Friday, March 31, 2017

The Demise of RT's "Real" Magazine

Just as I sent in a check for my 20th annual subscription to Romantic Times magazine last year, I was notified that it would no longer be producing a printed magazine. I was really ticked.
I think this is the last issue of RT. 

It wasn't the money that bothered me. I gladly renewed my subscription every year to stay abreast of my industry. I liked physically flipping through the pages and the sections on different genres. I like that t came to me. I always sat down for lunch on the day it arrived and scanned the entire edition while I ate.

As a busy writer who actually makes a good living writing, I don't have time to surf the net. In the 20 years since I sold my first novel, I have never taken the time to surf through the many sites that review romance books. Never.

A couple of years before the publication ceased its print magazine, they could see that it was physically impossible to review the hundreds of indie books that came out each year. They then decided that they would review indie books on their website, where there were no space constraints. Of course, the author had to pay for this. I chose not to. One of the reasons guiding that decision was my own avoidance of those sites. To me, they are a time suck that takes me away from writing.


I know RT was only being pragmatic. Didn't all our RWA chapters abandon mailed-out newsletters years ago? Sadly, it's only a matter of time before my beloved newspapers go to all-electronic versions. I get that cyber space has infinite possibilities and I truly enjoy reading books on electronic devices and appreciate that they're a lot more inexpensive than print books. But, darn it, I love flipping through magazines. I still subscribe to about ten. I don't want the go hunting that stuff on the internet. Sometimes it's refreshing to know all you need is in one compact "physical" publication. Cyber space can be daunting. It can also lure one away from daily activities that are important. Activities like writing a book.--Cheryl Bolen, who is madly at work on the next book in her Brazen Brides series of Regency romances. It's titled Miss Hastings' Excellent London Adventure and will be a late May release.

12 comments:

  1. I would've agreed with you until we became full time RVers. Now I wish more magazines offered theirs online. You can only put so much stuff in a 34' fifth wheel :)

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    1. Karen, there is something liberating about getting rid of stuff, isn't there?

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  2. I love magazines, too, but have stopped most of my subscriptions because the content (like RT's) has changed so much I can't find things I want to read. Love the post!

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    1. Liz, if your husband's like mine, I bet he's happy you got rid of those!

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  3. Cheryl, I hear you. When our local tiny newspaper died last year I was bereft. Then, like magic I got a call from the newspaper in our provincial capital offering a good deal to new subs. You bet I signed up! Now, I see the paper includes a lot of our local news, which is lovely.

    I haven't subscribed to RT in years, not since my traditional publishing days...but this marks the end of an era. I remember when it was nothing much more than a little newsletter.

    I hope they can sustain themselves with the new format!

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  4. I totally agree on all counts. Maybe magazines will come back one day like vinyl records. Do I regret tossing my collection!

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    1. As print-oriented people, we do love our publications, don't we, Kathleen?

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  5. Why is it you and I always see eye to eye, Bonnie?

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  6. I'm still a newspaper subscriber--can't imagine life without a newspaper. *g* I have abandoned magazine subscriptions simply because in their quest to remain profitable their content is mostly advertisements.

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    1. Like you, Joan, I'll subscribe to a newspaper until I die -- if they don't first.

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  7. Great article Cheryl. I agree. There are some things I just want to see in print! I think my brain processes print better at times. I won't say how old I'm getting, but....

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    1. I think there's a lot in what you say, Maddie. I know when editing or proofing, I seem to find errors more easily when I print out my pages -- which I always do.

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