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Farm & Site magazine, why did it fail?

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I have just picked up my copy of "model  tractor" magazine from my local newsagents on my way from work this afternoon as will do many other prospective subscribers..... The fact it is readily available in many newsagents by the look of things says to me that the new magazine has a much better chance of success at the side of Farm & Site magazine just because people will become aware of it's existence, and needless to say, before I spent my hard earned three quid purchasing the mag I had a quick leaf through and wasn't dissapointed by the content. There are a few features which immediately took my eye and on the strength of them I bought it, if I find it a good read with plenty of content I will be sending my subscription money in the not too distant future.

My thoughts went onto Farm & Site magazine then, with gauranteed circulation to many newsagents and not just being reliant upon sales from shows like Spalding and word of mouth (FTF included) then would Farm and Site have gained more support from Revenue paying advertisers as well as subscribers?? Of course it would!

To put the mag in general circulation on "sale or return" to newsagents is a big gamble and no doubt an expensive one but in my humble opinion it will be the making of a magazine as long as the content is good, maybe the publishers of Farm & Site should have taken this approach from the start.

Just my thought for the day....  ::)

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I have never heard of Farm & Site which is the point you make.

It would be an enormous cost to print encough copies for newsagents  First you have to convince the wholesalers that it is worth them delivering it to their customers, then you have to convince the newsagents to place the orders. (Perhaps the other way round - convince the newsagents and then the wholesalers)

It involves a lot of time, a lot of market research and the "gift of the gab" in selling the idea. 

Having worked for a printers and publishers for 14 years I know the printing costs (even in-house) usually outweigh the income on the cover price and wholesalers/newsagents would expect sale or return. 

So many publications fail in the first few months because of the initial costs and low income. Deep pockets are needed and unless it really takes off you are set to make a huge loss.  The only way for a publication to really suceed is possibly by persuading one of the bigger boys to do the marketing - alas more cost and possibly the only way they will take it is to take it over completely.  Heads they win, tails you lose.

A sad fact of life.

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Can't disagree with any of your comments Jason... I think Farm & sites sad demise was as a result of confidence really (or lack of)... I was approached 3 times by the new owner of farm & site to advertise our yellow tractor... but having heard the wispers in the trade and on here I was reluctant to hand my money over...

The other problem he had (hitting on Susans comments) is that he wanted (NEEDED) almost as much as Tractor & Machinary magazine charged for his advert.. with a MINUTE amount of their circulation - so any prospective advertising customer would not look to be paying the rates they needed - when placing an ad the first qustion we all ask is... how many copies do you sell ??? - I worked my advertising choices out on a pence per copy basis -from memory I paid ?500 for a full page in T & M ... and by the same calculation his back cover was worth about ?40 to me.

It's a brave man who takes on a challenge like this - and I wish the new owners every success with this new venture... I'll be picking up a copy and I hope it gets plenty of support from all of us...

Andy... I wonder if there would be any potential in approaching the owners with some kind of "recriprocal arrangment" linking FTF to this new venture  ???

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I know of one small model magazine publisher who offers discounted subscriptions for bulk mailings and sends 20-odd copies of his magazine to our model club in one package.  Modelauto Review (also includes farm stuff) has a fairly large circulation despite not being available in newsagents. The how is that he has "cultivated" the model collector clubs and gets copies of all their publications which he reviews in  his "News from the Clubs" page thereby increasing his audience.  All his magazines are sold on subscription and there are 11 editions each year.  One of the success stories as the magazine has been going for many years, but he works hard at it and does actually read the club magazines/newsletter that he is sent. This magazine obviously covers a wider range of models and collecting themes as it looks at [almost] everything available of the model scene. 

Perhaps as Marky suggests FTF could help to give it a boost obviously not with a bulk mailing but possibly with some regular input from the Forum which would be a definite reciprocal arrangement as it might persuade other members to buy it and give the forum some publicity at the same time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that one of the main reasons f+s failed was the price of the mag itself considering that the content started out pretty good but then went more towards long winded articles about one or two types of models per issue spread out over half of the magazine and when you think that there was only usually about 24 pages you had read it from front to back in about 2 hours  which left you wondering was it worth it.

I did get evry copy that was printer    But only because It was part of my hobby    If I hadn't of subscribed to it and had to buy it off the shelf I don't think I would have after a few coppies as a trip down to WH Smiths on an afternoon I could have read anything interesting.

The new mag that you talk about    I have yet to find anywhere at the moment  but I will keep serching

Normal Appologies for grammer and articulation ;)

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Farm and Site, dead and buried. RIP. Model Tractor, very much alive and kicking, so all us tractor collectors should support it as it is supporting our hobby and will undoubtedly offer us all a valuable resource to our hobby with information on the past, present and the future (to a point) and aids us in widening our knowledge of the subject which we can then pass on and share (on the Forum).

If there are any persons connected with the magazine that happen to visit the Forum or anyone here that knows any of them, I would like to wish them all the success they deserve and say 'long live MT'  8)

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