Our Guild has gone digital. But our digital infrastructure (particularly the member site) is not without issue. Expenditures have been higher in the past year and also will be going forward. To compensate, our budget (i.e. General Fund) was adjusted in February by shifting some money away from our publications to our website activities.
The Journal is an important publication and part of our education mission. As such, we have been spending three quarters of our member dues on the Journal for each of the past seven years. However, our two websites and TouchUps are central to the operation of the Guild.
Without infinite resources, we needed to rebalance our spending. After this year, we expect approximately half of our dues to be allocated to The Journal, one quarter to our internet activities and one quarter to everything else. We also expect to run a surplus for the foreseeable future.
This means a reduced annual page count for The Journal. We also will discontinue printing of The Old Saw. As I explained at the General Meeting on April 23, The Journal would be cut 20% ... 96 vs our traditional 120 pages annually. We also plan to drop the summer issue leaving us with two issues at 48 pages each in the spring and fall.
Now the good news! I have dealt with part owner Michael Ames at PuritanPress (now PuritanCapital) since our first issue. This past Friday, Michael contacted me to say he was cutting our costs for our current and future issues by 13%. This is our second cost reduction in the past two years. The savings come from his increased usage and therefore lower fees per page he pays on Puritan's digital press.
The Steering Committee considers The Journal as a signature piece for the Guild. We will apply the cost reduction money from Puritan to add back some of the page count we cut in February. We have 48 pages in the current spring issue (it hit the post office last week) and will do 56 pages in the fall. Next year we will do both issues at 56 pages each. Total page count this year will be 104...under budget. Total page count next year and beyond will be 112...at budget.
I have an article on this for The Old Saw which needs updating. I expect to have it and the new Old Saw Articles page (see below) up on the website in another couple of weeks.
Jim Seroskie - Editor