Starting a new "Psychic News"

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Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Wes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:37 am

Following on from comments in another thread, I've started this topic for thoughts on creating a new version of Psychic News.

The issues I see are based around the name; finance; and format.

The Name

I honestly can't see any merit in launching a new publication that isn't called Psychic News as it would have to start completely from scratch with no archives, no public awareness and no credibility. While it would be nice to have a snappy new name like The Spiritualist, The Psychic Times or with JK Rowling's permisson The Daily Prophet, any such new title would quickly find itself lodged between the conspiracy magazines and UFO publications in the newsagent, and be treated with the same respect. At least by having the PN title it allows it to be marketed as a serious paper with history, not a new age fad item.

Also with the Psychic News title would presumably come access to the archives, and should a online PN be launched, imagine being able to search through previous articles or issues going back to when the origins of Silver Birch's words weren't yet known?

Finance

While it's necessary to have people willing to put money into a new venture, there also needs to be an awareness of what the startup cost will be and more importantly, what the ongoing costs will be of sometihng that is more than likely to lose money for a long time before it could start to break even. A professionally designed website alone would cost thousands to create, and would be necessary to manage online purchases, subscriptions, and be attractive to sponsors and advertisers.

There would also need to be at least two or three paid employees to get things rolling and there would need to be a sound business plan in place with funds to back it before someone like Susan Farrow would be happy to jump back in the firing line.

Format

This is where I get caught between the sentimental desire to have a paper based product (weekly paper or monthly magazine) which is really not viable in todays climate of declining sales for such things, and a more modern online website based version, that could have the same format, with weekly "editions" and paid subscribers with the bonus of access to past issues/articles should the PN archives be available.

This is where more research is needed, I have seen websites for papers that either offer a trimmed down article or two from the current paper edition plus some gossip and bells & whistles, or the more serious ones that offer subscriber access to past and present issues. Either way we would want to know what works, what makes money, and what doesn't.

If we are serious about exploring this idea further then thoughts by people with working knowledge of the (online) publishing industry would be invaluable.

Wes
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Wes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:10 am

If we were to look at a paper based option then how's this for a lateral approach:

Organisations like churches, meditation groups, and home circles could subscribe to a monthly "community edition" for say 10 pounds an issue that allows them to print as many copies as they like and sell them for a pound or two each.

This would mean there are no printing/distributing costs involved and potentially increase the readership by a massive amount, which would help to get advertisers on board.

There can also be an added bonus to the groups involved if through the wonders of technology, two pages in each issue would consist of upcoming events, news, and commentary specifically related to the group that subscribed to the paper.

This would in effect mean that each groups own newsletter would be combined seamlessly with the Psychic News* into the one publication, making it easier to sell and more meaningful for people to buy.

It's like having a local news broadcast followed by a national news broadcast on televison, which is becoming popular here in Australia.

The way to do this would require computer savvy church secretarys to compile "local news" for their edition and either combine it with an emailed file of the PN edition, or send off to the PN for them to do it.

The attractiveness of this is that it adds a community dynamic to the paper and opens up a sneaky way to source new articles or writers for the national version Very Happy


*working title only
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Lis on Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:17 am

Hi Wes,

Thanks for getting the topic rolling!

I think the present difficulty is that the archives of Psychic News have been apparently removed by the SNU with a view to that organization keeping it for its own purposes - indeed that is part of the reason for the outcry about the SNU's conduct along with the other appalling mishandling of the closure of Psychic News.

Still, I think the rest of what you say does make sense - and the ideas explored to see what is financially possible and likely, in the long term, to achieve what we want - which is a publication that echoes what Psychic News was really meant to be about - and for all Spiritualists not just the SNU.

Lis
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Wes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:20 am

Thanks Lis. I do wonder if there is a catchy enough title for a new publication that avoids the ambiguity of the Psychic News title. Preferrably something that does not have the words "New" or "Age" in it Very Happy

The Spiritualist is all that springs to mind but it does seem to be a bit full of itself as a title...
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by zerdini on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:40 am

Wes wrote:Thanks Lis. I do wonder if there is a catchy enough title for a new publication that avoids the ambiguity of the Psychic News title. Preferrably something that does not have the words "New" or "Age" in it Very Happy

The Spiritualist is all that springs to mind but it does seem to be a bit full of itself as a title...


"The Spiritualist" (1869-1881) was W.H.Harrison's influential London weekly first published under the title The Spiritualist Newspaper.

Mrs St Clair Stobart, founder of the Spiritualist Community, also published a monthly "The Spiritualist" since 1932 to spread psychic knowledge.

I have some bound copies of the original "The Spiritualist".

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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Lis on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:45 am

Thanks for that information Z. I too remembered that there were previous publications with that title but had not yet found time to remind myself who had been responsible for them.

Lis
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Wes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:20 am

Hmmm, I wonder how one gets the right to use the name...
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:53 am

Interesting Z about the Spiritualist Community the simple answer on Answers.com says of this community.
British organization, active in the period between the two world wars in presenting religious and educational aspects of Spiritualism. It was founded by Mrs. St. Clair Stobart, known as "the woman on the black horse," who had led one half of the Serbian Army in their retreat during World War I and was an early member of the British College of Psychic Science. She eventually became chairperson of its advisory council and published several books on Spiritualism.

The Community, under the presidency of Spiritualist Hannen Swaffer, conducted religious services with speakers, clairvoyant and healing services, and organized instruction groups, also publishing a monthly journal The Spiritualist from 1932 onward. The community is no longer active.


Now given the involvement of Hannen Swaffer maybe The Spiritualist is not a silly title
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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by zerdini on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:20 am

Admin wrote:Interesting Z about the Spiritualist Community the simple answer on Answers.com says of this community.
British organization, active in the period between the two world wars in presenting religious and educational aspects of Spiritualism. It was founded by Mrs. St. Clair Stobart, known as "the woman on the black horse," who had led one half of the Serbian Army in their retreat during World War I and was an early member of the British College of Psychic Science. She eventually became chairperson of its advisory council and published several books on Spiritualism.

The Community, under the presidency of Spiritualist Hannen Swaffer, conducted religious services with speakers, clairvoyant and healing services, and organized instruction groups, also publishing a monthly journal The Spiritualist from 1932 onward. The community is no longer active.


Now given the involvement of Hannen Swaffer maybe The Spiritualist is not a silly title

Altogether Mrs St. Clair Stobart wrote eleven books including her autobiography Miracles and Adventures

As a matter of interest, the Two Worlds book reviewer has written a lengthy article about her in the October issue of the magazine.

A reviewer wrote: "My goodness, an exciting book! A stern,brave woman who was in charge of field hospitals during the first war. Chapters on the Belgian Congo,Serbia, Brussels, British Columbia, Africa, even at one point she was condemned to be shot as a spy."

She says in the introduction to her book The Open Secret, Spiritualism, as we practise it today, is and has always been THE OPEN SECRET Of THE UNIVERSE.

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Re: Starting a new "Psychic News"

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:06 am

Thanks Z a very interesting character like so many of the pioneers.
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