The Long Slow Death of Print Publishing

Once again, the industry has heard the news of the doors slamming shut at another one of its print publications. Only this time, the dying publication is the most-read title in the industry: Scrapbooks Etc.

As one scrapbook magazine after another has closed its doors the past few years (Memory Trends, Simple Scrapbooks, Digital Scrapbooking, Memory Makers, and now Scrapbooks Etc), it is tempting to declare that scrapbooking is dying. Why else would the industry be littered with the shredded remains of revered publications?

The answer is simple. Yes, it’s inescapable that something is dying. But that something isn’t scrapbooking. It’s something larger: the printed word on paper.

Scrapbooking is certainly undergoing a decline after a few years at an unsustainable high as a fad, but not one so catastrophic that it would cause the industry’s leading magazine to pull the plug on its publication.

Instead, the culprit is the internet, and the iPad, and the Kindle, and the Nook, and the numerous electronic methods of publishing and viewing content that have exploded in the past five years. They’ve changed everything from the business model of delivering content, to the consumer’s expectation of that content.

We used to be content to sit down once a day to watch the evening news for an hour and be told what is going on in the world. Now, in the internet age, we have something called the “24 hour news cycle”. It means that we want (no, expect) to know everything the moment it happens. Big news spreads like wildfire via Twitter before the stories even hit official news channels. Newspapers aren’t published once a day anymore. They are expected to post breaking stories online on their websites as soon as they happen. Consumers want a constant flow of new content. Print news outlets have been struggling to adjust to this new reality, as newspaper and news magazine subscriptions have fallen dramatically and they have yet to figure out how to effectively convert to monetizing their web operations.

This same problem affects publishers in every industry. Readers don’t want to wait 5 months of print lag time anymore to read about today’s new fashions, computers, cameras – or scrapbook supplies. In fact, they don’t want to wait the 5 minutes it takes to write and hit publish on a blog post! The modern reader has now been conditioned by a frenetic and never-ending stream of internet content to expect a constant availability of fresh content, and to have their finger on the pulse of things the minute they occur. We no longer accept having content delivered to us in a huge chunk long after the things it talks about were new – we want instead a constant flow of new, up-to-the-minute content.

There’s another shift that has occurred: consumer price sensitivity. Because such a wide range of quality content is available for free online, it has lowered the perceived market value of magazine content in the eyes of many consumers. Many are simply unwilling to pay for magazine content anymore when they have plenty of content to choose from online at no charge.

Advertisers are also a very important part of the death of print publishing. Despite the revenue that it would seem to consumers that subscription fees bring in to publishers, the high price of producing a print publication (specifically, printing and delivering it to the reader) means that a large amount of advertising revenue is also necessary for the publication to not only turn a profit, but just to function. And despite consumer sticker shock in recent years at the newsstand prices of magazines, advertising at a financially healthy publication typically makes up over half of the publication’s budget.

One exception to this is the publications from Stampington and Northridge. Those titles are operating under a different business model than traditional newsstand print magazines by charging a very high cover price (around $15 for most titles) which means that they need only extremely limited advertising support. They are, basically, publishing a recurring series of books.

The problem is that advertisers in all industries are fleeing print publications in large numbers, attracted to the lower prices, fine targeting and detailed metrics that they can get on the web. The cost of entry to internet advertising is lower than the price barrier to entering the print advertising market – an important consideration in an industry that is dominated by small businesses that do not have massive marketing budgets. Ads cost a fraction on the web per 1,000 readers of what they cost in print, and web advertising gives advertisers the ability to carefully target  a specific reader segment, diversify their ad buy without blowing their budget, or attach their ads to a specific event on a very specific day.

As a result, recent issues of Scrapbooks Etc and Creating Keepsakes have had ad content ratios less than 20% – whereas a healthy publication needs 40% of its pages to be ad content.

How can the web be so affordable to advertise on compared to a print publication? The answer to this question is the same as the answer to another important question: Why can’t the print publishers just convert to web publications? Many, in this industry and others, have tried, but no one has successfully fully converted to a web publishing operation from a print operation. Different methods have been tried – emagazines, mobile apps, internet paywalls – but consumers have been resistant and adoption has been limited.

