Focus magazine subscription

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by dbltap4, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Hey

    Last July subscribed to Focus magazine, as it looked like a pretty good rag.
    Deal was buy two years, get third year free. Did it over the internet, got
    confirmation #, charge was posted on my credit card bill.

    Now the first of December, and still no magazine. David Spivach,
    publisher/info guy, emailed me once, end of October, that present and back
    issues would be sent the following week. Still nothing. Sent more e-mails but
    they come back undeliverable because box is full.

    Anybody else subscribe to this magazine, and/or having trouble with
  2. You should call them directly - obviously they don't think much of customer service. I'm sure you can find a number. The other option is to post your question at the "Large Format Photography Forum" - I know that David Spivach hangs out over there daily.

    Good Luck
  3. Did you call them?

    Focus Fine Art Photography Magazine - 77 Berry St. Suite #1R Brooklyn NY 11211

  4. Hello, Jim. Our website has been transitioning (not voluntarily) to a new web server and the software upgraded... this caused complete chaos regarding e-mails. I apologize for any trouble this has caused you...I'm not sure what the problem could be. Feel free to give me a call tomorrow after 3 p.m. 718.360.4724. I will personally find out what has happened with your subscription.
  5. I'm having the same problem. Signed up in July of this year. I've sent copies of the paypal transaction information 5 times and left one voicemail message. Absolutely no response.
  6. Jim,
    I've also experienced significant delays in receiving my subscription issues, particularly upon first placing the web order. I've also sent emails in the past without response. I did succeed in contacting the editor by phone back in January where he explained that they could not respond by email correspondence. While I was able to appreciate that at the time, I've never been able to appreciate why it's typically several weeks after I see the latest issue on the newsstand before my copy arrives in my mailbox. Once, out of fear of missing an issue, I purchased a newsstand copy just to have my own arrive a day or so afterwards - a waste of money for me! I've grown accustomed to this behavior although I've always believed that it was "standard practice" for publishers to ensure that the latest issues of their publication(s) reach their subscription base before the newsstand. As I type this response, I've not yet received my copy of Issue 14(?) which I've been seeing on the newsstand for at least a month already! (What's going on David?)
  7. As above I received an issue weeks after the newstand. I'm not sure if that's the usual MO or
    because I emailed the magazine.
  8. did get to talk to dave spivak and he sent me a copy of the december issue. will see if this starts the flow, on time.
  9. hi Jim,

    I did the same in April '07, but did not received any issue until now at all, and yes also my Credit Card was fully charged for the subscrition. Yesterday, after several attempts, I was able to get this Mr. David on the phone, he was yelling and shouting at me that I was an idiot (!) that I dared to call him on the telephone; and hung up..
    Focus is a nice magazine to me and I still want a 3 year subscrition, but we probably have to stay far away from this 'David', he may need a good psycho..
  10. David's not good on his word.Alot of people are having problems with Focus Mag.Me included.Worse mag to deal with.
  11. Huibert, are you the one that refused to accept any of the answers I gave you -- and kept calling and calling and calling and calling?Yeah, after a while that gets frustrating and annoying. Yeah, I'll yell at people who keep calling about 10x in a row. You need to accept the answer the magazine gives you and let us return to work. You know, folks, I run a magazine. I don't have customer service, ok? I'm customer service. I'm the publisher, do most of the sales, do all of the layout and design, run the magazine, do EVERYTHING for the magazine except editorial work. The December issue, as has been posted numerous times, had sporadic distribution amongst subscribers and thus was considered a NEWSSTAND ONLY edition. Every other issue, no matter what people paid for, they've received without fail. So, everyone's subscription, even those that received the December issue, was extended by one issue. You might think that because I have a nice magazine, I'm as big as Time or Newsweek or something like that where we have dozens of people waiting to help every one of you. The fact of the matter is -- I don't. I have spent every dime I have on making this magazine the BEST magazine possible out there. And you know what? It's worked. So, we missed ONE issue for subscribers. All subscription copies of the February issue are being mailed this week and I know for a fact that everyone is on it. So, I guess you need to sit back and decide "Hmmm... they missed one issue on my subscription, but my subscription's been extended by one issue. Maybe I'll sit back and wait for my next issue to come." or "Screw them, I missed one issue and who cares how big the magazine is, I should've received my subscription!" or whatever else you want to think to yourselves. I work at least 18 hours a day on this magazine -- I am obsessed with providing the highest quality content, reproduction and everything that this magazine can exhibit. So when people keep calling and calling and calling over and over -- yeah I yell at them. You would too. Don, I promised you a subscription copy weeks ago. I thought I sent it to you weeks ago and worked for over an hour to try to find your tracking number. When alas, there I had the envelope with your magazines sitting in a different room with your address on it. In the end, I guess I forgot about it -- I'm human. I apologize for forgetting about it. I tried to send it out Monday, but UPS was closed. It was sent out yesterday. I spent $60 on that. I promised I'd send you magazines -- I didn't promise I would send you magazines via UPS. I could have gone to the post office and probably spent 1/4 of that or even 1/8 of that. You would've gotten the magazines probably in 2-3 weeks from now -- but you would've gotten them as I promised. Instead, I made sure you got them as quickly as possible. Every subscription copy that was missed, even though it wasn't a subscription issue, I've sent either FedEx or UPS. Not mail like every other magazine will do. That's how much A: My word is my bond and B: I am dedicated to my customers who have financially supported this magazine. I work my ass off, once again, to make this the highest quality magazine on newsstands. And as soon as all of you get copies of the February issue -- you'll see that for yourselves.
  12. David,
    Sounds like you come up with a lot of cheap excuses and many many wasted words.
    Our subscription was payed for on April 12th, 2007 ! (for your information that is eight (8) months ago).
    You took the money but we have not received any Focus Magazine at all, you did not give any answer you just yelled at me that I was an idiot..and hung up the phone; does not sound as too customer friendly behavior and leaves not that big an impresion that something usefull from your side will happen soon..
    We will wait for another few days to see if any magazine shows up, if not MasterCard will start a procedure and will offcially report this as fraude to an international organisation who has authority over credit cards acceptances and pay-pal.
  13. Cheap excuses. I love the internet. Everybody's so tough over the internet...

