Author Topic: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline ComSoft6128

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Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« on: 08:40, 19 January 20 »
Found in the "Amstrad cupboard from Hell" yesterday morning.

"at no extra charge" .............Love that ???
« Last Edit: 08:45, 19 January 20 by ComSoft6128 »

Offline robcfg

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #1 on: 10:24, 19 January 20 »
You do have indeed a hell of an Amstrad Cupboard from Hell  :D


Thanks for sharing all this interesting material!

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #2 on: 13:13, 19 January 20 »
I still had an uncashed cheque (the amount was small enough, they were out of one of the back issues I'd ordered) and a compliments slip from Future Publishing up until I moved out of that house in 2006.
Kinda wish I'd taken that with me now...
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Offline gpc1000

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #3 on: 15:55, 19 January 20 »
I remember that letter. It felt like a kick in the groin.
Once I'd got over the disappointment I opted for a switch to Amiga Format which I'd been buying at the newsagent anyway and carried on with that until the bitter end too. When that ended I didn't get a nice long letter just a cheque for the outstanding issues.
Never bought a computer / games magazine again to be honest.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #4 on: 16:31, 19 January 20 »
I had moved on from the cpc before amstrad action closed and wasn't a subscriber, my local news agents got it in for me, I can't really remember when I stopped reading it but I would guess about 1991.  My brother got an Amiga, and after the failure of the plus range and gx4000 I got a 386.  Those amstrad times were good days.

Offline Strident

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #5 on: 19:48, 19 January 20 »
It was mail order/subscriber-only for a brief while just before it shut down, wasn't it?



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Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #6 on: 20:05, 19 January 20 »
That rings a vague bell because I remember it had disappeared from the news-stands months before I received my last copy and then the letter.
It's just a pity that Future didn't manage a proper final issue as they did later with PCW plus.

Offline gpc1000

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #7 on: 20:09, 19 January 20 »
They did a final issue for Your Sinclair too!
Shame we didn't get one especially as I think Amstrad Action was the launch title for Future Publishing you'd think it would have deserved more respect

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #8 on: 20:40, 19 January 20 »
It was mail order/subscriber-only for a brief while just before it shut down, wasn't it?
Not so sure this is 100%. I definitely got the second half of 94 and the first half of 95 in Easons in Dublin City.
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Offline Strident

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #9 on: 23:08, 19 January 20 »
Not so sure this is 100%. I definitely got the second half of 94 and the first half of 95 in Easons in Dublin City.
This is from the Adventure Probe news pages from February 1995, which is what led me to believe Amstrad Action had gone subscription-only for the last few issues of its life, at least in the UK...
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Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #10 on: 09:52, 20 January 20 »
Again I'm not 100% on this but you both might be correct.

I think it went subscription only for a few months as a cost cutting exercise and when that failed it went back out to the shops as a final "throw of the dice."



Offline Skunkfish

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #11 on: 19:03, 20 January 20 »
I got all mine from my local newsagent, although for the final year or so they had to 'order it in' as it was no longer a magazine that they put out on display.
I recall going there to get one of the final issues (which seemed to be getting later and later) and they said it had come in but they were going to send it back as it was missing most of the pages. I quickly replied "No, no - it's supposed to be like that!"
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Offline Nich

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #12 on: 20:59, 20 January 20 »
It was mail order/subscriber-only for a brief while just before it shut down, wasn't it?

Like @Skunkfish, I ordered my copies from the newsagent in the village where I lived, The final few issues were only 24 pages in size.

Offline Nich

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #13 on: 21:06, 20 January 20 »
They did a final issue for Your Sinclair too!
Shame we didn't get one especially as I think Amstrad Action was the launch title for Future Publishing you'd think it would have deserved more respect

I heard speculation at the time that issue 118 was going to be Amstrad Action's 'big' final issue, but the powers that be within Future put a stop to that as it just wasn't economically viable.

Offline Strident

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #14 on: 21:27, 20 January 20 »
Like @Skunkfish, I ordered my copies from the newsagent in the village where I lived, The final few issues were only 24 pages in size.
I guess the "subscribers-only" comments in Adventure Probe could (...possibly...) refer to the fact that you could only get it in a newsagent if you ordered it in. Perhaps Amstrad Action were so crap at that point that they weren't even telling their adventure columnist what was going on.
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Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #15 on: 22:56, 20 January 20 »
Definitely not true. Although to be fair, there was only 1 or 2 copies available in Dublin between August 94-June 95.
I always wondered who got the other copy? ;)

This is from the Adventure Probe news pages from February 1995, which is what led me to believe Amstrad Action had gone subscription-only for the last few issues of its life, at least in the UK...

