How many of us are breaking Dave Eggers's back?
November 10, 2005 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Did anyone else out there get a lifetime subscription to McSweeney's Quarterly Concern back when they were available? Does anyone know how many lifetime subscribers there are?

Every time I get a new 20-dollar full-on extravaganza of an issue, I feel guilty. I jumped in around issue 4 or so and I remember at one point reading on the site that they discontinued the 100 dollar lifetime subscription after "doing some math." I'd feel much better about myself if I knew that they'd only sold like three lifetime subs and aren't going broke on account of me.
posted by tegoo to Media & Arts (19 answers total)
McSweeney's and/or Eggers are far from broke, I assure you.
posted by Heminator at 8:58 AM on November 10, 2005

You helped them with startup funding. The incremental cost of your copy is not that bad. You accepted a fair offer; don't worry about it.
posted by theora55 at 9:10 AM on November 10, 2005

Just think of it as an investment that paid off. They could have easily gone broke and you would have lost your money.
posted by smackfu at 9:10 AM on November 10, 2005

A couple of years ago Rolling Stone offered me a lifetime subscription for $99 - they said they'd check every 50 years to see if I'm still alive (the expiration on the mail label is in 2053).
posted by DandyRandy at 9:11 AM on November 10, 2005

I started with issue 4, too, and I keep waiting for a carefully worded letter telling me that I shouldn't have taken them literally when they said "lifetime." The fact that no such letter has arrived says a lot about the company. I have moved three times since my subscription began, and each time I update my address, I get a quick reply -- no questions asked. I just got (the extremely bizarre) issue 17 yesterday, and the arrival of each new issue makes me smile. Financially speaking, the lifetime subscription was the best investment I've ever made.
posted by lewistate at 9:40 AM on November 10, 2005

HTH, Hand.
posted by kcm at 10:07 AM on November 10, 2005

Not to piggyback (but I am, I guess), but how do you get lifetime subscriptions to magazines? Are they only offered directly by the magazine to the subscriber, or are their other ways of finding out about them?
posted by apple scruff at 10:10 AM on November 10, 2005

wow. nice deal. I wouldn't buy mcsweeney's regularly at $20 an issue (i'd rather spend that money on used books), but $100 for a lifetime subscription is a no-brainer (well, with hindsight).

posted by fishfucker at 10:30 AM on November 10, 2005

I had a different experience. I signed up for issue #1, jumped on the lifetime bandwagon, and got as far as issue #8 before they cut me off. I received a renewal notice, which I ignored, and that was the end of that. Thoght it was kinda crappy for them to back out of the lifetime thing, but never bothered to complain.
posted by Gilbert at 10:40 AM on November 10, 2005

yeah, same here... i got the lifetime thing but after a while they just stopped sending me issues. i never bothered them about it because at the time they seemed so underground but decent that i basically thought they just made a mistake somehow. now i wish i was still receiving issues though...
posted by edlundart at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2005

I got a subscription to Eggers' Might Magazine right before it went belly up, and I never got a dime back. So...there ya go.

Oh, I also have every issue of McSweeney's. I hope that my collection will make me a little money some day.
posted by ColdChef at 12:02 PM on November 10, 2005

Side note: I picked up the first issue of McSweeney's in a Barnes and Noble in Austin. It was just this bizarre little thing in the middle of the magazine section. My friend and I just glared at it as if it was a polar bear strolling through Kansas.

There was no price tag, so we brought it to the front counter. Several employees looked at it and kept asking, "Where did you find this?" After getting a store manager who had never seen it before, they agreed that it was someone's private 'zine and that they had just left free copies in the store to generate "buzz."

So we got the first copies for free. Try that now, though.
posted by ColdChef at 12:06 PM on November 10, 2005

ColdChef, might that have been BookPeople, not B&N? I don't think McSweeneys was in big chain stores at that point. 6th and Lamar, maybe?
posted by Gilbert at 12:50 PM on November 10, 2005

I just got Issue 17 yesterday, too...the impetus for purchasing an annual subscription. I raved about #13 all last year and thought they would never outdo themselves, but #17 is so good, I want to cry. It's like getting several tiny, fabulous presents.
posted by lunalaguna at 12:51 PM on November 10, 2005

ColdChef, might that have been BookPeople, not B&N?

The staff at Bookpeople would have known what it was. Their periodical range is fantastic (or was 6 years ago when I lived in Austin).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:28 PM on November 10, 2005

I was a devoted Might Magazine subscriber and several years after they'd gone under, I rec'd an offer for this new thing called McSweeney's. Without thinking, I got a lifetime subscription. I expect they might cut me off someday, but I'm still getting 'em in the mail.

Eggers & Co. are doing just fine. I don't feel guilty. Neither should you!
posted by tangelo at 2:02 PM on November 10, 2005

ColdChef, might that have been BookPeople, not B&N? I don't think McSweeneys was in big chain stores at that point. 6th and Lamar, maybe?

Nope. I know them both very well. It was at the Barnes and Noble up near the Arbor Theater (before it moved).

I got subsequent issues at BookPeople, but the first one was definitely at B&N.
posted by ColdChef at 2:07 PM on November 10, 2005

The tragedy of my life is that I was too cheap to buy a lifetime subscription when it was offered. Here I am, shilling out $65 or whatever a year, when I could have had it all for $100. D'oh.

But I was wary after the Might crash and burn, and thought I was being wise. O ye of little faith...
posted by Bella Sebastian at 2:08 PM on November 10, 2005

I got my lifetime subscription starting with #2, after having bought #1. I've never been cut off -- and I just got the new one two days ago.
posted by macrone at 3:10 PM on November 10, 2005

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