WPCandy Set To Publish First WP Centric Print Magazine

Ryan Imel of WPCandy.com has announced the launch of a quarterly magazine focused entirely on WordPress called the WordPress Quarterly. The magazine will be physical in nature meaning you can hold it in your hands as well as have a digital counterpart that won’t be available until the print edition ships. During the course of the year, the magazine will have four issues shipped, one in January, April, July, and October. If you want to own a small piece of WordPress history, you can pre-order the first issue for $12.00 while subscribing for the entire year will be $36.00. That doesn’t include shipping which many people outside of the U.S. have already complained about. However, Ryan has since tweaked the shipping prices to make them more affordable. The first issue already has a slew of contributing WordPress all stars which you can see here, covering the gamut from an article on TimThumb to bbPress and the GooglePlex.

What perplexes me is the idea of going through with a physical WordPress centric magazine at all. Back in March of 2010, Justin Tadlock started an interesting discussion on the Tavern forum regarding the idea of creating some sort of community oriented WordPress magazine. It would have been a website dedicated to the topics of WordPress, bbPress, BuddyPress and anything else that needed to be focused upon. Although the site wouldn’t really be used as a typical blog but more or less be used to publish non time sensitive content such as reviews, interviews, tips and tricks. At the end of the day, the idea never gained traction to see the light of day but it looks as though the excitement that was expressed regarding the idea back in 2010 is still prevalent as I’ve seen a number of people subscribe to the WP Quarterly Magazine.

Fast forward to the end of 2011 and the question I have is, what has changed since then to turn the idea into a reality with not so much of a website but a physical magazine? While Justin wanted a group of contributors to simply give back when submitting an article to the magazine, WPCandy is charging for this content. I wonder if the authors will be allowed in on profit sharing or if they are paid on a per article basis? Considering the alternative of being able to publish those great articles on ones own site, I’d be hard pressed to think people will just give away that type of content without a price attached.

At any rate, I’ll be watching from a distance to see if this magazine can gain traction and stick around for awhile or if the initial surge of subscriptions and excitement will die down. At the very least, owning the first issue will be like owning a small piece of history.

15 Comments


  1. $12 + S/H for a subscription? I am seriously Rolling on the floor LAUGHING.
    That price is a weeeeeee bit high, specially + $8 S/H for Canada?

    First of all why is it that when something shipped from US to Canada we are destroyed in S/H prices? most of them consider Canada as overseas?

    Canada Post charges $0.59 anywhere in Canada, $1.03 for USA $1.75 International. <— standard letter rates.
    Technically speaking USA is Internationl (from our point of view) but most shipping companies (including Canada Post) keep USA outside the "International" category. Yet on the way back we don't get the same respect.

    $8 <— S/H per issue? are you bloody serious? (I am restraining my usual blunt self on this comment just so you know as I want to use extremely colorful language here).

    Canada and USA are essentially one country in many levels, we are each others's biggest trading partners.

    The most I ever paid for S/H per issue was $9. So essentially I am paying $20 per issue). I have about 20 magazine/newspaper subscriptions and none of them charge me $8 s/h and the fact that it is two weeks.

    I will not be getting a subscription.

    Yearly subscription S/H is $16, so a total of $52. Still no.

    S/H rate for yearly is the same as Russia, Qatar, Nigeria and Argentina.

    So S/H is USA, then everyone else.

    You can bla bla bla about my comments but I won't change my view. It costs a lot more to send things to Russia/Qatar/etc…than Canada.

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  2. @Miroslav Glavic – I obviously can’t (and won’t) speak on Ryan’s behalf, but I’m almost upset you feel that way!? He’s tweaked the shipping price at least once, what more do you want, the magazine to cost nothing?

    You can get each issue for $12 and shipping for each issue at $4 (for the UK anyway); which ultimately means you’re saving on shipping if you were to buy them individually! Sorry, but you need a better argument than that! Feel free to shoot me down, it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but complaining about the shipping now is just stupid IMHO!

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  3. @Mark McWilliams – I think Miroslav’s point is that it does not cost that much more to ship a magazine from the USA to Canada (or anywhere for that matter). Someone is profiting immensely from that hike in price to other countries.

    Based on Ron’s comment, I assume there is some strange American law which prevents shipping outside of the USA for a reasonable rate. But that seems kinda ludicrous since it’s basically hurting American exports, so it really doesn’t sound right at all to me. It would explain why buying anything on eBay from Americans is basically out of the question though. They rarely ship anything outside their own country and when they do it normally has some dementedly high shipping cost.

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  4. Ryan, no strange laws. I was just implying that blaming an individual for shipping rates isn’t fair.