I guess the "subscribers-only" comments in Adventure Probe could (...possibly...) refer to the fact that you could only get it in a newsagent if you ordered it in. Perhaps Amstrad Action were so crap at that point that they weren't even telling their adventure columnist what was going on.
To be fair, AA was pretty much 100% freelancers by then. It was submit your work then get paid (if that was even the case, a lot of people were doing it for experience too). I'd be surprised if there was much in terms of "team conversation" was going on.
« Last Edit: 22:58, 20 January 20 by Shaun M. Neary »
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Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #16 on: 22:59, 20 January 20 »
Like @Skunkfish, I ordered my copies from the newsagent in the village where I lived, The final few issues were only 24 pages in size.
It got to the point where fanzines had more content.  :laugh:
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Offline ukmarkh

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #17 on: 16:58, 21 January 20 »
I was able to purchase all issues of ‘AA’ from my local newsagents, missing two copies from memory. I discovered ‘Published and be dammed’ some years later thanks to sites such as ‘CPC Zone’ and ‘Tacgr’. I was gutted when ‘AA’ went under and couldn't find the mag anymore (really sad) as it was the highlight of my month when it came out.

Offline ChaRleyTroniC

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #18 on: 15:02, 26 January 20 »
It was mail order/subscriber-only for a brief while just before it shut down, wasn't it?
No, but IIRC it went "sale or return" - in other words, the newsagent could send back any unsold copies for a refund. At the time that was generally viewed as the last gasp of a dying magazine.

Offline remax

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #19 on: 17:42, 26 January 20 »
So this letter about an Amstrad Magazine was sent to mister PC, living in Macintosh Court  ;D
« Last Edit: 18:05, 26 January 20 by remax »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #20 on: 03:51, 27 January 20 »
It was mail order/subscriber-only for a brief while just before it shut down, wasn't it?


It was taken off sale or return so the only newsagents that would stock it would have customers who had reserved it like I did. You wouldn't see it on the shelf anymore.
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #21 on: 04:04, 27 January 20 »
This is from the Adventure Probe news pages from February 1995, which is what led me to believe Amstrad Action had gone subscription-only for the last few issues of its life, at least in the UK...


I had it reserved at my newsagent. The only way to get hold of a copy for the final issues was either a sub or to have a newsagent who would order it for you. Magazines sold in newsagents operate on a "sale or return" basis. So the newsagent returns any unsold copies and gets credited. Future withdrew that for AA as the figures were so marginal.


My understanding of the situation was AA survived for so long as it had healthy subscriber figures. Subscribers are worth FAR more to a publisher than a newsagent sale. With a newsagent sale you have the wholesaler wanting their share, you have the newsagent taking a large chunk of the coverprice and you also have to deal with the returns.


A subscriber is a guaranteed sale. Your overheads are lower even with postage and you get a years money up front. Those games they gave away to entice you to subscribe? Future got those for next to nothing. A good subscriber base equalled a far bigger profit.


The problem for Your Sinclair was the sub levels were appalling. In fact they withdrew subs about a year before the mag closed as it wasn't even worthwhile.


I'm afraid yes AA was treated as a training ground, and I believe at one stage it was relegated to just a desk in a corridor. Nobody really wanted to put it out of its misery and as long as it made some money it was allowed to continue.


Why no big final issue? It was too far gone. It was closed on the first issue that was projected to make a loss and it had been scraping by for ages. The difference with YS was its decline was quicker, but it still has someone passionate in charge of it (J.Nash) and the publishers thought a last hoorah would sell.
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Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #22 on: 04:08, 27 January 20 »
No, but IIRC it went "sale or return" - in other words, the newsagent could send back any unsold copies for a refund. At the time that was generally viewed as the last gasp of a dying magazine.


Wrong way round. Sale or return is standard industry practice for everything from newspapers to periodicals. What you don't sell you return and your account is credited. If you live near a newsagents and go past early morning, you'll see newspapers and magazines bundled up on the doorstep ready to go back when the new delivery arrives at 5am.


Dying magazines get taken off this as returns cut into the overheads. So the newsagent is only interested in guaranteed sales or they lose out if they are left with mags.
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Offline ChaRleyTroniC

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #23 on: 01:37, 28 January 20 »
Yep, you're 100% right. Memory fades 25 years on but that is what happened, you're right.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Unwelcome 1995 letter from Future Publishing
« Reply #24 on: 16:28, 17 February 20 »
Damn that was a sad read. I had moved on by then, and the last AA issue I ever got was certainly below #100, but still...

Thanks for sharing!