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Issue #18 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine
It's almost three in the morning, here, as I prepare to cease messing with Issue #18 for the night. I'll probably be tried, tomorrow, but I feel as if I've made some good progress, tonight, even if I have basically started over (again). The irony in it all is that, were I simply doing things as before, I would likely already have been done with the issue, by now. But I am trying to overcome the learning curve on the new software, for the sake of a better magazine, overall - even if you may not notice it very much, if at all, for a few more issues, yet.

Separate from any of this, I've had more than one company agree to let me make some new ads for them. Not that making ads is my specialty, of course, but rather, I think that readers of the magazine from issue to issue tend to want to see new ads, from time to time, and not just keep on seeing the same old ads over and over and over, again.
Issue #18 continues to take shape. I'm making good progress on it, currently - despite who only knows how many times that I started over on it from scratch. Small things tend to prove to be the most difficult.
(08-21-2019, 02:15 PM)Davin Wrote: I think that professional artwork looks and attracts much better, but a $0 budget of course means that's out of the question.  I'd rather see something than nothing, and you sure have to fill in the corners with something, so I don't have a problem with the repurposed cartoon art.

I agree, Davin, that professional artwork tends to look better, and perhaps even attract the human eye better than refurbished comic art from comic books that have fallen into the public domain. Also, I agree with you that various sections (and not just the corners) need to be filled with something, and not just left as empty space. It helps to provide more balanced visuals for the reader.

In fact, part of the reason that I have offered free ads, to date, is to try and have some ready mechanism to break up the mass of text that the magazine otherwise would be without having any imagery. The amount of imagery available in the form of PBM advertisements of old is substantially limited. The refurbished comic book are allows me a mechanism to inject imagery of some kind, in the absence of a large repository of PBM-related artwork from the PBM industry and individual game moderators. Plus, if I removed all comic style art from the magazine, this would eliminate all of the front cover art for the magazine - in effect, it would kill off Suspense & Decision permanently.

Granted, I could move to some kind of business model for the magazine, but if I did that, then free ad space might disappear, as well. And if I started charging for ad space, I suspect that most remaining PBM companies and individual game moderators would not buy ad space, which in turn would be counter-productive to the magazine's ability to try and grow the overall PBM player base.

For me, PBM is a hobby interest of mine. While it wouldn't be unduly difficult transition from a hobby-interest to a business model, it would involve me having to deal with headaches such as taxes. I have not concluded that is an additional headache that I want to contend with, even though it would allow for certain opportunities to manifest themselves. Even if I were ever to transition to a business model for the magazine, I would be very disinclined to eliminate all free advertising opportunities. After all, some GMs simply do not have an advertising budget to advertise their games with. Since PBM is a hobby interest of mine, I tend to be sympathetic with individuals interested in running a PBM game of their own, and who do it for the love of the hobby more so than to try and make money off their games.
I think you shouldn't worry about a business model - as you've indicated the industry won't support it.  I think you're doing a fine job as is!
(08-23-2019, 02:50 PM)Davin Wrote: I think you're doing a fine job as is!

I don't. It's been too inconsistent to qualify as a fine job, I think.

That said, I do think that there's a number of people who enjoy there existing a PBM magazine of some kind for them to browse through.
(08-21-2019, 02:15 PM)Davin Wrote: I think that professional artwork looks and attracts much better, but a $0 budget of course means that's out of the question.  I'd rather see something than nothing, and you sure have to fill in the corners with something, so I don't have a problem with the repurposed cartoon art.

I did create a couple of new pieces of refurbished comic book art to accompany a Galac-Tac article by Doug Neman for Issue #18, Davin. I think that you'll like them, when you see them.
Cool!  I expect he will, too.
UPDATE: I've made a LOT of progress, today. It ate my morning and early afternoon up, and pages may vary somewhat from earlier draft versions of advertisements or articles that I sent to respective different parties. However, it's all been done using new software, even though the overall format I opted to retain for Issue #18. For future issues, though, I suspect that the magazine will begin to morph into a somewhat different look.

I have even written my editorial for Issue 18, already. So, I've got that out of the way, as we head toward tomorrow, which if the good LORD is willing, the issue will either publish or finish with only minor refining touches remaining.

My mastery of the new software still leaves one Hell of a lot to be desired. That said, I have made TREMENDOUS progress (in my considered judgment) in learning a variety of different features, in my experimentation of it, thus far. Truly, this marks a milestone for me, personally, in my bid to publish a PBM magazine for the 21st Century in PDF format. HOORAY! The learning curve accounts for a lot of the delay, since I decided a couple of weeks or so ago to bring this particular issue to fruition. If I had stuck with what I was using, then Issue #18 would have already been in your hands by now.

I suspect that the next issue will come together a LOT quicker. You, yourself, in fact, might even end up being surprised by how quick compiling it will seem to how slow compiling Issue #18 has turned out to be. I have also even managed to nudge my skills in refurbishing old comic art for PBM purposes a little bit, to boot, though I may notice the end result of those artistic elements more than you will, as future issues of Suspense & Decision magazine get published.

Including Issue #18, between now and Christmas Day, the tentative schedule is to have five new issues of Suspense & Decision in our readership's hands. They may well end up being smaller in page count, but frequency of publication will be a primary objective. Yeah, yeah, you say! You've heard it all, before. Well, what do you have to lose?

Get ready to strap on some PBM dynamite! Stand back, though, as I prepare to light your fuse.

Suspense & Decision - We're back!
Congratulations, Charles!
Raven Zachary in Portland, Oregon, USA. Currently playing: Middle-earth, SuperNova, TribeNet, Hyborian War, Midgard, TakamoVictory, and Far Horizons.
(08-23-2019, 07:32 PM)Rinzai Wrote: Congratulations, Charles!

We're not there, yet.

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