The State of the Nation

It has been a loooooong road making the switch from print to digital. Thus far, we have had nothing but positive responses from readers. I have been particularly encouraged by the responses from our library subscribers. The librarians are, almost uniformly, thrilled to be able to reach more faculty with electronic delivery of the Adjunct Advocate. In essence, when a college library subscribes, the magazine becomes available to every person on campus. More to the point, it becomes available to every faculty member with access to a computer–either on campus or at home.

I thought about and researched digital delivery for almost two years before I made the decision to switch to it. This past Fall, I received a promotional piece for a magazine publishing conference. One session was about moving from print to digital delivery. The teaser text that described the panel discussion asked whether switching to digital from print was just a way to go out of business gracefully. For some publications, it probably is, unfortunately. These are tough times for publishers.

When InsideHigherEd debuted, I watched their progress with keen interest. To be sure, the core group of founders, had experience at print publications, specifically The Chronicle of Higher Education. However, they were also convinced higher education was ready for an online news source. InsideHigherEd has since secured venture capital funding, and expanded into a robust and thriving online publication.

To be sure, Adjunct Advocate will face challenges associated with the switch that I never anticipated. However, I am convinced that not only are our readers ready for digital delivery, but that we will eventually reach exponentially more readers by making this switch. Finally, for years I have gotten chewed out by part-timers at conferences over our subscription rates. The price we charged was just too much for some people. I am, however, absolutely delighted to have been able to cut the price of an individual subscription by close to 50 percent and to expand the page count of each issue.

I am still not absolutely positive that we won’t ever do another print issue. It was, after all, Goria Swanson who said: “Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.” In the meantime, enjoy the magazine.

Listen to my blog entry here.

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