    Uh, you called me on a Saturday evening, I believe and when I told you to call a different day (I had company over) you didn't accept that and kept calling and calling and calling. Over 10 times. You're right -- I will yell at you for that.

    I've never received ONE e-mail from you. Just several phone calls on a weekend evening when I was expecting a call from someone else who was hours late.

    Huibert, you can call whomever you want to. We sent you two different issues. If you haven't received them, perhaps you gave PayPal the wrong PO Box. Now if you act like a civilized human being and send me a quick e-mail with your physical, not PO BOX, address, I'd be more than happy to send you out two copies. But you won't receive them this week... you'll receive them in however long the post office takes to go to the Netherlands.
  14. David, You just showed another example of your attitude problem; I called you on Tuesday 15th January around 3pm. This is not ?weekend? and not ?evening?. Six (6) e-mails were sent to your well published e-mail address. You are very busy? You seem to hang out quite well on various internet forums. For your information: NL is not a part of America, and we feel sorry for you that it might be quite a shock for you to realize that there is such a big world outside Brooklyn. Your short-sightedness is clear and embarrassing. We never had any problem with B&W, never had any problem with LensWork. We paid the full subscription fee for Focus so we are entitled to more than just the two issues. From April 2007, I count eight (8) months and you publish all your back issues on your website; so it is obvious what we expect to receive from you. When you simply do not send them out, fraud will be reported soon.
  15. ONCE AGAIN -- You are on the list. You have been sent magazines to your PO BOX in the Netherlands. Twice. Since your subscription, we've published four issues. The first and second issues have been sent to you. The third was not. The fourth will be this week. There is obviously an error in your address which is why you haven't been receiving magazines. SO ONCE AGAIN -- give me your PHYSICAL address and I will send you TWO magazines -- for the issues you missed. May and August. February is going out to you and all other subscribers this week.
  16. There is NO problem with our address. We have not received issue from you becasue you did not sent any magazine to our address. You are clearly running out of time.
  17. Ok, I'm done here. I offered to send out magazines to your address. You've refused to e-mail me your address. How is it possible that everyone else in Europe received their May and August issues and you didn't? This is a subscriber who refuses to provide me with a correct address. Case closed. I'm done giving you my time.
  18. David, yes you really are a crazy guy.
  19. I've had similar problems getting my issues
    of Focus Magazine. Currently, I'm trying to get
    the Feb. 2008 issue since I've seen it in the bookstores
    for the past few weeks. I've emailed the magazine
    without any response from them. My next step will
    be to cancel my subscription and ask for a refund,
    which, given the track record with this magazine,
    I might not get. I've had no problems with other
    photography magazines, including one from England.
    I recommend others to stay away from subscribing,
    buy it on the newstand if you really want it.
  20. Hi All - I've been trying with no luck to contact Focus Magazine for the last few weeks and simply out of desperation Googled 'Focus Magazine' and subscription problems and found all these threads with people detailing their problems with the magazine.

