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Concentrate on your e-reader

The wonderful thing about standards is there are so many to choose from.

Apple iPadBefore and after publishing our first Juiced.GS Concentrate, we investigated also making these products available in the formats used by the iPad, Kindle, and other e-book reading devices. Our tests have suggested that the ePub format is best for plain text and not complex layouts or graphics, and that getting Juiced.GS to be both readable and recognizable as an ePub file would require an investment of time and effort that would detract from the print edition. This means you will not be finding or purchasing Juiced.GS in the iTunes or Amazon online stores anytime soon. (You can, however, subscribe to this blog with your Kindle.)

Fortunately, most e-book readers are quite accommodating of Concentrate in its native PDF format. As satisfied customer Wayne Arthurton wrote, “My goal is to put as much of my reference information on the iPad as possible. With that in mind, Concentrate is great.” As I don’t own any e-readers, I asked Ewen Wannop to provide some instructions for getting your purchased Concentrates onto an iOS device. Here’s the short version:

  1. Install iBooks on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
  2. In iTunes, select “Add to Library” from the File menu, then select the PDFs.

Ewen also offers these more detailed directions:

  1. The iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, must be running OS 3.2 or later.
  2. Install the free iBooks app from the iTunes Store.
  3. Open iTunes, select the “Books” item from the Library menu on the left, and drag-and-drop the Concentrate PDFs onto the window on the right.
  4. Alternatively, use “Add to Library” from the File menu, and select the PDFs in the usual way.
  5. Sync your device. While the device is connected, you can manage which of the books or PDFs are synced; by default, all new files will be synced.
  6. Open the iBooks app on your device and select the book to read.
  7. Double-tap to zoom the columns for easy reading.

For the Kindle, please consult Amazon.com’s online help regarding “Transferring, Downloading, and Sending Files to Kindle“.

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Concentrating on Concentrate

Magazine revenue

Last month, Gamebits made a big announcement: the availability of Juiced.GS in PDF format in a product separate from the quarterly print edition. The Concentrate line marks the first time ever that Juiced.GS content has been available as a commercial digital product. There were several motivations behind this launch, but I’ll start by eliminating two: money and necessity.

Other print publications have perforce moved online to follow their readers, their advertisers, or both. Juiced.GS has neither of these concerns. Our subscriber base is currently the largest it’s been in six years, representing a clear demand for a traditional print periodical.

As for advertisers, most magazines’ revenue sources break down like this:

Magazine revenue

By contrast and without exaggeration, Juiced.GS‘s P&L spreadsheet indicates these revenue sources:

Juiced.GS revenue

This dependency on subscriptions is akin to being a privately owned company: we can do what we need to to satisfy our customers, instead of following the dictates and interests of outside investors. It’s a wonderful freedom that has allowed Juiced.GS to achieve a longevity unprecedented in the Apple II’s history.

So we don’t have to move to a digital format — but do we want to?

Of course we do! There are obvious benefits to a PDF that we’re excited to offer our readers. And the more formats and features we offer, the more capable we are of getting Juiced.GS into hobbyists’ hands, where they can use that information to keep the Apple II alive. But there are also reasons for Juiced.GS remain in hardcopy. The challenge is to offer both editions without threatening each other.

At KansasFest, Rob Kenyon remarked that Juiced.GS Concentrate was a perfect solution. “It complements but does not compete with your flagship product,” he said. He’s right. Since the hardcopy Juiced.GS reports on what’s hot, regardless of the theme, the two product lines are not substitutes for each other. Concentrate saves readers time and money by eliminating the need to purchase and refer to multiple issues or volumes to find just the articles they want, while anyone who wants to receive a quarterly periodical with the latest news, reviews, and interviews from the Apple II world will find it in each issue of Juiced.GS.

The first three volumes of Concentrate are just the beginning. We’ve already updated the initial batch of PDFs in response to reader suggestions, making them easier to navigate, and are looking to add more titles to our catalog. After buying the “Back to BASICs” volume, Wayne Arthurton shared his appreciation that the Applesoft code could be easily copied and pasted into his own programs — a quality that could explain why this Concentrate is selling better than others. Knowing whether these products are being used as convenient leisure reading or as technical references helps us decide what themes to compile into future Concentrates.

Ironically, none of the customers (potential or otherwise) who have asked for a PDF edition of Juiced.GS have responded to this product announcement, either with feedback or purchase; all our initial comments and sales have come from the same readers who have asked us to remain in print. Whether Concentrate serves current readers or expands to new markets is secondary to it being found useful.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the future of either edition of Juiced.GS, please let us know!

