Subscriber FAQ

Welcome and thank you for taking time to join our conversation about the new Linux Journal. Please review our subscriber FAQ to see if your question is answered before posting it here in the forum.

http://www.linuxjournal.com/digital-faq

From everyone at Linux Journal, we'd like to sincerely thank you for your support!

Twitter hash tag #lj100d

rinux's picture

Hi,
I suggest the tag #lj100d as hashtags on twitter for quick comments on this sudden change.

73,
Arturo.

--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world — those who understand trinary, those who don't understand trinary and those who mistake it for binary.

I've been subscribing to

Anonymous's picture

I've been subscribing to Linux Journal for many years, but I have no interest in reading it on a computer screen, or a tiny android phone.

I like the printed version as it's easy on the eyes and I can read it away from the computer.

I spend a lot of time working at the computer, so I don't want to read magazines there.

If you can provide a pdf, you can provide print version.

I'd rather see an increased subscription rate then go digital.

If I can't read the mag in comfort, why subscribe?

At minimum, you should provide a format for e-readers.

A kindle one is obvious choice, but you should make sure
you also provide a high quality Adobe epub version.

In Canada, the main e-reader is the kobo which handles epub just fine.

A pdf is horrible on an e-reader. You can only see a portion of the width of page (say top left quarter) so you are for ever panning.

A pdf on an e-reader is a non-starter.

If the epub version read well on my kobo, I might consider continuing.

PDF or online or mobile only, I will definitely unsubscribe and switch to another linux mag.

Sad to do so, but you are leaving no choice.

Frankly, a digital only switch is too soon.

pad devices are not common, nor cheap enough to mean you are not leaving a large portion of your subscribers behind.

I think if you did a survey, you will found a large portion of your subscriber base does not have a feasible means to read the digital format (PDF and on a computer are not options).

Ryan

The pdf looks great on my

Anonymous's picture

The pdf looks great on my Sharp Zaurus SL-C860 with Qpdf2 reader.

But page flips are a bit slow on pages with a lot of graphics.

Anyone have a suggestion for how to scale down the graphics in size in a pdf?

The tweet that you were going digital hit me like a brick

CallMeDissapointed's picture

I'll go with it for now, until my sub runs out. Then I'll make a decision.
Damn, you used to be a great mag, but now....

note to your marketing team: Change the ads on this forum to not show the magazine format, but to show the e-zine! Kinda like false advertizing.

Digital Format for Use

billz's picture

I hope Linux Journal considers carefully the Digital Format that they go to. PDF looks horrible on most devices BECAUSE it was actually intended for paper - strange as that may "sound."

Please support formats like EPUB or good old HTML, which at least gives the DEVICE a fighting chance to try and display it properly.

Digital

Louyo's picture

Been reading the pdf on the train for a couple of months, so I can live with the change. Seeing what has happened to other paper pubs, this is not a surprise. I have seen some of your advertisers disappear so I hope your business model works out. Would hate to see you go away.
BTW: What ever happened to Nicholas P?

--
Louyo

--- __@
-- _-\<,_
--- (_)/ (_)

Not happy about the change

Anonymous's picture

Kindle won't option from what I've read, so read on PC or get a tablet.

Change is usually not easy.

Just not looking forward to having a tablet to read the magazine on the go.

Time will tell, but in all honesty I don't think there are many options; many magazines seem to be doing this.

Nook - revisited and updated.

sstenbom's picture

I'm not happy about this, but I'll give the digital edition an honest try.

But PLEASE, be absolutely sure that at least one of your digital edition formats - PDF, ? - reads correctly on a Nook. I've been disappointed from time to time when, after downloading a PDF to my Nook, the Nook struggles with it, locks up, etc. It's that, or it's good bye.

(Later......)
I just downloaded the September edition PDF to my laptop, then copied it to my Nook. My nook froze at page 5 (i.e. in the Table of Contents), and getting that far was painful. Buy yourself a Nook, and you'll see. So, no more LJ for me! :(

Now if my home brewing magazine goes digital and does the same, that'll end it. I'll just shoot myself. ;)

Steve

(Edited to include my initial experience with LJ on a Nook.)

Steven Stenbom
Goldendale WA

An epub version is on its

Webmistress's picture

An epub version is on its way.