    I wish I'd known all these problems BEFORE I wrote them a check for $55, but it never occurred to me that such a esthetically good magazine would turn out to have such unprincipled and/or disorganized management.

    So I sent my check off on the 10th of December, they cashed it later that month and as of today, February 25th I've not received an issue, or a simple confirmation that the subscription's been received. I've called and left messages and twice in the last week have sent them emails to the '' address with no response. The phone number's just a recording drop apparently.

    The Better business Bureau of NY currently has the following on Focus:

    "Business Contact Information
    Address: 77 berry st.
    Brooklyn , NY 11211

    "This business recently came to our attention. We are attempting to gather information on the business. Please check back in four to six weeks."

    Report as of: 2/25/2008"

    What's the next step? Are they Dishonest or Disorganized? - Does Focus' reputation extend to cashing the checks and not ever sending actual issues of the magazine, or will they eventually get around to sending the issues when it suits them and damn the customers?

    It's a little crazy though - in this day and time companies try so hard to get the product right and fail often - Focus Mag got the hard stuff right - they created a great magazine, and the simple stuff, the answer the phone, return the emails, simply 'communicate with the customer' part - the easiest part - they failed miserably at. What a waste.

    I wish I'd gotten the 'Black and White' subscription now.

    Tom Hebert
    Atlanta, Ga
  21. Has anybody gotten the Feb issue yet? It has been at Barnes and Noble for almost a month now. Hope I don't have to call to light a fire under Mr. Spivak to get each issue.
  22. First of all, it seems as though this is a system-wide failure of infrastructure. #1 - My internet connection via Time Warner Cable Business Class has been intermittent in the past 3 weeks. If I have 1 day with full internet, I'm lucky. I've basically had every single wire and piece of equipment that's possible replaced and still nothing. Unfortunately, I work out of a pre-war building... no, I don't mean pre World War 2, I think this building is pre-Revolutionary War. So, in order to give me a permanent fix, they have to tear up walls or something. #2 -- Even when I do have a connection to the internet, I download all of the e-mails. As I mentioned to Thomas today, I've never received an e-mail from him before today. #3 -- Subscriptions were sent out 3 weeks ago via presorted bound and printed matter. I still haven't gotten my copy and I live 2-3 hours away.... it's not like we're mailing these out of Bangladesh or something. And I have received a few querries as of late regarding this...

    The overall problem is that this is the 3rd issue we've done with a printer who just doesn't handle magazines and we were very lucky to get involved with him... but it's been a difficult transition to this. We're both using a software that we don't fully understand, and the customer support team has been horrible in helping us. Mailhouses cost twice as much money as it is to mail the magazines out and just aren't an option.

    So I ask, I beg for everyone's patience while I get to the bottom of this. The February 2008 was indeed a subscription issue and I did pay for this to be mailed out. Imagine your levels of frustration and multiply that by nearly 4000. That's my level right now upon discovering this week that something has gone awry with this. I assure you, whatever the problem is, it will be fixed and never ever again repeated. The April 08 issue just finished printing and is binding right now... it will be mailed out within 3 weeks to subscribers. Anyone who subscribed after January receives this issue as their first issue. For you, Thomas, as I said to you in E-Mail, your first issue is the Ferbaury 2008 issue.
  23. I appreciate Mr. Spivak's comments on 2/26/08. I've subscribed to Focus for 3 years starting on 2/07 and had difficulty getting Issue 14 (I sent several emails and a letter; the issue was finally mailed by hand to me). I've sent several emails to Mr. Spivak about not receiving Issue 15 and received no response. I would like him to tell me how I can get this issue. Do I need to write a letter to him rather than an email? Will I need to do that for Issue 16? Also, I would like to know if he will refund subscription money if I choose that route--it will be much easier for me to stop at a bookstore and buy the magazine. I would appreciate Mr. Spivak's response since he hasn't responded to me by email. Thanks.
  24. Issue 15 was, as you see above, a newsstand only issue. Issue 16 is the February 08 Collector's Edition that so many people are having problems with....

    I will be finding out today what happened with that issue.
  25. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have finally found out what the bottom line was as far as the problems with the subscription copies of the February 2008 issue of FOCUS. As most of you will recall, in June of 2007 we switched printers to a more high-end printer. Unfortunately, this printer did not have any experience in subscription fulfillment and FOCUS was placed in the hands of a mailhouse for our August 2007 issue. The price to do this was even better than the price we paid previously to do this.

