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Thread: Update on issue #9

  1. #11
    Sansai Bob Hart's Avatar
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    Hi Brian,

    Hope everything at 'home' got sorted out OK.

    Keep up the great work on the magazines. Like everyone says, it's the best magazine by far, none of us like waiting, but wait we will because we know it will be special.

  2. #12
    Tosai
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    Hi Brian,

    thanks for the good work. I for one agrees with the first reply that outsoucing the production of the magazine to other country where labor cost is much cheaper. The reason is that I felt you can use your time better concentrating on the content of the magazine, instead of spending your precious time on work that can be done quite well by professional in the magazine publishing industry.

    I understand your philosophy of not wanting to be in debt. Why not find some partners or investor who will and can take some work and burden off of your shoulder in the meantime injecting some capital into the venture. I for one, do not want to see the failure of the magazine, and I also see that your current operating difficulties.

    I also think, 40% of shipping cost is just not acceptable. Why not bulk ship subscriptions in USA to one location and then ship to subscribers in USA from that point. If this way saves even 20 of the shipping cost, I am willing to volunteer to do this free.

    I also think you deserve far better rewards than 1% for the hardwork you put into this. And you can. There are always better and sometimes cheaper ways to do thing. We all strive to improve our koi keeping skills, why can't we also try to improve operating a magazine?

    I have no intention to criticize the way you run your magazine, but it comes a time, that changing the way things are done ensures long term success of the venture.

    I am a subcriber and bought all the available back issues of the magazine, I do not mind raising the price of the magazine, but it may price some of your subscribers out of it. So I am not for raising the price.

    thanks
    charlie

  3. #13
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerMoo
    1st thing 1st: Yep, thank you for your sincere apologies. Koi-Bito is definately being delayed for such a long period of time, that it starve us off of much interesting articles and happenings in the koi world of Japan and around the world.

    Koi-Bito is today being circulated world-wide which is an achievement. My compliments. Yes, we understand it is not so easy to produce a magazine of high standard which is appreciated by all serious koi hobbyists. But becos of today advent of modern science and computerisation, you are able to reach out to all around the world. Indeed having a Koi-Bito in hand is much more better than reading it through e-subscription (eg Rinko - which was such an excellent magazine until it went on e-subscripttion).

    2) Operating from Japan which is one of the most expensive city/country in the world is indeed a burden to a small time publisher like you eventhough you may have an excellent magazine, but then again that is the city/country you loved most other than the place where you are born.

    Touching on the question of expensiveness and cost and talented people with good enough understanding of English - well, like I said, today with the advent of computerisation - things move very fast! Like this post which could be read worldwide within seconds. Similarly Brain, you could actually moved you articles and production out of Japan, to places like Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong - where the cost of labour, production, printing and bulk mailing are so much more cheaper as compared with Japan.

    Studio productions interm of layout, photo-retouching, etc could be done in Malaysia. Positive films production (ie if you are using it for printing) could be done in Malaysia where the colour output films/progressive proofs cost are so much cheaper. On completion, the bulk of the films/progressive proofs could be couriered to Hong Kong or Singapore for printing and bulk mail out from there.

    In that manner, I think you would be able to reduce your 40% postage cost and 50% printing and production cost.

    Today, email with attachment as high as 2MB for jpeg file are more than good enough for any high quality photo reproduction. Work done in studio could be emailed across the globe within seconds for proof-reading and back/forth. Moreover, nowadays, we have efficient courier service company which would be able to ship the readied films/proof to the next country for offstone.

    So, Brain, think about it... save you much and moreover we could have our magazines on time. Cheers.
    Hi Roger and thanks for the insight,

    I've looked into S. Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. with regards to printing and couldn't see any clear advantages when everything was down on paper. S. Korea supposedly has a wage cost 1/3rd of that in Japan. After getting quotes from 3 printing companies, the closest that they could get was within less than 10% of my current costs (two were actually higher than Japan) and rather than negotiate, they seemed content to use our time conversing to tell me everything that was wrong with the Japanese printing industry and why I should choose S. Korea instead. Their way of printing is per page only, and they claim to be unable to do color correction per picture.

    Many people may not realize how important it is to use a printer that can do color correction per photo rather than per page. Many printers just want to receive an order entirely in .pdf format (meaning that color correction is nearly impossible) and do not want to get involved in doing any corrections at all. They still charge a comparable amount though for what I consider an inferior product. If my printer ruins a color, I can literally summon them here and bless them out and demand that they make amends. The quality of print is very high, and you can see this when you compare a copy of KB to other koi magazines. There are no "jaggies" in the photos either, and my printer has the experience of printing a Japanese koi magazine as well.

