The Ephemeris is at less than 600.

    So what do you all think? Yes or no?

  2. #2
    I'm not a reader(sorry, I'm broke as hell), but I like digital. I'm philosophically opposed to expending resources when an environmentally friendly alternative exists. Paper is more esthetically pleasing, but saving fuel for more important purposes wins for me.

  3. #3
    I think a digital edition makes good sense

    and if it is any comfort.................just remember...............somebody somewhere once sat around the camp fire going..................I will never give in to all this new fangled technology.............I say to hell with paper.................I like to feel the weight of a cold stone tablet in my hand..............then I know I'm reading something of substance

    so technically you are already a sell out..............you've just had 5000 or so years to come to terms with it and move on in your life

    Seriously...........it sounds like a good move to me

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
    I'm not a reader(sorry, I'm broke as hell), but I like digital. I'm philosophically opposed to expending resources when an environmentally friendly alternative exists. Paper is more esthetically pleasing, but saving fuel for more important purposes wins for me.
    Wow LX I would not have guessed. You are so old-school in so many ways, yet you make an excellent case for e-reading. Good stuff. Like lxskllr, while not 'broke as hell', I have a baby on the way and my girl would KILL me if I subscribed to a glossy tobacco publication. That says nothing about my desire to be a subscriber, however. Remind me, this thing comes out quarterly? If that is the case, I'm going to throw in a vote for print-only. There is something special about receiving much-anticipated reading material in the mail only a few times a year. It's not the same as getting an email notification saying it's ready to download. Why? Because the more we move away from hard-copy publications, the more it just plain sucks to get the mail. It's nothing but bills and spam. I can only imagine the excitement of walking back from the mailbox with a badass, glossy tobacco publication that one has been anticipating the arrival of for months. What are you putting out there, as I understand it, is in itself a dying art. Not only that, but from the sound of it, these will be or already are collectors items. Then again, maybe both... choice is good.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Roo View Post
    I have a baby on the way
    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thread hijack: success!

    As for the Ephemeris, I am more inclined to subscribe via kindle (it is the one I have).

    Regarding the paper version....I am interested to read it but do not use much paper anymore.....except toilet paper.....not giving that one up. Sure, it is a great experience to sit and read a paper magazine but I for one will not buy a paper version.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Roo View Post
    Wow LX I would not have guessed. You are so old-school in so many ways, yet you make an excellent case for e-reading.
    :^D

    I pick my battles. My practical side tends to win out over my nostalgic side. It would literally take a 1 ton pickup to move my book collection. Most I likely won't read again, but they're too good to give away. Aside from my antique books, most I'd prefer to have as an electronic copy. It would free up gobs of shelf space, and would be much easier to transport. When I see printed media anymore, this is what I think...

    Heavy equipment went out to collect trees.

    It was then taken to a paper processor, where an obscene about of water was used to process it, as well as bleaching agents.

    It then gets put on ginormous rolls, and shipped to the printer, where more petroleum gets used to put words and pictures on the paper.

    Then it gets boxed up, and shipped to the distributor, who then sends it out to the end user, with even more petrol used.

    The end user gets it, reads it, then *throws it out. Huge use of resources from beginning to end.

    By comparison, digital media gets laid out on a computer, uploaded to a server, then downloaded by the end user. From beginning to end, less than $1 in energy was used for the whole process, and depending on location, that energy may have been created by hydro, or nuclear, so very few emissions were created.

    *I doubt I'd toss something like the Ephemeris, so it would go in my 1 ton truck full of books. I'd have to use petrol to move it, and it would take up valuable space.

    The way I see it, the electronic revolution should be used to it's full potential. I get pissed when I see my daughter's backpack for school. It's heavy enough that I notice it's weight, and I have to use gasoline to take it home, and back. Sure, it might be 1/10G each way due to the extra weight, but multiply that by the millions of kids who are doing the same thing every day, you're talking real resource usage. Everybody doing a little bit can make the world suck less. Even if it seems pointless on the individual basis, collective power makes big improvements :^)

    Edit:
    Congratulations on baby Roo!!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephemeris View Post
    I posted a similar thread over at Snuffhouse, but I know not everyone here is a member there so ...

    What would you folks think of a digital version of The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris? We get dozens of requests every week for an e-book edition, and up until recently we've always said no. My reasoning was that I wanted to "keep it real" and I thought a digital edition would be the antithesis of what we're all about. But I realize that we may be alienating a large potential readership who prefers carrying their e-readers with them instead of a stack of books and magazines.

    I'm personally one of those people that can't stand anything other than a real ink-and-paper book, so a digital edition will never replace the hard copy of The Ephemeris. Even if the audience for the print edition dwindles to twenty or thirty readers an issue, we'll still make a print edition.

    So far our argument against a digital edition is mainly built on our own arrogant idea of what the magazine should be. I was reading a Jann Wenner interview the other day and I pretty much agree with his whole "print>digital" ad campaign. But there's a big difference between Rolling Stone and The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris - Rolling Stone can be found at a quarter million newsstands worldwide. The Ephemeris is at less than 600.

    So what do you all think? Yes or no?
    The fact that you had to walk to your computer, log in and come to an online community should answer that question for you brother ;-) I've always thought that you guys were missing out on readership by not having an e-version. I think you should pull the trigger and do the e-version too. I'm not saying that you shouldn't print the hard copy, but an e-version might help to make it all the more profitable, not to mention more accessible to your reader ;-)

  8. #8
    I personally hate reading on computer screens, perhaps that is the reason I don't post here all the time. However, I know others love their technology and that's cool with me too. Therefore my vote goes for BOTH...digital & old school! Perhaps a digi only subscription could be a few less $$$ than print version?

