Publishing in a digital age

Michael Fox

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It has been a year since we stopped printing new issues of Garden Making magazine, a difficult but necessary decision at the time because of the profound changes that have affected the traditional magazine business. Since then, even more print magazines have either been shut down, reduced in frequency or otherwise diminished from their traditional role of community-building and idea-sharing. This article is sort of a report card for any readers interested in a perspective on the realities of publishing in a digital age.

In the year since we announced that issue No. 32 would be our final print edition, we arranged to transfer remaining subscriptions to another gardening magazine, The Gardener based in Saskatchewan, because it came closest to our mission of providing solid information.

We’ve continued to maintain the Garden Making website and add new articles, because we would like to help support the gardening community in Canada.

Since stopping publication, we’ve continued to sell copies of our 33 issues (32 regular issues, plus the Container Gardening Guide) in both print and digital format. We’re now down to having print copies of only seven of the 33 issues remaining.

Index of articles in all issues

We’ve also made it easier to search our index of articles from the 33 issues so you can look up a topic or an author and get the issue and page number reference.

Almost every week we get an email, a call or a comment from someone who misses the print magazine, such as this comment from Anne in Huron County in Ontario: “I so looked forward to getting your print magazine issues. It was such a pleasure to sit at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee, look at the lovely photos and read the articles. A PDF is just not the same!”

I understand and agree with Anne’s sentiment that there is a tactile and engrossing experience to flipping pages of paper rather than scrolling digital screens. However, we will need to leave it to others to produce new issues of print magazines.

We are proud of the magazine issues that we produced from 2010 to 2018. I do think that there is value in those print and PDF copies if you are a gardener or interested in gardening in a northern climate. Hence, our focus today on still selling the remaining print copies — for those who prefer the tactile experience — and the PDF versions.

We appreciate the support that we have enjoyed from our readers and advertisers during our decade of magazine publishing. And we welcome the patronage of people today at the Garden Making shop. It allows us to continue to share the ideas and experiences of others as we try to encourage the joy that comes from gardening.

If you have a problem with downloads

We’ve had some learning experiences in providing the digital PDF files in formats that work on all the different devices that people use. If you do run into a surprise (such as if one of our digital issues on an i-Pad does not load images), try downloading again because I think we fixed that particular problem. Or get in touch with me and I will try to resolve the concern.

Garden Making links

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