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News from TMA — A Digital Option Coming in 2011

Hello everyone, and Happy Holidays:

Mary is getting a well-deserved holiday break from the blog this week. So here is a chance to bring you the latest news from TMA headquarters in Grass Valley, California.

After a lot of hard work by our staff, the new February/March issue of the magazine is being printed this week! It is scheduled to be mailed out to our faithful subscribers on January 4, and to be in the stores by late January. This is a particularly interesting issue of TMA, a theme issue on archetypes, dreamwork, alchemy, and the water houses in the chart. This issue was orchestrated by TMA Special Projects Editor Kate Sholly, and features articles by Ken Johnson, Jodie Forrest, Ray Grasse, Dena DeCastro, Laurence Hillman, Arielle Guttman, Glenn Perry, and Alice O. Howell. We hope you’ll send us feedback after you have time to look it over. (Here’s  a sneak peek at the Table of Contents.)

In addition to keeping up with our relentless production schedule, I have been investigating what it would take to offer our readers the option of accessing a digital version of TMA, for subscribers who would like to have access while traveling, or don’t have the space to store printed magazines, or don’t want to use the paper in the first place. In my discussions with our circulation manager and with a technical consultant, it looks like there may be a logistically viable way for us to do it, while also making extra content available digitally that there isn’t room for in the printed magazine. I plan to post details of how this will work in a week or two, and I hope to have the digital option available to existing (and new) subscribers by late spring or summer of 2011. Subscription options will be: 1) just print; 2) just digital; or 3) both print and digital.

So let us hear from you, readers! What topics and writers do you want to see more of in TMA? What should we add on when we offer a digital option? And how can we expand/improve our forecast section?

I wish each one of you has a happy, low-stress, yet stimulating year ahead,

Tem

P.S.: A special thanks goes out to those of you who subscribed or gave gift subscriptions these last few months (the gift subscription sale ends on January 5th). Your subscriptions directly support our work, and I find it personally encouraging that our subscription numbers (as well as our prices) have stayed level even in the hard economic times of the last two years.


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21 Responses to "News from TMA — A Digital Option Coming in 2011"

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  • Lise Sutherland-Fraser says:

    Tem love the idea of a digital version. Would love this subscription option! Cheers Lisa :^)

  • Tem, the Table of Contents is enticing. I am looking forward to the wealth of new material on archetypal astrology and to Alice Howell’s account of Pluto in her life. Glad I’m a subscriber and will have the new mag in hand in a week or so.

  • Jo, the Alice O. Howell article is actually in the form of a poem … and remember, the magazine goes INTO the mail on January 4th, so if you are a first class mail subscriber, you’ll have it a few days after that. The regular “periodicals class” subscriptions can take a week or more; sometimes the Post Office is fast and sometimes very slow.

  • I have many years of TMAs and would love to be able to clear the space. If you go digital, will subscribers be able to access archive material? Have you scanned previous years in and do you plan to? sorry – I’m sure I am jumping the gun on all the work you have to do! I am a devoted follower of yours for years from the UK
    Lizzie

  • Anthony Burns says:

    Interesting idea. However, I live in England and order my copy of TMA through a local bookshop – and I wish to continue this arrangement. Would it therefore cost me anything extra if I were able to access the additional material published in the digital version of the magazine?

  • Would love to see this for the kindle!

  • Lizzie: regarding back issues, we are working to get permission from the copyright holders (the TMA authors) who haven’t already given permission, so we can post their work. As you can imagine, that will take time to arrange.

    Anthony: most likely, you’ll be able to buy a digital-only subscription, but if you want to continue to buy your paper copy at a bookstore you’ll be paying quite a bit extra overall. I doubt there will be a way to give credit for bookstore purchases, since we receive so little of the amount you pay from your bookstore purchase (and we’d have to have a complex verification system). Usually, the store and the distributor get the majority of the funds. That is why I’m always suggesting that people subscribe directly with us (or in your case, with The Wessex Astrologer, our subscription agent in the UK).

  • Intrigued by TMA e-volving into digital format. Looking forward to specifics of e-format and e-readers/devices it syncs with as I’ve been buying/downloading e-books for awhile now. Some download as PDF files while others require a specific proprietorial software or limited platform/browser….

  • Nick Bradford says:

    Have to say I’m torn Tem. Digital makes sense + makes searching for articles very easy; but I spend too long on my laptop as it is! I love the hard copy which I can read absolutely anywhere, free from incessant electromagnetic fields. But the thought of missing out on TMA material would force me to take the dual format option – and as you say, these are hard times economically… Finally, I thought the survey a year or so ago voted to remain in print form!

  • Hi Nick, the survey was about 4 years ago and readers voted to not replace the print mag with an electronic version. This new thing would be just the OPTION of a digital TMA, and everyone who wants the print magazine could still get that.

  • Digital version would be great, especially a version made for the iPad. Seems the current digital wave points to the demise of book stores (Borders may be next). New readers such as the iPad and Kindle make paper print non-essential for me.

    I think it would be a mistake to create a digital version that’s like the printed version. Digital offers many options not possible in print. For example features I’d like to see: clicking on a specific TOC entry takes me to the article. Authors have clickable links to their other works within TMA and their personal web site or blog. E-mail link provided for comments directly to author about article. Images link to artists personal web site. Graphics in motion, e.g. retrograde motion, chart transits over time etc. Functional search option for archive.

    Regarding how to price a digital version – judging from the early wave of subscription digital content, most providers don’t seem to quite understand the economies of scale. Have a look here: http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20101229/just-because-i-spent-500-on-an-ipad-doesnt-mean-ill-pay-a-500-markup-on-a-magazine-subscription/

  • Thanks Joseph, I appreciate the ideas you are putting forward. Some of them would be easy and affordable, and some, like transits in motion, might be costly.

  • You’re welcome Tem. I’ll post again if anything else comes to mind.

  • I’m wondering if you have or if you could do an iphone/ipod app for the horoscope section.

    • Hi Alica, currently don’t have that capability. If you mean the Forecast Section, maybe after we get the basics in place — a digital version of the magazine — we can look at more advanced options.

  • The Forecast Section on a phone app is an amazing idea. But do keep in mind that any app created for an iPhone also needs to be done for the Blackberry folks.

    I don’t think people will ever want to give up the paper copies for good. But a digital version full of fancy features is going to entice a lot of folks. In the beginning, the real question is how much the subscription will increase to have access to both. Down the road, as the digital version lures folks in, the real question is how much extra readers are going to be willing to pay to keep a magazine in circulation.

    A “Comments” section for selected major articles would be popular, I think. Readers love to see what other readers think about a particular article.

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  • This is great! I am so glad to see this option becoming available; it is a step forward and right on time in 2011.

  • amylouise donnelly says:

    Have been a long term subscriber and would love to have access to a digital version of this magazine. Love holding that old smelly paper in my hands tho (Venus in Hse 2 -lol-). Best preference for me would be to have access to both.

    I suggest graduated subscriptions so if people get TMA in the mail they get one set of info, if they get it online they get another set of info, and if they opt in for both they get some goodies to go with that.

    I trust you to do this well. You’ve been doing a great job for all the time I’ve known you and I go back almost as far as you do.

    Much gratitude for your fine work.

    ald

  • Bernice Lemieux says:

    Have been with MA for quite a while. I do not write often but I want to let you know that I would just love to have access to both, digital and paper. Digital version so I could read all the wonderful articles while travelling. I so love your magazine “my magazine” !!!

    I am curious to seee how this project will turn-out. In the meantime, keep-up the good work !

    Bernice

  • Digital edition? This is just great! Thank you! Can’t wait! :)

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