Not A Clue

 Posted by at 12:12 am  Nick's Blog
May 092015

Before we started fulltiming I was into classic cars and had several. One was a beautiful customized 1958 Chevy pickup that had won trophies in a lot of car shows. I wanted to put new tires on it and took it to Big O and they told me it would be about three hours. So Terry and I spent some time browsing in a few stores, then had lunch. This was before we all carried cell phones.

When we got back to the tire shop two hours later the truck had not been moved. The manager said the battery was dead, but even when they tried to jump it, it would not even click when they turned the key. I went out and it started right up. They could not believe I had done that since none of their guys could get it to start. I asked if they had pushed the starter button on the dash after turning the key on. They had no idea what I was talking about, and once I showed them, they all had to try it. Kids today, they don’t have a clue.

1958 Chevrolet pickup small

I was reminded of that again yesterday when I got an e-mail from a young couple, ages 27 and 25, who want to go fulltiming for a year or two before they settle down and decide what they want to do with their lives. They don’t have any money and were asking me if I knew of a dealer or a private party who would carry the note on a new or late model motorhome. They added that they would prefer a diesel pusher, but would “settle” for a high end gas model. Like I said, not a clue.

Yesterday was a very good day for me. My new book, Big Lake Honeymoon, went live on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, and other popular online e-book stores. By the end of the day it was at #6,715 of all of three million+ Kindle books on Amazon, and #99 in the Mystery, Police Procedurals category. And it even got its first five star review, from blog reader Ron Bunge.

Monday I received the proof of the print copy of Big Lake Burning and it looks good! It’s available for purchase now on Amazon in both print and e-book format.

Gypsy Journal subscribers have noticed a difference in their renewal notices this time around. We are only accepting one year renewals on our printed subscriptions at this time. As I’ve shared with you before, due to increased printing and postage costs, at this time we are making 7¢ on each copy that we mail out. And the U.S. Postal Service is looking at a rate increase the end of this month.

So what does this mean to our subscribers? Nothing at this point. However, from a purely business perspective, we obviously cannot operate the print edition at a loss forever. Which leaves us with three alternatives; raise our subscription rates, focus on advertising sales to offset the rising costs, or go strictly digital. None of them are a perfect solution. We have paid print subscriptions that extend into the next three years, and we will honor them, of course.

I’m a dinosaur, I love the feel, the smell, and the texture of a newspaper. But there may come a time when we have to make a decision on the future of our printed edition of the paper, and when that time comes we don’t want to have a lot of long term subscribers that we have to either refund money to or try to convert to the digital edition.

And, let’s be honest, we’re both 62 years old. Loading and unloading thousands of papers, stuffing envelopes, and hauling them back out to the Explorer to take them to the post office won’t be getting any easier. We love traveling and publishing the Gypsy Journal, and we have no plans to stop. Will that be both a printed and a digital edition down the road sometime, or just the digital edition alone? I can’t honestly say. Only time will tell.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in tCrazy Days test finalhe comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – The universe is made of protons, neutrons, electrons, and morons.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  20 Responses to “Not A Clue”

  1. Please consider raising the price for your print edition, so that you make a reasonable profit on those subscriptions. Keep the digital price lower, to encourage subscribers to switch to digital. You and Terry deserve to be paid for your efforts!!! You may lose a few subcribers, but if you’re only making 84 cents per year on them, does that really matter?

  2. Had a good pre, 1950s laugh Nick now fast forward to last week , my son has a brand-new 2015 Nissan Ultima I went to drive it in a mission, tried to start it after 15 minutes I had to call him tell him his car is broken and it wouldn’t start his reply was
    DAD push the start button
    Who would’ve thought
    Old fangel gadget are coming back
    And yes I did, I tried it 3 or 4 times, but it was just for nostalgia u see ,,,,,,,
    now all they need to do is come out with the 1950s radio with plastic pushbuttons where the dial used to slide back and forth,,
    And the man with the star will fill up your gas,wash your windshield,check your oil, give you a free road map an send you on your merry way in your Automobile
    And if you don’t want your stamps I’ll takem
    WowI Pre, dating myself have a good day Nick

  3. Pull out the switch and push the button to start my 1968 MCI bus 🙂

  4. I vote for digital … but those are kind of hard to put in RV Park Recreation Rooms. Maybe just make the paper variety for placement in various locations as advertisement for the digital version … that would cut all the postage and most of the handling costs! Just a thought, which I’m sure you’ve already had!!!

