The Road Rat Magazine

The Road Rat Magazine

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ettore

3,323 posts

220 months

Friday 25th September 2020
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Shame, it’s an interesting issue.

Mezzanine

6,391 posts

187 months

Friday 25th September 2020
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They have moved to a tracked delivery (non-Royal Mail) now which might explain that.

I understand the postage cost is high, but I deem it worthwhile for such a quality product.

Was your lay-out criticism about them using yellow text for picture captions by any chance? That is one thing I cannot see/read on the page at times!

They have subtlety moved from telling subscribers that they would still receive their remaining three issues (after 5) within 2020 to saying their subscription covers four issues printed rather than four issues per year.


DoctorX

5,443 posts

135 months

Friday 25th September 2020
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Some courier company I’ve never heard of tried to deliver mine while I was out. Their online redelivery request didn’t recognise the reference number and it took much faffing about to eventually receive it. Not what I’d expect for five quid. Have to say wasn’t that interested in the content in this issue, apart from Richard Porter’s GMC motor home article which was excellent.

Mezzanine

6,391 posts

187 months

Friday 25th September 2020
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That’s annoying, it should fit through a letterbox really so they could have helped you out a bit more.

DoctorX

5,443 posts

135 months

Friday 23rd October 2020
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£15 quid now plus a fiver postage. Hmmm....

The_Doc

4,166 posts

188 months

Saturday 24th October 2020
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£68 for a year on subscription all in

I'm happy to pay that for the thing. It's beautiful

Octane is £54, Evo is £46 to £60, Classic&Sportcar is £46 to £60,

They don't do spy shots, fast fleet, group tests, databases of 0-60. Its not that

dandarez

12,030 posts

251 months

Tuesday 27th October 2020
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The_Doc said:
£68 for a year on subscription all in

I'm happy to pay that for the thing. It's beautiful

Octane is £54, Evo is £46 to £60, Classic&Sportcar is £46 to £60,

They don't do spy shots, fast fleet, group tests, databases of 0-60. Its not that
First I've ever heard of 'Road Rat'.
You mention C&S rates above. Those costs are as bad as buying it in WHS!
I only buy Classic & Sports Car (two words, was one word sportscar way back at the start in the 80s - still have loads of 'em).

My subscription to C&S was just 12 quid, that's 12 copies, delivered free each month!
A quid a copy delivered, can't argue with that - was a link on here in the classics section, I don't miss anything like that. A good number of us grabbed it.

There's always offers on mags if you know where to look.

As someone who posts loads of books, I find the comments about postal charges odd. Royal Mail Small Parcel even now (admittedly 2nd class) is £3.10 (prior to April it was £2.90) for 'up to 2kilos'. That's not bad.
If you're posting in quantity, which I'd have thought this would, you can get better business rates.

Too costly for me, but then I'm a tight bugger who sells expensive books. Well, they seem expensive but they're not really. F endless hours of work go into them. My customers don't mind - especially when down the road a tad they occasionally find the book may have appreciated in value many times. I don't understand it, it's not the intention. For an example, one title I did in 1990 January missed the 1989 Xmas rush. Didn't matter, it sold out, so I had it reprinted 4 months later and eventually they all sold (you never know when you've exhausted a market). The book in question then was just £17.95 - some even complained to me at the time that it was too dear. Today, you'll need around 300 quid to buy a copy - secondhand! hehe

I love what I do (yeah, still doing it way past retired).

mabbott

133 posts

145 months

Friday 8th January
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I just found this thread whilst searching for something else. Nicely produced as it is, I echo one of the previous comments here it’s ultimately lacking content.

I found a few articles interesting and thought provoking, but most so far felt like filler or prose for the sake of prose, which given some of the writing talent contributing is an opportunity missed.

It got me thinking if it ultimately lacks direction - it has potential to be quite authoritative but seems to be unclear on what it’s solving and for me comes across quite pretentiously as it does so. Some of the social media stuff feels quite awkward.

That said I wish them well - they’ve tried for something different and I think they’ve succeeded with the hardest part of establishing itself, it just has potential to be something much much better...

DoctorX

5,443 posts

135 months

Friday 8th January
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'Prose for the sake of prose', I'd agree with that. They're keen on themes for their issues too, the latest one being a good example. If you're interested in the theme then fine. I wasn't particularly, so it's largely unread. I've bought them all but I don't think it's something I will buy from now on unless the content is of interest.

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

20,301 posts

164 months

Friday 8th January
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I must admit, after buying the first three I think two are practically unread. I refer to my previous comment, its Wallpaper* Magazine for cars. Light on details but says something about the person reading it or the company who's waiting room it sits in.

The_Doc

4,166 posts

188 months

Friday 8th January
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I think their target market is designers, car culture types (particularly old car culture), high-art people in a sort of non fashion haute couture vibe and obviously all SAAB owners with turtle neck collars. It's a magazine that would sit on the shelf next to GQ or, dare I say it Harpers Bazaar.
It is also aimed at people that think nothing of P&P charges.
Strange as it seems, I'll bet they could probably double the price and only see a 10% drop in sales

I've read all 6 from cover to cover and it is enjoyable once you get into the art of it all. There is content, but equally its about enjoying the pictures and printing value. It's beautiful. The magazine itself could perhaps be an objet d'art ? But who am I to know, I'm just an NHS carpenter.

But if they get it wrong it will disappear. First rule of sales, unwanted product equals no business. If the haters outnumber the lovers then, where am I going with this.....?

