Will Print Magazines Survive?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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RE: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby laramv5 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:20 pm

I think that they will survive. My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and although his heart was in the right place, I have not come close to enjoying it as much as actually holding a book in my hands and reading. Plus, because it is electronic, it's difficult to highlight or earmark pages, you can't share the book with others and if it's not charged, you can't read your book. As convenient as it is to carry just that around with multiples books and magazines on it, it still just isn't the same.
I think magazines and newspapers are the same way. I love to read things on-line but I also feel limited. I like the layouts of magazines and I like actually holding it in my hand. I don't have to worry about the web-site being down or something electronically going wrong.
I think they will survive.

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Re: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby jrtomlin » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:14 am

In the genre's I write, (fantasy and science fiction) at the moment the print publications are literally bleeding subscriptions. They are down to about 1/4 of what they were a few years ago -- and these are majors, I'm not talking pulps here. Asimov's, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction which all used to be the standards of short speculative fiction are in serious trouble. Yet, the online ones such as Jim Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, and Oscar Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show seem to be doing well.

HOWEVER, it's an interesting question whether the digital ones are doing well because they are digital or because people prefer what they publish. I read the digital ones--partly because I do prefer digital publications and partly because I like the stories they publish better.

I rather doubt that print is going to disappear ever. But will it eventually become little more than a curiosity? I suspect that will happen but not until people no longer have an emotional attahment to having that paper product in their hands. I expect it to start with students getting used to digital products. I know *I* would prefer to carry a Kindle with textbooks on it than carry 50 pounds of books around with me. And people who travel a lot are gradually getting used to the convenience. This will spread. I have no doubt of it. It's going to take at least a generation though, in my opinion.

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RE: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby LaurenMarie30 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:17 am

Personally, I was apprehensive about this very topic, maybe as recently as 6 months ago.
But as I've become so familiar with the internet I not only see print survival as inevitable, I have come to think of evolution anad survival of the fittest. Print media can never be fully whipped out, but the constant expansion of the internet and digital media is nothing but beneficial to everyone: writers, readers and everyone in between. :) :)

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Re: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby lvcabbie » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:48 am

I think it is but a matter of evolution. As readers like Kindle become cheaper and better, more of the "electronic generations" will take them up as will old fogies like me.
I like to be able to pick up and lay down a book at my own convenience so, when a reader comes along that's cheap and allows me to do it, I'll change.
I haven't bought a hardcopy newspaper in longer than I care to remember - it seems half of them are ads. I get my news online and enjoy the freedom of scanning everything from local to nation, to internationsl.

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Re: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby raymondstary » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:48 pm

If they are properly stored, yes.

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Re: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:35 am

I think there are too many variables for anyone to have a clue, not only in taste, but with economic issues. And who knows, with technology advancing as it is, there may come a day when printing is so cheap and easy that print magazines will be delivered to every household as digital files that a printer will instantly turn into a glossy magazine for a buck.

Or the world economy may totally collapse, resurces may become so scarce that only pulp and ink can survive.

The future is always a guess, except that the best model usually survives. Take the bicycle, for instance. Technology bypassed it within a remarkably short time, and everyone thought it was doomed. But it survived, and even flourished, simply becaus eit gave people something they wanted, and in the way they wanted it.

Speculating about the future is fun, but even the best futurists are only guessing, and will always get more wrong than they get right.

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RE: Will Print Magazines Survive?--Gloria Gaynor was write.

Postby pencilandpaper » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:46 pm

Print magazines WILL survive. It is like someone said about radio (to paraphrase)....

You can't read and drive. So, you will need radio in order to obtain the news.

Everyone DOES NOT have the Internet. So, you will need print mags to entertain, to inform and to excite.

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RE: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby TheProdigy2010 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:47 pm

I think the print magazines will survive. For some it may seem impossible at this point because of the fact that technology is practically taking over the world but here's my reason.
Well think about it. If you're going to be reading an online magazine, wouldn't that be considered a hassle? If you want to read it somewhere, it will be quite of a hassle caring your laptop computer (if you have one) with you not to mention the fact that you have to log on, wait for the internet to upload, find the darn website, and nonstop scrolling and scrolling throughout the darn thing.
For a printed magazine, it's light and can be taken anywhere. Not to mention that if there's a cetain juicy topic you want to read about, you can flip there in just seconds instead of scrolling for hours on end.
Can you dig that? :emoticon:

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RE: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby jmascia » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:50 am

I believe that Print Magazines will still be around for a while. There are too many people that still get them for them to do away with completely. I do believe, however, that we will continue to see more and more digital zines coming forth in the coming years. When we will see a total conversion from print to digital, I don't know. But I would say that we still have a good while before we see it happen.

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Re: Will Print Magazines Survive?

Postby noblew » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:41 am

People once said those new-fangled novelties called automobiles would never replace the horse.
On the other hand, I can remember when videos first became popular, people said it would be the end of picture theatres. The old drive-in movie theatre went out of fashion, but the indoor theatres have survived. They learned to adapt.
The challenge for all print media is not only maintaining, but developing their clientelle. It's going to be an interesting decade.


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