Wednesday, October 3, 2012

There's A Little Change Coming to House of Fifty Magazine

I can hardly believe we're coming up on the two year anniversary of launching House of Fifty magazine. It has been a true labor of love, one that has stretched and challenged me in every possible way. And for that I'm the benefactor!


I've had the pleasure of working with so many amazingly talented designers, writers, bloggers, photographers, artists, as well as the people on the tech side of the publication...and on and on. Before this endeavor I have to say I kind of hid behind my computer. I"ll admit it. But once this thing got going I had to start picking up the phone to talk to people about their articles, interview the talent we've featured and meet with people in person. Oh, can you imagine?! (Ha, it's kind of funny, and sad, how with so much business being done online today you can get used to practically never having face to face communication with those in your "community.") I've also had to learn more about the technical side of producing a publication and developing an app than I dreamed possible, or would willingly submit myself to. 

With each story run I've learned something that I have taken to heart and applied to my own life. Tips on organizing, raising children, how to live a more serene life, fashion and beauty tips and products, foods that have a positive effect on mood, exercise, decorating tips, books and movies read and watched. Not wanting to feel like a hypocrite I've taken to heart everything we've shared, and have challenged myself to live a better life based on the information shared in various articles. As a result I feel my life has been greatly enriched and I can't adequately share how appreciative I am of this opportunity to work on House of Fifty.

Yet, while my life has been enriched...my pocket book is a bit slimmer! Like many businesses, when starting this venture I set aside funds I had saved to launch and support this business through its start up months and years. House of Fifty has been very fortunate to work with many sponsors and selling the iTunes app has helped support the publication. But with each issue costs do go up and the funds set aside to launch the venture are depleted, with some months requiring I dip further into my pocket to sustain the magazine. From the start I felt it was very important to compensate contributors and have aimed to reward their hard work and loyalty through small increases. The same goes for the designers and developers behind the scenes. Then, of course, there is business side: publisher costs, subscriber function costs, and the fees taken by the companies that push out the app. I suspect when someone looks at an online publication they are perhaps not fully aware of the layers of cost involved in providing the publication because it isn't in print. But the reality is, to create and provide original content, it costs.

So as with any business, to grow and continue to thrive, there has to be adequate revenue to sustain and build upon the venture. As a result, beginning with our next issue we will begin charging to read the magazine, essentially the same amount it has cost to download the app. I'm not sure what the response will be, and if possible, wouldn't it be wonderful to continue to offer the magazine for free? But in the end that would result in the venture closing.

I trust the readers of House of Fifty will understand, be supportive - and continue to read! I wanted to take the time to explain the reasons behind this decision today, and to give you a heads up so it won't be a surprise when we release the next issue on November 10th.

Please let me know your thoughts.
As you can imagine, I've very interested and curious about your opinion on this matter!

41 comments :

  1. Janell, I love the House of fifty, as do thousands of others. I'm happy you'll be charging for your fabulous work. You do a great job and I can not even imagine the time and hard work it takes to put out such a beautiful publication. You go girl! I wish you many more years of success!
    Denise

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  2. House of Fifty is a great publication!! I think all of your readers will completely understand about having to charge for it. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to reading House of Fifty on November 10!

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  3. I think House of Fifty is certainly worthy!! I will gladly pay to read your magazine.

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  4. I completely understand, and I think it is very reasonable. By the way, my husband got me an iPad for my birthday last weekend, and I've already downloaded the House of Fifty app and can't wait to read the next issue on it!

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  5. It's completely understandable and I trust you won't lose any readers with this change!

    Looking forward to many more issues of House of Fifty!

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  6. It will be worth every cent - by far it's my favorite magazine! And it is a business after all - I hope the change goes better than expected!

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  7. This is really interesting, and no...I never thought about your personal costs because it is on-line. I would buy it. It will also be interesting to see how Pinterest plays a part in all of this? This is where those extra years of "life's experiences" pays off. You are one smart cookie. Good luck!

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  8. I'm so glad you told us in this format, it would be a shock to see on the next installment.

    that said, that would by NO WAY keep me from reading it. you deserve to charge for your work and your labor. period. and, im increasingly sick over the glossies like elle decor that are mostly ads and no meat. i want to cancel my subscription. i WANT the meat that HOF provides. I love it. And charging for it probably will lose a few followers. But truthfully, you have the chops and the content to be able to justify it. And you dont need to be dipping into your personal pockets to fund this. Makes total sense. I hope you get a good reception to this news. I, for one, think it's fantastic!

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  9. Having worked in the magazine business for many years in the past, I was wondering how you were making this all happen! I'm all for charging the reader! And as a sponsor of your magazine now, I'm thrilled with the feedback and the response that my business has received from being a part of House of Fifty!
    All the best to you Janell!
    -Leslie
    P.S. check your PO Box -- I sent you something that I hope makes you smile and helps to remind you that its all worth it! :)

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  10. Interesting and informative. Perhaps due to the excitement of getting each issue delivered to my in-box, I never really thought about the costs associated with publishing an e-zine. I will gladly pay to read the next issue...HOF has been and continues to be my favorite blog and online magazine. The quality content and your personal voice are the two main reasons I read, and love, all of your posts and issues! And here is something for others to think about...paying for an online magazine vs. a home delivered glossy. I have stopped most of my magazine subscriptions for several reasons. One being the mass of wasted paper and resources to keep them coming to my front door. That said, I do still like to browse through a hard copy...so now I just buy them at the market when I see an issue that interests me. It feels good to be doing my part to reduse & recycle, and supporting online publications is a great way to do this! Personally, I cant think of a better way to be a little more green than ready the fabulous HOF e-zine! Thanks Janell for all of your hard work and looking forward to the next issue.

