Whether it’s a diet, exercise routine or Bible reading plan, transformation and change are popular and common topics of conversation at the start of a new year. It’s the same here at the Biblical Recorder (BR).
This issue of the Recorder is the first one on a new publication schedule. In 2023, we are moving from 12 printed editions to eight over the course of the year. Subscribers will now receive the BR in January, March, May, June, September, October, November and December. As we move this new schedule, I wanted to share some of the thoughts behind the change and attempt to answer some of the questions you might have.
Please know that the BR is not going away. We are merely adjusting our schedule to account for changing times and current realities. In fact, changes in the BR’s publication frequency have taken place throughout the Recorder’s history for various reasons.
Recently, we’ve followed a monthly rhythm that’s been in place since the magazine format was introduced in 2020. From 2004 to 2019, the BR was printed biweekly after a long run as predominantly weekly publication.
Such changes are not unique to the Biblical Recorder. Many other Baptist publications, as well as popular newsstand periodicals, have made adjustments to their publication schedule in recent years. And that was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit printed publications hard.
Producing, printing and distributing a magazine is expensive, and it is not exempt from rising costs that have impacted every other industry and sector in our economy. Adjusting our publication frequency will enable us to reduce expenses and still provide regular and relevant content in print and online.
Despite the change in frequency, the Biblical Recorder remains focused on being a source of news and information for N.C. Baptists, just like we have since our founding 1833. We want to continue to provide content that informs, equips, encourages and inspires N.C. Baptists to be on mission together.
Our print subscribers can still expect to receive exclusive content that they will find first in the pages of the magazine before it’s made available anywhere else. And with access to even more talented writers and content creators through the existing management agreement between the BR’s board of directors and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, we are exploring ways to deliver news and information in fresh and exciting ways.
If you purchased or renewed a subscription last year, don’t worry – you will receive all 12 issues that you paid for. New subscriptions and renewals from the beginning of 2023 onward will be based on eight issues.
Our standard subscription rate will remain at $19.99. Receiving an eight-issue subscription instead of 12 does mean that the price per issue will increase. The subscription rate for eight issues works out to be about $2.50 per issue, versus about $1.67 based on 12 issues previously. That’s an increase of about 83 cents per issue.
We admit that the new publication schedule will take some getting used to, especially after you’ve grown accustomed to receiving the magazine on a monthly basis. However, we tried to plan our schedule around regular rhythms in local church and state convention life. You can always find the publication schedule online or printed in our masthead, which is typically found on the inside front cover of each issue of the magazine.
Even if you are currently a magazine subscriber, I hope you will also visit us online at BRnow.org, where you can always find the most current and up-to-date information about what’s taking place in both North Carolina and broader Baptist life. If you’re active on social media, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you don’t receive our free weekly email newsletter that’s sent out on Wednesday mornings, sign up today at brnow.org/newsletter.
Thank you for reading and supporting the ministry of the Biblical Recorder. I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions about these changes or about ideas you may have for the Recorder, in general. Feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected].
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This column appears in the January 2023 edition of the Biblical Recorder.)