    When our December 2007 issue was printed, the mailhouse quoted me, for what was a few hundred additional subscribers, 3x as much as they quoted me previously. It turns out there was some kind of error made in their previous quote to me and decided not to tell me about it. Why this is, I still don't know. The cost was completely insane and we could not afford it. This left me without a way to distribute my December 2007 issue to subscribers in a cost effective manner, which turned the December 2007 issue into a newsstand only issue. I researched different mailhouses and each of them gave me similar quotes... my printer, out of genoricity, offered me an opportunity to mail copies of FOCUS out of his location and he would take staff off of projects they were working on to do this for me. I bought very expensive software to help me presort my list and I bought a permit and paid for an application fee with the post office. My printer's staff pollybagged, labeled and took care of everything that needed to be done on their end and, I thought, everything was good to go 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the post office left out one small, completely insane detail for mailing out the copies of FOCUS to everyone. They never contacted my printer, nor me regarding this and the magazines have been ready to send out for weeks now.

    So, I finally found this out today, took care of it and now I am promised that the magazines will be sent out on Monday to all subscribers. It is, of course, very late and I as angry as I am and as much as I wish I knew I could've done something to control this, in the end this is my fault. Many subscribers have been extremely patient and understanding with me, while others, understandably have been very upset.

    So, what I'm going to do is add on an additional 6 issues to everyone's subscription starting with the April 2008 issue. If anyone's subscription ended in August 2007, it will now end in April 2009. Subscribers are the life blood of any magazine, and when a magazine cannot fulfill orders that subscribers have paid for, it becomes quite embarrassing. We never handled subscriptions with our old printer... they took care of all the paperwork and all I did was send my list and a check. Now I've fixed the problem and it will not EVER happen again. Our next issue, the April 2008 issue, should finish at the bindery by the 7th. I anticipate all copies being mailed out by the 14th. There should not be anything that will interfere with this since I've already taken care of all of the paperwork. I apologize to all subscribers about this and assure you that you are receiving one of the finest qualitiy magazines and that you will not be dissappointed again.
  26. Well Mr. Spivak, I sincerely hope this will be the last of this ongoing issue because I too am a disappointed subscriber to Focus Magazine. I paid for my subscription in August and seven months later I am still waiting. Perhaps most disappointing to me was your attitude when I talked to you on the phone back on Feb 1st (presumably you were the David that I talked to). Bluntly my friend, you were rude and extremely arrogant. You did not want to hear what I had to say and would not answer any questions that challenged what you were telling me. You told me at that time my magazine had been mailed out the week before. When I inquired about a refund, well that?s when you really let me have it so to speak. Completely unacceptable I would say.

    I phoned your office last week on three occasions and other than listening to an answering machine there was no one there. I sent an email on February 27 to the two addresses inquiring about my subscription, one week later and not even a response. It is indeed a sad state of affairs that I have to resort to using this website to hopefully get a response from you.

    Focus magazine is a good magazine and you have done well in the production of it but that is not enough. Reading through this site and others who have complained about your business practices I would suggest you immediately launch a damage control plan that matches your words which thus far have frankly have not been worth anything.

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt and wait two weeks for my February issue to arrive.
  27. Well, according to his Feb. 29 posting, Mr. Spivak seems to have figured out what his mailing problem is. Another week or so won't have much effect on me.
    Only thing is, am I missing something here? Are we supposed to BUY issues that are newsstand only? Whats with that? When I subscribed, I thought I was paying for all published issues! I haven't even figured out what the frequency of publication is.
  28. Give it a little bit more than a week -- although the magazines were dropped off on Monday -- the post office had to go through everything, get all of the paperwork filed correctly, cash the check...blah blah. That's your federal government for you. Every single copy was finally shipped from the post office to everyone's door on Thursday via bound and pritned matter. By the 21, everyone should have a copy.

    As far as the Decmeber issue is concerned, I would be happy to discount the normal price of a back issue to anyone who would like one -- however, I believe by extending subscrbsiptions by one year I have done everything I can do to make up for this.
  29. Glad I finally found a source to communicate with you, Mr. Spivak. Since you refuse to answer emails, the phone or voice messages.
    I paid for two years with one year free for $54.97 in August 2007 and have received nothing.

