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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for the ‘Publishing BHM’ Category

Dave Duffy

Creating a “Members” section on website

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Sixth Tee

This is the Sixth Tee at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Oregon. I spend a lot of time here. . . but I’ll talk about that in another post. For now, let’s get to the point:

In a nutshell, BHM is going further into the digital age with the creation of a membership site on our website. It’ll be a button on the website that will be like a door in the back of the closet of the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” where the kids go into the land of Narnia. BHM’s closet door will open into a whole new world: a digital subscription, access to all back issues, blogs, special articles, behind-the-scenes looks at key BHM personalities, significant discounts from participating advertisers, and daily doses of new material.

We’ll try to launch the membership site by the next print issue, which is Issue No. 150, the Nov/Dec 2014 issue. We intend to leave most of the present website “as is,” but some of the blogs will be affected. Just how will be worked out with the writers over the next few weeks.

There will be no ads on the membership site. Cost of membership will be $1.99 a month, which will include a digital subscription to BHM. For $2.99 a month, we’ll probably include our new Kindle digital magazine, “Self-Reliance,” and for $3.99 a month we’ll probably include our new Kindle magazine, “Chickens and Stuff.” None of this is set in stone (we have to make sure the Kindle inclusions are ok via Amazon, etc.), but I wanted to throw this framework out for discussion and feedback from readers. The print issue will no be affected.

I’ve been considering doing this for at least a couple of years, have discussed it at length with key BHM players like Tom McDonald, who runs our servers, Oliver Del Signore, our webmaster, Al Boulley, our Technology Manager, Managing Editor Jessie Denning, Annie, Lenie, etc. I’ve sought the counsel of Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast ( and James Wesley, Rawles of Survival Blog ( because they have successful sites.

Why are we doing this? I think it’s a matter of future survival. We’re fine financially now with the print magazine (and, again, the print magazine will not change at all with the addition of this “membership” section to the website), but the writing is on the wall for all quality publications who wish to go into the future. Most of the subscription money we now get goes right out the door to pay the printer and the post office. If we can convince a lot of subscribers to go digital (or attract new subscribers who are already digital), we can use the money we must now send to the printer and postman to pay writers of good quality articles, which I think is the future of magazines like BHM.

This magazine is 25 years old in a business that has a very high mortality rate. (Just this morning I learned that BackHome Magazine out of North Carolina has ceased publication.) We have to adapt to the technological changes that people are embracing. — Dave

Dave Duffy

Mas Ayoob survives helicopter crash

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

I’ve been lost in my own world and failed to notice until today that Massad Ayoob, my friend and one of BHM’s most important writers, was in a helicopter crash. He’s ok, thank goodness. Here’s the local story:

and here’s Mas’s blog account:

I’ve been absorbed in a lot of technical details affecting the magazine, but the most important things affecting it are writers like Mas. I’m really thankful he didn’t get killed or injured.

Dave Duffy

15 FREE Kindle eBook and back issue downloads for Jan 10-11 (Thursday and Friday)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Dave Duffy

A Kindle Christmas present from BHM

Monday, December 17th, 2012

FIVE KINDLE BOOKS YOU CAN DOWNLOAD FREE FROM BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE – You’ll want to SHARE this with your friends. We’ll give a FREE book each day of the week, Monday, Dec. 17, through Friday, Dec. 21. Two we’ve offered before, three are new.

Monday: Download FREE – “Ask Jackie: Canning basics”
Tuesday: Download FREE –“Ask Jackie: Water bath canning”
Wednesday: Download FREE  —“ Ask Jackie: Pressure canning”
Thursday: Download FREE — “Ask Jackie: Food storage”
Friday: Download FREE — “Ask Jackie: Homestead cooking”

Here’s my Santa Claus analysis of these free Kindle book giveaways: Our Kindle prices for these books range from $4.95 each (3 of them)  to $9.95 each (2 of them).  The average download of a free book, judging from our past experiences, is about 4,000 people. The math says that equals about $140,000 worth of free Kindle books we’re giving away.

But it really doesn’t cost us anything extra to give them away. In fact, some people who get a free Kindle book will often come back and buy a book from us, either Kindle version or paperback version, or they’ll subscribe to the magazine out of gratitude.

It’s a hopeful day for America and for the capitalist system that spawned Amazon and its Kindle book reader when you can give away $140,000 worth of merchandise, have it cost you nothing, and end up making a little money from thankful people. Everyone benefits!

