No more paper edition?

Dear Homiletic & Pastoral Review readers,

Ignatius Press will be offering both of its magazines, Homiletic & Pastoral Review and Catholic World Report, exclusively online, with full-featured websites, starting January 1, 2012.

HPR’s website presence will be greatly expanded in January, as the magazine moves to a fully online status. Meanwhile, you can find some special features right now at www.HPRweb.com.

That is the good news. The bad news is that we will cease publication of the print versions at that time, after the December 2011 editions of both magazines.

For several years now, Ignatius Press has been subsidizing these two magazines, and the loss has been in the $200,000-range each year. We have continued to subsidize them because we believed—and still believe—they have provided an important service to the Church.

However, it doesn’t take any prophetic gifts to see what is happening to print magazines. The rapid growth of electronic sources of news and opinion has led to the demise of many magazines, and this is clearly a trend that is going to continue.

There are also some concerns about the general economic situation in the decade to come. We think it is prudent to keep Ignatius Press in a financially sound condition so that we can continue to serve the Church through our trade books, catechetical resources, and films.

With respect to books in particular, we have been the first Catholic publisher to provide most of our new titles and many of our backlist titles in three formats: print, electronic book, downloadable audio book. Nevertheless we want to keep print books in the market, even if electronic and audio books begin to dominate. (As of May 2011, Amazon sells more Kindle electronic books than all its paperback and hardback books combined. Twenty-five percent of the 2011 sales of the major secular U.S. publishers has been electronic books.)

This is another reason for us to be particularly prudent at this time.

We are no longer processing renewals or accepting new subscriptions to HPR and CWR. We will serve all current print subscriptions through December 2011.

We will, of course, offer a pro-rated refund to all of you who have issues remaining on your subscription. However, we would be extremely grateful if you would consider this refund amount as a tax-deductible gift. (We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.) Each refund is relatively small. But taken together, they would be a serious burden for us. Also, your donation helps us maintain and expand HPRweb.com.

We are deeply appreciative of the support you have shown us over the years. I rarely travel to give a talk without someone thanking me for our magazines. We are confident that we can provide the same reliable news and commentary in our web versions of the magazines, and I encourage you to experience them for yourselves.

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.
Publisher, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

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