    But I must say you do have a superb magazine. Hopefully I'll get to see one again.
  30. Listen -- I do many things for FOCUS, besides running it. I do all of the layout and all of the sales. I am not trained in, nor good at, nor pretend to be good at, customer service. This situation has been extremely stressful for me and it's hard to have customers who've been supporting my magazine not receive their subscription. I emphathize with all of you, however; I've done everything in my power to fix this.
  31. I'm pleased to say a copy of the February Focus arrived today.
  32. Well,all I received from David was 2 beaten up issues (aug and Dec).I had to hound him for months for that.I now can't get my Feb issue.Do a search and see what I had to say about David and Focus mag.Extremely unprofessional.Extremely unreliable.It seems that they have enough issues for the newsstands but none for the people that paid upfront for the mag.
    David,when will I get my Feb issue.And if you send it,I don't want torn issues like the other two you sent me.
    It's nice of you to extend the magazine subscription by another year,but what's the good of that if you don't send them out to the customer?
  33. Don -- I have absolutely NO control over how the issues arrive to you unless I fly to your address in Newfoundland. Now here's where I get pissed off. I sent you, out of my own wallet and genorocity *two* copies via UPS. I didn't mail them, I UPS'd them to you. You E-Mailed me on January 25th that you received the two copies. You did NOT mention that the magazines were beaten or torn up. It's almost two months later and you're bitching yet again about magazines that were sent out a little over a week ago to everyone. News flash Don, you live in Europe -- did it ever occur to you that it takes longer than a week for a two pound magazine sent bound and printed matter to arrive to you?

    You never ONCE posted ANYWHERE until now that you actually received the magazines -- and of course you have to complain about it and you're telling everyone that they can't trust me right BELOW posts of people saying they got their copy.

    There is a huge difference between people who have a legitmate gripe and are being fair about their gripe and people who just like to complain every chance they get.

    If you would have told me January 25th that the magazines that arrived to you were beaten and torn up, I would've called UPS -- they would've given me a credit and I would've re-sent you two additional copies via UPS and made sure as hell that they arrived in pristine condition. I take pride in my magazine and fulfilling orders that people have paid for. I cannot do anything to increase the speed of the United States Postal Service, nor can I do anything, two months later, about copies that UPS destroyed on their way to you.
  34. The last issue I've received was the issue that had Edward Weston's photos of a pepper on the cover. Some how my address got messed up I found out when I was finely able to get a hold of David. The mater was fixed but still I've yet to receive anything. I haven't gotten the Collectors issue yet. But I did just email Davis and hopefully he will respond. I also would like a good explanation of why as subscribers we should have to pay for newsstand only issues?
  35. David,look at an atlas.Try to find my "province" in Europe.Won't be done.I live in "Canada" and,yes,2 magazines packaged in an unprotected paper envelope should get to me in a week.I told you the envelope was in terrible condition with the bottom ripped out of it.David,lets see if I get my magazine this week.Chances are I won't but it won't be because of the mail service.
  36. No, Don. You will not get your magazine this week. You were sent, along with everyone else on the list, 1 magazine in a pollybag via USPS Bound & Printed Matter. That can take several weeks to arrive in destinations throughout the US -- there is no way to tell how long it will take to arrive to your area. 2 Magazines sent UPS Worldwide Express takes a week to get to you. 1 magazine sent bpm takes a whole lot longer.

    You told me that the "package" was in very bad condition and the envelope had it's bottom ripped out. You did not once say the magazines were damaged, nor go into any detail about what kind of damage the package had. I assumed that the envelope itself sustained damage, but there was no notable damage to the magazines because you didn't say anything about that. You also said in your e-mail, and here's the kicker, here's what I love, "and I know you couldn't do anything about this, hence, no blame to you."

    All of a sudden I'm to blame two months later. Pretty funny.
  37. Jeremy, please e-mail me with your old address and your new address. If for some reason we didn't make the correction to your old address, I will send you a copy of the collector's edition via UPS 2-Day Air this week.

    As far as paying for newsstand only issues, a subscription is guaranteed a number of issues for the lifetime of the subscription. If I promise you 24 issues in a 3 year time period, and I'm only able to deliver you 20, you still get 24 issues. It may take longer for your subscrption to expire, but you will get 24 issues. There was one instance where one issue was not sent to subscribers. The exlpanation was given above. If you'd like a copy of #14, you can purchase it from the website. That is, currently, all I can do about issue #14.
  38. OK David I emailed you I do hope things start getting on track for you and your business. Your magazine is one of the bests I've found.
  39. Well David,hopefully you will be able to get things on track with the distribution.The reason I didn't say anything about the torn issues was because at that point I was happy to just get "something" from you in regards of an issue.So I "overlooked" the condition of the copies you sent me.I wasn't happy about not receiving my Feb issue though.

