With so much change and uncertainty these past few months we are happy to finally be able to publish an issue for you even if it is not in our usual print format. If you are a regular reader of Journal of Antiques & Collectibles then you know we are a publishing company committed to print, which may be an antique way of delivering information in today’s Digital Age but is still a desired and preferred way for many of us to experience ‘reads’ of interest.
It is the Journal’s distribution — our ability to be found and picked up for free at hundreds of event hospitality tables and store check-out counters across the country — that has helped promote and perpetuate the antiques marketplace since 2000 by introducing self-identified dealers, collectors, and enthusiasts to new shows, shops, and auctions through the ads and articles in our magazine.
Some who pick us up at an event call for a subscription if we are not regularly available at a local antique store or market. The three-fold increase in our print subscriptions and a 80% renewal rate in the last three years suggests that, despite offering a high-quality digital version of this magazine, readers prefer to experience what we deliver in print. They tell us they enjoy reading our oversized format, like to save articles, collect us, display us on their coffee table for our covers and use us for reference.
We are heartbroken that we cannot deliver a print issue this month, and realistically not perhaps until our September issue, out mid-August; however, the economics of our business are this: the Journal is advertising funded to make it available free of charge wherever antiquers, collectors, and show-goers shop and gather: antique shops and malls, flea markets, vintage bazaars, collector clubs, auction houses, and shows and events across the country. In many cases, our advertisers are also our point-of-pickup distributors. Sadly, these shops and markets are now closed, and many shows across the country are cancelled into June. While we all pray for a recovery that sees us back to work and a return to normalcy by the summer, the truth is we will all experience that in different ways and at different times depending on where we live.
As a small business we need to be flexible and adaptable to survive trying times like this where history does not always provide us with a road map. As the publisher, I am seeing that resilience every day in the emails I am receiving from our advertisers. Many of our shop owners are finding new and creative ways to promote and do business online. Virtual shows online of participating dealer displays are replacing live events that will not be held this year. Live auction events are being held online but with no one in the room, still breaking records! Dealers unable to attend their favorite shows are building their own, online shops. In all aspects of the antiques market, business is shifting to survive, and I put us in that same category.
More important than the delivery vehicle is the content and our ability to publish it and make it available to you, our readers. For now, this will have to be in digital form, with a commitment and promise to return to print as soon as the economics allow. We are, however, excited to get back to researching and writing about the things we love, and sharing these topics with you. In this issue, it’s all about “Signature Collectibles.”
During this time of transition and change we are committed to working with our advertisers and antiques community to share updated marketplace news. In between our digital issues of the Journal, we are now publishing our free Post-Press Update E-Newsletter, weekly, with information about upcoming shows and auctions, shop openings, and other items of interest to keep you informed, engaged, and inspired until such time as we can gather again and connect with the old friends and objects we love. Sign Up to Receive Post-Press Update Here.