    Most of you probably don't know that we had a partner printing a Chinese version of KB for the first 3 issues. The printing was done in Hong Kong/China and the quality was very bad indeed. The printers were highly uncooperative and couldn't even get the colors close to what we turned in as manuscript. According to them, all the problems were on our side. To top it off, they weren't that cheap either especially considering that most of the work was done in ultra low-wage China. When we showed the magazine to breeders/exporters wanting to sell to the Chinese market, talks rarely proceeded beyond the topic of how poor the color was. Offshoring work may mean greater profits for someone else, but I don't think that as far as printing goes, that it will do much for me neither in terms of cost savings or quality.

    As interesting side not, quite a while back I received an e-mail from a fellow in Malaysia or Indonesia offering his companies' layout services. I politely thanked him and told him that I didn't require them at the time, but I'd keep his offer in consideration if the need arose. He then promptly went on to one of the largest boards in that part of the world and completely unprovoked (meaning there was no discussion related to what he posted concerning KB) to blast my magazine by telling everyone how poor the layout was. No constructive comments...done merely as sour grapes and to hurt the image of KB. If we were in the same country, I wouldn't have wasted any time having my lawyer contact him to settle the matter. That's one of the great things about the internet though.

    Layout/Postage...I'm more than willing now to reconsider. For the amount of money I spend with the Japanese postal system, and with the less than flattering treatment they give me, I would drop them in a heartbeat if I saw another clear and beneficial alternative.

    Thanks for suggestions, but I don't think that printing abroad is a good solution at present. There's much more to printing than meets the eye.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  4. #14
    Sansai GazKoi's Avatar
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    Stick with what ya got Brian

    If you change there will always be someone who then says why are we paying this type of money for cheap print.

    I have not heard one comment about this costs too much,The articles are no good or not what i want to read,The pictures are too small or poor quality.

    I think we all like KB just the way it is....just a bit quicker please shall i run down to the door early in the morning

  5. #15
    Tategoi Maurice's Avatar
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    Hi Brian,

    I'd like to re-subscribe, I had a go at card subscription when I informed you that mine and several others had not been informed our subscription had elapsed, but I could not get the thing to work.

    I've not tried since, but really miss the mag!

    I'm sure there are others in my situation?

    I'd also like to buy all the missing editions since the first years subscription ran out.

    Tell me the best way of going about this?

    I'm missing the best mag and you're missing some revenue.
    It just gets put back, as I'm really too busy for reading!

    Best wishes and hope things are settling down for you,
    Maurice.

  6. #16
    Tosai
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    Hi Brian,

    I agree that printing quality is of upmost importance. What about bulk ship to a country, then someone (volunteer) ship them to subsccriber in that country? It may take a few more days to ship, but if it is a considerable saving over the existing method, it is worth it.

  7. #17
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieliu
    Hi Brian,

    I agree that printing quality is of upmost importance. What about bulk ship to a country, then someone (volunteer) ship them to subsccriber in that country? It may take a few more days to ship, but if it is a considerable saving over the existing method, it is worth it.
    Shot, me and Keokoi can be paper boys...Sure as hell the post office knows me pretty well and I don't mean my pic hanging on the most wanted board...

  8. #18
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquitori
    Shot, me and Keokoi can be paper boys...Sure as hell the post office knows me pretty well and I don't mean my pic hanging on the most wanted board...
    Thanks for the offer Tony,

    I'd like to keep the postage of the magazines on a strictly business level though, with a company that's insured and bonded. Hope you understand that, but there's more than $25,000 US to be shipped in one bulk shipment.

    Thanks for the offer though...would you be willing to lend your graphical talents instead?
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  9. #19
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Whatever you want the "Unit" to do will we do it....Be it in Japan or here in the States....We are down to spread the gospel of Nishikigoi....

  10. #20
    Sansai
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    Brian,

    I will keep this short and to the point. I love your magazine and it far surpasses any of the available koi publications out there. Hands Down!
    As you can see by the above responses we all eagerly await its arrival. The only problem I see is when you sign up for your subscription and it says you will get "X" amount of issues per year and that is not delivered upon. That has been the case with Koi Bito.
    Please do not change the amount of content we receive by imposing deadlines and producing a substandard version of what you now deliver. I for one don't have a problem waiting a bit more for the best koi mag out there.
    Just let the masses know before subscribing. I think that might address your problems.
    PS The only koi mag I receive that I find myself repeatedly referring to is yours. Keep up the great work, just let the people know that they might NOT get every issue in a timely manner.

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