Business As Usual

Editing a bimonthly magazine really messes with your schedule.

Let me explain: I’m writing this column in September for an edition whose shelf life runs through December. So for me, in a sense, the year’s already over; the Autumn Equinox has crashed into New Year’s Day, and all the days in between have gotten squeezed like an accordion’s bellows.

Of course, lots of stuff happens on those squeezed-out days—interesting and fun stuff, but also costly stuff. And the costs—to cut right to the chase—are prompting us to change how we produce and distribute Amplitude.

To find out how these changes affect you, and how you can keep receiving Amplitude without missing an issue, turn to the back page of this edition. All the details are there. But if you’re curious about why the adjustments are necessary, let’s unpack those squished-together days between late September and late December.

After I’m done punching the keyboard, my column gets edited, revised, and sent to the creative team. They’ll generate a proof of the entire magazine, fresh eyes will catch and correct the typos, and once everybody signs off we’ll generate a camera-ready file. That gets send off to the printer, whose prepress department sends back yet another proof, which begets one last round of proofreading, corrections, and approvals.

While we’re finalizing the details and getting the issue ready for press, the mail house is preparing our subscriber list so that each name/address gets printed on its own individual copy.

Once Amplitude is actually on the press, somewhere in mid-October, a fortune in ink gets spilled onto a treasure chest’s worth of paper, and your copy of the November/December magazine comes into being, along with everyone else’s. Then, all those thousands of magazines get hauled off to the USPS (which has increased mailing costs 35% since Amplitude was conceived), where they’re sorted and palleted and trucked off to the four corners of the country and beyond. Your mailman drops it through your slot on or about November 1, or roughly six weeks downstream of the day I’m writing this letter.

Another six weeks after that, the issue is still current, and you’re frantically turning to the gift guide on page 27 for some last-gasp ideas to fill empty stockings….while at that very moment, I’m editing material that you won’t read until next year’s spring training games have begun.

See what I mean about messing with your schedule?

The point of this exercise is to sketch out the wealth of time, technology, and raw materials that go into each issue of Amplitude. To sustain the necessary level of resources, we’ll begin charging a small subscription fee in 2024.

Skip ahead to the last page of the magazine to get all the details and find out what action to take. Once you’ve done that, hit the rewind button and enjoy the November feast we cooked up for you during August and September. 

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