From which it looks obvious, at least so far as the people on here are concerned, the society's publications are well worth the money and what they get the most value from.
Just to be clear, I was in no way espousing that we stop
the publications, just that we rethink how they are actually published
. The fact that we have a proud publication tradition is great, and it shouldn't be removed or slimmed down or anything. Etc. Changing something to a digital format isn't losing
For example, what if we didn't even do the ebook, but we did a website. Everyone presumably has internet access, even if they don't have e-readers. And if that website paid folks - all BFS members - for their content. It would create a paying market for writers and artists (OUR writers and artists), get our members more work (at pro rates), produce content that the entire world could be impressed by, attract new members ("they do that?" "wait, they're a paying market?" etc.) and show off new work year round, rather than occasionally. If we felt nervous about showing off all our content, we could always slap some of it behind a member-wall or pay-wall or whatever.
I don't think this is necessarily the right
thing, but it is at least a different way of going about it. "We've always done it this way" is a rubbish reason to keep
doing things a certain way, and if we're serious about giving our members value, rethinking a publication strategy that slurps up the vast majority of the dues seems first and foremost. This is in no way a criticism of the quality of the BFS publications, only the means of production and distribution.
When it comes down to it, I'd rather give my £40 to another BFS member (and get them a paying credit) than the post office.