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Thread: [Publisher] Reader's Digest

  1. #1
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    [Publisher] Reader's Digest

    Radio Five Live (English news station) has announced that Reader's Digest has gone into administration (Dental surgeries will have to look elsewhere for reading gear for their tables!). Seriously, if it's true another avenue for authors bites the dust. Although I won't miss the endless promotion for their Digest lucky numbers, erm, thing that they do.

    Does anyone know anything more concrete?

  2. #2
    "I catch bird!" SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    The US parent company is coming out of bankruptcy (or has, I'm not sure). I don't know what this means to the UK company, but that is generally a good sign.

    I'm not sure what the long-term future is for RD, but it seems that most of their subscribers and supermarket readers are an older age group. It may be that the days of RD, at least in its present form, are numbered. I think many magazines are going to have to develop a new paradigm if they're to survive; I've seen one by a relatively new special interest magazine develop a new concept that seems to be working.
    .

  3. #3
    knows a hawk from a handsaw Shakesbear's Avatar
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    There was a bit on the news last week .... something to do with pensions? 'old up... see here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010...administration




    And my large kingdom for a little grave,
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  4. #4
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    Alleycat, I've got to admit I'm not one of their readers and i wonder how many of Absolute write members have submitted (I don't even know if RD have their own authors or they accept sol'/unsol's material...). I think they do books (I've seen a few my mothering-in-law's bookshelf). The only time I do come across them is in the dentists and I don't buy anything that has associations to pain. Lol. Maybe that's where the hiccup is...?

    Shakesbear, thank you for the link, hun.

  5. #5
    knows a hawk from a handsaw Shakesbear's Avatar
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    You are welcome.

    I have vague memories of awful compact editions of books - short versions of classics and three in one volume. blech!

    Fallen I am so with you on not buying anything that has associations with pain.




    And my large kingdom for a little grave,
    A little little grave, an obscure grave . . .




  6. #6
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    They do only reprints of material published elsewhere, except for short humor, IIRC. Their books are heavily abridged bestsellers and have no resale value whatsoever. (Here, you literally cannot give them away. Libraries and thrift stores refuse them.)

    I agree that their base readership has aged and is now crumbling away as subscribers die. If it were my magazine, I might keep the basic concept but change the tenor, incorporating materials which the older reader might still enjoy but which are aimed at their children or even grandchildren. It could still be somewhat wholesome and folksy, but more hip at the same time.

    Maryn, ready to run it (as if!)
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  7. #7
    "I catch bird!" SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    (Here, you literally cannot give them away. Libraries and thrift stores refuse them.)
    I can visualize an animated cartoon. A little old lady, or little old man, finishes the latest Reader's Digest condensed book (after eating a lunch of condensed soup with a glass of condensed milk). She decides to give the book away. She takes it to a school. The headmaster shows the old lady a poster with the heading, Great Literature, and pictures of some of the well-known classics, then shakes her head at the old lady. The woman takes it to the library. They laugh at her. Soon everyone in what was a quiet library is laughing their heads off. She takes it to the thrift shop. They toss it out into the trash before the old lady even leaves the parking lot. The lady picks it out of the trash. She tries over and over to give the book away, but every time she ends up stuck with the book. The final scene is the old lady in her tiny old house, happily taking pages from the book to put on the fire to keep her warm.

    I have an overactive imagination, don't I? ;-)
    .

  8. #8
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I kind of liked that, actually. I want to add one scene, the old lady attempting to make gruel from them, tasting it, and rejecting it, before the burning.

    One good use I've seen, on a home improvement show, was to take four big stacks of the condensed books and place them in a frame before drilling a 1.5-inch hole through the center of each, front to back. Repeat until you have about 12 vertical feet of drilled books. On the final four books, drill from the back and don't pierce the front cover.

    The person doing the craft even mentioned Readers Digest Condensed Books and out of date encyclopedias.

    Thread one book on each of four table legs 1 3/8" in diameter. Apply glue to its cover's surface. Thread another on at a slight angle, apply glue, etc.

    Eventually you have four spiraling table legs which are quite secure, ending with a book whose cover is not drilled through. Top with heavy glass for a sturdy desk. It was really pretty cool-looking.

    Maryn, who saw sawed-off hardcovers at a McDonald's in Pennsylvania--so warm and cozy until she saw the bindings were only 3 inches deep.
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
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  9. #9
    "I catch bird!" SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    Oh, my, you've made me think of another cartoon. 101 Uses for a RD Condensed Book.
    .

  10. #10
    knows a hawk from a handsaw Shakesbear's Avatar
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    I so like the idea of the RD books that no one wants being used as table legs! The little old lady reminds me of my granny!




    And my large kingdom for a little grave,
    A little little grave, an obscure grave . . .




  11. #11
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    Man, my grandparents had those condensed books also. Hard to believe people actually read them. I saw no evidence that my grandparents read them--they just sat on the shelves.

    I once heard that RD actually paid people to publish a long story so that they could write the short story to go with it. I think this was probably not true.

    In a related story, when my dad retired he had a library full of law books. He had all this stuff on CD, so he didn't really need the books and he didn't have space for them in his home office anyhow. He sold them all...to an interior decorator!
    Speed writing! Untitled Urban Fantasy--256 pages in sixteen days (May 20 through June 4)

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  12. #12
    "I catch bird!" SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    My local public library used to have a running book sale (generally books that people had donated to the Friends of the Library, but sometimes a few library books). There were always a stack of Nora Roberts hardbacks and similar books. They generally looked as good as one from a bookstore (maybe read once), but hardly anyone wanted them and they were only $2 ($1 on special sales days).

    Sorry for derailing your thread, Fallen, but I'm sure you've come to expect that on AW. ;-)
    .

  13. #13
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    More information on RD filing bankruptcy. (Chapter 11 is the US bankruptcy code invoked when a corporation files.)
    I still poop rainbows.




    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Adding link: http://www.rd.com/

    Emerged from first filing in '10, but filed again in Feb '13. And re-emerged in July having sprouted an Author Solutions "imprint", LifeRich Publishing: http://www.liferichpublishing.com/

    *sigh*
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