Crikey 16

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by kembel on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:18 pm

tony ingram wrote: It would need to be in WH Smith.

I agree.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:20 pm

If you really are a time travelling 1968 version of Paul McCartney, Kembel, maybe you could pass the idea onto your showbiz chums? Anybody got Jonathon Ross's number?

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by GBF on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:40 pm

We don't need Woss!! To update you on the WHSmith thing Tony mentioned on the last page - the reason we didn't go into Smith's was because they charge - wait for it - EIGHT THOUSAND QUID for the pleasure of being on their shelves... and then we would have had to print 10000 instead of 3000...more print money. Then you have to pay for it to be shipped...you get my point. Oh, and while we're here...tp top it all, none of MY stuff was going ever in!!! That was a big thing for me - I was PAYING to promote everybody else's work. I couldn't do it...

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:06 pm

Hey, you had the final say! Come to think of it, a lot of my stuff wasn't getting in, either! A direct result of the number of talented and dedicated people who were submitting stuff, of course. We must have been doing something right to get them... Very Happy

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by kembel on Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:13 pm

tony ingram wrote:If you really are a time travelling 1968 version of Paul McCartney, Kembel, maybe you could pass the idea onto your showbiz chums? Anybody got Jonathon Ross's number?

Ha. If I had any showbiz chums, I'd pass the collection hat around, believe me. I'd love to see Crikey!, or something along the same lines, become a mainstream success.

WHS is clearly the way to go. But other things come to light from the first 16 issues. How on earth do the likes of Forbidden Planet come to define the nature of a product? And where does their definition of a 'fanzine' end and a 'publication' or 'periodical' or 'magazine' begin? Getting into these kind of outlets would be crucial, did they ever stock the title?

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by GBF on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:09 pm

Tony - of course I had the final say (it was starting to cost me!!!) but you're missing my point. I am grateful for anybody who contributed to Crikey! - As you know so well, they got no money from it...but they, including you, actually saw their work IN there. I didn't. So, on top of all the 'business' side of things - I was spending MY money to promote their (your) work. So - I was getting NO money, spending MY money and not having anything in the mag. Sounds like madness to me.
FP decide a lot of things Macca - it's their call. I'm don't recall if they ever took it - maybe the first issue; I'm not sure. If anybody out there wants to put the money up, let them show it. The talent is there. But, in this world, money talks.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:31 pm

kembel wrote:
tony ingram wrote:If you really are a time travelling 1968 version of Paul McCartney, Kembel, maybe you could pass the idea onto your showbiz chums? Anybody got Jonathon Ross's number?

Ha. If I had any showbiz chums, I'd pass the collection hat around, believe me. I'd love to see Crikey!, or something along the same lines, become a mainstream success.

WHS is clearly the way to go. But other things come to light from the first 16 issues. How on earth do the likes of Forbidden Planet come to define the nature of a product? And where does their definition of a 'fanzine' end and a 'publication' or 'periodical' or 'magazine' begin? Getting into these kind of outlets would be crucial, did they ever stock the title?
They can decide what, in their opinion, it is, and use that as a basis on which to decide whether to stock it. It's stupid, as their opposite numbers at Forbidden Planet International stocked it and made money out of it, but sadly, you're at the mercy of these people if you're putting out a magazine.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by tony ingram on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:33 pm

GBF wrote:Tony - of course I had the final say (it was starting to cost me!!!) but you're missing my point. I am grateful for anybody who contributed to Crikey! - As you know so well, they got no money from it...but they, including you, actually saw their work IN there. I didn't. So, on top of all the 'business' side of things - I was spending MY money to promote their (your) work. So - I was getting NO money, spending MY money and not having anything in the mag. Sounds like madness to me.
FP decide a lot of things Macca - it's their call. I'm don't recall if they ever took it - maybe the first issue; I'm not sure. If anybody out there wants to put the money up, let them show it. The talent is there. But, in this world, money talks.
I didn't have much in the last few issues, either. Not really.

Why doesn't the Multi-Quote function work anymore, I wonder?

