I can hardly believe we're coming up on the two year anniversary of launching House of Fifty magazine. It has been a true labor of love, one that has stretched and challenged me in every possible way. And for that I'm the benefactor!
I've had the pleasure of working with so many amazingly talented designers, writers, bloggers, photographers, artists, as well as the people on the tech side of the publication...and on and on. Before this endeavor I have to say I kind of hid behind my computer. I"ll admit it. But once this thing got going I had to start picking up the phone to talk to people about their articles, interview the talent we've featured and meet with people in person. Oh, can you imagine?! (Ha, it's kind of funny, and sad, how with so much business being done online today you can get used to practically never having face to face communication with those in your "community.") I've also had to learn more about the technical side of producing a publication and developing an app than I dreamed possible, or would willingly submit myself to.
With each story run I've learned something that I have taken to heart and applied to my own life. Tips on organizing, raising children, how to live a more serene life, fashion and beauty tips and products, foods that have a positive effect on mood, exercise, decorating tips, books and movies read and watched. Not wanting to feel like a hypocrite I've taken to heart everything we've shared, and have challenged myself to live a better life based on the information shared in various articles. As a result I feel my life has been greatly enriched and I can't adequately share how appreciative I am of this opportunity to work on House of Fifty.
Yet, while my life has been enriched...my pocket book is a bit slimmer! Like many businesses, when starting this venture I set aside funds I had saved to launch and support this business through its start up months and years. House of Fifty has been very fortunate to work with many sponsors and selling the iTunes app has helped support the publication. But with each issue costs do go up and the funds set aside to launch the venture are depleted, with some months requiring I dip further into my pocket to sustain the magazine. From the start I felt it was very important to compensate contributors and have aimed to reward their hard work and loyalty through small increases. The same goes for the designers and developers behind the scenes. Then, of course, there is business side: publisher costs, subscriber function costs, and the fees taken by the companies that push out the app. I suspect when someone looks at an online publication they are perhaps not fully aware of the layers of cost involved in providing the publication because it isn't in print. But the reality is, to create and provide original content, it costs.
So as with any business, to grow and continue to thrive, there has to be adequate revenue to sustain and build upon the venture. As a result, beginning with our next issue we will begin charging to read the magazine, essentially the same amount it has cost to download the app. I'm not sure what the response will be, and if possible, wouldn't it be wonderful to continue to offer the magazine for free? But in the end that would result in the venture closing.
I trust the readers of House of Fifty will understand, be supportive - and continue to read! I wanted to take the time to explain the reasons behind this decision today, and to give you a heads up so it won't be a surprise when we release the next issue on November 10th.
Please let me know your thoughts.
As you can imagine, I've very interested and curious about your opinion on this matter!