    David,I don't want to fight with you to get my issues of the mag.You do produce a good product.That's why I went with this one over Black and White.I just hope things are straightened out so we don't have to do this shyt again.
  40. Well,did anyone receive their magazine yet?Seems they were shipped on March 6th.I'm just wondering if you received yours yet as mine didn't show up yet.
  41. Well no surprise here I guess. I too have not received my subscription. I understand the NY Better Business Bureau has also received complaints and they too are investigating. I will send them a note asking if they want more information. I will post their response here so others can contribute if they choose to.

    Remember one thing David. The internet is a powerful tool and I found this site by doing a search "focus magazine scam". Hopefully your on-line history will follow you and other investors will think twice before getting involved with the name David Spivak. If I sound bitter well then I commend your astuteness.
  42. International subscriptions take a very long time to arrive. If you guys want to sit here and complain and say I'm running some kind of scam, the first ammendment allows you that right, however; I also have rights. All subscriptions were sent weeks ago and I stand by that.
  43. Take care, Dwight. The last person to use the word scam received a phone call from my lawyer. I work too hard and put way too much of my time and energy into this business to let idiots like you sit there with your little keyboard and try to destroy all of that.
  44. David,I never said the word scam.I'm just inquiring if anyone else have received their issues so I'd know about when to expect mine.
  45. Oh,as for "international" shipments taking a long time,I received my issues of Lensworks in less than a week,sent by USPS.If I remember correctly,they're also based in the US.
  46. Go right ahead and have your lawyer call me Mr. Spivak. Eight months later, two phone calls where I was given different stories, emails unreturned, phone calls unreturned and countless promises made by you on this website and others who also have invested in subscriptions they haven?t received is a scam by any definition.

    Perhaps a class action lawsuit against you by myself and others who have paid good money in good faith for something they never received may prompt you into delivering on your promises.

    Have your lawyer call me. I look forward to the conversation.

    By the way I subscribe to eight other magazines, six from the states and two from the UK. Never has it taken more than a week to get a magazine from the states. Just more rhetoric and lame excuses.
  47. Well,the April issue is now out according to the focusmag website and here we are didn't even get the Feb issue yet.Should we expect the April issue in September?
  48. Ya right! The part that cracks me up on their website if you look below the picture of the magazine it states

    "Don't wait -- buy this issue now and receive it in less than a week!"

    I am in process of filing a complaint with the BBB of New York. I have also phoned the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and they have sent me an information package to begin filling out. I would ask each of you to email me your names and email addresses. From there I will send you an email back asking the following questions:

    1)Your full name, mailing address, phone number and date you sent your subscription payment, length of subscription purchased, copies received (if any).I would like to have this done by April 20th.

    Thanks guys and girls...
  49. Just a note: Spivak has stated that he had resolved his mailing problems and we would receive our Feb. issue on or about March 21st.
    Danged if it didn't appear in my mail box the 21st. I hope the April issue is a little more timely, but hope springs eternal.
    In an earlier isssue, he stated that all photos would be presented in a warmer tone. It will not shake me to the core to see Edward Weston's photos printed in warm-tone, but I think he preferred neutral to cold tones. Correct me if I am wrong.
  50. In my mind the jury is still out on Spivak. I did indeed receive my Feb issue as Jim Meisenbach did, on about the 20th of March. So that's something.

    I am patiently awaiting the April issue, which is now on the news stands, and I am trying to keep on open mind on the issue (NPI). If April indeed arrives sometime in April I will congratulate him & be happy to enjoy my copy. If things fall apart again, I guess maybe it will be time to finally talk to someone formally.

    On a related shipping note, Aperture and Focus pubs both seem to fill the newsstand shelves *long* before they fill the subscribers mailboxes. It's a puzzlement as to why this is - perhaps they get money upfront from the booksellers and thus finance the rest of the edition's run? In any case, it seems to unnecessarily goad subscribers.
  51. Well,over a month has passed since David said the Feb issue had been shipped.Still nothing has arrived in my mailbox.It really don't take over a month for something to come from New York to Canada.You receive anything yet Dwight?

    I think I'll be sending along that info that you need for your complaint.I'm just sick of these lame excuses that David's giving all the time.I really think he has no intention of fulfilling the subscriptions that we all paid for.Nothing but story after story about everybody but him screwing up.In my mind his actions are bordering on something a little underhanded.(David,you notice I didn't say fraud)

    As subscribers we shouldn't have to constantly hound the magazine to give us what we paid for.David,if you can't fulfil your commitments to us you should refund us our money.That's the right thing to do.Anything less is intolerable.
  52. I've not received anything from Focus for almost a year now! I only received 2 issues since I subscribed. I'm suppose to have a 3 year sub. Seems it was just a two issue one instead. I'm started to get frustrated here...
  53. Jeremy,get used to the untruth's David will tell you.
  54. I also signed up for the buy a two year subscription and get a third year free. After two email inquiries this winter I received the February issue a few weeks ago. This was the first issue I received since August 2007. So that's one issue over 5 or 6 months depending on how you want to look at it. So much for a third year free.