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Juiced.GS in 2011, online index, and digital issues

Juiced.GS Concentrate

It is the pleasure of the staff of Juiced.GS to announce that the longest-running and last remaining Apple II print publication will continue to shatter records in 2011 when it publishes its sixteenth volume. Subscriptions and renewals are $19 for United States customers and $26 for all other territories and are now being accepted.

After so many years of news, reviews, how-tos, and interviews, the Juiced.GS catalog of back issues has grown quite extensive, making it challenging to find a particular article, be it by topic, author, or headline. That’s why staff writer Mike Maginnis has pored over all 58 issues and catalogued their entire contents into an online index that can be searched, sorted, exported, and more. Whatever piece of content you’re looking for, you can now find its details online.

Juiced.GS Concentrate

Now that all this content is easy to find, we also want to make it easier to purchase and read. Although sales indicate that a majority of subscribers are happy with the current hardcopy edition, we understand the benefits of digital publication in PDF format. Instead of creating PDFs that compete with our existing and popular print-edition back issues, we have created a new line of products: Juiced.GS Concentrate — thematic packs of content assembled from our archives and updated and consolidated into one edition. No longer do you need to flip between several issues or purchase separate volumes to have a complete series of articles; instead, you’ll have a single, full-color, searchable, printable file. Our launch lineup includes three Concentrates with plans to introduce more on a regular basis.

Subscriptions, back issues, and downloads are all available in our new online store.

We hope these announcements, introductions, and changes will help us serve our readers for years to come. Please let us know what you think, and how we can continue to grow!

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Juiced.GS at KansasFest 2010

Juiced.GS publisher Gamebits will be in attendance at the KansasFest 2010 vendor fair, where Apple II merchants and users buy, sell, and swap hardware, software, and publications. We will be selling subscriptions as well as complete hardcopy volumes, 2002–2009.

If you will be at KansasFest and would like to buy any back issues, please let us know in advance. As challenging as it is to anticipate demand for these products, it is even more tiring to lug a suitcase full of magazines to Kansas City — and then back home to Boston! By letting us know what stock to have on-hand, you help us ensure that our merchandise goes to readers who want it. No advance notice is required for subscriptions to current or future volumes.

If you decide to make an impulse purchase of back issues at KansasFest without previously submitting a request, you will still be eligible for any special KansasFest discounts, but you will leave the event empty-handed and will have to wait for the product to ship to your home. (Why anyone would want to wait to get their hands on Juiced.GS, I have no idea.)

See you at the show!

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Meet the staff

Juiced.GS at KansasFest 2007

In my June 2010 editorial in Juiced.GS, I sang the praises of the staff, without whom this quarterly publication would not be possible. But who exactly are these people bringing you the world’s longest-running Apple II print publication?

The Juiced.GS staff consists of over a dozen men who are constantly communicating and collaborating behind the scenes. They pitch ideas, exchange resources, share drafts, and provide feedback on each article and issue. Not everyone writes for every issue, and some don’t write at all, instead choosing to provide insight and expertise. Every writer and editor is an integral component of the staff.

Juiced.GS at KansasFest 2007

Each staff member has been profiled in his own “Meet the Staff” page, starting with Ryan Suenaga in Volume 10, Issue 3 (September 2005) and finishing with Martin Haye in Volume 15, Issue 1 (March 2010). You can also find brief profiles on this site’s “About” page, where you you can click on their headshot captions to visit their non-Juiced.GS homes on the Internet. There, you will find that their talents extend beyond writing and editing into programming, podcasting, blogging, and vending.

What our online staff roster doesn’t include are the many members of the Apple II community who have submitted articles without joining the official staff. Some occasional contributors end up joining the staff; others have commitments elsewhere in the community that prevents further obligations; still others come with a specific story to tell and move on when they’re done. We’re grateful for each and every author and article. Such contributions have come from Margaret Anderson, Evan Koblentz, Mark Munz, Mark Percival, Kelvin Sherlock, Antoine Vignau, Peter Watson, and Steve Weyhrich, to name a few.

Juiced.GS will remain in publication as long as there are stories to tell and people willing to tell them. To that end, we are always looking for new ideas, perspectives, and content. If there is an article you want to write or an author you’d like to see in Juiced.GS, please drop us a line!