Author Topic: Spaceflight Magazine  (Read 29073 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #15 on: 02/05/2011 02:34 PM »
Our B&N didn’t have it. The gal at the desk went on about demographic this and that.
Apparently we don’t rate.
Plenty of WWE rags to pick from though. It’d be a shame not to get the latest on CM Punk.

Thank God for our local library.


I hate to say this, but she's wrong and right.  My B&N usually gets 2-3 copies per month, and at the end of the month they remain unsold.  I think it's amazing that they continue to carry them at all since they're clearly not selling them.  But apparently that is the case for a lot of niche magazines.  So your store probably has the wrong demographic, but so does my store--which is in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, with a high-tech population and a decent-sized NASA center.  Interest in spaceflight is a tiny niche.

A few months back I read an interesting blog post by a guy who used to work in a bookstore.  He mentioned how he once convinced the manager to stock specialty magazines near the books on that subject (he specifically referred to a magazine about fire fighting equipment called Fire Apparatus Journal).  Surprisingly, they sold out when previously the magazines never sold.  He thought it was proof that people who were looking for a specific subject usually went to that section of the bookstore and discovered the magazine, but never would have looked in the magazine section.  But soon the manager switched back, because corporate headquarters told him to.  "Magazines belong in the magazine section, books belong in the book racks," he was told.  "Individuality will not be tolerated, even if it increases sales."  He went back to throwing out the unsold magazines at the end of the month.

Alas, this prompted similar stories from other people who had worked in bookstores telling about dumb orders that came down from corporate headquarters, such as an order that all book shelves had to be the same distance apart, despite the fact that a particular store had columns that prevented this--so they moved the shelves to comply with corporate policy, AND they lost shelf space!

Not too surprising, though.  In any dying industry--and bookstores are certainly a dying industry (sniffle)--you will always find examples where the company pursued dumb policies that hurt their business rather than innovating in order to increase sales.

Offline Paul Adams

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #16 on: 02/05/2011 02:37 PM »
Try here in Las Vegas, we have plenty of books with hand drawn pictures (you know the ones I mean) but pretty light on anything else!

Our B&N didn’t have it. The gal at the desk went on about demographic this and that.
Apparently we don’t rate.
Plenty of WWE rags to pick from though. It’d be a shame not to get the latest on CM Punk.

Thank God for our local library.


Offline JosephB

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #17 on: 02/05/2011 11:40 PM »
Now doesn’t that just make too much sense, group & sell reading material by topic whether it’s a book or magazine. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they would sell more mags. Just speaking for myself, when browsing at B&N I almost always pass on the mag rack as the bulk of it is glossy butt wipe.

There used to be a local chain book store in another city that sold Spaceflight years ago. They sold newspapers, magazines, traded old comics & baseball cards & rounded the store off with a “squeaky door saloon” way in the back. Not sure if they still carry Spaceflight but it’s a long drive just for that (100 mi). Maybe I’ll hit our library up with a “request to buy” form. Next time I’m there I should see if they carry Novosti (for cool pics only) or Space News just for grins.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2011 12:07 AM by JosephB »

Offline rdale

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #18 on: 02/05/2011 11:46 PM »
No mag at B&N's here...

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #19 on: 02/06/2011 01:37 PM »
1-Now doesn’t that just make too much sense, group & sell reading material by topic whether it’s a book or magazine. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they would sell more mags.

2Not sure if they still carry Spaceflight but it’s a long drive just for that (100 mi). Maybe I’ll hit our library up with a “request to buy” form. Next time I’m there I should see if they carry Novosti (for cool pics only) or Space News just for grins.

1-Yeah, once you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, right?  Sure, you put the more general interest magazines in the magazine section, but the specialty stuff would be better placed with the books. And if you wanted to be super-logical, you'd base it upon inventory: figure out which specialty magazines are not selling on the magazine racks and then move those to the specialty book sections and see if they sell there.

A few months back I read an article about small businesses in India and how backward they are.  It noted that they often did not implement even the most basic good business practices (for instance, a fabric factory that did not inventory their supplies but threw the yarn into a big room in the back, making it tedious to find what was needed).   So much of that seemed like simple common sense.  But American companies, while in general more sophisticated, can still do really dumb things.  You'd think that their approach would be to figure out what is not selling and find a way to sell it.  But... nope.

2-I'd love to find a newsstand that stocked NK.  Although I don't read Russian, it's still an impressive magazine to look at.  Space News was briefly sold on newsstands in the late 1990s, I think.  The more popular (former sister newspaper) Defense News was also sold on newsstands.  I still say that Space News is the best source of information on that subject if you are in the business.  Yes, you can find a lot of it on the internet for free, but only after significant searching.  SN brings it all together and provides consistent quality.  If you work in the space business in just about any capacity, particularly if your work involves government space programs, then Space News is the best way to spend your money.  If you're more of an enthusiast, you're probably better off with the net and 1-2 other publications.

Speaking of that... (since I'm in a rambling mood right now), I just got the newest edition of Ad Astra.  Although I'm not nuts about AA, they do have a tendency to run great photos in high-gloss.  There's still something nice about being able to open a magazine and look at a high resolution photo compared to seeing it on a screen.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2011 01:38 PM by Blackstar »

Offline JJ..