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Nook - revisited and updated.

sstenbom's picture

That's great news! One question. On it's way.... where/when?

Thanks for your efforts.

Steve

Steven Stenbom
Goldendale WA

You have disappointed me

Cliff Palmer's picture

Don't bother sending me a renewal notice. You have killed your formerly fine magazine and I wont contribute a cent to it's funeral.
I thought you knew something about publishing, but it looks like you're clueless noobs.

Wow, that's harsh. They

Tuxly_Tuxford_McTuxtington's picture

Wow, that's harsh. They didn't do this just to screw with you. We can't see their financial figures, but I'm pretty sure that they were dying like the rest of the print world. This was an act of desperation.

Was planning to switch to a PDF subscription anyway...

Geert-Jan Hut's picture

The funny thing is, I read this mail immediately after completing an order of an Android tablet, with the main purpose of reading magazines and books during my commute to work (2x 45 min train trip).

I always loved reading paper magazines, and was (and still am) always happy when I find them on the doorstep when they arrive. But I think it's the tradeoff of progress. I will miss the paper copies, but not carrying them, or having stacks of paper distributed over all the house (the wife doesn't mind either... ;-) ).

So I'm definitely going to keep my subscription, as long as you keep the content flowing!

I do have a question though, is the number of magazines that I'm going to receive on the current subscription in the subscription center already updated?

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Geert-Jan.

Digital Subscription

loopyfrogger's picture

I know this is a tough decision as your subscribers will be at different points along the path to all digital. I personally already only subscribe to digital versions of magazines and newspapers. So I heartily embrace your decision. If their wasn't a digital version I would not subscribe. I also don't mind paying the same price for the digital version as the print version as the subscription price is a subsidized price anyway. And I want the good magazines such as yours to be able to continue in business and to be able to pay the contributors of content a reasonable value for what is provided.

The advantages of digital publication are just so over whelming that users that don't embrace it are just being selfish.
1) No destruction of forests to produce disposable, difficult to recycle products.
2) No use of hydrocarbon based inks that are not good for the environment (I know, you guys use SOY INK).
3) No recycling of unsold or extra printings
4) No recycling by the end user needed. (Lets face it most go into land fills).
5) No use of hydrocarbons in the physical transportation and delivery of the product.
6) Search-ability.
7) Copy and paste for code examples, text citations and direct access to web sites.
8) Timely delivery of content (No waiting for the mail man to finish reading your copy).
9) Spring board for innovation into more exciting content delivery options (the next iteration of magazines).
10) Painless archiving on digital storage devices no dust or boxes needed.
11) More efficient use of capital should provide more resources for investment in innovation.

Are there downsides ? Yes
1) A change in tradition.
2) User must invest in some type of electronic reader.
3) You have to have power to read your content.
4) The power requirement is not free (as in money) or is its carbon foot print.
5) Distribution requires power that is also not free and also has a carbon foot print.

Personally I currently read the PDF version on an iPad. I read it in the bathroom, in bed, on the train, on the airplane, all the same places that I might read a printed magazine.

Change is hard. This is the future. Embrace it.

Trees are a renewable resource

NixSince85's picture

> 1) No destruction of forests to produce disposable, difficult to recycle products.

Trees are a renewable resource. Trees that are grown for paper are replaced by a continual supply of new trees that grow...and are used for paper! So this is a moot point.

Equal impact

billt's picture

Sorry, but the social and ecological damage done by the iPad and like pads/ereaders outweigh any of your "Save the trees" arguments. I'm not saying that paper is superior to electronic formats, but ecologically that have equal impact. If you don't agree, citation needed.

You made the supposition that

loopyfrogger's picture

You made the supposition that they are equal, you need to provide the citations to back it up.

Well, ok

billt's picture

You should go first since you started with the supposition that they are not equal.

However, the jury is still out so neither of us can give a definite answer. My comment was based on studies showing that the iPad recovers it's carbon footprint from construction when it has replaced ~30 books (http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/02/will-ebooks-jeopardize-book-industry...). This does not take into account the cost of running and powering the iPad, or any accessories you may use with it. It also does not take into account the social costs of globalization and the labor discrepancies at Foxconn City in Shenzhen (http://blog.recordedfuture.com/2010/06/27/foxconn-and-chinese-labor-issues/).

