Wired, Make & Craft in Europe? Hardly.

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Why can’t we get WIRED, MAKE and CRAFT in Europe, for a somewhat fair price and in a fair amount of time? Admittedly, you can have them shipped over. But they arrive significantly later, and for what price? WIRED sells for $70/year: A steep 700% of the U.S. price. (I’m not even sure how much it is in the stores, if you happen to find it.) Sure, if you print the mags in the States and ship them, the price increases dramatically. But why not have some regional distributor in Europe print a smaller circulation There must be a more reasonable way to get them over the pond?

So far, I’d guess, sales in Europe are pretty much insignificant at this point. But is it a question of a lack of demand, or simply a pricing issue? After all, it does hurt to pay seven times the price overseas for a mag as full of ads as the U.S. version. I’m sure people would love to buy the glossy dead-tree version of WIRED and MAKE. Well, I sure would. You know how it is with reading articles online: It’s fine, but … After all, there’s some kinds of magazines that are just really nice to flip through, the good old paper way.

You can read pretty much all WIRED content online. But even if WIRED’s print-out version fine, it’s still far less than perfect – after all, who likes to have all those printouts flying around your breakfast table? Please, Condé Nast, find a way of getting that stuff over here for a reasonable price. I would guess that there are a few Europeans who are an interesting target audience for the paid ads, too.

It’s even worse for MAKE: The PDF-Version produces pretty good print quality, but (in order to avoid free copying?) you can only get 8 pages into a PDF at a time. The pretty fancy online reader seemed pretty messy, too, when it comes to navigation.

O’Reilly Media‘s MAKE and CRAFT generally take a much fairer approach. If you’re up for only an additional 40% (49.95$/year internationally instead of 34.95$/year in the U.S.) you get both the digital and print edition.

O’Reilly’s customer service is very friendly and helpful. Still, when I first tried to get a print subscription, I was told there was no way I could get the current edition (at the time: the awesome CRAFT 08: Toys and Games) shipped to my place. I settled for the digital only edition. A month later, when I cancelled my subscription, because the online reader really annoyed me, I was offered that very edition, but that was, as I mentioned, a month later. So brownie points for friendliness, but it just can’t make up for the nuisance of getting the damned print copy shipped to my place.

I tried to order it in some specialized bookstores, but to no avail. Tried to contact the largest German distributor, without success. Alas, I’ll never hold it in my hands.

There must be some way to get better access to the glossy paper version, to read it during breakfast or on the subway, maybe even to get a nice stack of the beloved mags over here in Europe, non? I know you want it, too.

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