The key to the true degree of difficulty in this transformation lies in the difference between the business models of print publishing and web publishing.

Print publishing requires a large organization to support editorial, layout, ad sales, marketing, printing and subscription fulfillment functions. In fact, because of the modern requirement that magazines blog in support of their print issues, print publications are really running two publications – both an online publication and a print publication.

Web publication, in contrast, is a leaner and meaner business model. With no printing and fulfillment to do, these publications don’t have costs associated with those tasks. Layout costs are minimal to none, especially if the publication is run off of a blogging platform – individual articles need no graphic design, just the design of the website needs to be worked on occasionally.

This change is going to keep marching on. New technology changes things. The automobile killed the buggy-making business (or rather transformed it into making cars instead of buggies, an excellent analogy to what is happening to print magazines).  Mobile phones have decimated the pay phone business. And on, and on, and on. It’s no reflection on the people who work in those industries. It’s just progress marching on, replacing old technology with a newer one. Sometimes, you have to lose something to gain something.

49 Responses to The Long Slow Death of Print Publishing

  1. Donna C May 11, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Why can’t they just make SBE online instead of ceasing publication all together???? I’d love that!

  2. elh May 11, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I’m afraid I have a different opinion and respectfully wish to add a new point of view … I understand you thought but because this particular magazine is under the BH&G umbrella I do not believe it is the death of written word on the page….I believe subscriptions and sales are done because the magazine lacked substance…because this publication is under BH&G I believe it was a business decision by the corporate analysist. Additionally when an economy swings south..renewals are the first to go!

  3. Jo May 11, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Nancy, I do have to agree with you … I love to hit the local starbucks with the newest scrapbooking magazine in hand … but when i look around, I notice I am the only one in there with printed publication. Everyone else has a laptop or ipad, or iphone … There are many things were are going to see disappear in the future and I believe the printed publication is one of them … for us “book” lovers it’s a painful demise …

    • Jennifer May 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Totally agree with you Jo. I love to curl up with a scrap mag or my favorite author’s book on my couch or in bed with a nice cup of coffee! Or just laying in the sun. I don’t like being online all of the time! A very painful demise indeed.

      SBE is the only magazine I subscribe to. Do we know when publication will cease? I was counting on my 4 year subscription to help me get some “me” time every now and then!

      • Nancy Nally May 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        The August issue, which hits store shelves in mid-June, will be the last issue.

    • Ruth G May 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      I’m with you ladies, too! I need, want and desire something to hold. I cannot foresee getting an eReader for books and the internet will never replace physical books and magazines for me until that’s all that’s available, please not anytime soon!

  4. Lyneen May 11, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    I have to agree… I love a good magazine… I ride the bus to work and rarely do I see anyone with printed paper. Kindles, ipads and other electronic devices fill the hands of other riders! Technology has taken over much more than we realize!

  5. Erika @ Scrapbook Obsession Blog May 11, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Call me old-fashioned but as long as there are scrapbook magazines published, I will be buying every issue. As the US-based magazines have ceased publication, I’ve been turning to those produced overseas – at a much higher cover price. As much as I love all the amazing and free scrapbook content on the internet, I still also love curling up with a good magazine … and will continue to do so as long as there are ANY of them out there!

    • VickyR May 11, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      Erika: I totally agree with you. I purchased a British scrapbook magazine at Jo-Ann’ s last evening.

  6. Kathy H May 11, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Good article, Nancy. I have always been a magazine reader since my childhood days of consuming Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping and Life. Our house has always had a plethora of subscriptions to various magazines as well but through the years those have declined as times have changed. I do find I read far more on the internet now as opposed to the printed page and where once the library was our family friend, I find I rarely step in the door. I used to think it was because our kids are all grown now and on their own but in reality, anything I can find in the library I can find on the internet in less time and without hopping in my car to go get it!!
    I do love books and magazines but if I were to be truthful with each move we’ve made or even in Spring cleaning mode, we’ve packed up tons of books and magazines to sell at garage sales, give to organizations or even just thrown them away. Times they are a changin!

