This starting a subscription model ain’t easy

Things never go to plan, right?

We’ve just launched the latest issue of The Testing Planet, Issue Number 7.  w00t!

The actual production of it went pretty smoothly.  Lots of this was down to the smart decision of bringing on  board an extra editor.  The workload is pretty massive.  And the fact that we are hiring people to produce this lovely bit of work (of art) will hopefully show people that significant investment is required to get this off the ground.

I think we are off the ground, but are not flying yet.  More like hovering.  Hovering is good. Better than crashing :)

We’ve got some great ideas for the next issue :)

So we had wanted to create a fancy system where subscribers could log in, update their subscription profile, download digital versions, read online web versions, etc.  But in the end we have opted for a simple form submission process where subscribers get emailed or posted digital copies upon subscribing and paying.

It’s a bit of a relief as I had spent several weeks pulling my hair out over merchant accounts. Recurring revenue payments. PayPal. Oh, and VAT. The lovely VAT complications of when to charge. When not to charge.  It really feels more complicated than it should be.  But as a business we have to work within these rules.

It is frustrating, but at the same time it is a fun and educating business challenge to overcome.

We are currently working towards a better system.  I have no promises of when this will be delivered, but it is a priority for us, so hopefully some time this year we will have something more sophisticated set up.  Which will also mean we can get something up and running for Ministry of Testing too.

I don’t need to explain any of this, but I’ve had requests from people for more updates on how things are going.  I’m also consciously working towards being more open about how we operate.

Thanks all…and do subscribe to The Testing Planet! :)

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