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by THEDRUNKENMASTERTWO on Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:32 pm

sorry you've published your last issue, which i've only just got last week from you off ebay. sorry i havent been around, been going through some problems recently, and have been mostly avoiding forums. but hope to get back to more frequent use now. hoping you get to publish both Crikey Comics Unlimited as PDFs.

and thanks for another great issue

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by tony ingram on Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:43 pm

THEDRUNKENMASTERTWO wrote:sorry you've published your last issue, which i've only just got last week from you off ebay. sorry i havent been around, been going through some problems recently, and have been mostly avoiding forums. but hope to get back to more frequent use now. hoping you get to publish both Crikey Comics Unlimited as PDFs.

and thanks for another great issue
Thanks, Stephen. I was wondering where you'd got to-hopefully you'll stick around this time! I hope everything's OK with you now.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by THEDRUNKENMASTERTWO on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:11 pm

thanks Tony. well things arent as bad.

cheers

Steve

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by Phil Friel on Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:17 am

Tony/Glenn,

I'm totally gutted that Crikey! is now deceased, although that, hopefully, won't be its permanent state of being. I just joined the forum earlier this evening, and was very saddened to hear that this was the case. But to be honest, I'm not totally surprised.

I haven't heard anything from the Crikey! crew in a long while, and it was a strong niggling feeling that something was wrong which spurred me to come online this evening to see what was up. Indeed, if I hadn't been preoccupied with lots of heavy Real Life crap in recent months, I'd have come on here ages ago to find out what the problem was.

Which brings me to my main point. Last time I was in contact, I paid up for back issues #'s 7-12 (#12 was the current issue at that time), which I received soon afterward. However, I also paid a subscription for #'s 13-18, and have only just found out (by reading posts in this forum) that Crikey! actually reached #16 before folding (I'd assumed, wrongly, that it had stopped with #12). I've never received #'s 13-16, and assume that my subscription details were overlooked or misplaced with all the recent craziness that you guys have been suffering. I'd be grateful if you could sort that out for me.

I'll follow this post up at some point with another one detailing my thoughts on how the possible future of Crikey! might pan out, with maybe a few suggestions as to how you might go about it.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by GBF on Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:25 am

Hi Phil - sorry to hear that your Crikey!'s seem to have gone missing. I can send you issues 13-16 if you want them. If you contact me through via the email address on 'Contact' and send me your address, I'll sort it out for you.

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Re: Crikey 16

Post by Phil Friel on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:34 am

Glenn, many thanks for sorting me out with Crikey! #'s 13-16. I'm loving them, and it's bugging me Big Time that the mag has folded. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter:

As Glenn has said, Crikey! was killed by financial problems. At the risk of stating the obvious, I'll make a possibly controversial statement here: those financial problems were caused almost overwhelmingly by the move to put Crikey! into Borders, which I believe was a HUGE mistake, right from the outset. Sure, I know we all have 20/20 vision in hindsight, but it's pretty obvious now, if we're being honest.

I'm not referring here to the collapse of Borders and the financial losses incurred by Glenn, which was the final nail in the coffin, but rather the overall initial idea. Sure, we got a beautiful new colour Crikey! for a couple of issues (which I loved as much as the next hardcore fan – the two colour Crikeys! were my favourite issues). The publishing schedule had also increased to every two months, and sales had improved a bit. But all of this came at a very heavy cost.

Even if Borders hadn't crashed in flames and brought everything down with it, putting out an issue of Crikey! through Borders was very expensive. Issue 11 cost £5000 – the initial £2000 to get onto the shelves, plus £3000 production costs. Then, Issue 12 cost £3000 to print the minimum run of 5000 copies, and this would have continued every two months, just to get each issue out the door. Total insanity. Was there ever ANY hope of recouping that outlay, even if Borders had never gone under? Had sales improved to such an extent, or were they ever likely to, that this was succeeding on any level?

Personally, I believe that Crikey! would have always found it very difficult in these circumstances to sell the numbers needed to even cover costs, never mind make a profit. Even if Borders hadn't gone bust, £3000 is a LOT of money to recoup each month for a low-circulation, niche publication like Crikey! I reckon that the overall financial costs would have been untenable in the long run, even if it had continued for a few more months.

And what's all this crazy talk in this discussion about WH Smiths being the “way to go”. Are you guys completely nuts? At £8,000 for the dubious “honour” of getting Crikey! onto its shelves, plus £6000 (?) to pump out a minimum of 10,000 circulation for each issue, WHS is definitely NOT the way to go. Anyone considering going this route must either have money to throw away or is certifiably insane.

