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Subscription Newsletters, Blogs and serial chapter Ebooks! Are you a fan - do you subscribe to any - is anything interesting happening on yours?


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I must confess when I first started seeing people that I had been following suggest that I should pay for what I was accustomed to receive for free I balked at the idea. The more I thought about it - the more I realized that over the years there were some folks who have provided me with excellent information, great entertainment and reliable recipes that I still use to this day. Most now make their living this way and while I buy few dead tree cookbooks these days - some of these people are those I have bought and enjoyed cookbooks from in the past. It started to make sense that by supporting their online writing it would keep them in business and would continue to provide me with what I want. And I'm pretty sure that most of us can't afford to do our jobs for free so it seemed kind of unfair to expect them to work for free for my edification. 

 

My first foray into the world of subscription was David Lebovitz's newsletter - I've been enjoying the full scoop on his new apartment - he is very entertaining as he writes again about the trials and tribulations of renovation in France. 

 

Some of you may recall @divina - Judy Witts who lives in Florence and does cooking classes and market tours. She also sometimes helped out with the Master's Classes for Ecole Chocolat (I'm the shelf life tutor and have lead a couple of those in the past). Covid of course has hurt her face to face business. A subscription allows me to get the recipes she talks about and about which she posts wonderful pictures.

 

I've attended a number of online classes arranged by Tomric during the pandemic and from Kriss Harvey I have enjoyed chocolate and caramel classes mostly. He's doing an online Ebook with new chapters all the time - great stories, reliable recipes. I've got my head buried in the ice cream and sorbet recipes there right now with the new to me Pacojet. 

 

So these are the ones I'm enjoying so far and just wondered if others are doing the same. 

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Posted (edited)

I was thinking of subscribing to David Lebovitz's blog/newsletter but it seemed uncertain. $50/year US and you don't really know what you are going to get. Would you recommend it? I could potentially buy a couple of books for that price and get to keep them. The price seemed a bit high to me, but maybe there's more there than I think. I get his free newsletter and it seems a bit sparse. 

 

Edited to add:  I did buy his book about his earlier apartment and renos, so it's not that I'm not interested. It's just that I would be paying 2 to 3 times what I did for that book just to get maybe a few stories about his new apartment?  

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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8 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

I was thinking of subscribing to David Lebovitz's blog/newsletter but it seemed uncertain. $50/year US and you don't really know what you are going to get. Would you recommend it? I could potentially buy a couple of books for that price and get to keep them. The price seemed a bit high to me, but maybe there's more there than I think. I get his free newsletter and it seems a bit sparse. 

 

Edited to add:  I did buy his book about his earlier apartment and renos, so it's not that I'm not interested. It's just that I would be paying 2 to 3 times what I did for that book just to get maybe a few stories about his new apartment?  

I'd say what you get is the fleshing out of the sparse newsletter. Don't know if you have to do a year or you could check it out for a month or two and see if it seems worth your while. 

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I am usually cautious (cheap) about subscribing. I have signed up for Kriss Harvey. I find him entertaining and educational. His recipes work! I like the format of being able to access the book, and that he updates it often. Any others I should be looking at?

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Kerry, after thinking about the topic for a while,* I am far from ready to start paying for the privilege of perusing people's blogs.  Likewise magazine subscriptions.**  I happily subscribed to the digital edition of CI until upon renewal they charged my VISA and never vouched safe more issues.  Apple, being Apple, no fear, I got my subscription money back.  CI can rot in hell.

 

I like David Lebovitz.  I own at least two of David Lebovitz's books.  I trust at least partially I have helped pay for his kitchen renovations.  However nice those renovations might be.  But I won't pay to read about them.

 

Let me state my bias:  for a living I used to make computer cameras.  Before I was president of the company I objected to charging customers for our software.  They already paid for our hardware, why nickel and dime them to death?

 

I like to read Kenji.  I own two of his books.  When he writes another book I will buy it.  Don't get me started on ChefSteps, I dislike their business model entirely.

 

Not to mention recipes from the NY Times.  I get access to the Times from work.  I used to be signed up for their recipes.  I unsubscribed because I detest the NY Times business model.  I've paid hard cash for three NY Times cookbooks.  They are heavy and not cheap.

 

I could go on and on, but I should probably stop and go fix dinner.

 

 

 

*while finishing my mai tai.

** except for two magazines for which I bought lifetime subscriptions decades and decades ago.

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I kind of have the same opinion vis-a-vis paying for subscriptions to read blogs, or be educated by Chef Steps.

 

I already pay some $70/month for internet service, some $65/month for TV, some $50/month for the NY Times, etc. etc.

 

I've bought all of David's books - they're fine. 

 

Now, if I could pay what I used to pay to subscribe to magazines (e.g. $1/month for Bon Appétit or Gourmet or Saveur), it might be a different story. But if it's $5/month and I subscribe to even half a dozen of these "services," I'm into it for $360/year. That's almost enough for Modernist Coffee!!

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Since I have not paid for any of these newsletters or blogs, I don't know if they carry advertising or not. I doubt I would pay to read them (I can't even keep up with the 3 print decorating magazines I still subscribe to--I'm always about 3 issues behind.), but if I did pay for them and they carry advertising, I'd be unhappy about being charged. As a former advertising person, I come from the old school where advertising paid for the publishing and subscription costs were ridiculously low and just a way to show the advertisers that people actually liked and read that medium. Yeah, I'm a dinosaur.

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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I think the only food subscription I pay for is egullet. And the library. I read a lot of cookbooks (not quite as literature, but for more than a recipe lookup). I do buy a lot of used cookbooks (which doesn't help the author I realize).

 

'Course I'm a dinosaur too.

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35 minutes ago, heidih said:

Uuhhmmm you pay for eGullet? What the hey?  OK donar - buit the site is free

 

I saw that too but I knew what she meant so I didn't see the point in mentioning it.

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From my humble point of view, read eG and whatever other smart and aware free online forums you enjoy.  Much else is dross.    Monetizing one’s diary is tacky.   Including the various famous diarists mentioned upthread.

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eGullet member #80.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, heidih said:

Uuhhmmm you pay for eGullet? What the hey?  OK donor - but the site is free

 

Actually, *somebody* has to pay for egullet.  I choose to so a couple others don't have to, but that's not really the point.

 

The question was what food-related reading material we pay for. Of other stuff, I pay for Fine Gardening magazine but I've never had a subscription to Fine Cooking magazine. Partly that's because I keep a lot of recipes in an online note keeping system and it's an incredible hassle to get printed recipes into Evernote (scanning, cropping, etc.).

 

There are websites which I donate to but I think none is food-related. I'm very wary of the subsciption model; I just don't like my credit card hanging out where somebody may decide to charge it, and I might not notice. :(

Edited by TdeV (log)
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