Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The VW Digital Edition: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

I want to announce here, for those of you who don't follow us on Facebook or Twitter, that we have recently posted the digital edition of our 25th Anniversary issue, VIDEO WATCHDOG #179, for free downloading on our website. Just go to www.videowatchdog.com/vw and you should easily find it, in whatever format you need.

Since we debuted our digital editions and archive last year, we have been able to digitally publish only two further issues before this, VW 175 and 176; Donna is presently working toward having the two interim issues - 177 and 178 - posted in the very near future. During our Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, we stated that only the current issue would be available free for the period it was being sold on newsstands, but we realize our schedule with these has been amiss (obviously!), so we will be offering more than one free digital issue at a time, at least until we get onto our intended track.

In talking and exchanging notes with some of you, we're aware of a couple of prevalent attitudes about digital issues in general. One is that our readers love the print edition and are wary of looking into anything that might endanger it. Another is that people find a lot of digital advertising annoying.

To take the second matter first... so do we! I personally hate reading trying to read articles online and finding myself triggering one pop-up ad after another. So our approach to incorporating digital ads is willfully different - we will never disrupt or intrude upon your reading with a digital ad. Our digital ads will simply appear on digital pages not found in our print edition.

Which brings me to the other point. The VW digital edition is not intended as a replacement for, or a threat to, our print edition. Indeed, the additional revenue we can gather from the digital edition and sales of the digital back issues and archive are our best bet to keep the print edition going. It is, also importantly, a way of extending our reach because there are readers (or want-to-be readers) all over the world who have complained to us regularly that they simply can't find us - the distribution business being what it is, today. In fact, since launching the digital edition, we have noticed a bump in new subscribers for the print edition - and we were especially pleased to receive an order from the library at Yale University for our entire run of back issues! As a couple of autodidacts, Donna and I were honored that VW was considered a necessary addition by the librarians at one of the most widely recognized institutes of learning anywhere in the world. It's even sweeter, realizing that Yale was Vincent Price's alma mater too!

Furthermore, our digital edition serves as a wonderful supplement to each print edition, including trailers and other bonus content pertaining to our coverage. In the digital edition of VW 179, for instance, we have a five-page addendum to my Vincent Price Blu-ray coverage that extends an already lengthy article with additional reviews of Shock Factory's VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION II offerings HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE RETURN OF THE FLY and THE LAST MAN ON EARTH. The DVD review section also includes a bonus review of the UK release SLEEPWALKER, reviewed by Lloyd Haynes.    

Number 179 was a particularly rigorous project for Donna. A good deal of her time and attention was applied to creating a new, exclusive digital feature she has dubbed the "Now Playing Showcase." It's an ingenious device for inviting those of our readers who may be filmmakers, authors, publishers, painters, cartoonists, even musicians to bring their creations directly to our select target demographic - namely, the real connoisseurs of fantastic culture, a good number of whom work professionally within these fields. Check it out and I think you'll see its great potential. Creating its template took months of concentrated work, and we believe it's just what we needed to make VIDEO WATCHDOG more of a thriving communications hub for all of the talent out there among our readership. In this issue, special messages from Sara Karloff, Victoria Price and the Soska Sisters are just the beginning of the fun.

In short, if you haven't checked out our digital edition yet, we urge you to download it to your iPad, Kindle, Android or computer and give its unique special features a spin! 

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