Aren't all these magazines dependent on folks wanting to write articles for them? The only difference between these magazines and those for historical societies is that they pay a token amount to their authors. It is the folks that "love the subject or research" that feed the "hopper." Folks want to do what they like best. Bob Hundman is still doing drawings for the C&O HS . . . . very fast turn-around once he gets his background photos and drawings. He personally owns copies of all C&O HS Mech drwgs. So it is fun!! and that is what is important. There is the 95 percent who want more and more, but only 5 percent willing to do it . . . and take the arrows!

If someone would take the time it takes to stump a subject to death on this web site, to redirect their efforts and take the same time to write a page or two of text and supply the photos with captions of their collected images for an article, these magazines might still be in business . . . . and they would still have time to work on their FC models.

Recently, I asked for permission to use certain 1930s GM Media in-plant auto loading into box cars photographs in an upcoming C&O/PM auto-loader box car article. It wasn't until they found out that I was writing this article on a no compensation basis and that the Society was a 501-C3 not for profit organization did they agree to supply these image for no charge and a no charge publication fee. Folks owning great photo collections now believe their collections are a profit center resource . . . that includes government funded libraries and archives, etc. You don't know how much it gauled me to pay $100 to use a C&O Rwy PR Dept photo owned by a person who bought unreturned NYC PR firm photos to use in a C&O HS article. The image made the article . . so bit the bullet.

Most FC photo collection business owners love seeing their photos used in articles, with proper permission and credit given. It should help their business. However, if everyone just digitally copies these and doesn't spend a few bucks to actually buy prints of old photos, they will also either go out of business or charge for publication usage. West and East Coast wedding photos (B&W or color), after the pre-paided for family sets, from large firms with hired photographers, now go for $24.95 for an 8 x 10 and $29.95 for the TIFFs.

Al Kresse

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
Kurt Laughlin wrote:
Looking at the fragment below, has anyone considered the idea that
perhaps there just ISN'T much of a market (*) for articles like these,
as evidenced by the failure of RMJ, MM, and MRG and the absence of
anything taking their place?
(*) That is to say, "there ain't a lot of people willing to pay for
Might the failures of those magazines not say the reverse? That
is, had they carried more articles of a serious nature, they might have
broadened their appeal. Your conclusion, Kurt, seems to assume that the
editors of those magazines accurately understood the market. Based on
knowing those individuals (to varying degrees), I'd hesitate to claim
that much.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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