  7. Pat Rex May 11, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    GREAT editorial ,Nancy! You are right. It seems scrapbooking has made the transition to the internet while publishing has not. Good for scrapbooking.

  8. Jenny Barnett Rohrs May 11, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    You raise excellent points, Nancy. I certainly agree that part of the issue is delivery model. While I love a print magazine, digital content is easier to produce and deliver- and smart publishers would hop on that bandwagon. I also agree that part of the issue is price sensitivity- but not just at the magazine cost. I think that part of the death of scrapbook mags is that they push an aesthetic that is driven by consumerism- namely, purchasing all of the tools, supplies and embellishments that their advertisers are selling. Personally, I think part of the shift is away from the “professional” look- on that is super expensive and relies on professional designers to feed you the ideas- and back to grass-roots memory keeping. (To whit, the Smash Book line and Project Life.) Sometimes I think some of the magazines smacked of the tail wagging the dog. Thank you for the forum to explore this topic!

  9. Trish Reddick May 11, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Thanks for your thoughtful take on print and web publishing. I hope that we can have both once the wheel turns back to center!

  10. Susan May 11, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Great article and very perceptive . You are right the old model is changing. I just opened a child care business three months ago and had to rethink the whole PR/marketing. I was used to print media – ads in the newspaper. My clients are young parents who use Facebook and the internet so I’ve had to switch gears and develop a website, blog, and FB page. It’s a shame in many ways but consumer demand is what drives the market.

  11. Lisa Gurwich-Cutler May 11, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Enjoyed this article. Very dissappointed that SBE is closing its doors. I have loved this mag for several years and feel its been the BEST out there for some time. CK has really gone down hill in my opinion. It will be next. As for SBE, I WOULD pay a reasonable amount to continue to get a digi copy of new materials. I wonder how Scrapbooks &Cards today is faring – I do read that online and print items I find I may want to save.
    Its just like with the LSS. At one time you couldn’t spit without running into a store. Now, you are lucky to find one within your state. Its all over the internet. I have an Archivers and I try to go to a crop once a month but find its dead in there when I do. I worry that will close so I try to support when I shop but its hard to beat the mass discounts I can get at Michael’s and JoAnns, sometimes for the exact same stuff (Smash, for example, that’s also sold at Target now, for LESS!!!!!)

    I loved getting the mags, reading cover to cover, then going back to doggy ear the pages to tear out and save.

    I wonder now, how I’ll find out about all the new products coming out. (tho, by the time I get SBE, its new products are out). I’m a kindle reader and hardly ever pick up a real book but my scrapbook and cooking magazines are a different story.

    I look forward to reading more.

  12. bessie del rosario May 11, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    oh no! I just paid for my SBE renewal at I love the convenience of having my magazines on the IPAD. I don’t know if you are aware of this but print issues of CK retails for $10 here in Manila. Having an online version is a cheaper alternative for us overseas.

    • elh May 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      CK DOES have digital issues! Need to go to the site and check it out.. a friend in New Zealand just got signed up for CK digitally!

  13. Anne May 11, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Sorry, Nancy, but I don’t agree. I think elh, who commented above, has the right idea. It has nothing to do with scrapbooking or the “death” of magazines in print – it is entirely a business decision by the corporate parent who sees more growth in other areas. Meredith Corp. has many magazines, and many are on crafting topics.

    People were saying the same thing about books and libraries 20 years ago when the Internet became mainstream, and books are still being published and libraries are busier than ever. The truth is, there is room for both. Technology changes (and most often improves) the way we get information, but there are times when actual books are the best choice.

    • Nancy Nally May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Anne, I’m not exactly out on a limb here with this article. This is not a new idea or revolutionary theory. It is widely accepted fact within the publishing industry that print is on a death march because of the internet and electronic publishing – which is why companies have been desperately trying to utilize the electronic publishing means that were mentioned in the article to keep their publications alive, and why I explained the barriers that have been giving them difficulty in making that work.