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  11. I would gladly pay for the issue.
    I wish you continued success!

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  12. Completely understandable!!!! AND so worth it. I'm with ya all the way.

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  13. I think it only makes sense. You should be charging for this quality product.

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  14. Janell it will be worth every single penny and I believe most of your readers will agree. xo Kathysue

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  15. I completely understand, support you and will happily pay for the issues! I look forward to each issue and wait with anticipation until the next. Thank you, Janell, and to all of your contributors for all of your hard work and efforts and incredible talent. It is a gorgeous magazine filled with interesting articles, amazing people, beautiful photos and inspiration! I have learned quite a bit from reading HOF, so educational, too.

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  16. I purchase the digital version each issue and I would gladly pay even more for such a great magazine. Do what you must. We love and support you guys.

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  17. So glad to read all the preceding comments. HoF is a wonderful, quality publication and I believe it delivers more than enough value to justify paying for it.

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  18. I appreciate you offering it to all of us for free for the past two years. I totally understand and will be happy to pay to continue to read such an amazing magazine. I consider your magazine of the highest quality and have enjoyed each issue.

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  19. Thank you for opening up about what it takes to publish HoF. I really had no idea what is involvedand the costs! It makes perfect sense to charge us to read it,( which is still cheaper than buying a copy on a newsstand.) I am 100% in agreement with charging to read it, and I don't feel you will lose your loyal followers. Surely not I.
    Best of luck.
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  20. Hi Janell,

    Thank you for being so open about what's going on behind the scenes at House of Fifty. It's easy to think that just because something is successful then it must be money-making but obviously not.

    I think there's no question about whether you should be charging for it. If the whole idea is a business venture then there definitely needs to be a return. I guess the question is where should that return come from. More advertising or a charge or both?

    Good luck!!

    Sarahx

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  21. I'm so happy after reading these comments! HoF is my fav online mag! I wouldn't hesitate paying to read it! I must say though, having an actual copy in my hand is even better:)

    Thanks for all of your hard work Janell! I wish you nothing but continued success my dear!

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  22. I would definitely be willing to pay for House of Fifty. I so look forward to reading new issues and it's so much fun to read articles by my favorite bloggers. I know it's a labor of love, but I can also imagine what a huge amount of work it is for you and everyone involved. I think this direction House of Fifty is taking is a good thing!

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  23. I will ABSOLUTELY pay to read House of Fifty! I think you magazine is interesting, beautiful and full of exactly what I want to read! Keep up the good work, and hopefully we can all support your brilliant vision every month!

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  24. I almost feel guilty every time I read the issue, that clearly is packed with tons of work and talent, and not contributing anything towards it. Thanks for easing my conscience! I'll gladly open up my PayPal account for the next one!

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  25. Yes, please charge for the magazine. That way you are also rewarded for all the hard work you have invested into this enterprise.

    Liz

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  26. I can't believe you haven't charged before this. You produce a high quality publication, and we have been privleged to enjoy it at your expense. Paying for it is simply a thank you for past enjoyment. :)

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  27. I never understood how it could be free. Best of luck

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  28. For me if you love something it's not a problem to pay for. I mean I buy home decor or fashion magazines every week because I like to read them or to see gorgeous pictures.
    So why should it be different with an online magazine?
    No problem for me and good luck!

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  29. I think the way online magazines will be shaped and survive in the future might be with paying customers just like the paper magazines. Kudos to you for working so hard and creating an amazing and creative magazine and reaching out to everyone. I'm sure it's only around the corner until every thing turns around to be very lucrative. Being great is a given, but tenacity is what will win in the end! It never fails no matter what business.

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  30. Janell, I download the magazine on my IPad so I was unaware of the magazine being free. If I did not have an IPad I would gladly pay for it. I'm sure your readers see the value in HOF and will be understanding of the cost.

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  31. Good for you Janell. Look how far you have come and what you have accomplished ~ so so proud of you, and looking forward to meeting you in person some day ~ hopefully sooner than later.

    Best,
    Laura

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  32. I am in...I enjoy HOF matter of fact your magazine was my first online to view. I had been resisting the internet since I loved receiving my magazines thru the mail but what I have found is I can read anywhere I go without having to bring the paper mag. with me...I know I am showing my age but I am evolving. Thank you for explaining everything and I look forward to your next issue.

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  33. Well understood. Everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work and dedication. I love that I can read such a beautiful publication on my iPad and will happily pay for the privilege.

    Thank you for giving your readers the head's up instead of just ceasing publication like so many of my favorite magazines have done. Keep up the great work!

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  34. Oh, all of these comments make me so happy. The magazine is such a beautiful product of your diligence and hard work. I honestly take something away from every issue that is applicable to my life. Such a treasure and I continue to be in awe of all you have accomplished, Janell. Cheers to HOF.

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  35. Janell, I will be happy to pay for House of Fifty...just like with all the other magazines I buy. It is so very worth it.
    YOU are so very worth it.

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  36. House of Fifty is worth every penny! May you have continued success!

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  37. Reading your personal story, watching the magazine grow, relevant style & fashion, quality stories, new artists, hoping someone who has taken a chance succeeds...I will pay for to read the magazine!! Much success!

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  38. Happy anniversary. That's an achievement. Not all magazines can last that long. Congratulations!
    Audience Response System

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  39. Of course you should charge.......seriously...you put out a great publication and now that you have us hooked...well I am sure people will still read !

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  40. I would much rather pay for something I enjoy tremendously than have it slip away. You and the whole team have worked so hard, and there is no reason why you should not charge for your great efforts. You know I wish you every success.

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