Hello lovelies! It's Hanna Lisa here, writing to you from a slightly messy desk on top of which our upcoming issue is perched - Issue 8! Which will be released on September 1, and it's absolutely glorious. I cannot wait for you to see it!
The reason I'm writing here today, though, is slightly less exciting. It also has do with Issue 8, and the developments in the print and paper market over the last 6 months.
As you might know, it takes us roughly 1.5 years to bring a new magazine issue to life. A lot of the things that make up the budget of an independent magazine are decided upon early on - designers and artists and their compensation, photography, models, location, graphic design - but the main cost driver of a print publication is still open up until a couple of months before the publication date: the printing.
Working with a printer that is local to us, comes with the best eco-certification for printing in the world, and strives to deliver the best magazine every single time is something that is really, really important to us here at Making Stories. Umweltdruck Berlin, our printer, goes above and beyond to make sure that the magazine you hold in your hands is consistently super high quality.
Equally as important to us is the paper we use to print on. Cutting down trees to make what is called "fresh" paper does not align with our focus on sustainability at all, so we knew from the start that we wanted to work only with 100% recycled paper. On top of that, we also wanted paper that comes with the Blue Angel certification - the most thorough eco-certification for paper and print products in the world. If you want to read more about the criteria you can do so here - the TL;DR is that a Blue Angel certified paper is produced using as little resources as possible, sustainable in every single step of the production process, and created using no harmful substances.
Now, paper prices have exploded over the last 2 years - paper mills had to shut down temporarily or permanently due to Covid, raw materials were stuck in containers, demand for paper and paper products went up immensely as more people shopped online.
The paper that we use for our beloved magazine has doubled in price since our print order for Issue 7. Doubled. When I first heard about this, I thought that we couldn't print Issue 8 at all. Luckily, Umweltdruck Berlin is absorbing a large portion of that price increase (thank you!) - but our printing bill has increased by almost 20% compared to our last issue.
Which is why we are going to raise our prices for the print edition of Issue 8 and the print version of our annual subscription. Our new prices will be €26.90 for a single print copy and €45.90 for an annual subscription that includes 2 issues. These new prices go into effect on September 1, when Issue 8 will be released.
If you do the math, you'll see that this is a price increase of 8%. Our total project budget increases by 15% due to the higher printing bill, and we're absorbing half of that price increase as we know that times are tough not only for us here, but for folx everywhere.
What about the digital version and back issues?
We're keeping the digital version both for the single copy and the digital subscription at its old price. The reason we're doing this price increase is a rise in printing cost, which does not apply to the digital version, so it doesn't feel fair to us to change our prices there.
Same for the back issues - they will stay at their current price levels.
What does this mean for your subscription?
If you already have a subscription with us (THANK YOU!), nothing will change right this second. You will only see the effect of this price increase when your subscription is due to renew again.
You can always take a look at your subscription at any point in time to see when it is due to renew through your customer account, and you also always have the option to cancel or pause it if you wish. If you need any help with this at all, please do let us know at email@example.com, and we will be happy to help!
While we are talking about subscriptions: We recently updated our shipping cost as DHL made some substantial changes to their business customer prices, especially for their Warenpost service which we use for the majority of our orders. Our subscription shipping cost changed in line with those updates - you can read more about the new shipping charges here. (If you want to calculate your subscription shipping cost, simply take the least expensive option for the country you're based in and multiply it with 2 for the annual shipping cost.) Again, any updates to your shipping cost only come into effect when your subscription renews. And! If you order yarn through our "Early Access to the Wool Cave" Program you might even get a shipping cost refund!
Last, but not least...
Phew, that was a lot. It's super important to me to be transparent about the price changes and why we need to update our prices - I am so passionate about print, but it's also a tough business to be in when costs skyrocket like they did in the last 2+ years. I hope that by splitting the cost increase we can help to keep the magazine in as many loving hands as possible. It really means a lot to me - and the entire team - that we know that we can share these struggles with you. Thank you for being here, and for cheering us on, always,
Hanna Lisa x
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