Monday, October 5, 2020

About formats and pricing

Formats and pricing

Dealing as completely as possible (through a half-year timetable) with the lengthy and complex underworld career of Nicola Gentile resulted in an especially lengthy issue of Informer (scheduled for release by October 19) and raised concerns over delivery of the issue to our readership. In its traditional, printed and bound magazine format, this issue reaches 214 pages, more than double the size of last year's large Maranzano-focused issue and about triple the size of the average Informer issue. With production costs tied to page count, it has become a particularly expensive document. In order to keep Informer as accessible as possible, we have added one new format - a black-and-white trade paperback - to our usual list of editions.

We gave some thought to decreasing the print magazine's page count through other means. It could have been achieved, for example, by eliminating article endnotes and/or by removing images and/or by dramatically reducing article type size and leading. These options were rejected as incompatible with Informer's mission and tradition. We decided that the usual print magazine format needed to be maintained, though its price tag might put it out of reach for some of its audience.

As usual, we are offering Informer in an electronic magazine (PDF) format. The pricing of this format is less influenced by the issue's page count, and we have been able to hold the sale price below $10 (US). Following the example of recent issues, we are also offering this issue as a Kindle-compatible e-book through These electronic editions provide access to journal contents at a more reasonable cost, but they do not address the wants and needs of readers who prefer or require a physical form for their reading material.

For that reason, we reformatted the issue as a six-inch by nine-inch paperback book. Though this resulted in a hefty, 384-page volume, the printing cost calculations for books differ from those of magazines and allowed us to make the paperback format available for about half the price of the magazine. In the process, some filler material needed to be sacrificed, image color was lost and page layout had to be simplified. But the content of featured articles and their annotations were preserved.

We understand that increasing available formats could cause some confusion. We hope that our readers will forgive the complication and understand this attempt to provide flexible pricing of this important material. We plan to make the October 2020 issue available in the following editions (expected retail pricing shown):

  • Printed bound magazine through MagCloud ($47.50)
  • Printed softcover book through Amazon ($24.95)
  • Electronic PDF magazine through MagCloud ($9.49)
  • Electronic Kindle-compatible through Amazon ($9.49)

Update (Oct. 17)

Some problems in proof copies of the MagCloud print edition forced us to create a MagCloud electronic PDF that did not include Informer's usual searchable text. (Searchable text remains available in the Kindle e-book format.) We have decided to add two additional formats - a searchable PDF and an EPUB-format e-book - which will soon be available through Google Play Books. These both will be priced at $9.49.