I found the following in my inbox earlier today and wanted to quickly highlight this for those who are considering the development of an electronic magazine, in this case PDF, and would like a good example of how to go about moving from free (which TUX (PDF) Magazine currently is) to paid without upsetting your subscription base in the process,
NOTE: Some of you are probably wondering,
“And this has to do with Windows development in what way?”
To which I will answer in two parts,
1) It doesn’t directly, but it *DOES* have to do with publishing, which for what I assume are obvious reasons, relates directly to what O’Reilly is in the business of. Of course, this could very easily be seen as competitive, but offering advice for folks who want to publish outside of the O’Reilly family of publishing brands has never been something that Tim O’Reilly has shy’d away from — a perfect example of how to embrace the competition without endorsing them directly, while providing valuable information to folks who have interest in self-publishing. Community-focused Marketing at its finest, in my own opinion (and I can only assume others as well.) — With this in mind, I feel pretty safe that offering up this advice is nothing to be seen as strange from an O’Reilly perspective. Community is what O’Reilly *always has* and, I can only assume, *always will* be about.
2) If not obvious, Microsoft has started to embrace Linux as of late, so in many ways this *DOES* have to do with Windows development, as the future of software has *EVERYTHING* to do with virtualization — on *ALL* known platforms, virtualizing *ALL* known platforms.
With this in mind, please consider the following if you are one who has interest in publishing an electronic magazine, and are looking for ways to develop a subscription base while at the same time, turning this subscription base into paying customers instead of turning them against you if/when you decide to go from free to fee.
Dear TUX Subscriber,
This week you’ll notice a change in TUX. It will move from being a
free digital magazine to a paid one. Your current complimentary
subscription will be extended for 12 issues (expiring after the
July 2007 issue). That being said, this is just a note to let you
know what’s happening — there’s nothing at all you need to do
today. Your free subscription will continue to be delivered to you
as you had originally requested.
When your subscription does expire, we will send you a notice
offerring you an opportunity to renew at our paid rate of just
$9.95/12 issues. In addition, since you’ve been a long-time (and
apprecited!) loyal subscriber, we’ll make certain to offer you a
very special gift if you do decide to renew at that time. Again
though, there’s nothing for you to do today. Your free subscription
to TUX will continue through July 2007.
We started TUX in 2004 because we felt strongly it was a needed
publication within the Linux community (many of our Linux Journal
readers would write in asking for exactly this, and truthfully, many
of our own staff members wanted to learn more about their Linux
desktops also). We invested revenues from our other publication,
Linux Journal, to make it possible. We’ve seen it as a labor of
love. Today, however, 15 issues later, we need to turn TUX into a
self-supporting publication and that’s why we are asking for our
We promise to put more heart and effort into TUX with this
conversion. In the coming months, you can expect several new topics
and article series introduced by TUX Editor Kevin Shockey.
Please let us know how we can make TUX better for you. We strongly
encourage your feedback and suggestions; please send to
From all of us at TUX Magazine, we sincerely thank you.