      Meredith didn’t cut SBE because it sees growth in other areas. They cut SBE because the company is bleeding money everywhere and they had to make cuts just to keep the company alive and they decided that SBE was the fastest dying publication of their portfolio so they cut it.

      Yes it’s true that books and libraries are still around…but more and more percentage of book copies are being sold in digital form, and libraries are experiencing lower rates of users and are having to convert to digital to be relevant. Did you know that Encyclopedia Britannica just announced that they will no longer publish their encyclopedia in print form? That prediction of 20 years ago is true. We just haven’t finished getting there yet…but we are accelerating rapidly towards that point. Mobile technology is the last linchpin in that transition. We are at the tipping point now.

      Bottom line: This article isn’t opinion. It’s FACT. We don’t have to like it, but it is what is happening.

      • VickyR May 11, 2012 at 10:56 am #


        When I went into banking on the 1970’s, the industry was all a-buzz about creating the cashless society. Here we are 40 years later. Plastic has replaced checks, more than cash.

        One of the commenters said:
        “Personally, I think part of the shift is away from the “professional” look- on that is super expensive and relies on professional designers to feed you the ideas- and back to grass-roots memory keeping. (To whit, the Smash Book line and Project Life.) Sometimes I think some of the magazines smacked of the tail wagging the dog. ”

        I have been thinking that for sometime. Crafters that are considering scraping, look at the magazines and think that they cannot live up to standards set by publishers such as Scrapbooks, Etc.

      • JDS May 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

        Meredith shows profits in their 3rd quarter.

        The company appears alive and well.

        • elh May 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

          These numbers are including ALL the publications under the BH&G publication.. they show a profit because the cut the losses before they bleed out

  14. Theresa Mary Stem May 11, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I have a Nook and I love reading books on it. But there are some things that I just want to be able to hold and see and refer back to. I can’t always do that with an internet version. I guess that’s why I’m still a traditional paper scrapbooker instead of a digital scrapbooker.

    I’m really sad to see Scrapbooks, etc go.

    • Cynthia Redd Williams May 11, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      I’m with you Theresa. There is nothing better that getting up in the middle of my bed with my magazine and deciding which layout or technique I want to try. I am also a traditional paper scrapbooker.

      • Jersey Girl Anne May 12, 2012 at 12:42 am #

        I am with you on everything you said!!

  15. Linda Fleur May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Thank you for your insightful article Nancy. While I love to gather ideas on the web and via Pinterest, there’s just nothing that takes the place of having a book at your scrapbook table for inspiration. I love looking at the details of a layout and figuring out my “take” on them. Plus, I tend to hoard magazines and then go back to them time and again for inspiration, even very old magazines. It may be because I am not artistic that I need those visuals to spur my imagination. Plus, I’m old school and just love the printed page.

  16. Diana Fisher May 11, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    You can’t replace all print publishing with an all digital e-Mag (especially in SBE’s case where they posted a copy to the Kindle and not dynamic content – no tracking, no linking) without the same circulation to be accounted for. Auditing companies for publishing have stated that digital is going to be counted as “distribution” or “brand” and not “circulation.” That make it extremely tough to get the same ad dollars for what can be seen as an “un-read” (by auditing numbers) magazine. It is not a black & white, cut and dry decision.

    Regarding the 20% vs 40% ad ration – what I don’t understand is why they didn’t cut back on the total page count. When I have lower ad revenue for an issue, I just cut back on the page count. Pre-determined articles that were not run in print become web-only content and help to feed SEO efforts.

    I’m sure they tried all they could to keep the magazine afloat for as long as they could. I’ll miss them for sure!

  17. Cynthia Ewer May 11, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I’m a print author, Web publisher and scrapbooker, and I still subscribe to scrapbooking magazines in both electronic and paper form. So you can say I’ve got all the bases covered on this point.

    Over the past three or four years, I’ve given serious debate to each renewal, no matter the format, for one simple reason: the declining quality of the content.

    Layouts feature fussy, product-heavy design, single photographs and one-page layouts, yet I scrapbook multi-photo two-page spreads with embellishments kept simple. Too much of the magazine is “advertorial” promotion of new products; even articles in my area of expertise (organization) are fanciful and lightweight.