    It does cost quite a bit to send internationally. A medium sized package can easily cost $30 USD in shipping to France or the UK.

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  5. I checked the shipping to New Zealand and it was $8. That seems reasonable to me.

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  6. WP Candy is clearly going the “old school” route.

    I live in NYC and have friends working in the book and magazine industry and as most of you already know, physical media is dead or close to it. Electronic media is where it’s at.

    Personally, I have not purchased a book or magazine since I bought my first Kindle in 2009. (I have since picked up an iPad, which I also love.) I like the idea of consuming media and not having to worry about discarding it afterwards. I don’t miss lugging old magazines and books out to the Dumpster.

    I also travel by subway and bus and it is so much easier to read on a Kindle or iPad than to tote around books and magazines. I don’t think I’ll ever purchase another paper-based book, magazine or newspaper again.

    Getting back to WPCandy, I like the idea of a WP magazine for developers. I might be willing to buy an e-version, but I don’t want to start filling my home with physical media so I have no plans to subscribe.

    I am with Jeff. It is going to be interesting to see how successful WP Candy is with this project. I have noticed that Sitepoint continues to sell physical books along with e-books so there apparently is a demand from people who like to read from paper.

    With that said, I like WP Candy’s website and hope the publishing venture is a success.

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  7. @Ryan – I still go back to the point I made earlier, does Miroslav want the magazine for nothing or what? As I already mentioned, after Ryan (Imel) announced the magazine, many people commented on shipping; he took those comments on board and tweaked thing slightly, but like I said, you can’t go pleasing everybody!

    At the end of the day it all boils down to how Ronald sums it up …

    […] blaming an individual for shipping rates isn’t fair.

    … shipping will be shipping! :)

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  8. I cannot understand why in this day and age, why publishers don’t set something up where their publication is produced in different territories – have your main printer in the States, and one to produce the required demand in Canada, one in Europe for UK etc.
    This would help prevent the publication being ignored in those areas due to the cost of shipping making a publication to pricey to be worth buying, it would also mean the publication can be available on the same date in the different areas across the world.
    Fairly simple editing in the magazine layout stage could ‘localise’ details in the publication – for example changing US $ prices to UK £.

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  9. I’m a big fan of print media. I tend to trust printed material which has been thoroughly vetted, especially from select publishers. Pragmatic Programmers, John Wiley and Addison Wesley come to mind.

    Good luck to Ryan, I hope it’s successful enough that the price can come down by half with twice the profit.

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  10. I stepped up for an annual sub 30-seconds after I got the announcement. I think it’s a great idea to get away from the screen for a bit and read some (hopefully) thoughtful articles by individuals who I want to hear more from. I also view my sub as a small way to help Ryan continue his excellent efforts with WPCandy. Looking forward to the first issue.

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  11. I like this idea. In spite of of the fact that I make my living in digital media (though occasionally I see stuff I’ve written syndicated in The Metro or USA Today), I think the concept of a quarterly print publication is pretty cool.

    My only concern is that information slated for publication will be outdated when it goes to print. That’s the major problem MANY monthly magazines have faced (especially in tech) because your lead time, even if you do on-demand printing like with HP’s Mag Cloud (which is what I assume Ryan is going to use), you can still be out of date at launch. Tech book authors have this problem too.

    As for why contribute to this rather than your own blog — I think it’s about supporting a group project and getting in front of a different audience. For example, I contributed to a round table post this week for The Morning News — a website I greatly admire. I wasnt paid for my contribution, but when I was asked to participate, I jumped at the chance because of the other people involved and the potential of reaching a different audience. It’s the same as contributing to a literary magazine or even an academic journal.

    Granted, if this Mag project started to gain traction and recoup its investment plus, I’d expect writers to demand payment (just as I charge for my non-tech writing that is occasionally published in national magazines).

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  12. @Ronald – In that case the Canadian shipping prices are kinda bizarre. It should cost roughly the same price to ship to Canada than the USA.

    I won’t be buying it myself, but the shipping rate of US$8 certainly wouldn’t put me off. I just don’t see the point in having something in hard copy form. I’d rather just read it on a website. But obviously many people feel otherwise, or there would be no book industry left.

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  13. When I initially saw the post announcing this I was a little skeptical about the decision to use physical media. These days I consume most stuff on my iPad and I prefer it that way. But I wanted to support Ryan Imel’s efforts, ideas, and proactiveness on bringing something new to the community. I also didn’t want to miss out on the content. I’ve subscribed annually and I’m now very excitedly waiting for issue number 1 to arrive!

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