Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Postage and Online Journals

Originally posted on February 1, 2018

I received a link to a foreign e-journal—it’s in Roman type as well as in the foreign language. But the point is that I am impressed with the idea of an e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways I regret this, because I was a "book- hound," one who savored and enjoyed libraries, used book stores, would feel old books, smell them, find them precious. Books! (Now called “hard copy.” Alas, those days may be gone forever in the 21st century!

But as we become more international, mailing costs alone have become forbid-dingly high. As the world gets smaller, postal costs rise, and our reach is bigger, more international involvements. So the idea of an e-journal becomes compelling.

To use an “ol’fart” cliche, I had to go 15 miles in the snow, barefoot, uphill both ways, just to get on the internet? No? Well, we had it tough in other ways. We had to get up and cross the whole room, on foot, to change the television channel! And they had less than ten channels in the olden days—and that was in the big cities!

Seriously, we are on the edge of a major precipice, shifting over from printed words on paper to electronic media. My son the desktop publisher writes: “Postage cost is one huge factor. Another is printing cost, of course. And inventory. It is often just as expensive to create (write, design, ed-it,  create, and produce a digital book or journal as it is a print version. But the "post" costs are much lower. And, inter-estingly, there is virtually no additional cost to publish either one or ten thousand copies of something digital.

That said, a lot of people still want stuff printed. Fortunately, there’s a"print on demand" option! A new company, "Magcloud.com" lets people produce a digital magazine and then print and deliver it only if they want one.”

So that’s my son, the desktop publisher sort of, and now me: The point is that I (as an “ol’fart”— it ought to be a word!) am breathless as new options pile up!


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