Changes at Scrapbooks Etc. Magazine

According to THIS post (copied below) from the SCRAPBOOKS ETC magazine blog, there will be some changes coming to the magazine. If I’m understanding the announcement correctly, I’m not liking it. Why don’t we all read it together and then discuss, shall we?

Note: All of the bolding is mine My notes are in brackets :)

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Scrapbooks etc. News!
Posted by Michelle Rubin @ SBE at 7/20/2009 5:20 PM CDT
We’ve got big things in the works for the coming months. Here’s a press release on all of our exciting news!

Scrapbooks etc. Aims Broader Readership with New Look & Expanded Content

ORLANDO, FL (July 20, 2009)— Advertisers and industry professionals will get a sneak peek at Scrapbooks etc. magazine’s new look, a first-ever mobile scrapbooking application, and enhanced “etc.” content at a special event here on Tuesday, July 28, the first day of Craft & Hobby Association’s 3-day Summer Convention and Trade Show. The magazine’s enhancements, which hit newsstands on September 8, target the passionate scrapbooker as well as a broadening readership in a changing marketplace.

Under the leadership of Editor Michelle Rubin, America’s No. 1 scrapbooking magazine offers readers creative inspiration in a friendly, knowledgeable manner through ample use of visuals, tips and ideas. To do this, the magazine constantly monitors—and responds to—changing reader interests and trends. For example, today virtually all of the magazine’s readers participate in other forms of crafting, including paper crafts (68%), stamping (67%), and home décor (38%). [This does not necessarily add up to “virtually all” readers. Shouldn’t it have said “a majority” to be more accurate? Also, because they do other crafts, does it mean they want them in this magazine?]

“We’re beginning to see true scrapbookers grow their skills and interests in a way that broadens the definition of ‘scrapbooker.’ Therefore, along with exciting new features for traditional scrapbooking, the magazine has been updated to empower scrapbookers to put their passion, skills and tools to new uses—that’s the ‘etcetera’ in Scrapbooks etc. We are a gateway into everything that is scrapbooking, and everything it can be,” Rubin says.

New features include:

Redesigned cover: A new logo, tagline (create*share*remember), hallmark creative page designs from top designers, and prominent display of “etc.” projects are designed to add interest and promote newsstand sales.

Updated features and departments: Distinct department pages call attention to helpful hints, designer tips and other insights; Dynamic feature layouts add energy and simplify navigation throughout the issue.

Enhanced scrapbooking pages: Including rich photography; bigger scrapbooking layouts and more detail shots; larger step-by-step technique photos; top tips and ideas; product shots near corresponding layouts for easy shopping; “How Do I?” call-outs that anticipate and answer reader questions; special icons to help readers save time, money and more. [This sounds awesome….mad props!]

Etc., Etc., Etc.: To take scrapbooking enthusiasts to the next level with their craft and entice other crafters into the Scrapbooks etc. community, the magazine is introducing:

o Inspired new projects for preserving memories, showcasing photos and creating cards and keepsakes
o Projects such as pencil holders, artwork, and much more—all made using scrapbooking skills and supplies
o Step-by-step instructions and visual detail to ensure project success

“We’re all about giving current and prospective scrapbooking enthusiasts everything they need—right down to the finest detail—to help them enjoy and advance their craft,” Rubin says. “The new Scrapbooks etc. has as many scrapbooking ideas as ever, and now include the latest, emerging trends in preserving and sharing memories.”

First-ever mobile scrapbooking application rolls out

Also unveiled today, a sneak peek of the first scrapbooking mobile application for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices, ScrapApp, created by Scrapbooks etc. ScrapApp provides consumers the ability to customize their Apple iPhones and iPod Touches with the hottest scrapbooking styles and gives insider scrapbooking inspiration, exclusive coupons and more. Consumers can download wallpapers from the hottest designers as well as make personalized mobile scrapbook pages.
Scrapbooks etc. Scrap App will be available on August 3 from Apple’s iTunes Store. [I’m an iPhonie and this sounds great!]

The July 28 CHA event will be highlighted on Scrapbooks etc.’s “I Scrap, U Scrap” blog on July 29, 2009 (scrapbooksetc.com/iscrap.
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THIS is the 2peas discussion, and HERE it is on AMR. I love to post these issues to my favorite message boards because I want to hear all the differing opinions. As you can see, there do seem to be two camps: Those that welcome the look at new crafts and those that want it to remain a scrapbooking-only magazine. I don’t think you’re surprised at what side I come down on. Hint: The blog is called SCRAPBOOK Obsession, not All Kinds of Papercrafty Obsession or Pencil Holder Obsession.

Needless to say, I am not happy about this and think it’s the beginning of the end for this magazine. I’m not blaming Scrapbooks Etc. (SBE) for making this change, don’t get me wrong. I assume they’re in a position where they have no choice, or feel that they don’t. But just because I’m not blaming SBE doesn’t mean I can whine, complain, and say this whole thing blows, right? Sheesh. It’s my All American right to complain. So here I go….

1. There are just 2 scrapbooking-only magazines left on the market (Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks Etc.). I’ve already endured the huge impact of (don’t shoot!) digital scrapbooking on these formerly paper-scrapbooking-only magazines. I have grinned and I have beared it. But now they want to take me down to, like, 1.5 scrapbooking-only magazines. I’m sorry but I’m gonna’ pout.

2. Remember when Memory Makers and Creating Keepsakes tried magazine makeovers? How’d that work out for ’em?

3. I know what’s done is done and SBE is so far into their makeover scheme that they aren’t gonna listen to the likes of me. But I’m going to let them know my thoughts and I encourage you to do the same. Even if you feel the opposite, and welcome these changes. More power to ya, sister! May the best scrapper win! Wait, may the best paper-only-scrapbooker or papercrafty-altered-cardmaking-scrapbooker win!

I could not find a direct e-mail for Michelle Rubin, so we can go to the BLOG post and leave a comment.

As I get ready to post this, I see that readers are starting to leave both “yes” and “no” feedback, and that Michelle has just left a comment herself that includes this:

Also, thanks for all of your feedback! We are super excited about the refreshed design and want you to know that we are still focused on scrapbook pages and albums. We’re just adding a little more of the “etc.” projects. We have had cards, paper crafting and craft projects in every issue, but now we’re just making sure you don’t miss it!

I appreciate her leaving a comment and staying in touch with the readers. I’m not sure how you only add content without taking scrapbook content away, but okay. Either way, I still prefer a straight scrapbooking magazine. I know I should be all charitable and nicey-nice about this. “Let’s give them a chance. Maybe it will be better!” But I just can’t bring myself to do that anymore. I’ve seen scrap mag after scrap mag disappear and it makes me very grumpy. Okay, whining over….

ETA 7/21/09: Just when you thought my griping was over….They’re going down to 6 ISSUES A YEAR starting in October 2009….grrr…. The paragraph below was added to her blog post after I copied it….sorry I missed it :( And, yet, sorry I see it now:
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About Scrapbooks etc.
Scrapbooks etc. is America’s leading and only ABC-audited scrapbooking magazine. Beginning with the October 2009 issue, Scrapbooks etc. is published six times per year, in February, April, June, August, October and December. Scrapbooks etc. has an ABC-audited paid circulation of 220,000 and is part of the Better Homes and Gardens family of magazines serving American women with a passion for the home and life they create there.
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Sock it to me! What are your thoughts. Don’t sugar coat it. You like the new proposal or did you like SBE just the way it was?

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