  9. #9
    I've never used an e reader etc.. I prefer old school holding it in my hand (insert joke here). My question is with the electric copies what have you, how hard is it to copy and paste and send to others? Wouldnt there be lost revenue there..

  10. #10
    I would never read an E-version of the Ephemeris. That is counter intuitive to the purpose, isn't it? Its about the best, lost, old way to enjoy tobacco and I wouldn't get anything out of an E version. If it goes to this I would stop paying for the magazine. The point is to be able to pass it on to your grandchildren.

  11. #11
    Here kids, read about the tobacco addiction you didn't know was coming.... And while you're at it, try this snuff! Smells like Grandpa!

    Just kidding LincolnSnuff. I agree with you for the most part, as noted above. Although, if enough people are demanding an e-version, I say go for it. Those people are the reason why you're doing it, Ephemeris. If I may be so presumptuous. And thanks all for the well-wishes. I've noticed my pregnant girlfriend can't get enough of this laptop. Ergo, not as much posting for Roo. Probably a good thing... My heart says take Lincolnsnuff's advice, but Lxskllr's practicality and the business decision to meet your customers' needs might just win the battle. Good luck. If you have any back-issues sitting around collecting dust, consider mailing them to myself and Lxskllr

  12. #12
    Let me clarify: even if we end up doing a digital copy down the road, we will NEVER EVER EVER abandon the hard copy. The print version is always going to come first. The digital edition won't have any extra content or fancy bells and whistles- it will strictly be an exact copy of the original in digital form for folks like lxskllr who don't want a printed version. It would probably also be the same cover price as the hard copy, so it won't be as though there would be a huge financial reason to purchase the digital version (aside from the obvious perk of not having a shipping charge). Although, like Desiree pointed out, we theoretically would be able to offer more substantial discounts on things like subscriptions that we wouldn't be able to do with the printed edition.

    @Lincolnsnuff: I agree with you 100%. This was the entire reason we came out with the magazine in the first place- so we could archive this information and preserve it for future generations. And I promise that we'll never deviate from that goal; there will never be a digital edition and not a print edition. If it comes to a point where we are not able to sustain a print magazine, we'll fold up entirely before going all digital. We're just trying to gauge the size of this untapped audience who have been demanding an e-version since before we came out, and hopefully be able to offer them a product that they'll like. But we'll never let it take away from the quality of our "real" version.

    @EricHill: You're right, there's much potential for lost revenue if someone was to torrent their digital copy. But here's what I wrote in the other thread regarding that problem:

    We strongly believe in the free flow of information, and I believe that a digital copy should have the same usage rights as the printed version. That is to say, once you purchase a copy of our magazine, it's yours to keep and do with what you want. If you want to photocopy it and send it to your friend, go for it. If you want to reprint an article for your blog or whatnot, just give proper credit. If you want to email a copy to your friend, have a blast. But I draw the line when it comes to someone making a reproduction and trying to sell it. That's bootlegging, and it's NOT the same as file sharing and it's immoral and evil.

    Having said that, I believe that our readership understands that we're a teeny tiny operation and every cent we make counts. Putting up a torrent or a rapidshare of even one issue could hurt us immensely, so I would appreciate it if everyone could refrain from publicly sharing any of their issues for at least a few years, so we can have a chance to establish ourselves in the publishing field and losing a few thousand sales won't hurt us like it would right now.
    So there you go: once we've actually broken even and started to eke out a living from this, I have no problem with the occasional stray copy floating around out there on teh interwebs. God knows I've downloaded enough films and albums over the years to fill a thousand hard drives, so it would be hypocritical of me to get all worked up over someone doing it to us. (In all fairness though, just remember that we're not WMG or Sony; we actually need the money. )

    And congrats Roo!

  13. #13
    I would love to see an e version especially if it's a lower rate. Saving money and saving trees is a win win situation!

  14. #14
    I would buy an e-version. But that's not to say i don't value tangible products such as printed magazines.

  15. #15
    I prefer a physical copy to an ebook. I don't think I'd buy the ebook.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephemeris View Post
    @EricHill: You're right, there's much potential for lost revenue if someone was to torrent their digital copy. But here's what I wrote in the other thread regarding that problem:



    So there you go: once we've actually broken even and started to eke out a living from this, I have no problem with the occasional stray copy floating around out there on teh interwebs. God knows I've downloaded enough films and albums over the years to fill a thousand hard drives, so it would be hypocritical of me to get all worked up over someone doing it to us. (In all fairness though, just remember that we're not WMG or Sony; we actually need the money. )

    And congrats Roo!
    One thing to always remember is pirates aren't your customers. A lot of companies have a hard time grasping that concept. They see their product on Pirate Bay, and flip out, not realizing these people wouldn't have bought it in the first place. Take care of your customers, and they'll take care of you. If someone reads it free; So what? They aren't your customers, and they may turn someone else on to it who will be a customer.

    Us Linux users are supposed to some cheap bastards, yet we've paid the most for the Humble Bundles(pay what you want game package) since they've been created. Efforts will be rewarded by the people who appreciate the effort :^)

  17. #17
    Good point as always, lx.

  18. #18
    hi, i want to buy a digital copy but paypal is trying to charge me shipping.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    hi, i want to buy a digital copy but paypal is trying to charge me shipping.

    Someone has to pay for those electronic pulses!!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    hi, i want to buy a digital copy but paypal is trying to charge me shipping.
    OK. Should be working now. Sorry for the screw up!

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