The rain finally cleared out sometime early Tuesday morning and we woke up to mostly blue sky, something we have not seen in a while. And to make it even better, it was in the low 60s and the wind wasn’t blowing. While I’d prefer it was in the 70s, I can live with that. One of the nice things about the desert is that it soaks up water fast, so the pools we had around the fairgrounds on Monday were all gone by mid-morning yesterday.
Like the day before, part of it was spent writing and weaving. I cranked out a little over 4,000 more words on my new book, while Miss Terry finished one project on her loom and started another.
During the early afternoon our friends Dave and Lynn Cross stopped in for a visit on the way back to their lot at the Escapees Saguaro Co-op in Benson. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had time to enjoy their company, and though they said they could only stay ten minutes, we had so much to talk about that we managed to keep them here a while longer. I mentioned that I had hoped to get down to Benson to drop off some sample issues of the Gypsy Journal at the RV parks there, and Dave offered to take three bundles with them to save me the trip. Thanks, buddy, I appreciate it!
We’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from subscribers to the print edition of the paper who are switching over to the digital edition. Most seem to accept the change, but not everybody. One subscriber to the print edition wrote that they would try the digital, then added, “But we are not happy with the change. Why not just charge more to the person who wants the print edition?“
I wish it were that easy but it’s not. Newspapers are not printed one copy at a time. It costs the same to print 100 copies as it does 1,000 because the main cost is in the setup. And then there is the cost of having it shipped to us, envelopes, and postage. And it all keeps going up year after year.
I crunched the numbers over and over, and for the few subscribers who insisted on a printed edition, the annual subscription cost would be over $55. Not many people are willing to pay that, and we would need at least 2,000 subscribers at that cost just to break even, let alone turn a profit.
It was a hard decision to make but it had to be done. I’ve been in the newspaper business since I started my first one at age 26 and nobody was more reluctant to see the printed edition go away. But it’s the fate of newspapers everywhere in the country. The last report I read on it said we are losing somewhere around 100 newspapers a year in this country. Both big city daily newspapers and small town weeklies are going all digital or else folding. There is just not enough readership or advertising to support them.
And we have found that almost everybody who has tried the digital edition quickly comes to love it. To make it easier to read on tablets and computers, I’ll be reformatting it to a smaller page size (8.5×11). This means that there will be more pages (from 36 to 40 or 44,) to be able to provide the same amount of content and to keep the print size the same as in the printed paper. Give us a couple of issues to get the bugs worked out and I think most readers will be very pleased.
Thought For The Day – My family’s coat of arms ties in the back.