  5. I wonder if there is a “print on demand” service that you could use for people who want to order a hard copy? It might have to be in a format other than newsprint, but at least that way, folks who want or need a hard copy can order one from that service and you would only need to focus on content and digital subscriptions.

  6. I also love to read and feel a real newspaper, however, as a fulltimer I’ve had to give that up. This is good notice for those that demand a paper copy. Change happens, it’s a fact of life. There will be those that don’t like it but it’s your quality of life that’s important. Do what you need to do, your readers will have to cope.

  7. I must go back even further, Two of my best, first rides wouldn’t move unless you leaned way over on the passenger side and turned on the gas knob. Then you had to turn a key and mash the starter switch on the floor, but first you had to set the spark advance about half way with the left lever under the steering wheel ! Now those were the days!!! I still long for those cars! Ken Turner.

  8. Wife likes to read the digital on her tablet, I like the print. So we get the digital and I print it out. Easy peasy and we both win.

  9. Print newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur Nick. I was the circulation manager of our hometown paper before retirement. It went all electronic a year ago and many big cities are down to just one paper. And that is much smaller in page size. Even Editor & Publisher, the trade journal of the newspaper industry, went digital years ago and stopped printing a paper edition. That has to tell you something. As happened to our paper, as your electronic edition subscriber list grows and your print dwindles you will reach a point where the minimum numbers you have to print will cost you more than the setup charge alone. Then it is time to pull the plug on the print edition. Yes, you will lose a few diehard subscribers who refuse to switch, but you will make more money in the long run. Don’t apologize when that day comes. It’s a business decision that has to be made. Just as your ebooks far outsell your print books, the times, they are a’changing.

  10. You say 62 like its a bad thing. I’m 63 and never felt younger

  11. When the print stops being fun and/or profitable it’s time to quit and go all digital. To the few who refuse to switch, ask them if they want to load all of the papers and haul them to the post office and pay for them to go out. Stop thinking with your heart and start thinking with your calculator.

  12. Remember when cars had chokes?

  13. I’m loving my digital version Nick. And I was thrilled that Big Lake Honeymoom is now available for my Kindle. I’m just finishing up a James Patterson book, so your timing is impeccable!!
    — Connie

  14. Dash starter button…

    Our New to Us Explorer has a “start” button on the dash. ‘Course it does nothing without the wifi “key” nearby.

    BTW, it is wheels down tow-able.

  15. I bought Big Lake Honeymoon yesterday as soon as it was available and read it into the night. All I can say is WOW! I did not see that one coming. You get better with every book Nick.

  16. Nick and Terri, you two are wonderful people but you have one terrible failing as business people. You always hesitate to make the decisions that suit you because you want to please your customers. Not that pleasing customers is a bad thing, but at what expense? Your rallies were the best of the best, no question about it. But you underpriced them to start with and then were reluctant to raise the rates, so you worked yourself to death for nothing except the praise of your fans. Praise is nice and feels warm but it does not pay the bills. I remember when you were reluctant to raise the subscription price from $15, which you held for years. Then you were slow to do away with the bulk mail edition because you wanted to please the cheapskates who did not want to pay a penny more. But you eventually made the decisions that had to be made and life went on. Now you have to do the same thing. Pull the plug on the print version of the paper and make a damn profit on it for a change! Anybody who doesn’t understand that is not your friend and not somebody who’s opinion you should be worrying about.

  17. Hi Nick, we passed through Big Lake (Texas) on our way to San Angelo State Park today and I thought of your novels. Keep writing! Thanks.

  18. Nick I love your Big Lake mystery stories and devour each one as soon as it comes out. But seriously, how can a town that small have so many people getting killed in it? Sad to say, as much as I love your writing, it’s starting to be unbelievable, in a real world sense.

  19. Last year I went to my niece’s destination wedding in the Big Sur area of CA. Got a rental car in San Luis Obispo and the “keys.” Got out to the car, no key on “keys.” I didn’t want to go back in and appear stupid so pulled out the manual and finally discovered the push button start. So funny. What is old becomes new.

  20. Big Lake is a fictional place….. Fictional things happen in Fictional places….. Like lots of people being killed….. Its supposed to be fun and intriguing… And my old 50 Chevy had a starter button on the left side of the dash… And we never took the key out of the ignition switch either….. Cars didn’t get stolen back then in Iowa…. Change the paper to digital when it no longer makes sense….. Its your call…. and we will follow….

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