[TUX Magazine] From Free to Fee: Marketing For Electronic Publishing Done Right

by M. David Peterson

I found the following in my inbox earlier today and wanted to quickly highlight this for those who are considering the development of an electronic magazine, in this case PDF, and would like a good example of how to go about moving from free (which TUX (PDF) Magazine currently is) to paid without upsetting your subscription base in the process,

NOTE: Some of you are probably wondering,

"And this has to do with Windows development in what way?"

To which I will answer in two parts,

1) It doesn't directly, but it *DOES* have to do with publishing, which for what I assume are obvious reasons, relates directly to what O'Reilly is in the business of. Of course, this could very easily be seen as competitive, but offering advice for folks who want to publish outside of the O'Reilly family of publishing brands has never been something that Tim O'Reilly has shy'd away from -- a perfect example of how to embrace the competition without endorsing them directly, while providing valuable information to folks who have interest in self-publishing. Community-focused Marketing at its finest, in my own opinion (and I can only assume others as well.) -- With this in mind, I feel pretty safe that offering up this advice is nothing to be seen as strange from an O'Reilly perspective. Community is what O'Reilly *always has* and, I can only assume, *always will* be about.

2) If not obvious, Microsoft has started to embrace Linux as of late, so in many ways this *DOES* have to do with Windows development, as the future of software has *EVERYTHING* to do with virtualization -- on *ALL* known platforms, virtualizing *ALL* known platforms.

With this in mind, please consider the following if you are one who has interest in publishing an electronic magazine, and are looking for ways to develop a subscription base while at the same time, turning this subscription base into paying customers instead of turning them against you if/when you decide to go from free to fee.