The Official Magazine of Tripoli Rocketry Association

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Postby vk2icj » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:49 am

I got this email this morning

[i]Dear Subscribers, Supporters and Friends,

We have concluded our latest production contract and have been advised by our printer that the price to produce the print version of the magazine will be going up 20%. Given this drastic increase and the ever increasing costs associated with mailing it has become cost prohibitive to continue with the print version of the magazine, without passing along the costs to our subscribers. Since we started the magazine eight years ago we have never increased the subscription or mailing price and as a result of the current circumstances we don't want to burden our loyal subscribers will an increase. That is the bad news.

The good news is ROCKETS Magazine will become an E-Zine.

All current subscribers will receive a merchandise credit from ROCKETS Magazine to cover the value of the subscriptions we have not produced, as a paper copy. The credit will be valid for 18 months from the issue of Volume 8, Issue 1 and can be used anytime during the 18 month period with any ROCKETS Magazine Product, including photographs and DVD's.

The transition to the new E-Zine will be a work in progress; it will change and improve to meet your needs. The long term goal is to make it an interactive multi-media experience with high quality photos and videos integrated / embedded into the "magazine". You are now able to click on photographs for a link directly to the New ROCKETS Magazine You Tube Page to view some of the featured flights; ... ture=watch

The ads in the magazine will link directly to the advertiser’s web pages.
We continue to invite all of our readers to supply content for the magazine and we encourage your input on the new E-zine. The opportunities to expand and enhance the written content as a multimedia presentation will be an exciting quantum leap in the presentation of ROCKETS Magazine.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the loyal subscribers who have stood by ROCKETS Magazine over the years. Without your support we would not have been able to produce the first seven years of issues. It is our intent to continue bringing the rocketry public the best the hobby has to offer. We will continue traveling the country and getting those up-close and personal shots that have made the magazine and videos the gold standard of high power rocketry media.
Any questions can be directed to We look forward to hearing from you and collaborating on future articles and projects.[/i]

I guess that is an inevitable end to the magazine. I remember my last issue of HPR when it was in publication. What a shame this one is going too.
Lets see how long the ezine lasts

73 de vk2icj ..

TRA #4948

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Postby jase » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:50 pm

Real shame to hear this. As someone who works in the print industry I can attest to the increasing print costs, but you pass those on - if an $8 magazine costs 20% more to produce then you make the price $9.60... the market will wear the increase given the specific niche characteristics of the hobby. Same with postage, charge the going rate...

Same with the advertisers, if they want their ads then they wear the increase in your costs. Simple print logic.

Digital transitioning in our industry is being paid for by print revenue - bizarre I know, but that is how it goes. In fact, we've found people are less likely to pay a $1 to go through a pay wall than pay $2 or $3 for a printed product - again, counter intuitive...

Obviously one of our largest costs is print, but our largest revenues are also from print. They'll find (counter intuitively) that advertisers will pay significantly less for digital only ads, so even by eliminating large fixed costs you also significantly reduce your revenue potential. Same with subscriptions, no one is going to want to pay full print price for an e-zine...

Having said that, I wish them well and hope the e-zine transition is successful for them. AND, personally, I love buying their DVD's and Bluray's and if they charged me $5 more for the privilege I'd wear it!
Me and my rockets run on Moonshine.

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Postby Sumo310 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:10 pm

Bummer! I hope he ezine works out.

A big thanks must go to Mike for organising the Australian deliveries of Rockets Magazine over the years.

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Postby Wingnut » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:32 pm

The email announcement on Friday certainly does not signal the end of ROCKETS Magazine. Bob Utley gave me a 'heads up' on ROCKETS Magazine moving to solely an electronic publication, but he and Neil wanted to be the ones that announced it to all subscribers at the same time.

You might recall that Bob and Neil undertook a trial of the electronic magazine format in August 2012. Only about 11% of subscribers took the free electronic magazine at that time. So the guys understand people's preference for the glossy print publication and have been fighting hard to maintain production of the hardcopy magazine ever since. They have reluctantly conceded to the weight of rising costs and production difficulties.

The announcement email on Friday says that ROCKETS Magazine has been in production for eight years. I don't got back that far, but I do recall reading in May 2009 that the Tripoli Rocketry Association awarded Liberty Launch Systems (Bob Utley and Neil McGilvray) the production of a new TRA based magazine. In July 2009 I approached Bob Utley with a simple idea that ultimately reduced the cost of a subscription in Australia by about 30%. We saw the number of Australian subscribers triple; Australia has more subscribers than any country in the world, except the USA.

For here on, the electronic version of ROCKETS Magazine will be free of charge. Current subscribers can download a copy of Volume 8, Issue 1 straight away. Non-subscribers will have to wait a couple more days before the website is updated with the free download for the general public.

Bob and Neil are still working on the magazine format and the website. However, we (the readers) will still be getting what we enjoy so much about the hardcopy magazine... We get to read about and see what other people are doing in this great hobby. But wait... There's more! The electronic magazine includes links to videos and other content featured in the magazine articles.

Bob has advised me that he has old email addresses for a few people. So, if you are a current subscriber and haven't received an email directly from Liberty Launch Systems, please send an email to

If you have any questions or complaints, fee free to drop me a PM.

Ciao for now,

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Postby str8up » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:16 am

Just want to say "Thanks Mike" for your efforts and the time taken to get "Rockets" to us.

Being an old fashioned type of guy I got to say that I still prefer hard copy and would have been willing to pay for it.
It's a bit hard to lug the computer into the doctors waiting room for a bit of rocket reading.

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