    Perhaps this perceived change arises out of the need to get and retain advertisers, but for this scrapbooker, the magazines’ content has lost a lot of value when compared to the earlier issues in my library.

    For me, it’s not about the format, but about the content, and I’ve noticed a steady decline.

  18. JJ May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    It may be the way that print publishing is going in general, but I think it also has to do with the type of content available in print publications. If you continue to do the same thing you’ve done for 10 years, when the industry is changing, and the type of content people are genuinely looking for is changing, you have a problem. I haven’t stopped buying print magazines – I’ve just changed to ones that better fit my current needs.

  19. Mike Hartnett May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Some thoughts on all this: Insiders tell me Meredith has all sorts of problems, in part because they’re pouring money into online efforts and it hasn’t, yet, paid off. The result: there were far more cuts there than just Scrapbook Etc. A total of 80 people lost their jobs.

    As for trade magazines (those published for retailers and manufacturers, not consumers), I started working for an industry trade magazine in 1979. The vast majority of the trade magazines (Profitable Craft Merchandising, Craftrends, Memory Trends, Creative Product News, Craft & Art Market, Craft & Needlework Age, and Sew Business, to name a few) have died, but for a different reason. It was the growth of the chain stores at the expense of independents. The companies with the most money to advertise are selling to five chains, they go see the buyers, they don’t need to advertise. If there are thousands of independent stores out there, well, you can’t go see all of them, so you advertise.

    For those of you who think it’s great or smart to transition to digital, you can kiss the remaining independent stores goodbye. Then what happens is this: there aren’t near as many new scrapbookers created; you enthusiasts will get old, bored, whatever, and the category declines.
    Manufacturers sales will decline, and they won’t have the money to invest in new product development.

    And as for doing everything online, Kodak Gallery is yet another photo-keeping site that is closing. And the way computers are changing, are your grandchildren going to have a machine that can access the CD you made of your last vacation?

    Keep supporting your independent store and Archivers.

    My publication, Creative Leisure News, is just about the last one left, because it’s online and I don’t have to pay for printing and mailing. (I don’t even accept advertising because I spend all my time on the editorial.)

    • Jean Rood May 11, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Thank you for writing in, Mike, and I agree with all the things you said. I have received most of your publications over time, as a sales rep for a major brush company for over 15 years, and saw all those moves to the chain stores and how it changed the way manufacturers did business. I retired, but I don’t have to remind you how many reps lost their jobs because of direct buys between stores and manufacturers – who cared about learning about any products or teaching store employees how to use them or getting the right products into the local stores? Product “turns” became king ,and all stores are alike, and nothing is more important than the bottom line. Forget keeping all the 3 shades of a paint color that were designed to work together – just keep the one that sells the most and drop the other two. There are arguments pro and con for so many of these business decisions, but in most cases the customer was left out and they got the short end of the stick.

      When the magazines go away, there are going to be fewer and fewer people coming into scrapbooking because, with all the stuff on the internet, how will they ever find it unless they stumble upon it or a friend is involved. People take all these pictures and store them on all their digital media devices and think that is great. But why are they taking them if they are not going to be printed because that is the only way to pass them down through the generations to come? I am a digital as well as traditional scrapbooker, and I print photos, and I make digital books. I know many people who take the step to make digital pages but never print them. Why bother?

      I really hate this trend. I am so tired of having to sit at a computer for so many things and it keeps me from doing things I want to do because I am afraid I will miss something important to whatever it is I am trying to do! It is easy to pick up a scrapbooking magazine for just a few minutes to read an article or to browse through it for inspiration, but try doing that on a computer. You spend many minutes waiting for it to boot up or work out glitches, then trying to remember where the file is or WHAT file you put the article in in the first place! If you have to print out everything that you want to save or to look at later, that is also a big expense. I would rather pay more for the magazine. I just will not read magazines online so when they go away, that is it for me.

