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Proposed AERC Membership Fee

Gary Fend wrote:
>>>My fair plan (FP) would start by all new members paying $5.00 for a
membership card and number. Returning members would have to cough up
$1.00 for a new sticker for their card. The endurance news would be
subsidized by the advertisers. This should make the advertisers happy
even if they have to pay ten times as much since the circulation should
skyrocket once the cost for subscribers is cut from $65 to $1. I don't
know if the authors of articles get paid or not but I do notice that
many of them are also advertisers so that in "fairness", they should pay
AERC for the additional exposure.<<<

As a former magazine publisher, I can almost guarantee you that
Endurance News is most certainly NOT making money from advertising.
While I haven't seen an EN rate card and therefore do not know what
percentage of its income is derived from advertising, I suspect that the
EN is lucky if the revenue from advertising covers the cost of printing
(small print runs = higher unit cost). A quick glance through two recent
issues shows that the advertising-to-editorial ratio is quite low
(around 10%) -- I counted just six aggregate pages of ads in one issue
and 12 in another out of a total book size of about 60 pages. And in
many issues, the back cover -- considered the premium piece of real
estate for advertisers -- goes unsold (being used as a "house ad" by 
AERC in such instances). In addition, some of the ads are probably
tradeouts. So I would have to predict that revenue from advertising is
on the relatively modest side. I am certain that the EN is subsidized by
membership dues....and will continue to be. 

Further, it's impractical to think that "circulation will skyrocket"
since we are already dealing with a highly specialized niche market. The
people who are motivated to join AERC and read EN are largely the people
who endurance ride and CARE about the benefits of membership....that's
why they join! And advertisers typically get the best results when they
are reaching a targeted audience. More names on a mailing list may not
be tantamount to more responses.

Magazine publishing is not an inexpensive proposition.... 

Bobbie Lieberman and Fine Print in Maryland ("No, I've never worked as a
proofreader, but I can "read" trail markers pretty well!)

P.S. According to the November 1998 EQUUS Horse Trends article (p.62),
AERC projected 5,750 members in 1998 -- up from 5,281 in 1997 (which was
down from 5,400 in 1996). While this growth is encouraging, our overall
numbers are modest compared with many other horse-sport associations --
AHSA (67,000); US Pony Clubs (12,250), National Cutting Horse
Association (14,000), National Reining Horse Association (9,000) US
Combined Training Association (12,000), US Dressage Federation (40,000).
We're bigger than the American Driving Society (2,700), Intl. Pro Rodeo
Association (3,200), National Steeplechase Association (1,200).

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