You can find a nice overview of print v.s. pad here:
http://www.ecolibris.net/ebooks.asp

Selfish?

Tuxly_Tuxford_McTuxtington's picture

I'm not being selfish by not reading the PDF version. I've got an ebook reader that is an absolute nightmare to read PDF files on. Not all of us have iPads.

Bummer..

bejfam's picture

I've taken a look at the Sept. "enhanced digital" issue, and I have to say, I'm disappointed. It looks like you simply published the images you would normally have printed. Yawn...

I'm trying to recall if this is the third or fourth magazine I used to subscribe to, which went "all digital", and I now no longer read (and I'm not even sure if they still exist, because they've become so irrelevant).

I'm sorry, but an "all digital" periodical is an anachronism. I'm willing to wait for articles to come out in Linux Journal, and I'm willing to peruse/read through lots of stuff I'm not really interested in to find a jewel or two in each issue, because it comes in a format that is convenient and enjoyable to read. If I'm going to open up my web browser, there are thousands of places for me to go to get far fresher news, or more focused, interesting-to-me articles. I'm just not going to spend the time "thumbing" through a virtual magazine. By eliminating the print version, without changing the content, or making it far more dynamic, or doing something to make it more way more attractive than perusing my RSS reader, you're just not going to get people to pay a subscription for it. I know I won't.

I've taken a look at the

Anonymous's picture


I've taken a look at the Sept. "enhanced digital" issue, and I have to say, I'm disappointed. It looks like you simply published the images you would normally have printed. Yawn...

I just now had a look at the August edition, and this was exactly what i noticed!
I would also like an ePub version

Irony

billt's picture

Does anyone else find it ironic that a magazine dedicated to Free and Open Source software now requires closed source readers (Adobe and/or Flash) for it's only digital options?

No. You can read PDFs with

Anonymous's picture

No. You can read PDFs with any number of open source/freeware readers.

Open Source PDF Readers

pallen38's picture

Paper Subscription

crh's picture

Isn't LJ contractually obligated to continue to provide me my printed and mailed monthly publication until my subscription runs out? What is the cost savings for me, given that printing and mailing operations are ceasing?

As others have said, I carry the magazine and read it in lieu of having access to a PC or eReader. It seems pretty obvious to me that eReaders should be supported before making the change over.

I will give the new way a try but I do expect my subscription to be extended due to the lower cost of distribution and the use of my disk space for storage. I don't think PDF format will cut it with some eReaders.

Oh LJ ....
thanks for all the lead time before deciding to telling us.

LJ is not obligated to keep

Tuxly_Tuxford_McTuxtington's picture

LJ is not obligated to keep printing paper versions. They'll refund the money remaining in your subscription if you don't like the change.

Sad day

Anonymous's picture

I loved your publication because it was an actual magazine. I'll be cancelling my subscription. I think a better way to go would have been to offer a PDF version and the physical magazine. I would have been fine with a price increase if it meant being able to keep the magazine.

Kindle

SteveH's picture

I'll miss reading the printed version. But having a kindle edition would make this pill a little easier to swallow. My smartphone just doesn't cut it as a e-reader (too small of a screen).

Kindle

SteveH's picture

I'll miss reading the printed version. But having a kindle edition would make this pill a little easier to swallow. My smartphone just doesn't cut it as a e-reader (too small of a screen).

Not what I wanted

Disappointed's picture

I've been buying Linux Journal from time to time at my newsagent, and six weeks ago I decided to order a one year subscription. The august issue was the first one I was supposed to receive, but there was a trouble with shipping and I received a link to a pdf-version instead, which I still haven't read because I detest reading magazines on my computer. Imagine my disappointment when I received the news about you going all digital from September onwards.

I'm really not interested in receiving the digital version as it was the print version I wanted, for reasons others have listed above me. Will it be possible to get a refund for the year I've already paid for?

Dang

slashbob's picture

I agree with the comments of others, this was a poor decision with no opportunity for discussion given to us 'the subscribers'. Definitely not a democracy.

The only way I'll continue my subscription is if I can get a Kindle version. I don't have a laptop/ipad/andriod/tablet or any other device that I want to sit in front of to read the articles.