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

20,301 posts

164 months

Friday 8th January
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Funnily enough I could see it in some private surgery doc wink

The_Doc

4,166 posts

188 months

Friday 8th January
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we all have a posh waiting room crying out for a glossy smile

mabbott

133 posts

145 months

Friday 8th January
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Hmmn I’m not even sure it nails the designer / objet d’art / haute couture brief either. All the content I saw tending in that direction was also generic or derivative at best. The Wallpaper* analogy might well be right, and then it came to me, it’s for Sniff Petrol’s Gas Dandy if he’s still out there.. smile)

Ct9823

3 posts

7 months

Saturday 30th January
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I bought the set of the first four issues in one job lot at the start of the March 2020 lockdown as I was intrigued and needed some reading matter. I was impressed with the quality and photography and some of the articles. It is without doubt a quality product with some heavyweight contributors some of whom are amongst the doyens of motor industry journalism.

For me the biggest problem with this product is Michael Harvey (himself a doyen!) and this seems to grate on me more and more with each issue I receive. I appreciate this is ironic give he's the brains behind the magazine and it is his baby. As others have alluded to though, he is somewhat aggressive/foul mouthed with his social media (often late at night somewhat tellingly) and rather vociferous in his political views. I take no issue with his spouting off on social media when he's had one too many (I don't have to follow him after all do i) but when it starts to find its way into a magazine I'm shelling out this kind if money for, I do take objection. The opinions of Mr Harvey do run through the heart of this magazine, perhaps inevitably. The Road Rat in my view needs less political opining from Harvey and to drop the "social justice" leanings that permeate some of the content. We all have different political views and I actively seek out opposing views and reasoned debate. However, there is a time and place and I buy a car magazine for car content not policital moralising from car hacks. If I want political discourse and opinion, I'll seek the views of more learned and informed people than them thank you.

It's a shame really as the concept and quality of the product is top notch. As a business owner I find it prudent to avoid politics at all costs, especially on social media. No good can ever come of it in my view. Maybe Harvey should consider doing likewise or else he runs the risk of alienating willing subscribers in pursuit of his social agenda.

Edited by Ct9823 on Saturday 30th January 10:15

itcaptainslow

2,969 posts

104 months

Saturday 30th January
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I echo the thoughts above-bought the first four issues as a “job” lot; the plus points are some very well written articles, beautiful photography in places and quality paper (which smells nice!).

Downsides are it does come across as a tad pretentious sometimes, and the poster further back who said “prose for prose sake” has it spot on.

I’d be open to buying it again but it won’t be a religious, habitual purchase or subscription I’m afraid-I don’t feel there’s enough value in it for me.

NomduJour

15,355 posts

227 months

Saturday 30th January
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Ct9823 said:
However, there is a time and place and I buy a car magazine for car content not policital moralising from car hacks
Have to agree.

Mezzanine

6,391 posts

187 months

Saturday 30th January
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I must be a bit thick but, aside from maybe the Lewis Hamilton articles, what parts do you perceive pursuing a ‘social justice’ agenda?


Ct9823

3 posts

7 months

Monday 1st February
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Have you actually read them? I'd start with the editorials from Harvey and go from there. There are numerous examples of sustainability issues, US politics and Brexit cropping up in the content and the correspondence that arrives in my inbox as a subscriber. When commenting on such issues the tone is in my view generally snide in reference to those who may hold alternative political views.

I take no issue with the political opinions of the contributors and have no wish to debate them about their views on those topics. I do disagree with much of what Harvey posts about on social media, but I nevertheless continue to follow him as I respect him as a motoring journalist and I subscribe to his magazine in spite of me not agreeing with him about much politically. The same goes for listening to/reading Richard Porter, who I also find can be political, snide and sneery at times but he's nevertheless a talented and witty writer who's satirical content I will generally enjoy and find amusing.

My point is simply that I have two more issues to go before my subscription is up (i think) and I'm leaning towards not bothering to renew again. If I buy The Guardian or The Spectator I expect them to take a predictably forthright standpoint on certain issues. When I buy a car magazine, I really couldn't care less what they think about Trump or Black Lives Matter and I simply have no interest in their views on the subject because that is not what I am buying it for. The likes of Michael Harvey come at such topics from a position of zero credibility in my view and I see it as arrogance that they clearly feel otherwise. I saw somewhere that Harvey confirmed in response to comments/criticisms about the Hamilton issue that he feels it is his moral obligation to use the podium the magazine gives him, as a force to promote social good (or words to that effect). For a magazine that positions itself as a premium arty product at a high price, it will unfortunately always run the risk of being accused of being "up its own arse" - the views of the editor will do them no favours in that regard. That Harvey wants to introduce comment on such politically divisive issues into a car magazine does in my view demonstrate a staggering lack of self-awareness and commercial acumen. It is absolutely his prerogative to do what he likes with his magazine and I fully respect his decision to do so. I'm simply saying I'll probably spend my 12 quid elsewhere in future. For their sake I hope and trust that I'm in the minority.......



Edited by Ct9823 on Monday 1st February 13:44

Mezzanine

6,391 posts

187 months

Monday 1st February
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Blimey...

I don’t want this to sound glib but I think, purely for your mental health, I wouldn’t be subscribing to the magazine again - you seem to be really quite riled up about something ultimately quite trivial.

I’d also suggest unfollowing Mikey Harvey as this seems to be the real issue for you here.

Personally, I think it’s good to have magazines with an independent view which isn’t compromised by having to bow to the bigger corporate viewpoint. That’s what made Evo so good at the start - it was like a proper little club you felt part of.

I don’t mind reading things I don’t necessarily agree with, it gets your mind working and helps shore up your own viewpoints.

Whilst I didn’t particularly agree with some of the Hamilton/racism stuff - I respect it’s a viewpoint that people could (and do) have and that fine. I don’t really take it too much to heart that these views are represented, it’s just interesting to take these alternative viewpoints in.

Sanitised and anodyne content is pervasive these days, it makes life very boring.