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Hub-a-dub-dub

11/05/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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The format of genre science fictiontitle Hub Magazine is changing, with the magazine moving to an electronic-only format from issue 3.

This missive just in from Lee Harris, the editor over at Hub Magazine...

As we have not been able to employ a full-time advertising salesperson we have not had the ability to attract a sufficient amount of revenue to keep the magazine going in its existing format. Even though we almost sell out each issue, sales revenue is never enough to cover costs. You may be aware that the cover price of a magazine (for a magazine of our size, at least) is usually a loss-leader. The aim is to attract advertising, and though the subscribers were with us we simply did not have the business acumen sufficient to sell the quantities of advertising needed. Hub was put together by a couple of people with an interest in genre fiction - not by an experienced publishing empire.

Hub will therefore move to an electronic-only format from issue 3.

There are more changes than this, however. From Issue 3 onward, Hub will be a weekly 'zine. Every week subscribers will receive one short story, plus at least one review (and due to the more frequent nature of the delivery reviews can be more topical), and there will also be occasional features. This means that the amount of fiction we are publishing will remain unchanged.

Another major change is the cost of the 'zine. Though we are going to continue to pay contributors (for both fiction and non-fiction), Hub is going to become free. How can we afford to do this? The magazine is to be (initially, at least) sponsored by one of the UK's foremost publishers of SF - Orbit. Orbit's kind patronage will enable us to pay all of our writers a modest fee (not as much as we paid previously, but we're only asking for non-exclusive, electronic-only rights to the work this time around). Additional costs (website hosting, etc) will be met by appealing to the kind nature of our readers. ie. donations.

There are many successful electronic-only magazines around, and the most important thing is to continue to bring our subscribers quality fiction and features.

The magazine will be produced in PDF format, and will continue to be formatted in a professional manner with illustrations, where appropriate. Subscribers will receive a version suitable for reading online, or downloading to a PDA, though there will also be the option to download a higher-resolution version suitable for printing. We will also be experimenting with versions for Palm and Microsoft Reader.

What of existing subscriptions?

All existing subscribers will receive a refund for the unfulfilled portion of their subscription.

We'd like to end this announcement by thanking our subscribers for their faith in the magazine. Thanks to those who signed on before Issue 1 was even published (mad - the lot of you!), and thanks to those of you who waited until you saw issue 1, and enjoyed it enough to subscribe.

We had a fantastic (though hectic) time producing the tree-killing version of Hub. We're looking forward to our foray into the electronic world, even more!

Check them out over at http://www.hub-mag.co.uk

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