      I would suggest that one hope for continuing to turn people on to the wonderful hobby/geneological mission of scrapbooking will be the great direct sales companies, like Creative Memories, Stampin’ UP, and Close to my Heart. The stores and magazines will be gone but hopefully the consultants will remain and be able to help people tell their stories in photographs and albums.

      • StampsNWhatnot - Jeannette Swain May 12, 2012 at 6:04 am #

        You’re so right and I couldn’t agree with you more. Many times I’ve gone into one of the big chain stores and had a question about an item and no one can tell me anything about it. At least I know what to do with stamps, ink and paper since I’m a Stampin Up demonstrator. Same for scrapbooking. We are the ones who will teach and educate, not the kids working in the stores. :o)

        Having a printed magazine in hand is so much more satisfying to me. I can take it with me and use it for inspiration anywhere. It’s good to disconnect from all technology for a while and get back in touch with what’s important. The world around you and those that matter!

  20. Dottie James May 11, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Can you find out for us what they plan to do with their unfulfilled subscriptions? I just renewed for two years. And why their website and newsletters, as of yesterday, still had active links to subscribe? And why, as a subscriber, I have not been actually notified and wouldn’t even know without Scrapbook Update.

    I did hesitate on the renewal; I was burned by MM when they stopped publication. But Meredith/ BHG? They’ve been fixtures for so long I trusted them to stay. Or at least not solicit renewals if their demise was imminent.

  21. Caroll B May 11, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    I’m frankly surprised they opted to completely kill the magazine rather than just stop print publication but continue with their digital edition. I’ve been subscribing to the digital version ever since it was first offered and it has been very convenient for me to haul all of my “copies” around with me on my Android tablet. Instant access wherever and whenever! Northridge has a great deal I subscribe to for $10 a month that gives me access to all of their magazines digitally. I’ll definitely keep that going!

  22. reneecrops May 11, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Okay stepping into the stratosphere. I seriously hope we never have a war using the technology which now exists to microwave our computer systems. Soon we will have nothing to read in the way of higher learning (or just for fun) as our schools zoom into the electronic age , and my daughter can’t read and only sign her name in cursive. So why should I use my handwriting in my scrapbooks? PS- I think I know what happened to Atlantis. Sorry I had to add a little sick humor to a very interesting conversation. Thanks Nancy!!

  23. cathi May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    I love to browse in the stacks. Since there are fewer and fewer in the U.S. publications, it will be here in Europe (Germany: The scrapper, or SAC) more and more!

  24. Kristen May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    What a great article! I’m a graduate student studying Publishing in DC and I love scrapbooking so I am delighted to read about two of my favorite things. It is sad to see so many scrapbooking magazines come to an end. Scrapbooking publications are unique because readers are inspired mainly by images, which as you pointed out, are so freely shared and accessible on the internet. It seems that the future of scrapbooking print publications will need totally different, unique content from what is available online. I think this means eliminating focus on current trends and tutorials especially. I think scrapbookers should have the ability of picking and choosing what they want in their issues. My prediction is that the more customizable print can become, the more willing people will be to purchase.

  25. Tammy D May 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I agree with you Nancy – this is not the demise of anything, it’s just a shift. I think that crafting industries – scrapbooking specifically – could be more prone to this issue because we have such robust online communities. Years ago I was content spend two hours on the couch flipping through 5 scrapbook magazines. Today, I’d rather spend that time interacting while I’m getting my content. I can’t tell a magazine page how much I like what I see, but I can leave a comment on a blog or in a gallery. I have the past two SBE mags on my coffee table now and I don’t think I’ve even looked at them.

    I just recently moved and I am painfully aware of how hard it is to lug around all the idea books and magazines I have kept. I am all the more grateful to the to e-readers and tablets for delivering content I can refer back to time after time and I don’t need a bookshelf to house it all. The content is still there, all over the Internet, it’s just in a different form.

  26. BARB T May 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Sad ti see SBE go. It has been an exceptional magazine. Thank you Nancy for the article and to everyone for your valid points and opinions to which I can mostly say ditto. I am sad to see the printed word diminish,but I so believe it will not be entirely left behind. I for one need a good sb mag to take into the bathroom with me.

