EDitorial Comments

Thanks To Our Loyal Subscribers!

Posted in Blood 'n' Thunder on May 6, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

With each new issue of Blood ‘n’ Thunder goes a fresh batch of subscription renewal notices, and I’m always gratified when subscribers re-up for another year. From the beginning BnT has enjoyed the support of an unusually loyal customer base; until the recent economic downtown I could count on an annual renewal rate of 95 percent, which in the magazine business is considered extraordinarily high. Even these last few years, over 90 percent of the zine’s subscribers have continued to renew annually, albeit not always as promptly as in the past.

I consider myself blessed to maintain the confidence of so many people, especially since today’s serious collectors of pop-culture artifacts have so many choices. Pulp-fiction aficionados no longer confine their purchases to the original rough-paper magazines; they also pick from a minimum of a dozen different reprints issued every month in both facsimile and newly typeset editions. Movie buffs aren’t restricted to DVDs of recent major-studio films; nowadays there’s an ever-increasing number of boutique companies servicing film collectors with releases of obscure low-budget features and serials. Olive Films, for example, is finally mining the Republic Pictures library for seldom-seen “B” movies. Even the big Hollywood outfits have realized there’s a market for classic cinema beyond Casablanca and Singin’ in the Rain. The Warner Archive alone releases more vintage product than most collectors can keep up with. Every month is a budget-buster for me.

Given the plethora of choices most hobbyists face, I never take for granted the subscription-renewal checks that flow in following publication of a new BnT. This past week I received two checks with notes that particularly warmed my heart. I’m quoting from them in part below but withholding the names for obvious reasons.

The first note came from the wife — or, rather, the widow — of a charter subscriber. She wrote:

My husband — — has passed away. Since he was a big supporter of your magazine I am sending one last renewal but please do not send copies. We have many, many years of collectibles to put on the market so please just accept the subscription money for helping to support your publication. — always supported independent work and I know he always enjoyed your magazine. Thank you.

Needless to say, I was incredibly touched by this generous gesture. I intend to offer the widow ad space in exchange for the renewal, in the event she can use it to help liquidate her husband’s collection.

Just the other day I received a renewal check from a long-time subscriber who enclosed this note:

Dear Ed: Recently I have declined to renew a number of my subscriptions because money is tight but I am enclosing $40 to renew Blood ‘n’ Thunder. BnT fills a great need for us pulp fans so you can count on me as a loyal supporter. I plan to eventually order your recent books when I can fit them in my budget. Sincerely….

You can’t receive notes like that without feeling enormously grateful that someone has chosen your product at the expense of another publisher. And believe me, whenever I’m at the computer at 2 a.m., swearing at myself for burning the midnight oil to finish an overdue issue, I pause to remember that I have supporters as loyal as those quoted above. You deserve the best zine I’m capable of producing and I promise to live up to the trust you’ve placed in me. The support and kind words — from all of you — are very much appreciated.

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