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #20 on: 02/06/2011 01:51 PM »
I used to order my copies through the local news paper shop,did so for many years till I joined the BIS,
However after reading the magazine for several years (still got all the copies) sadly had to end the membership and therefore the magazine as money had become too tight,

I do miss the Satellite data for each month (Phillip Clarke) and loved the Soyuz rocket variant history that lasted for several months,

(At the time I was getting 3 other Astronomy magazines as well)

JJ..

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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #21 on: 02/06/2011 08:26 PM »
I do miss the Satellite data for each month (Phillip Clarke) and loved the Soyuz rocket variant history that lasted for several months,

I think that Clark's stuff is now in Space News.

I know the Soyuz history articles that you refer to.  That was a great series.  There were something like a dozen of them on all the different payloads proposed for those rockets. 

Online jacqmans

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #22 on: 03/02/2011 02:51 PM »
April 2011 issue (on sale from 5 March 2011)

http://www.spaceflightmagazine.com/pages/latest-issue.html

Offline Suzy

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #23 on: 03/02/2011 06:26 PM »
I still see it in newsagents in Melbourne, but quit buying it years ago - it's nearly AU$20 now! :( I wish NK were available in English, but I suppose it's not feasible for them.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2011 06:28 PM by Suzy »

Online jacqmans

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #24 on: 04/06/2011 08:32 PM »
May 2011 issue (on sale from 9 April 2011)

http://www.spaceflightmagazine.com/pages/latest-issue.html

Offline aurora899

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #25 on: 04/07/2011 09:42 AM »
I took Spaceflight for about 20 years but gave up about 18 months or so ago following a massive hike in the cover price. I understand the reasons behind the BIS' decision: it was actually much cheaper to buy 12 copies of Spaceflight on the news-stand each year than receive it via a BIS subscription (assuming that you didn't take advantage of any of the other benefits membership brought); and, if I recall, the BIS was hit by a huge and unforeseen tax bill after they hosted some astronautical conference.
I must admit that I haven't even seen Spaceflight in WHSmith (one of the UK's leading newsagents) for many months. Mind you, the staff never seemed to know where to put it. One month it would be in the transport section alongside the aviation magazines, and the next month it'd be on the other side of the shop with the astronomy journals!
It's a decent magazine though. My only criticism is that on occasion some of the articles are too long. I remember one that ran to 10-12 pages and took up about 25% of the magazine! The Editor would probably have been better splitting that piece across two issues.
But over the years it has contained some great articles from people like Blackstar and Michael Cassutt. I've still got August 1988's issue that included a detailed piece by the latter on the history of the DoD's Manned Spaceflight Engineers program, which came complete with many photos of individual MSEs.

Edit: Just seen that there's a BIS-specific thread:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24459.0
« Last Edit: 04/09/2011 01:53 PM by aurora899 »

Online jacqmans

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #26 on: 05/04/2011 07:47 PM »
June 2011 issue (on sale from 8 May 2011)

http://www.spaceflightmagazine.com/pages/latest-issue.html

Offline layton

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #27 on: 05/17/2011 11:51 PM »
If I could buy a reasonably-priced PDF subscription version of this, I would.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #28 on: 05/18/2011 02:24 AM »
I missed this a little earlier, so I'll comment on it now.

1-I must admit that I haven't even seen Spaceflight in WHSmith (one of the UK's leading newsagents) for many months. Mind you, the staff never seemed to know where to put it. One month it would be in the transport section alongside the aviation magazines, and the next month it'd be on the other side of the shop with the astronomy journals!

2-My only criticism is that on occasion some of the articles are too long. I remember one that ran to 10-12 pages and took up about 25% of the magazine! The Editor would probably have been better splitting that piece across two issues.

1-This is a problem that a lot of book stores and newsstands have.  If they have multiple titles that are similar that makes it easy.  But what to do about the unique stuff?  I read an interesting article a couple of years ago written by a guy who used to work in a book store and noticed that a certain magazine (a fire apparatus journal--i.e. fire trucks) was not selling.  He got permission to put it in with the books about dangerous jobs and it started selling.  He theorized that people were unaware of its existence and therefore didn't look for it in the magazines section, but they grabbed it up when it appeared in the books that they were looking at.  Spaceflight should be sold with the space books.

2-I agree with your specific complaint (don't know which issue or article you are referring to).  But I'd also point out that this is one area where magazines are still superior to the internet.  You can still get long-form articles in newspapers and magazines.  The kind of articles that go into a subject in great depth.  The internet just doesn't do that stuff.  I like Spaceflight because every so often they do a big article with lots of photos and you're not going to find that kind of thing on the internet, or at least not at the same quality.

I haven't seen the latest issue.  I'm not sure if Barnes & Noble is still carrying Spaceflight.  I have a bunch of articles submitted to them for future issues, including something on the Discovery program, an article on Edwards AFB's test stands (see the other thread in the NSF history section), something on Luna-Glob, and something else that I have forgotten.

Online pargoo

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Re: Spaceflight Magazine
« Reply #29 on: 05/18/2011 05:11 AM »
     I canceled my subscription 10 or more years ago when a sudden drop in picture quality/variety made it not worth the money.  Since then I have seen nothing really interesting or new in the few issues I've browsed through at my local newsagent.  I want to see historic Russian stuff particularly, but despite the collapse of the USSR nothing's changed on that front, sadly.

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