    • Rozlyn Love June 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      Oh how I agree with the bathroom!! I love my magazine rack in the bathroom and all of my scrapbook magazines!! They are always there and I just have to pick them up and enjoy, Roz

  27. Liz S. May 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    I’m very sad to hear of yet another of my scrappin subscriptions demise. I’m a traditional scrapper and I love my mags. I’ll keep buying Stampington’s and various overseas ones.

  28. Lesie May 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Obviously, you brought up some valid points, but I do wonder what the situation would look like if the economy were stronger. My uneducated guess would be that the demise of SBE would have been put off for a least a few more years.

  29. Cat May 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    They say the cost of publishing is too much, but I just don’t see it. I would think publishing a scrapbooking magazine is way cheaper than it is for lots of other magazines in the market. I mean, aren’t they just taking pictures of pages that are submitted to them? It’s not like they have to find an exotic location, a model/s and a first rate photographer (plus assistants and other artists) like fashion and beauty magazines do. They also don’t have top notch writers writing in depth articles. Most have very little creative writing in them. It’s mostly instructional writing which is pretty easy.
    And anything they use to create for an editorial is usually donated by manufacturers.

    So, why can’t they continue to publish digitally? Scrapbooks and Cards Today does it and it’s free!
    I’m sad to see my favorite scrap magazine shut down but I’m mad at them for not trying harder even if just out of loyalty to its many readers. It’s easy for a big CEO to bring down the ax but they forget that it leaves a sour taste in all our mouths and that taste never goes away.

    What do I care about any new publications they release now? (Insert expletive here) them! From now on I’ll use my dollars towards new supplies. I was also burned by Scrapbook Answers, Simple Scrapbooks, PaperKuts, Memory Makers and now, Scraps Etc. But that’s it, I’m done! No more magazines for me.

    • Nancy Nally May 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      There unfortunately is not a large market for subscription digital publications. If it is a digital publication people expect to get it for free – like Scrapbook & Cards Today. And Meredith’s business model is not about free publications.

      There are also costs for paying the designers and writers. It takes a lot of talent to make things look that simple.

      bottom line – the only thing a large publisher like Meredith is loyal to is its bottom line.

  30. Alison May 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Thanks for another great read Nancy. It’s sad to see yet another magazine fall off the shelf. You are right, it is a fact that the internet and mobile technology is turning consumers into 24/7 information gathers. I find it an interesting dichotomy that print scrapbooking magazines are failing, yet it seems digital ‘scrapbooking’ perse has not taken off. However – things like pinterest, instagram and now facebook’s timeline – are all ‘digital’ forms of scrapbooking in some sense.

  31. Carrie MacGillis May 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    We encourage all of you to check out Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine, which is growing. Our goal is to support independent retailers, educate consumers, and working with a targeted audience. We are also launching Chicagoland Scrapbooker Magazine in September, 2012. The magazines are FREE at your local scrapbook stores, expos, crops and retreat houses. We also looked at Scrapbooks etc. for inspiration and ideas. We hope to help fill the void for some of you. Check us our on Facebook or at

  32. Judy Webb May 15, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Reading a e-magazine is not the same as reading a print one. Change does not come easily to Grandmas, this news saddens me. This makes Blogs and “guest designers” all the more important.

  33. Susanne May 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Interesting article, Nancy. And I agree that print publications are dying – I’ve seen the local newspaper I used to work for struggle with this for more than 15 years – they are only still barely in business because the baby boomer generation is the transition point. The next generation after us gets their news online – they don’t subscribe to a newspaper at all. I also agree that it has shortened the attention span of the online reader. They are more apt to be happy with just the headlines. The bigger problem to me is that currently much of the online content offered at price can also be very shallow. I do not think e-publishers know how to publish that well either – the cost versus useable content is out-of-sync, I think. They keep hoping to do the same thing they did in print, but put it online. They want to make a quick buck – so they don’t worry about achieving and sustaining quality. This makes me wonder if at some point the online generation will wake up from being bored and the pendulum will swing back the other way. I hope it happens while I’m still around to enjoy it.

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