Friday, December 09, 2011

"SCRIPT" Magazine to Cease Hard Copy Publication (UPDATED!)

Well, this came as no surprise--Script has been for sale for over a year now, according to my source. The word is that while Script was in the black, it was not quite profitable enough for Final Draft, who wanted bigger margins. While that may seem a bit odd (since the magazine helps drive sales of their software, a modest return seems like a fair trade-off), what's done is done, and thus they sent this mail:
Dear Writers,

Final Draft, Inc. has decided to sell the publishing rights of Script Magazine to F+W Media, Inc. This has been a very difficult decision, but our focus at Final Draft, Inc. has always been and is more than ever today on developing technology and software for scriptwriters. We are focusing all of our talent on creating the best tools possible to serve our customers.

Starting today, please direct any inquiries you may have about your Script Magazine subscription to Writers Digest.

For 6 years we have enjoyed sharing Script Magazine with you. We thank you for your continued support and wish you success with your writing.

Sincerely,
Final Draft, Inc.
So what does this all mean, exactly? Is Script going to continue publishing, only now put out by the Writers Digest people (who also this year purchased the Writers Store)? As soon as I find out, I will post an update. Needless to say, after the fall of Creative Screenwriting magazine earlier this year, it would be quite a blow to the screenwriting community if we were to lose BOTH our print publications within two months of each other. While a lot of info can be found of websites, of course, there is nothing quite like being able to hold a glossy print magazine in your hands. More news as it develops.

UPDATE 12/12: We just heard from Script editor Shelly Mellott, and she said the following:
They are taking the magazine online so far as I know. Andrew (J. Schneider), the managing editor, will be moving on with them. I am staying at FD.
The translation:

Script magazine will most likely no longer be published in print.

Obviously, this is a massive double whammy to screenwriters. Only a few months ago, Creative Screenwriting magazine announced they were ceasing publication due to financial difficulties. And now, Script appears to be going online-only. In one fell swoop, we've lost the two big screenplay magazines.

Now I know many of you are probably thinking, so what? Who reads paper magazines anymore anyway? Well, I do. And while the economics have obviously made it a tough go in print, the fact is I like reading magazines. Sure, scriptmag.com is great, but online, it's just another screenwriting website, of which there are MANY (including this one right here.) Magazines are different. We save them in stacks. We look through them months or years later to find articles or ads we recall. We can read them on the john or on the subway. You cannot read a website on the subway. And while Kindles and Nooks and iPads are all wonderful gadgets, they ain't paper.

So once again, the earth has shifted under us. Certainly many of you have already stopped reading and subscribing to Creative Screenwriting and Script. The numbers clearly show it. But for the rest of us, it represents an unpleasant sea change. I'm reminded of a handwritten sign posted in the window of a Borders bookstore shortly after they went out of business. The sign read, "No public bathrooms. Try amazon.com."

--Jim C.

UPDATE #2 12/12: Just head from my pal Dana Hahn, Sales and Marketing Coordinator from Writers Store/F+W Media, and this is what she had to say:
Yes, we are discontinuing the print version, but it's in an effort to increase the amount of content we're able to put out through the website, and to offer new content in the form of live events and webinars. 

The unfortunate truth is that with the loss of Borders, and Barnes and Noble cutting back on their magazine offerings, there's not many vendors to sell magazines through any more. I'm personally bummed as well, but I'm glad that we were the ones who were able to take Script on, as I worry another company may have just bought the mag for the mailing list and let it just wither and die. 

We're going to stay true to the content offerings that Script has always provided, just sadly in another format.
Welcome to the future, my friends. And it appears that future holds a new twice-yearly event to replace the now departed Screenwriting Expo: F+W Media's Screenwriting World Conference. Read the official press release from F+W Media right here:  http://www.fwmedia.com/press-room/scriptmagazine


9 comments:

SwissKahuna said...

By the looks of it, Script magazine is dead. There will be one last issue (Jan/Feb). From then on readers will receive issues of Writer's Digest for the remainder of their subscription. At least that's what F+W are saying in their announcement.

That's pretty hard to swallow. If I wanted Writer's Digest I could have subscribed to it any time in the past. The Script magazine content may be included in a new section or as a footnote or whatever. Who cares? If anyone knows a good replacement magazine - I'm all ears! Even as an e-magazine. The British publication movieScope comes to mind - but it deals with the whole industry, not only scriptwriting. But it's the only one left for me now.

At least we still got YOU, Jim. Don't you leave us, you hear?!?!

Admin said...

LOL. I'm not going anywhere, unless the government hit squads "suicide" me ;) Thanks for the kind words, though!

JC

Anonymous said...

Jim,

On the Jan 01, I will take all the script and creative screenwriting magazines I bought, it's two full heavy boxes. I WILL BURN THEM.

SCREENWRITING CANNOT BE LEARNED.

And on Dec. 24 I take all my screenwriting and burn them too.

SCREENWRITING CANNOT BE TAUGHT!


And on Dec. 25 I will party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Debbie

Anonymous said...

i will not write until my boyfriend marries me why are men so love into their writing,marriage comes first and script come second

Anonymous said...

I think honesly ladies, Script Magazine is the best magazine.
In reality folks if you want to learn about screenwriting, you should only stick to blogs like Stormblog, Script Shadow and John August. All the other blogs are useless and full of angry and loser men, not for dating. Don't waste your time with blogs from dum dum wannabe writers. Stick with the best. Stick with John August, Script Shadow and Stormblog.

Happy Holidays,
Lynn

Anonymous said...

Jim,

You have the best blog.

All those other blogs are really garbage and untrustworthy. Low end bloggers on writing scripts.

I agree with Lynn,
Congrats Jim,

Martin

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,
Just heard your blog is being voted on being one of the best blog out there. Ha, who would of thunk of it. But you are doing good.

Mark

Anonymous said...

SwissKahuna,
Did you read this article why script Readers and bloggers suck?
It's lateral but it's directly into the problem.
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2000/05/29/280646/index.htm

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else frustrated with this Writer's Digest replacement? It's only 1/8th about screenwriting, and all the "tutorials" and additional content they claim to be giving to us by not printing, all require additional fees above your subscription. It's like a walking advertisement. It's heartbreaking. I used to read Script Mag front to bag. Any suggestions on alternatives?