Editorial: March 2011

One of the biggest challenges of being an online business is promoting yourself. And I don’t mean by that the act of getting the word out. That just takes time. The real challenge is to get the word out in such a way as to not irritate the very people that you want to buy from you.

Last month we had a few inquiries from people asking if we still do ebook editions. Well yes, of course we do. You can buy them from our store. But clearly people were not aware of that, which means we were not making enough noise about it. We’ll try to rectify that.

It is also true, of course, that having to go to the store each month is a pain in the butt. So this month we are launching a subscription scheme. What happens here is that you set up a repeating monthly payment through PayPal, and we email you the ebook in the format you want each month. If you have a Kindle we can email the book direct to the device.

Note that the repeating monthly payment is less than you would have to pay buying individual issues from the store. Also there’s no need to sign up for a specific number of issues. You can cancel the repeating order any time you want.

Currently subscriptions are priced in US$, as the USA is probably our biggest market. If people would like us to quote prices in Pounds, Euros or AU$ as well we can do so.

Last month we are alerted to some issues regarding listening to the podcast in certain web browsers. This appears to be an issue to do with HTML5 support, which may well mean nothing to you. The plain text version is that the latest web software standards are required for the podcast to be playable on mobile devices such as the iPad, but that makes it unusable in some browsers. The podcast appears to work fine in Firefox and Safari. In addition you can always find it at our Libsyn page, or on iTunes. We will continue to look for a better solution to this.

As to this issue, I’m delighted to welcome Ken MacLeod and David Barnett as guest contributors. Karen is missing again this issue, but she does have other things on her mind. She announced recently that she is expecting her first child in August. Our congratulations to Karen and her husband, Curtis.