Read all about IT!
THANK YOU! Yes, IT readers, it's due to your support and encouragement that this issue of your favourite madcap musos' magazine is the first of a new generation of IN TUNEs. As you can see from the look of this page, we've at last managed to move from our infamous 'Bronco watermark' paper to a more costly glossy material. From now on we'll be using this new paper throughout each issue. This change isn't all we're up to however — we've also switched to a significantly higher quality print process. This will mean better photo reproduction, better printing and a better looking mag overall — and we'll still be coming direct to your home, absolutely free of charge! What's enabled us to do this? Quite simply, it's due to the growth of our advertising revenue. Although I've explained this before, we still receive dozens of enquiries (mostly from our newer readers), asking how we can afford not only to give IT away free, but even pay the postage to your homes. Just once more then (and again mainly for the sake of our new subscribers), it's not down to a subsidy from the CIA, it's through the unique way we use our income. Does this make us afraid of stepping on manufacturers' toes in our reviews? Far from it. They're sufficiently clued-up to realise that you wouldn't believe anything we said if we praised naff products, and they also know that the fact that we derive all our income from ads doesn't make us so very different from any other magazine — even those with high cover prices. Virtually all magazines and newspapers rely on advertising. Much of the price you pay for a conventional publication goes to newsagents and distributors; and, moreover, there's a large team of 'management' staff lurking behind the writers, most of whom are very highly paid. In our case, every member of the IT team is productive, we use computers to cut costs where we can — and we're almost always broke! By cutting our costs, we make the mag free — it's as uncomplicated as that.
Seriously though, you're a unique bunch yourselves! Probably because every single one of you is a genuine musician (which you've demonstrated by taking the trouble to register with us and become regular readers), ITs reader response to new developments in musical instruments and equipment is, without exaggeration, phenomenal. A growing number of manufacturers have seen just how musically aware you all are, and have decided that the best way to get their messages across to you is by advertising in our pages. It's this extra revenue that's enabled us to take this important step in improving the production quality of the mag.
Of course, the printing and presentation of the mag. isn't (in my view, at any rate) worth a hang compared to its content — and we're planning some major innovations in our features as well. More special reader offers are on the way, plus bigger and better 'how to do it' articles; not to mention expanding our usual blend of reviews, news and, of course, even more great FREE ENTRY competitions, which will be increasing both in value and frequency as we continue to grow!
And now, an apology ('and about time too', you'll undoubtedly say!). In these intros I often waffle on about 'this month' and 'next month' but, as you'll all have worked out by now, ITs months have sometimes had a few more than 30 days in them! The hold-ups in more regular publication have been due to a combination of factors, the worst of which has been the huge burden of work being shouldered by so few staff members. However, we've recently implemented some major internal changes which should mean our frequency increasing by leaps and bounds. Bear with us — more regular publication of the new-look, higher quality IN TUNE is definitely on the way!
On a different note, one of the most satisfying things about editing IT is the way in which so many of you seem to relate to us as real people, not just names on paper. This comes across in your letters, 'phone calls — even the messages some of you add to your registration forms and competition entries! We've received amazing cartoons of 'the office feline', drawn in fine detail on the backs of envelopes, a steady stream of suggestions for new features, ideas appended to forms and more. It makes a fine start to a day when we get these, so please keep them coming — they're never round-filed! As far as letters are concerned, we're sometimes slow, but we always try to reply to them. Having said that, a sudden rush of 'what date was my Yakamotto XYZ 477 made? It's a blue one with seven strings on it' would probably have me editing future issues from a padded cell! Serious problems we do try to help with, but what we really value are reactions to what we've written, and suggestions as to what you'd like to see us doing in the future. If you've an idea for a feature, then do let us know. We can't guarantee to include it, but if enough of you are screaming for a series on, say, 'practical didgeridoo techniques' we'll do our best to collar one of the staff from the School of Audio Engineering (all Aussies, and the nicest bunch you could hope to meet!) and put them to work!
Well, that's it for this month's Editorial rambling. I hope you like our new glossy image and that it doesn't send your cod and chips sliding off the printed page and into the gutter! Looks a bit slippery to me, this new stuff. Still, if I can just get a foothold on the IT Cat's head then stretch over the contributors' list I'll swing across to the NewsXtra pages, grab hold of that next headline and... Aaaaargh!
See you next month!
Editorial by Gary Cooper
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