My view: We ain’t dead yet!
By Dave Duffy
I had anticipated a large degree of disappointment from readers when I announced last issue that the print issue of Backwoods Home Magazine will not be published after the end of this year, but I had not anticipated the confusion that resulted in the public at large. Most of the confusion, I suspect, has come from internet sites, including our own Facebook page where some of the 484,000 people who have “Liked” our page only got half the message and began guessing at the rest.
So I have to correct a few misconceptions that seem to have gone viral:
- Backwoods Home Magazine has not already gone out of business. We will publish three more print issues, including this one.
- We are not closing entirely. We will continue as a digital magazine on Amazon’s Kindle, and as a publishing company selling 28 years’ worth of back issues, our 25 big print issue anthologies, plus the 22 other books we’ve published over the years. We’ll do this at www.backwoodshome.com.
- We will continue to publish future print anthologies. The 25th and 26th year print anthologies (for years 2014 and 2015) are hot off the press (see page 48). The 27th and 28th year print anthologies (for years 2016 and 2017) will be printed this coming December.
- In December of each subsequent year of publishing on Kindle, we will issue a print anthology of that year. So in December of 2018 we will issue the 29th year print anthology for the year 2018. If your email is in our database, we will notify you when a new print anthology is available. If it is not, you might want to send us your email. Email it to us at email@example.com.
- Our sister publication, Self-Reliance, which is owned by two of the Duffy’s children, Annie Tuttle and Sam Duffy, will continue as a print magazine. Most of BHM’s current writers (including Jackie Clay-Atkinson) also write for Self-Reliance.
Our continuation as a Kindle digital magazine is probably the most misunderstood of these items. It costs $1.99 a month to subscribe to our Kindle version and it’s easy to do: Just go online to Amazon.com and type in Backwoods Home Magazine, and a BHM magazine cover will appear inviting you to click on it to subscribe. The first 30 days are a free trial, so if you don’t like the Kindle experience during the 30-day free trial period, you don’t have to subscribe at all.
To read BHM on Kindle, you don’t always have to have an internet hookup. You can download us once from the internet, and from then on the issue will be on your Kindle (or whatever device you have) so you can read it whenever you want, whether or not you have access to the internet.
The most frequent complaint I hear about the Kindle version is: What if there’s no internet due to an EMP or other big meltdown in society? My answer is that if there’s no internet due to a SHTF incident, well there’s probably not going to be postal service either so you won’t get your BHM issue anyway. Life is full of risks.
Another complaint I hear is that people prefer reading their magazines in print. Me too! I much prefer print, so I sympathize and empathize with you completely. I don’t want to go digital-only but it’s the only option open to us if we are to continue publishing. All small print magazines are losing the financial battle to continue as a paper magazine. In fact, we’re among the last to succumb.
By the way, BHM has been available as a Kindle magazine for six years, and we’ve had between 5,000 and 6,000 subscribers on the Kindle platform. Our sister magazine, Self-Reliance, has been available on Kindle for four years. So Kindle is not new for us. It is not just a well-known technology that works flawlessly, but we make enough money on it to keep us afloat. Paper and postage costs have buried us in red ink.
I suppose a different way to look at this is that we are going from a six-times-a-year print magazine to a one-time-a-year print magazine. The one-time-a-year print issue will be our big print anthology in December, which typically runs about 360 pages. In addition to that, we will also appear as a digital-only magazine on Kindle six times a year. — Dave Duffy