You may have noticed that Lightspeed’s subscription price went up recently, from $1.99 an issue to $2.99 an issue (e.g., from $23.88 to $35.88 annually). I just wanted to briefly explain why. A version of this note is going to run in the December editorial, but I wanted to post about it sooner rather than later.
As many of you know, Lightspeed has been available as a subscription via Amazon.com’s Periodicals program since late 2011. What you may not have known is that Amazon actually sets the price on those subscriptions. When Lightspeed first launched as an Amazon subscription, it was before the Lightspeed–Fantasy merger, at which point the issues were about 30,000-35,000 words long. At that time, we sold individual issues for $2.99 and Amazon priced Lightspeed at $1.99 a month for subscribers.
Post-merger, we doubled our amount of fiction content by merging Fantasy Magazine into Lightspeed, and then also added in the novella reprints to each ebook issue as well, taking each ebook issue to around 80,000-85,000 words total. We raised our cover price to $3.99, but Amazon kept our subscription price at $1.99 per issue; Amazon reviews periodicals pricing on their own schedule—regardless of what the publisher may prefer—so it wasn’t until the past couple of weeks that they reviewed the pricing for Lightspeed. After their review, they adjusted the subscription price up to $2.99, due, we assume, to the fact that each issue of the magazine is now much longer. Our individual issue price remains at $3.99 an issue, so subscribers will still be saving a dollar an issue by subscribing (or about 25% off the cover price).
So, the price increase is not something that was under our control, but we feel like it is a fair price for the magazine, and we hope you’ll agree and continue to subscribe. Rest assured, we’re not going to take this newfound income and spend it frivolously; indeed, we plan to take it and invest it back into Lightspeed, to make it the best magazine it can be.