Thank you, Amazon, for thinking up this great idea called Kindle!

And Merry Christmas to everyone! – Dave Duffy at Backwoods Home Magazine

Dave Duffy

My every-10-year radio interview

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I don’t do interviews very often, but I liked how this one on our own radio show came out.

The main reason I don’t do radio interviews, or give public talks, is that they make me uncomfortable. I’m a naturally spontaneous person in person, but not in public. Call it insecurity or whatever, but a microphone makes me implode mentally, even though the interviews usually come off fine. I think I’m just a nervous person who is scared of a microphone and what I might say wrong.

Jeff Ferguson, my marketing guy, did an interview on a big AM radio station in Youngstown, Ohio, this morning. It went well, so now they want to interview me. Shit! To Jeff it’s no big deal, but to me it’s an “oh shit” type of deal.

My older brother, Hugh, could do these radio interviews easy. But he was a big time lawyer, a Staff Director and Chief Legal Counsel for a Congressional Committee for crying out loud, so he had the luxury of his position to calm him down. But it’s a different deal for me! I get interviewed as an unknown person, and every word that comes out of my mouth makes me look stupid or smart. That makes me very nervous, to the point I am relatively unproductive for the magazine in the several days leading up to the interview.

Dave Duffy

Ron Paul’s Farewell Speech

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Ron Paul gave his Farewell Speech today. His views reflect mine, and I’m proud to say I have been greatly influenced by his ideas. — Dave


Dave Duffy

My temporary desk at Oregon State University

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

I’m working on this deadline in Corvallis, Oregon, rather than Gold Beach, helping Annie, who lives here. I’ve set up shop in a hallway of Oregon State University’s Memorial Union building in the center of the campus. Lots of background commotion, including someone playing a piano downstairs in the main lounge. My tiny, round table is located up the narrow, winding black iron spiral staircase, down the hall, and behind a big pillar above the Hall of Flags. The background sounds are my “zone.” Silence does not work for me. Getting a lot done here.

My temporary desk in Corvallis is above the Hall of Flags at Oregon State University's Memorial Union.

Dave Duffy

Free BHM Kindle downloads for next 5 days

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

For the next five days, Backwoods Home Magazine will allow anyone to download for FREE the Kindle edition of a book and four back issues. Here’s the schedule: Today and Saturday you can download Can America be Saved from Stupid People, Saturday only you can download Issue No 120, Sunday Issue No 127, Monday Issue No 130, and Tuesday Issue No 131.

You can use your Kindle device to do this, or any of the various free apps for your Apple product or PC. Would appreciate your “review” of the book and back issues when you download them, and please let your friends know about this. It’s a very good price!

Dave Duffy

The learning curve with Kindle

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

We’ve been doing all sorts of interesting stuff with Kindle, uploading a total of 20 back issues to the Amazon platform, plus uploading our all-time best selling book, Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide (EPSG). Within the coming week I expect we’ll have my book, Can America Be Saved from Stupid People, uploaded to Kindle.

To date, 15,194 people have downloaded four of the back issues FREE, as part of the KDP Select promotion program Kindle runs. This week I’ll probably let people download our EPSG book. This all has to do with getting the conversation going about BHM products on the internet.

It’s an interesting learning curve, but things are beginning to look bright for us on the Kindle horizon. Click here to see one of our back issues on Kindle.

And if you click on this link, you can see that, by at least one narrow measure for a specific category, we’re doing pretty well at an early stage in the process. This list has a couple of our back issues ranked No. 12 and No. 14 on the Amazon best-selling list, at least for this category.

I’m doing most of the promotion and announcing of our moves with Kindle on the BHM Facebook page. So if you want to keep up to date with it, you’ll have to check that out occasionally.


There’s a lot to learn but we’re on the right road.

Dave Duffy

Finished deadline for Issue No. 138!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Just finished deadline before midnight last night. Marvelous issue. Everyone contributed — the entire staff of writers, editors, artists, and proofers. Proud as heck of the whole team.

My son, Robby, and I will have a day off before driving to Corvallis Wednesday, then flying out of Portland Thursday to visit my brother Hugh in Maryland. Really looking forward to this trip.

After finishing deadline, ON TIME, just before midnight, Annie and I have a toast at home with a Rogue Chocolate Stout.



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