A printed copy is the best way to read Linux Journal, as others have stated, on trains, planes, automobiles, and various other locations. Please bring it back or I'll be cancelling as well!

Does not bode well

billt's picture

There just doesn't seem to be a point to a digital only version of the Linux Journal. There really isn't much difference between a LJ article and an average blog posting. The main reason I subscribed to the Journal was in order to read it off-line.

I'll keep reading what is published until the end of my current subscription, but LJ will need to really up their game for me to renew.

Very disappointed

Michael Harris's picture

I have been reading from the first issues in 1994. Today I can read online to no end about Linux for free, and access better information than LJ or any paid magazine publishes. I subscribe because print is different, because I can thumb though it just like the New Yorker or my daily paper. LJ's right to cancel the print version may be buried in the fine print somewhere, but I hope they will refund the $25 I paid to renew last month. Like Telephony and the other journals who have gone all digital, this publication will never be what it once was.

Kindle support would be great

Anonymous's picture

I have seen a fair share of magazines take this road, I've cancelled subscriptions to some because the delivery method was really poor.

In this case the PDF option is good but having it on a device like a Kindle would be really appreciated. Kindle (or similar) but not a tablet; the one month charge is hard to beat.

Reading the magazine on the PC is not the greatest way, at least for me; having the print copy was great but I do understand the trend of going paperless.

Interesting times.

Fast! Customer service doesn't even know

Tuxly_Tuxford_McTuxtington's picture

I am on the phone with LJ Customer Service right now and the guy has no idea that the magazine is going 100% digital. I had to ask him to check out the front page of the site to verify it.

I've got 22 issues of a 2 year subscription remaining, I'm canceling as we speak.

I love LJ and would love to keep supporting it, but I don't have any desire to read a PDF version. I can't justify a $70 donation. Thankfully, the customer service guy was extremely helpful and set up a refund without any problem.

Innovation - that's what we need

Open Source Publishing ?'s picture

I am a Linux Journal reader because it's an excellent way for me to maintain an expanded information horizon about some parts of the computer industry in which I don't participate on a daily basis, >without< spending any more of my valuable time sitting in front of (or holding and manipulating) a computer device. I'm not going to read it on line. That stinks.

Apparently, that value proposition in terms of user experience is not recognized or not valued highly enough in the periodicals industry as a whole. Linux Journal is succumbing to this trend and victimizing their readership. Accepted - but not appreciated.

I consider the participants in the Linux community to be the paragon of innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. I rely on Linux Journal and your team to represent and promote this vanguard.

Given the fact that (so far) the majority of replies on this forum are disgruntled print subscribers like myself, please allow me to lay a proposition before the community:

Why don't we figure out a more efficient way to get a print magazine in the hands of those who really want it? I'm not in the industry, but let's assume the apparently unsustainable costs of the print distro stem specifically from operation "at scale": monthly book-form "camera-ready" layout, manufacturing, and postal distribution costs.

So, how can we find a more distributed, closer-to-the-consumer mechanism? Sure, I could print out and staple together a bunch of loose PDFs... maybe I will (doubt it)... but is there a middle ground?

I have a local print shop down the street that is very cost-effective. If there were a "standing order" and an efficient means to ship the Linux Journal bits to them and have them print and bind it, I would be delighted to go there and pick up my issue every month.

Who else among you would do this, to retain your ability to sit wherever you want and flip the pages?

It's the glossy paper that really kills ya!

So, the gauntlet is down... Any takers? Thoughts?

Sorry .....

beep's picture

I agree with the first comment ! Don't like reading books/magazines
on ANY screen .... Will never buy an iPad !

Sorry, but I can see myself fading away.. Won't quit right away -
will TRY to get along with electronic edition, but I'm pretty
sure I won't last a year .... I spend too much time now in front
of a screen - a bit of couch time with a great magazine has been
really good for me ! I read cover-to-cover, every issue ...

I really think this is a BAD decision ! . Why not let the
customers decide ??? If the cost gets too high, then subscriptions
will drop - THEN you can consider this alternative.

I really like the magazine, and have been with you for years -
since about 1995 ... but this looks like the end ..... :-(

......beep

Sadly I'm out as well

Gumnos's picture

My whole motivation for subscribing to LJ was that I could read good Linux content offline without staring at a screen, worrying about packing a power-adapter, screen-washout, or toting something heavy. While I'm sure future issues will be swell, it no longer meets my main wants.

