20th April 2013… I was in Wales on a pre-planned holiday, and so it was down to Orfy to do the business. On the day we remembered Paul Ware, Stoke won 2-0 at Loftus Road, and Orfy reported back with a buzz that he had sold out the 100 copies that he had taken down. DUCK was born and had started waddling.
Almost eight years later, and here we are. It’s the 27th December, and we have just released issue 64 featuring an interview with the legend, Peter Hoekstra, and released a load of videos from players/celebs wishing our readers a Happy Christmas. Weird, eh?
In the eight years of DUCK, we have: interviewed over 40 players, managers, celebs etc; in 2020 we’ve done a couple of charity issues that have raised almost £8,000 plus done lots of charity auctions etc too over the 8 years: met so many wonderful people from all walks of life, been nominated for awards which was nice, but we weren’t arsed about really – apart from the free ale: sent out over 25,000 free issues during lockdown; made so many friends at matches or on social media etc….it’s been a blast!
What has always been important to us is not money – but how we as people/editors, and the magazine, is viewed. For me, that’s the success of DUCK so far – we are seen as a positive tome, and one that puts our club, city and community first. That has never changed. Some think it’s a job – it’s not. You would be amazed how little even a great selling issue makes. Believe me, you won’t retire early by standing in the pouring rain against Luton on a Wednesday night, selling around 7 magazines in two hours and then throwing the rest away as they are basically ruined.
So, we have always relied on those who subscribe, buy at the match, and advertisers. We love these people. You people.
The bottom line, same as any business – we are wholly dependent on sales, and how we sell has been greatly affected. We have been very fortunate in that we have managed to make a (small) profit from some issues. Some issues we break even on, and some we lose money on. A week of bad weather can ruin an issue, as can a whole host of other factors. But one factor we never really accounted for, was a global pandemic. But like everyone, that is what we faced, and still do face…..
Sods/DUCK’s Law – our last printed issue was one of our biggest-ever sellers. Featuring a Ryan Shawcross interview, we sold out of it on matchday by 2.40pm – every seller. And then came the worst of opponents…..
Covid-19 has hit so many people, so hard. We are not going to sit here and moan about our lot. We feel blessed to be reasonably healthy and that our families are, too. But like many businesses, we have had to adapt and do the very best we can. That’s what we have done since March, and that is why we have to make the following decisions to keep DUCK at the standard we think it is, and for you to continue (or start!) enjoying what we do……
Producing a printed magazine with no matches to sell at would be financial suicide for us. Whilst subscriptions keep rising, obviously we have zero matchday sales for a printed magazine, and so to bring out print issues would see us probably go under after 1 or 2 issues. It’s that simple, unfortunately.
We know digital issues are not everyone’s cup of Bovril; unfortunately, it’s very cut and dried for us at present. It’s the only way we can work during the ongoing situation, what with no fans inside our ground to sell to.
issue 1 was £2.50 and issue 64 was £2.50. Indeed, for some issues we have even reduced the price – like our £1 issue which sold double what we normally sell! We know money is tight and we have always taken on board that we do have advertising in there, too. That’s why we always try to get some great interviews in, and why we will continue to put more pages into digital issues, too – we want you to have full value for your heard-earned.
If we can ever reduce the cover price again we will!
To compensate for this……
We are only running subscriptions now only until issue 69 – around June 2021. They will be £9 for 5 issues from issue 64, £8 for 4 issues from issue 65, and £6 for 3 issues from issue 66. Subscriptions are our lifeblood and we always appreciate your support for our magazine.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We may eventually look at some other ways of keeping the mag going forward, such as Crowd Funding, different forms of sponsorship, quarterly issues, etc etc……but all we know is that we love doing DUCK. It’s like having an additional kid for us two. From feedback, we know that many like it, too. And we will do everything wthin our power to ensure we continue to putting the odd smile on faces.
All the best,
BUNNY & ORFY