Big store chains like Borders and WH Smiths are pirates and parasites for charging such ridiculously exorbitant rates for shelf space. Producing a print magazine is expensive enough without throwing huge chunks of cash at these people. There are other forms of distribution and marketing that would generate decent sales without this kind of financial outlay.

I also agree with comments made criticizing Forbidden Planet's role in this. They're a relatively small, unimportant book chain, so what the hell gives them the power or the right to arbitrarily categorize Crikey! or any other publication as a “fanzine”, thus preventing these magazines from including advertising (something which can make or break any publication). Self-appointed, self-important arseholes! They should have no say at all in anything like this. It's not like they were even much help with distributing Crikey! - ironic, given their customer base. They should be bending over backwards to support any new SF or comics-based publications.

Those people in this discussion going on about Crikey! becoming a mainstream success and talking about getting Crikey! to the “Average Punter” must be smoking a crack pipe. It's all a nice dream, but Crikey! NEVER had any chance of becoming a mainstream success. Crikey! is not and never will be aimed at the “Average Punter”. The contents of Crikey! mean absolutely NOTHING to such a person, and if they actually even noticed Crikey! on the shelves at Borders or WH Smiths, they'd dismiss it almost immediately. So why bother spending time and money trying to attract these people?

To attract a mainstream audience, you'd have to create another SFX, TV Zone or DreamWatch. It's no good dreaming about snagging the "Average Punter", because it isn't going to happen. That isn't Crikey's! target audience, so stop wasting time, effort and money trying to convince these people to buy your publication. They're NEVER going to be interested in it, or at least not enough of them to make any real difference. To the mainstream audience, especially those too young to have experienced the glory days of British comics, the contents of Crikey! might as well be discussing the obscure dance rituals of some unknown tribe of upper Amazonian pygmies.

It'll ALWAYS be a struggle trying to get any magazine off the ground that is aimed at a niche audience. Only an extremely select group are interested in what Crikey! publishes, and who, realistically, outside of that select group, would be interested in buying Crikey! in the first place? The subject matter is aimed at a small, niche audience of a "certain age", that tiny and deranged sub-group of older comics readers who wallow in the nostalgia and memories of the Golden Age of British Weekly Comics. Even 99% of the general comics reading audience wouldn't be interested in the contents of Crikey! So how the hell can anyone expect the non-comics mainstream audience to go for it? The effort and expense of trying to break into the mainstream market was and is a complete waste.

One of the main rules of business is “Always remember your target audience”. And that is the group Crikey! should be concentrating on. There are many more fans of classic UK weeklies out there that you haven't hooked yet. Grab as many of them as you can. Forget about the rest of the world, as they wouldn't know a Golden Age British Weekly Comic from a ham and pickle sandwich.

You should focus on exploiting every nook and cranny of the niche market at which Crikey is aimed, and attracting as many new members as possible from that niche audience. Do that, and you'll do well. You have to attract everybody out there who is a fan of, likes, or even just remembers classic British comics.

Don't just announce availability of new issues of Crikey! on the website. Get out there, to every site, forum and group targeting fans of old British comics, and PUSH Crikey! in the faces of as many of your target audience as possible. Because these are the people who really should want to buy the magazine, not any kind of mainstream audience or vague “Average Punter”. Go to every single spot you can find that they hang out online, impress them with the quality and sheer brilliance of Crikey! and convince them that they simply HAVE to buy this publication, that they can't afford to be without it.

You've probably reached only a fraction of the target audience for Crikey! so far. So go get the rest of them. Market it to the people you KNOW will be interested in buying it, market it well, and it should be a success. You'll never become filthy rich out of it, but you'll have lots of fun.


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Re: Crikey 16

Post by Phil Friel on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:57 am

With the financial problems facing Crikey! and the move to a bi-monthly publication schedule putting far too much strain on Glenn, something was bound to give eventually. The crash of Borders and subsequent financial losses just brought the whole pack of cards down that much sooner. Glenn lost a lot of money, and Crikey! almost went under. Glenn has now become a bit disillusioned with the whole thing (pretty understandable, considering the money he's lost) and it seems like he's not too keen to carry on, at least for the moment.

But there's no need to pack it in. Finances aside, Crikey! exists solely because there is a group of people who love the subject matter and are crazy and dedicated enough to create this great magazine, and there is an equally crazy and dedicated audience out there willing to buy it. As long as that love and enthusiasm remains, Crikey! can go on and on. There's no reason Crikey! shouldn't continue on it's own terms (without depending on outside distribution sources), and at its own pace.