How sad

Anonymous's picture

It's really too bad that Linux Journal has to go the all digital route. It makes the magazine much less attractive and useful to me. I will think long and hard about paying for a digital only subscription.

Why not

j-v-e's picture

Why not ? After all, it would reduce the amount of trees we waste every year on that, and the search/archiving features of the enhanced reader are interesting.

But I'm also concerned about readability on external devices.An HTML version would be great, and much easier to transform to read it on portable devices.

One of the reasons I'm

Daniel Fajardo's picture

One of the reasons I'm subscribed is because I get the print version and can take it with me wherever I go. I hope at least we get a Kindle version

Not mad, just disappointed...

Chris Scheller's picture

I have never used the digital version and don't really care to start but guess I have no choice in the matter now. Doubtful I will renew which is a pity after being a subscriber for over 12 years.

How getting me a kindle version? I could make do with that.

All digital

Joseph Vaughan's picture

This is a major change being carried out in a short time, without much notice to your customers.

I prefer the print version, and found that when Dr. Dobbs, for example, went all digital I stopped reading it.

I read in places that I either don't want to take my computer or in which it is not very convenient to have it: the bath, lying sideways curled up in bed, the bathroom...

Very disappointing. I agree with Patrick Allen, there should be some compensation for print subscribers who are unhappy with this change.

Another One

Warcraft's picture

I was a subscriber to U.S. News and World Reports for decades. I quit being a subscriber when they went all digital.

The email I just received from Linux Journal just hit me like ice water.

The very least you could have done is not offer a print magazine to new subscribers, but to continue mailing print versions to those of us that chose that medium.

HI can't haul my computer everywhere I go. I usually read my Linux Journal while at a restaurant, commuting in a train, waiting at the doctor's office, etc.

The advantages of having a printed magazine are numerous!

I will not renew my subscription and I would hope you offer refunds for those subscribers that chose to terminate their subscription.

You sold us apples and gave us oranges!

A sad day indeed.

Game changer

intelsys's picture

As noted in the email, I'm one who has been with Linux Journal from the beginning. As others have noted, digital only is not satisfactory. I can't read it in bed, I can't take it to the men's reading room, most of the time I can't take it with me when traveling, I can't read it in the evening because that's wife time. I'm usually at least two issues behind trying to keep up now. In other words, digital only will kill most of my ability to read it. I will let my subscription lapse. If possible, I'll probably cancel and try to get some of my money back.

Costs..

mckillnm's picture

Hi Guys,

I hear you on the costs front.. But with all the cash your not having to spend, will there be a reduction in the cost of a sub? Or has you advertising revenue gone down too?

I really hope you keep going! Jury is out on the whole digital only sub.. but I keep an open mind on that one and see how I get on with the digital versions. Time to dig up my old Sony e-book reader and figure out how to get the latest issue on to it! (Maybe you could to a tutorial on how to do this?)

Regards

Mark

Advertising generally down

corfy's picture

I can't speak for Linux Journal, but as a person who works at a publication (specifically, a newspaper), I can tell you that advertising revenue is down considerably all across the board, and has been for about four years now (i.e., as the economy went down, so did advertising).

----
Laugh at life or life will laugh at you.

The advertising irony

Gumos's picture

I blithely ignore or skim nearly all the adverts in every one of the dozen or so dead-tree magazine I receive. Except Linux Journal. I tend to read close to 95% of the ads there in detail—partially because the companies are supporting the Linux community's magazine, and partially because their products are better aligned with my interests than advertisers in most other magazines.

This sucks.

Andrzej's picture

I usually unsub from magazines that go all digital. The paper version is just too convenient.

I think you should have asked your subscribers whether they wanted this before making a unilateral decision.

Pity....LJ has always been something I've always looked forward to receiving in the mail each month.

I may have to cancel my sub and get a refund.

Not a good day today for LJ. You dropped the ball on this one by surprising us all with this announcement on such short notice.

I had expected more of you.

Really bad

J. E. Aneiros's picture

This is really bad, I'm not sure if I'll keep my subscription.

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