It may just a passing phase, or it may herald the dawn of a new era in numismatic publishing. Longtime readers will know I'm in the latter camp. Two recent events tell me the days of print as the primary method of publication are numbered. Last week COIN World debuted an electronic newsletter, and this week the American Numismatic Association announced a radical change in its membership/subscription rates.
It's one thing for a little newsletter like The E-Sylum to be electronic, but when major hobby publishers adopt pricing policies that reflect the true costs of print and electronic publishing, it's only a matter of time before the vastly cheaper electronic format becomes the market leader. -Editor
In one timely example, NBS webmaster Bruce Perdue writes:
I signed up for the electronic version of Coin World and The Numismatist last week. It's going to disappoint my dentist who was the proud recipient of my left over paper copies...
Here's an excerpt from the ANA's press release. -Editor The American Numismatic Association Board of Governors has finalized new membership tiers, reducing annual dues for those who prefer reading The Numismatist online while increasing rates for those who want to have the magazine delivered to their door each month.
Under the new fee structure, which takes effect for members on June 1 and for nonmembers on April 1, a basic membership including online delivery of The Numismatist will be $28 per year – an $8 decrease. Regular membership, which includes monthly mail delivery of the magazine, will be $46 per year – an increase of $10.
Members in both tiers will otherwise receive the same ANA benefits including the privilege of submitting coins and paper money directly for grading and conservation services to Numismatic Guaranty Corp., Paper Money Guaranty and Numismatic Conservation Services and full use of the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.
“We are restructuring rates to better reflect the true costs of delivering service to our members,” said ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd. “Raising regular membership dues is necessary to reflect cost increases over the past several years. At the same time, I am pleased to introduce our newest basic membership tier with a reduction in dues. This option allows members to enjoy all their member benefits including the environmentally friendly online magazine. The two tiers provide a choice that can work for everyone.”
Annual dues for basic membership (online magazine only) were set at $14 for both juniors (17 and younger) and associate members. Regular juniors will pay $26 annually, and regular club fees were raised to $75, reflecting the many benefits clubs receive for their members who do not belong to the ANA. International members who are mailed the magazine will pay an additional $3 per month above the regular membership dues.
To read the complete press release, see: ANA Board Sets New Membership Rates New tiers provide more choice (www.money.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home
John and Nancy Wilson add:
This dues increase is taking effect to try to help the Association balance the budget. The dues at the current level don't even cover the cost of membership - thus the increase. The ANA will also start charging admission to their coin shows and the Museum in Colorado Springs.
By the way, this announcement comes at a time when the troubled organization is announcing its first balanced budget in some time. Congratulations! ANA Board Approves Balanced Operating Budget (www.coinnews.net/2009/03/26/ana-board-approves-balanced-operating-budget/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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