Sod Borders. Sod WH Smiths. Sod Forbidden Planet. Drop all these daft ideas about becoming a huge circulation magazine by depending on large distributors. Take your destiny into your own hands and do it your own way. As Glenn says, the market is definitely there. It's just a matter of finding and maximizing sales within your target audience and how to get to your market at the lowest possible cost.

Why does Crikey! exist? To make a lot of money from a mainstream audience? Little chance of that (although everybody has dreams of getting rich and famous). It's a labour of love, aimed at a specialist audience. If this is so, making a lot of money might be desirable, but is not the top priority. The main priority is to produce a cracking magazine and get it into the hands of its loyal readers. Just make sure that you at least break even financially. Don't get into debt. If any profit is made, put it back into the magazine, preferably to pay contributors what can be afforded, and maybe even make a few quid for yourselves to make up for the time and effort you put into Crikey!

If the costs are too high, scale back. Don't even consider handing out thousands of pounds to bookstore chains for shelf space when there is no guarantee of ever making your money back. Colour is lovely, always have it if you can afford it. But if you can't, there's absolutely nothing wrong with good old b&w. Glenn's other main gripe is that he spends too much time putting the mag together. That's easy to sort out – cut back publication to twice, or even once a year, if you have to. Any Crikey! is better than none at all. Changing to a much longer publication schedule will take the pressure off Glenn, allowing him to do things slowly, at his leisure, over the entire six months or year, or he can cram, get it done quickly, and then spend the rest of the time having a life and not having to deal with Crikey! at all.

Since it's the financial costs of the publishing and distribution which are killing you, it's obvious that you guys badly need a new publishing and distribution model, which will wipe out the bulk of these costs. If you can't afford to continue ANY type of traditional print magazine, there's no use getting yourselves in over your heads financially and packing it all in in despair. Don't just throw your hands in the air and give up. Adapt, and try a different form of publishing. Like I said, ANY Crikey!, in ANY form, is better than no Crikey! at all.

In an ideal world we would all prefer to have the continuation of our "real" paper Crikey!, to hold it in our hands and read it in bed, the bathroom, or wherever else we choose. But, it's not an ideal world, and if it's totally impractical to carry on with the print version of Crikey! because of costs, going digital is the only option left (we'll assume that packing it all in is out of the question, unless Glenn really is fed up with it all and is determined to give up). We (your loyal readers) still want to read what you publish, and going digital will ensure that Crikey! (and your other mags) continues in some form.

I'm quite sure all the current Crikey! subscribers would be more than willing to pay a reasonable amount for an electronic edition every so often, distributed over the internet by mass email, or by directing us to the Crikey! website to download it. By dropping the corrupt and hideously expensive traditional publishing model and going completely digital, publishing and distribution costs will be mostly eliminated, and the money saved can be used to pay contributors and the folks who spend so much time creating the magazine a small sum for their trouble.

Sure, creating a digital version of Crikey! will still take the same TIME, EFFORT and TLC to produce as the print version, but it will definitely remove the biggest obstacle you (or anyone else) face in wanting to produce a magazine - almost all of the crippling FINANCIAL COSTS:

No printing costs
No distribution costs, particularly no need to pay a ridiculous fortune to mainstream bookstore chains like Borders and WH Smiths for shelf space, or for extremely high “minimum” print-runs
No shipping costs (as it will be downloaded from the website)
No costs for storing back issues
No more expensive to publish the magazine in colour than in b&w
Any money made from subscriptions and payments can go towards paying staff and contributors for all their time and hard work, rather than being wasted on highly expensive traditional publishing and distribution costs

And, believe it or not, digital has a few other advantages over traditional print publications:

Easier distribution over the internet
The magazine can have as large a page count as you like (so Glenn and Tony will be able to get their stuff in as often as they want)
A potentially much larger audience than traditional print media
Easier access to your target audience online
Easier to network with other online groups sharing the same tastes, maybe picking up more sales and spreading the word, ensuring Crikey! is no longer "invisible"

As long as Glenn and Tony are still enthusiastic about continuing Crikey! in some form, there is absolutely no reason to stop. By going digital, you guys can keep on producing Crikey! for as long as you like, without any nasty financial costs.

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Re: Crikey 16

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