    I've owned small businesses and have a hard earned personal understanding of cash flow. When I placed the subscription I figured that the buy two years get a third year free offer indicated they probably needed operating money and was happy to provide it for a good magazine. But Mr. Spivak's attitude expressed here sucks.
  55. You may find these exchanges with Mr. Spivak interesting.
  56. Well,another week has passed and nothing from David.Seems some people in the US received the Feb issue by March 21st but others still haven't received their copy almost a month later.What's your excuse this time David? Refund me my money.
  57. How interesting. I've gone away for a while to run the magazine and work on the next issue, thinking that if I go away, the people who complain will go away as well.

    Unfortunately, that is not so.

    I've tried being patient with some of you, who seem to be just here for the sake of complaining.

    Focus Magazine is NOT a web press magazine. Great time and care is put into each issue and when the final product is finally created, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that they have received something of great quality and content.

    I will give you a list of magazines that are printed on a web press: People, The National Enquirer, Newsweek, PDN, GQ, Vogue and B&W. All of them are printed and mailed at the same time to distributors and to subscribers. There are machines that automatically pollybag and label each issue, put them in a box and send it out to the post office.

    Some magazines even hire subscription houses for this so that at the end of the week, every subscriber receives the next issue that is to go out on newsstands before it actually does. These magazines are printed on low quality, web presses that are made for printing magazines. The printer itself may have their entire business surrounded on printing magazines. Their magazine will take about a week after the files are sent to the printer to have a final product.

    As I have explained, as of June 2007, we left the printer who was just interested in printing as many magazines as possible without regard to care or concern of the final product and went to another printer who was interested in printing incredibly high quality photography, something you would see on exhibit at your local museum. Focus, on average, after all of the files are uploaded, takes about 6-8 weeks to print, bind and ship. Then, the subscription copies have to be hand-inserted into pollybags and the list has to be maually updated. Everything is done by hand here and nothing is done on cheap, mass-assembly.

    A subscription to Focus Magazine does two things:

    1. It saves you a great deal of money on the price of a magazine from snewsstands ($39.95 for 1 year, $54.95 for 2 years and you get the third year free with this). So that's 18 issues for $54.95 vs. $143.10.

    2. It guarantees you a magazine, whereas if you go to a bookstore, you may see that they are completely sold out.

    There is nowhere on the subscription form, on my website or even in our corporate by-laws that guarantees you a magazine by a certain date. A February issue may come to you in April and an April issue may come to you in June. Issues only have dates on them for newsstand purposes and not for any other reason.

    I am at the mercy of my own schedule and the schedule of my printer, which do not coincide all of the time. If you are on the subscription list, you will receive a magazine.

    When we are able to have subscribers receive magazines before newsstands do, we will try to implement that. Our next issue is a Summer 2008 issue and the issue after that is an October 2008 issue. I do not foresee the Summer issue being mailed and received anytime after July and the next issue anytime after September.

    If you would like to confirm you are on the subscription list, please send me a brief e-mail with the subject line of "Subscription confirmation" and I would be happy to find out if you actually have a subscription with us. If you would like to stay up to date on the mailings of Focus Magazine, please subscribe to our free newsletter. I guarantee that all e-mail addresses are kept strictly confidential and are never sold to any outside party whatsoever.

    Now Don, I've sent you 3 magazines already, 2 of great expense to me. If you would have mentioned to me, at that time, that those magazines were damaged, I would've happily sent you replacement copies.

    An overwhelming majority of our subscribers (topping 4000) seem to understand this and have no problem with this process. They are patient and understand the magazine they receive in the mail when they receive it will be of a much higer quality in printing and editorial content than any other magazine on newsstands today.

    If you absolutely cannot wait for the mercy of the postage system, I can offer anyone with an existing subscription, the opportunity to upgrade their subscription so they are put on the "comp list" and will receive their copies via FedEx Ground when everyone on that list receives it, which is usually 2 weeks after the magazine is off press. Shipping charges are around $10-$20 per issue. Please let me know, once again via E-Mail if that is a choice you'd like to make.

