The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

Economic reality check

comments (7) December 16th, 2008 in blogs

Tom Tom McKenna, Managing Editor
thumbs up 13 users recommend

Each FWW editor answers email that comes into the magazine's electronic mailbox. In addition to the large volume of junk mail we receive, there's a steady stream of criticism, questions, and comments. But I was touched by a recent letter that arrived in our in-box.

"I have had an uninterrupted subscription to FW since approximately 1987. I am writing to let you know I have decided to drop the subscription due to financial considerations. I have a nearly complete collection and will resubscribe when I find employment. Although I may just be a number, I didn't want to leave the impression I wasn't satisfied with the publication. Keep up the good work."

This subscriber put a personal stamp on his difficulties yet still offers us compliments. I thank him for his kind words and hope he is able to rebound, find work, and eventually come back and enjoy reading about his hobby.

In the meantime, I'll try to be more mindful of the vast numbers of people who are hurting during these hard economic times. And I'll make it a point to be even more thankful during the holidays for all that I have--a healthy family, a great job, and a place to live. Now's not the time to take any of that stuff for granted. Happy Holidays.





posted in: blogs

Comments (7)

mrobinson mrobinson writes: Jumpinjoe,

I just want to make sure you understand that we did not sell our magazine cover to an advertiser but what we did do for the first time is have an advertiser present on the coverwrap that protects the magazine. Like everyone else at this time we here at Fine Woodworking are feeling the pain of the economy. Although gas prices have come down temporarily, shipping and postage have not and don’t get me started on the price of paper these days. That is why we have decided to discontinue coverwraps going forward unless they are sponsored by an advertiser. We would certainly like to keep them on every issue, but because of the state of business today, we would have to either charge a little more for the magazine or cut out some editorial pages. But nobody we’ve asked liked either of these options. (In case you're wondering, we last raised our prices in August 2002.) From time to time we will use coverwraps on some issues for marketing purposes but for the reminder of the issues that we deliver we are trying to find advertisers to sponsor the wraps. This is what you experienced on your latest issue.

As for the DVDs we actually created these after we received numerous customer requests. For instance we heard from spouses who were complaining about the room their significant other’s large FW magazine collections were taking up in their homes. We decided to offer the DVDs to customer and they seem to be doing pretty well.

I want to thank you for you feedback. I always appreciate people who take the time to tell us what they do or do not like about the services and products we provide. If you would ever like to contact me you can reach me directly at

Missy Robinson
Posted: 1:43 pm on December 30th

Jumpinjoe Jumpinjoe writes: I have been a life long subscriber to both Fine Woodworking and Home Building. There has been a major degradation in the publication when Fine Wood Working sells the January cover for advertising. Looking at past and current content, this has got to be a low point for the magazine. The cover should be the introduction to the magazine not an advertisement.

Maybe this is a good time to take a hiatis from the service until standards are re-established. Both magazine subscriptions are expensive. For $35, there should at least be a cover with art work about one topic in that months issue.

How about developing some loyalty to your subscribers? I find it interesting that there is no reason to purchase the monthly subscription when as soon as the year is over, Tauton wants you to purchase those same issues on CD for an amount that totals near the cost of another subscription.

I have boxes and boxes of Fine Woodworking and Homebuilding and it would be nice to have them on CD but not at the price being charged.

Posted: 11:14 pm on December 22nd

FineWoodworkingEditors FineWoodworkingEditors writes: Hi Dave:

That is mighty kind of you. We'll send you an email with the contact information so you can follow up directly.

Let us know how things turn out so we can feature a positive follow up in our blog!

Kind regards, FW editors
Posted: 4:08 pm on December 22nd

DaveSperry DaveSperry writes: We have recently had a round of layoffs at work, and again I have not been affected. To celebrate once again dodging the bullet, I would be happy to fund a gift subscription for a fellow woodworker and loyal reader. Can FWW contact me about this?

Dave in Elmhurst, IL
Posted: 3:00 pm on December 18th

rgdaniel rgdaniel writes: If you did it for him, you'd have to do it for everyone... like me for example.... it was classy of him not to ask... something I've rarely been accused of...
Posted: 8:37 pm on December 16th

Californian_Eric Californian_Eric writes: I agree with MemphisMatt, he should get a little somethin. Maybe a wood chisel?
Posted: 6:24 pm on December 16th

MemphisMatt MemphisMatt writes: Very nice sentiments.

Now give the guy a free subscription for a year will ya!

Matt in Memphis
Posted: 3:55 pm on December 16th

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