I received a letter from $100,000 Quilting Challenge Magazine yesterday telling me that they were ceasing publication, and giving me a choice of two other magazines, either The Quilter or Fabric Trends, to finish out my subscription. I kind of wondered in the beginning how long the whole “American Idol for Quilters” thing would last, considering how much money they were giving away, and how little they had to be getting back.
The first year, Linda McCuean was awarded $100,000 for her quilt, Bella, which sold at auction late last year for $10,750.00, all of which was donated to charity from what I understand. Seems like a bit of a flawed business model to me, though granted, I’m no business person. You sell a bunch of magazines, lots of companies donate prize packages for the semi-finalists, you give one of those semi-finalists $100,000, and auction the quilt off for charity?
How do the magazine sales and advertising in the magazines pay for the $100,000, in addition to the staff, publicity, shipping costs for the quilts when they are displayed at shows, etc., etc., etc.?? I’m stumped, and not terribly surprised that they’ve already ceased publication, after only the second $100,000 cash award. Bummer, though.
I think the whole thing was a great idea in theory, and probably brought mega publicity to the quilt world and the charity organizations involved, but maybe if they had started with a slightly smaller prize package, the magazine and contest might still be around and going strong. I probably should note here that all of the above, except for the letter I received, is completely supposition on my part, and I haven’t seen anything that really says why they’re ceasing publication.
And, though completely beside the point here, I’m not interested in either of their other magazines that they’re offering, and I think I paid for two years of the Quilting Challenge Magazine. I wonder what will happen when I send their letter back and say I don’t prefer either choice, please send me a check?