Thursday, October 18, 2007

So what's been going on?

I haven't been able to post about Day 3 of Brickcon, as I have been pretty busy.

I had a really fun time at the convention, and I would like to congratulate Wayne Hussey and staff for having a fun event! It wasn't long enough for me to spend the time I wanted with friends old and new, butI will be back next year...and they already have a venue set up.

There are many ways to do an event, and Brickcon is a great example of how a convention can be appealing to both the AFOLs and public.

I have pics on my Flickr account and video will be showing up on teh BrickJournal website and Youtube.

On another subject, BrickJournal is going to print.

There have been a lot of comments about the Journal because of the printing and change in model of BrickJournal to a business model. It's been a bit frustrating to see the negative remarks, as most are by people who haven't seen what has to be done to get to this point.

BrickJournal cannot be kept free and be printed. And unless there is a benefactor who is willing to drop a sizable amount of money with no strings attached for printing, it's not going to happen. Getting a small number of issues will always be expensive - take a look at Lulu's printing for issue, and you'll see things pretty clearly.

The only way to get a decent price would be to get a large print quantity. Not dozens, or hundreds, but thousands. And this has to be at one printer - one 10,000 print run will be more expensive than two 5,000 print runs.

Why is that? It's because setup on a press is the expensive part of printing. Placing the printing plates takes time and money. Turning on the press and running it is cheap. So the idea is to maximize time running the press and get as many issues as possible. Lulu has a different, much more expensive mode of printing because it literally prints to demand. Magazines print to anticipated demand based on orders and then projecting.

Shipping is an issue because of the many different places worldwide - but most shipping is governed by countries. I am working on other ways to take care of this, but until I get some definite information, I cannot say anything at this time.

The comments about charging for previously free material are also a bit misinformed. Here's a question: If you had a choice of free material and material that you have to pay for, what would you go for?

Here's another question: If you knew that something on sale was going to become free, would you buy it?

Here's another question: If you could purchase a printed magazine or download a copy for free, what would you do?

And one final question: If you needed to fund your magazine, including contributors and staff, how would you support them if you cannot sell anything?

These are the questions I had to answer. And some answers I didn't like but had to follow.

Everything that is going on is going toward making BrickJournal a sustainable enterprise. The mailing list being created at TwoMorrows is one that is AFOLs and other interested people - it is a unique listing and one that can help the Journal in determining where to get issues sent to. revenues from download will be used to subsidize printed compendiums of back issues.

Ultimately, BrickJournal will increase awareness of the hobby everywhere. And that will help all of us.

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