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Publishing changes for
The Tea House Times
and how it affects you
- posted Oct 22, 2012 - Changes begin with the
JanFeb2013 issue of The Tea House Times

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PRINT: The Tea House Times
may be ordered via our  NEW print-on-demand service here -  OR -
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E-NEWS: If you are not registered for online access - please add your name to our e-news list in the blue box - right column of our home page for news feeds and announcements of each issue availability, etc.


Greetings to you - our fine subscribers and advertisers who have supported us since 2003!  If we have not personally met, allow me to introduce myself - my name is Gail Gastelu and I publish The Tea House Times and produce numerous other services to the Tea Industry.

The NovDec2012 issue of The Tea House Times marks our Ninth Anniversary! While this is indeed exciting news, I have an announcement to share with you and wanted you to hear it from me directly so that we might quell rumors and hearsay.

So, the announcement is this -- As of the January/February 2013 issue of The Tea House Times, we have decided to modify the method in which each issue is distributed.  We will discontinue print in its current format and move to a print-on-demand model.  Because of this, print subscriptions will no longer be offered in the traditional manner.  Digital issues are available for online viewing for a small monthly payment or reduced yearly payment. (Actually saving half the cost of a traditional print subscription.)

If you prefer print, you will be able to order hard copies of The Tea House Times through a print-on-demand service as I will explain momentarily.  You will also be able to continue with online viewing by subscription through our website, or to your personal reader, iPad, etc.

As you may know; thousands of print publications, national newspapers and catalog companies have completely gone digital.  This has driven up paper costs several times over in the last year and we have had to continually re-negotiate our paper and printing rates with our printing and distribution company. 

As we could not possibly pass on the increasing high cost of print to our subscribers in an affordable manner, we have decided to publish The Tea House Times in a digital format that can be easily accessed via our website, downloaded to your reading device, or printed to your own desktop printer.  The additional print-on-demand service will also provide a print edition to those of you who still crave the touch of paper (as I do) for only about $1 more per issue.

You should know that this decision does not come lightly as we are constantly receiving beautiful letters of praise in the mail along with subscription renewals.  It is a necessity to change with the times and move forward in the same manner as others in the publishing industry so that we may continue to offer valuable and relevant content. 

Please give me a few more minutes of your time to hear what else we have planned and how the changes will affect current subscribers and advertisers.

Many publishing giants have gone bankrupt since they did not take the trends seriously or prepare in advance for an exit strategy from print and transition to more online offerings.  Thankfully, we have carefully followed the trends and built numerous online platforms for publishing, education, and further connections to tea.  We carefully follow the trends in publishing and have been preparing for this for quite some time. 

In 2008 we added TeaCourse.com continuing education to our plate – offering tea industry professionals and enthusiasts their own self-paced training and education.  The website offers over 200 tea related topics, business information, and tea market reports along with weekly additions to ensure everyone is keeping up with tea industry trends – all for a low monthly fee.

TheTeaHouseTimes.com was transformed to an automated, online system back in 2009 allowing subscribers and advertisers to easily register for services at our website, set up a payment plan, and return to log in at our website at any time for self-service – reading of recent issues – or self-service posting of articles, news and events for advertisers.  These changes have not only saved us administrative time and money, but saved money for our advertisers and given them the power to help themselves, to promote their businesses further, and all around benefit from an online audience through our news feeds and other social media connections.  In short, this change has been good for all of us.

In 2010 we launched TeaEtiquetteCertified.com for those wishing to receive certification in tea etiquette – with a deep concentration in business etiquette as well.   Published and produced by The Tea House Times, the program is a 6 month online certification in collaboration with the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette.

Also in 2010, we were introduced to a print-on-demand service and have been loading issues of The Tea House Times for quite some time.  So the service is ready to use right away. 

Online viewing subscriptions at theteahousetimes.com have been available for a while now and have been successful, so I am confident that the transition for our print customers will be seamless.

Additional forethought, changes, and additions to our services are providing increased value to our advertisers and tea room owners.  One of these is the addition of Virtual Tour Video services for tea rooms. Let’s face it; you too need to embrace the World Wide Web. With the videos we create for tea room owners, they receive additional online exposure through YouTube where a lot of people are hanging out these days.  The videos may also be embedded into a tea room website to spruce things up a bit and visually draw more people into the business.  And, by the way, we also offer websites for tea rooms or custom training websites for larger tea corporations in need of internal employee training (customtrainingsite.com).

Our tea news feeds and RSS capabilities have allowed us to feed our news out all over the internet so our advertisers who actively post to the feed are continually benefiting from extra exposure.

Consider also, the huge shift from print to online advertising – the reason so many publishers are sending you hugely discounted subscriptions – to try to keep their advertisers on board.  Of course we have planned for this as well.  All advertisers have been receiving additional exposure with links to their business from our TeaBureau.com directory, or our directory of establishments serving tea, in addition to news feeds and event postings.  Our larger display advertisers also receive a banner ad on our home page for no extra fee.

Yes, we lost some advertisers due to the sluggish economy.  But, most recently, several have called me directly to say they Want to come back! Why? Because they know that their ad with us is never just a take-your-money and run transaction. We work hard to promote everyone who works with us.

This change to digital and print-on-demand will enable us to facilitate some other additions to our tea industry products and services as well.  That’s right! We are Not done yet!  You can be sure to see more interesting projects produced by The Tea House Times. 

Current subscribers will receive printed instructions through normal postal mail on how we are handling the change and how each subscription will transition. Please wait to receive this correspondence so that we may transition all of you in a timely manner.

If you prefer receiving The Tea House Times in print, you will need to order each issue through our print-on-demand service – A link to this service is also provided on the home page in the center column of theteahousetimes.com 

As for advertisers and tea room owners; with this change, we will no longer be able to send you a complimentary issue of The Tea House Times showing your advertisement. Alternately, you may access and download each issue online at theteahousetimes.com for free through your online advertiser account access log-in, or as outlined in a letter you will be receiving in the mail.  Additional benefits for advertisers will be communicated individually such as additional distribution methods, discounts, and collaborations.

Tea rooms wishing to continue to receive bulk print copies of each issue will be able to order from the print-on-demand service at a discounted rate for 20 or more copies. 

These are exciting times for us as we increase digital offerings and other collaborations within the tea industry.  We thank you for your understanding and support as we have been dedicated to connecting businesses and consumers to everything tea since 2003 and hope to continue to offer favorable services.

If you should have any questions or need for assistance, please feel free to contact us or visit TheTeaHouseTimes.com for more information.

Enjoy all your Tea House Times!

Gail

 

JOIN EMAIL LIST: If you are not a registered subscriber or advertiser at our website, go to our home page and join our email list to stay on top of industry news or announcements such as the date each issue becomes available online and through the print-on-demand service.  See right column on the home page at http://www.theteahousetimes.com



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