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Old 12th January 2018, 21:23
Tony Kearns Tony Kearns is online now
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Only for the Chris Goss articles I doubt that I would still be a FlyPast reader.I am old enough to remember the old FLYPast It was an aviation historians' MAGAZINE then.
Tony K
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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,

Last edited by edwest2; 13th January 2018 at 03:50.
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Old 13th January 2018, 01:19
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FalkeEins FalkeEins is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

'Aeroplane' and 'Flypast' are owned by Key Publishing. They also own just about every other UK aviation magazine - 'Aviation News', 'Combat Aircraft', 'Air Forces Monthly', 'Jets' (now incorporated into AN) and 'Air International'. All of these mags have now subsequently lost their 'unique' identity. Even 'Britain at War' (another Key title) looks like Flypast.

Stephen Bridgewater, editor of 'Jets' in 2015 said to me back then ;

" ..Key purchased us last September. Personally I think it's a great thing. It was like going home for me as I worked on their 'Today's Pilot from 2000 to 2007. They're the market leaders and have the money to invest in the magazines, that other publishers do not. There's no cross over between Jets and other titles. I've only seen good progress so far..."

That was obviously before Key wound his title up in 2016! The idea that far from condemning certain titles to oblivion, Key was actually rescuing them I thought was a nonsense at the time. Evidently though Kelsey ('Aeroplane Monthly', 'Jets') and Ian Allan ('Classic Aircraft') sold out to Key since those particular titles were not making any money. Editorial content is now shared out of the same pool of contributors and any one article could easily appear in any other of the magazines. Chris Goss must have written for all of them by now. I really don't understand what Key's approach is here. They've wiped out the competition but now they have a roster of magazines that no-one will buy (in comparative terms..) - the 'average' enthusiast is only going to buy two or three magazines per month at most. So they play it safe - the UK magazine scene desperately lacks the more interesting and 'off-the-wall' subjects that you would see in, say, the French magazines; 'Avions', 'Le Fana de l'Aviation', 'Airfan', even 'Aerojournal' - four quality, independent (from each other), bi-monthly (for the most part) mags
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Old 13th January 2018, 12:22
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Perhaps we readers of a certain age group and knowledge base, are no longer the target demographic for some of these aviation magazines. Is it possible that to target the older - and possibly more aviationally "educated" - enthusiast requires a magazine of greater depth of article? Then what of the up-and-coming newby to the scene - who may want a "lighter" introduction to the genre? Magazines need to make money to justify their existance. They would have to snag a younger market to obtain new blood so to speak. If the general sense of historic aviation awareness is lessened - in favour of the newer high-tech jets and models of sci-fi spacecraft - don't magazines need to change to grab a share of the expanding market? The cost to their subscriptions is likely to be the loss of one aging end of the market versus the potential gain of a newer, younger market.

I too, lament the passing of the older AIR International/ Enthusiast style of articles circa 1980s and 1990s. It was the style of introduction that I wanted to the historic aviation genre (with a dash of new jets and glamour).
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Old 13th January 2018, 13:14
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, I used to purchase regularly two aviation magazines: Avions and AIR Enthusiast. Those were the publications I found the most informative and in-depth as aviation history regards. Those were THE reference in this field, at least for me. I also managed to publish a couple of detailed studies in both journals.

With the sad termination of AIR Enthusiast, I sense a gap for a reference publication - be it bi-monthly, or even quarterly - in the internationally accessible English language. Publishers should be aware of this existing gap, which could be filled in with a bit of investment. I believe such a publication would self-sustain financially. I would certainly contribute with detailed and well illustrated studies from my field of research, and I am sure others would do just the same. Only a suitable 'vehicle' is currently missing.

Last edited by Dénes Bernád; 13th January 2018 at 16:06.
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Old 13th January 2018, 13:26
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Thanks Tony! You do me an injustice!

I am asked (I do not write and then offer) to write for Flypast, AN, Air Mail, The Aviation Historian, Britain at War. I also am asked to write for 4 French magazines. All I will say is I am lucky/blessed that I have material that apparently appeals to the interested masses not just the specialists per se. I try my best!
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Old 13th January 2018, 20:00
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Talking Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Ok, in previous messages, peoples examined the situation about the quality of aviation magazine, their declining, etc but what happens with authors? I'm agree with most of previous written about aviation magazine, but I have a sense that it is not so interesting for me as in past tense, maybe because I'm older? Why today has no interesting aviation articles (or not so much) as in 70's, 80's or 90's?

kind regards

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Old 13th January 2018, 21:56
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

I completely agree with Denes. As I previously wrote, The Aviation Historian could be it if its editorial policy was changed. As of now, there are too many useless articles like the one on an air stewardess or or the one on some Iranian aerobatic team in the jet era. For me the maximum amount of editorial space devoted to post-1945 stuff should not be more than 15 % and of that only a minor share of that should be wasted on airliners, esp. jet airliners.

However, the best option would be a new querterly or bimonthly (quarterly being perhaps the most feasible) magazine that would be strictly limited to pre-1946 aviation history. Articles should be on average at least 70 % text and the illustrations should be selected primarily for their informational value, not eye candy. Technical articles having substantial number of detail technical drawings could devote a greater share to illustrations. The page count should be at least 80 per issue.
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Old 14th January 2018, 00:04
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Originally Posted by newcomer View Post
Why today has no interesting aviation articles (or not so much) as in 70's, 80's or 90's?

kind regards

What do you find interesting? You didn’t say.
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Old 14th January 2018, 00:35
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Re: Declining quality of British aviation magazines

Simply, my impression about a most of today aviation articles are looks like read somewhere before. Sometimes it is boring. Maybe I'm wrong but that's my personal impression. From the articles of 70's, 80's and 90's I formed a core of my opinion, most of my knowledge about aviation. Today? Avions and sometimes (but only sometimes) Flypast, and what else? Profile publications in 60's and first half of 70's gave the first impression about most of main types of combat aircraft, from WWI to WWII and then modern planes. Today, Flypast has the color photo of the plane in flight in the same angle on the front page. It is boring. If You ask me what types of aircraft was in the front page on the last two or three Flypast magazine I can't remember now. The same thing occured in the articles. It was uniformed, wrote in the same way. Of course, exceptions always existing, but it is only exceptions. If Flypast or Key publishing aviation magazines put the article about one type of aircraft, the author often ommited some of their foreign users. I'm repeated, maybe I'm wrong, I'm too old, but the aviation magazines in the past were much colorful and more interesting than today despite their technical imperfections.
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