All, I have almost 30 years of experience buying Lapidary Magazines,
advertising in them, and supporting the Lapidary Cause. What
Suzanne said about business editors is also applied to the people
that buy the magazine, advertise in the magazine, and expect the
magazine to provide them with positive support. Lapidary Journal is
one magazine that has totally turned its back on its own prime base
of support - the lapidary. About three years ago I stopped
advertising in Lapidary Journal, the Buyers Guide, Rock and Gem, and
Colored Stone. Subscribers of these publications did not buy
finished lapidary products or lapidary services. I tried for
numerous years to get effective advertising from these organizations.
Our adds were not correctly printed, broken between two pages,
printed half on one page and half on the flip side of another page,
show publications were delivered to customers after the show was
held, etc… Even when the add was correct the response was poor.
The subscriber base does not use my product. What finally ended my
support for these organizations was when they sold my name, address,
and email to Spam companies without my consent. When I found my
email and PO Box filled with junk I stopped advertising with these
companies. I am still a subscriber, but with every issue I get less
and less entertainment from the Lapidary Journal. It is no longer
about lapidary. Rock and Gem is at least entertaining to a lapidary.
To all the people that like the way the new Lapidary Journal is
formatted I suggest that you start supporting it by advertising in
the magazine or buying from the businesses that advertise in the
magazine. If not the advertisers will drop their support of the
magazine and it will continue to shrink and finally go away.
While Orchid was offline, I took some time to weed through my old
lapidary magazines, save those with articles of interest, and
discard the rest. In reviewing the Lapidary Journals from 1997
forward, I couldn’t help but notice that the old LJ was much more
focused on lapidary materials and techniques, and on artists who
utilized unusual and varied lapidary materials in their work. I
Suzanne, Thank you for your very thoughtful and thorough comments
about the editing process and the magazine publishing business. I
have been a LP subscriber for years and I have been blessed in some
way by each and every issue. Thank you to all of the dedicated staff
that brings this magazine to my doorstep each month. Many of the
photographs have brought me closer to being the jeweler that I aspire
to be. Reading the articles has been educational. My list of
suppliers and related web sites has expanded. The top bookshelf in
the studio office are heavy laden with lose leaf notebooks
containing the step-by-step sections that fit into my studio life.
This shelf also houses the many “pearls of wisdom” that Orchid Land
has provided. Editors have nothing but my respect and gratitude. My
dear father passed a very unique gift to me called disgraphia. I
would rather be touched with a stun gun than work as an editor. So
thanks to all writers and editors that perform magic with words. If
something appears in a magazine that I am not fond of it is more
productive for me to move on to something else that I find exciting.
Well said Suzanne and hats off to you and your fellow wordsmiths.
Congratulations on your position as the editor of the PMC Guild
Teresa, I’m sure there will be others who respond to your post, with
regard to “malicious commentary.” However, I have to say that this
forum has been very supportive of the suppliers who have supported
it. Many of us have gritted our teeth and stuck by Rio despite the
difficulties – but the long and short of it is that we’ve been
forced to go elsewhere because Rio could not fill our orders. I am
one of the many who tried really hard to give Rio my business this
summer and this past fall. When I could get through to them after
hours of trying (and who has that kind of time to waste?), the things
I desperately needed were backordered with “no projected delivery
date.” As a very small business, I can’t afford to wait an unknown
amount of time for something my customer needs on a specific day.
If this had happened once, I would have shrugged it off as an
unfortunate incident. When it happened with EVERY order and
attempted order over a 5 month period, it was more than that. That’s
not malicious commentary – just a statement of what happened with
this once-great supplier.
I would dearly love to see Rio get back on track. My last order
with them seemed promising – a quick response on the phone connected
me to a knowledgeable sales rep. Then I got the order, and the 2 key
items on it were backordered. No delivery date projected. So it
seems that the problems are lingering.
When I’m trying to girue out how to satify my customer’s needs, this
forum provides me with great alternatives – the purpose of so many
of the postings around this issue last year was just that. Where can
I go to get this item I need, since Rio can’t get it for me? That’s
not a hidden agenda, not vindictive, and it’s not looking for “15
minutes of fame” - it’s a cry for help to a supportive community who
can point me in the right direction.
