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Old 13th January 2018, 00:45
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

A few suggestions if I may, with a desire to help. I work for a company that produces fiction books.


1) Postal rates from the US to Europe skyrocketed some years ago due to the fact that "Surface Mail" was eliminated as an option. When it was available, we could send pounds of books to Australia, and they might take a month or two to arrive, but it was inexpensive. Now, the only options are First Class Mail International (4 pound weight limit, and not cheap), or Priority Mail International.

We lost the bulk of our foreign customers.

2) The emergence of pirate sites on the internet. It's disheartening to see your books available for free download. But free is the price anyone can pay.

3) I think Luftwaffe im Focus is the best example of putting the English and German together so both readers can be satisfied. Perhaps the French could try it, or, failing that, contract with a publisher in the UK or United States to produce an official English language edition. Some other, non-book related, but hobby game related publishers, have opened offices in the US.

4) Yes, the internet has its pros and cons. But some web sites have such odd or nondescript names that if I didn't stumble across them then they might as well not exist. Example: spikeybits. Anyone? Any clue there? No. Oh yes, the specialist would find out - eventually.

5) Promotion. Why aren't books promoted here more? Perhaps because 12 O'Clock High might be mistaken for a movie title? Again, website names that say Luftwaffe Research Group tell me more. The other problem being some other websites are filled with unpleasant folk who have a lot of anger. Not for me.

6) Let's have a list of Facebook pages.

7) It seems everyone in the US will get chronic neck problems because their heads are constantly bent down, scanning their smart phones. Websites need to be designed to be device friendly. Pages here will not look right on a smart phone and take "too long" to load. The waiting period desired is around 8 seconds.

8) New customers are needed, whether hobbyists/builders, casual readers or dedicated researchers. Excitement and fun, and even a bit of simplicity, at first, draws people in. I originally had a lot of trouble reading the abbreviations here, but took the time to figure them out.

9) Brick and mortar stores are still out there. If a company cannot afford advertising, perhaps they can get permission to put a short run of color fliers on the counters of some stores. Good art, short, exciting text, and let people know.

10) The book and other print media have lost their minds. Buy this dedicated reader as opposed to the actual printed material in my shop. Bad, very bad idea. Just close your doors and sell the readers online I say. Save yourself the trouble of complaining about declining sales in your stores.

In the US, independent bookstores are doing quite well because they take the time. The time to ask the customer what he wants. Not just sitting there, waiting for a sale.

11) The vultures. Here's a new, beautifully produced book by a respected author. A chunk of the press run is then purchased in bulk, and before you know it, a 30 to 50 dollar book is going for 100 to 300 dollars online. And why would anyone sell it for less if they thought they could sell them?

One book I own was originally priced at $30 but went up to $300. Then, after a time, went down back to between 30 and 60 dollars.

Getting the word out is very important. Some imagination and research is in order. The internet and even shops can help. For those already buying books like those mentioned here, a few questions, or a poll, could be asked:

A) What subject or unit or person would you like to see covered in detail or more detail?

B) What's your price limit? I have only a few books in my library around the $100 range.

C) How do you find out about new book releases?



Hope this helps,
Ed

Last edited by edwest2; 13th January 2018 at 03:50.
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