1984 Elite Historical Research

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user2...@gmail.com

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Nov 15, 2020, 2:11:13 AM11/15/20
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For the purposes of historical research regarding the original 1984 Elite simulator, I would like to learn about the magazine publication processes of the mid-1980s, specifically regarding monthly and weekly computer magazines in the UK, in general, on average.

Is there anybody in this group who might be able to answer any of the following questions, or who could refer me to sources or people who might be able to do so, please?

If the publication process can be divided into: (1) writing, (2) editing, (3) printing, (4) distribution, and (5) public release, for *monthly* and *weekly* magazines...

1. How long before final public release would an article be written, more or less, for monthly and weekly magazines?

2. How long did editing take, i.e. proofreading, as well as placement and arrangement of articles and ads, for monthly and weekly ...?

3. How long did printing take, for m&w Ms?

4. How long did distribution take, 4m&w Ms?

5. If a monthly magazine indicated the publication date "November 1984" on its front page, when was it likely to have actually been released to the public?

6. If a weekly magazine indicated the publication date "Sept 4-10, 1984" on its front page, when was it likely to have actually been released to the public?

Thanks.

Rayner Lucas

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Apr 16, 2021, 1:22:18 PMApr 16
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In article <0cd80fb1-b5f7-4da7...@googlegroups.com>,
user2...@gmail.com says...
>
> For the purposes of historical research regarding the original 1984
> Elite simulator, I would like to learn about the magazine publication
> processes of the mid-1980s, specifically regarding monthly and weekly
> computer magazines in the UK, in general, on average.
[snip]
> 5. If a monthly magazine indicated the publication date "November
> 1984" on its front page, when was it likely to have actually been
> released to the public?
>
> 6. If a weekly magazine indicated the publication date "Sept 4-10,
> 1984" on its front page, when was it likely to have actually been
> released to the public?

This is a bit of a late reply, but I'll follow up just in case it's
still useful.

It was (and I think still is) usual for UK magazines to arrive in shops
the week or month before the date listed on the cover.

You may be able to find an exact date by carefully checking the issue
before the one you're interested in. For instance:

- Crash reviewed the Spectrum version of Elite in issue 22 (dated
November 1985). Issue 21 has "Next Instalment of CRASH hits the streets
on 24th October" on the contents page.

- Amstrad Action reviewed the Amstrad CPC port in issue 3 (dated
December 1985). Issue 2 has a "Next Month" page near the back that
states "Available from Thursday November 7th!!"

- Zzap!64 reviewed the Commodore 64 version in issue 1 (dated May 1985).
As such, there's no previous issue to check, but issue 1 says "Zzap!
No.2 on sale May 9th!!" on the contents page, so it's a fair assumption
that issue 1 went on sale similarly early in April.

My guess is that the practice of printing the next release date was more
common in newsstand magazines, where it was good business to remind
readers when to buy the next issue, and less common if the magazine was,
say, a user group newsletter that would always be mailed out on a
regular subscription.

All the best with your research!

R

user2...@gmail.com

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Apr 25, 2021, 2:44:09 AMApr 25
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Excellent! Brilliant! This is exactly the kind of info I still require. Thank you, Mr. Lucas, for your thorough and clearly-referenced reply. Those are exactly the kinds of references that I have been looking at as well. Thank you, once again. I am truly impressed by the level of the thoroughness of your research.
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