Happy New Year! Happy New Day! I also applaud everything
positive…bear in mind, that even the most “negative” of comments
attempt to reveal much thought before fingers hit the
keyboard…thank you to all for such balance, without which sounding
boards we would not be able to expand ourselves
Re Suzanne Wade's comments on the LJ: Well said Suzanne. I
work with editors all the time and wonder how they manage to keep
both their hair and sense of humor!! I look forward to LJ every
month - sometimes I'm disappointed, but then the next month's issue
reveals a rich reward, like the recent article on Tim McCreight!
Just my US$.02 worth, Judy in Kansas
I also enjoyed the article about Tim McCreight. He is an inspiration
to many including myself. I’ve purchased many of his books and
treasure them. I’ve been following the LJ thread for some time now
and I thought I would share my thoughts.
I subscribed to the LJ magazine last year and doubt I will be
re-subscribing this year. Mostly because every time I received the
magazine, I said to myself: “I think they sent me beading journal by
accident”. That being said, I am well aware of the popularity of
beads but was interested in the lapidary aspects of the magazine and
the great articles about other artists. I will be looking into
canadian content from publications this year, perhaps someone could
suggest canadian jewelry/bench/lapidary magazines?
Karen, This won’t help with the back order problem with Rio, but
the “hours on the telephone” problem is easily solved by simply
faxing your order, Fax machines are pretty inexpensive. I haven’t
called in an order for several years, to Rio or anyone else. Only
way to go, (in my opinion) Jerry in Kodiak
Dana Singer here, executive director of SNAG and publisher of
Metalsmith. My hat is off to Suzanne Wade — she voiced succinctly
what we struggle with every day, on all sides of the issues. I
think it’s a good dose of reality of what it takes to publish a
magazine in this field these days.
I feel very fortunate to work with Suzanne Ramljak, Metalsmith’s
editor, Jean Azzato, our advertising director, and ted studios, our
graphic designers because Metalsmith came through 2002 in great
Over the course of the last 12-18 months I think the magazine has
really taken a turn. When I renewed my last subscription in Sept. I
thought twice before I did, but I did just to see what 2003 would
bring. I am glad to see this thread because I thought it was just me
thinking all of this in my little head. Has anyone really looked at
the covers lately? One thing that I have noticed in the last year,
they have but a person on the cover for the first time in memory.
More to the point they have put women on two or three of the cover.
What is this, a high fashion magazine? Has any one noticed that the
covers now say “Jewelry Arts”? This started back in 2001, but I had
noticed that they was messing around with the front cover layout a
lot trying to just slip these things in. I think that they should
just change the name of the magazine and be done with it. I really do
see the turn away from the lapidary side of things. Case in point in
the Nov 2002 issue there was a article written in the "Facets"
section on a gentleman that I had the pleasure of meeting at one of
the gem shows. This gentleman makes some of the most incredible
looking stones by a part Intarsia and a part doublet. All that was
given this Artist was a third of the page and one example of his
work. Having seen these stones in person they are just incredible
lapidary work. The piece that was shown with the article could have
been stunning on the cover of the magazine. It would have been nice
to have seen a page or two devoted to his work. So they would have
had to kill the “Fish bead” project for some space. Send the article
over the Bead and Button. Also, let us not forget this is the issue
with the infamous “Jellyfish” pendant. Thank you for letting me rant.
I have been disturbed by the increasing frequency with which the
word “Easy” has begun to appear on the cover of Lapidary Journal; not
a good sign. It does seem to be morphing, at least partly, into a
beading magazine. As there are already two excellent beading
magazines out there, this is a shame.
If we are going to start flogging the poor jellyfish pendant yet
again, we must give equal time to evaluating the artistic merits of
the pistachio atrocity on the cover of Volume 22, Number 4 of
Metalsmith. Fair is fair.
I have been disturbed by the increasing frequency with which
the word "Easy" has begun to appear on the cover of Lapidary
Journal; not a good sign. It does seem to be morphing, at least
partly, into a beading magazine. As there are already two
excellent beading magazines out there, this is a shame.
The real shame was when they changed it from being about Lapidary (as in the title of the magazine) into just about
everything else but lapidary! I gave up on them long ago.