    Please don't take this as any kind of a message or statement that subscribers aren't important to us. Of course they are, however; and I don't know how many times I have to say this, you are not subscribed to a web press magazine that arrives like clockwork in your mailbox. I would rather a magazine of extremely high quality arrive 2 months later than the cover date to someone's mailbox than a magazine of garbage quality arrive on time. If you want a garbage magazine, please look somewhere else.
  58. You sent me 2 issues.August and December.The rest you just keep promissing me.
  59. Btw,have a subscription to your magazine doesn't guarantee anything.As per Jeremy B's comment (I've not received anything from Focus for almost a year now! I only received 2 issues since I subscribed. I'm suppose to have a 3 year sub. Seems it was just a two issue one instead. )
  60. You can add me to the list of subscribers unhappy with their service, though we have only been involved in the headaches for a few months. So far, I received the same issue twice (the Feb. 08 issue) and not the April issue at all. When someone signs up to receive a magazine, it is generally expected that it should arrive in a timely fashion, or at least the magazine would make an effort to alert subscribers that there is a problem with the shipping of an issue. My wife and I have e-mailed 3 times and called once and received no response to our inquiries concerning the April issue. Judging by the problems others seem to be having with their subscriptions, I think I'd rather take my chances buying the magazine off the newstand or not at all, as opposed to waiting many months for a product that may or may not show up. I expect better customer service than what I've seen, and would like info on how to cancel our subscription and receive a refund for all but the first issue of Focus we received (and I'm not paying for that one twice!)
  61. Matt, you have no chance of cancelling.I've been trying but David won't refund peoples money.If I had my time back I never would've subscribed to this mag.It's been nothing but a headache.Get used to bullshyt stories.
  62. Don's money has been refunded, minus the two issues we've sent him. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused him.
  63. Wow!, I thought that I was the only one with problems regarding my subscription until I found this site. It is so frustrating not getting information after numerous emails. I was going to start pulling out my hair with frustration. As I live in Australia it doesn't sit well to telephone the company as has been suggested. I took out a subscription in November 2007 and am still waiting for my first copy of the magazine. I would love to send an email with the line "Subscription confirmation" but my recent emails have all gone unanswered so I am suspicious that I will get a reply. What does annoy me that I see issues that I haven't got, but paid for, sitting at the newsstand here downunder. It seems from my point of view that a subscription means nothing. I thought that subscribing actually helps the company by receiving money in advance and thereby letting marketing work out the number of issues better without a lot of wastage. My subscription with another US magazine gets to me before it reaches the newsstand so why can't Focus do it? So I really suppose that my main gripe or complaint, as David puts it elsewhere, is not getting answers to email questions. Keeping the customer satisfied should be an absolute priority in any business.
  64. Yep,he refunded my money and then had the nerve to put this off as my fault.He informed me he no longer wishes to have me as a customer.Anyway,good riddance.Now I'll subscribe to a magazine that actually cares about it's subscribers.Off to B & W's website to subscribe.After the dealings I've had with Focus Mag,anythings got to be an improvement.

  65. Nowhere in any of the E-Mails did I blame this on Don. In fact, I apologized to him twice. Obviously, if I cannot fulfill orders and a customer is unhappy and it appears as though there is nothing I can do to make a customer happy, I no longer want them as a customer.

    Michael, you asked: "My subscription with another US magazine gets to me before it reaches the newsstand so why can't Focus do it?"

    It is because of the way Focus Magazine is printed and handled vs. the way other US magazines are printed and handled. Other US magazines sacrafice quality for speediness. They mass produce magazines within a week and mail it out to you automatically. Within a week, my printer is still going over every single image inside of that issue of FOCUS and making sure they're each perfect and if they're not, correcting them for contrast, color balance, etc. Every image is carefully looked over and esnured the highest quality of reproduction and detail. By the fourth week, our magazine has finally finished printing and is off to the bindery. It then takes another two weeks to bind all of the copies of FOCUS and manually place every single copy in boxes. We don't use a cheap in-house binding machine. We use a bookbinder to bind copies of FOCUS, ensuring a level of quality that is unsurpassed. All of the finished copies of FOCUS are then seperated into 4 groups: Newsstands, galleries & museums and subscriptions and extras. We have a trucking company pick up the newsstands and galleries & museums copies and then my printer picks up the remaining copies. My printer then, once again, when they are able to, takes the subscription list and one-by-one by hand inserts every single magazine into pollybags and then into seperate containers for the post office and then the post office comes to pick them up and mail them out. By the time they're done with this process, the newsstands have already received their copies.

    A major US magazine printer would print, bind, box and ship magazines to newsstands and to subscrtibers at the same time. The level of quality is far inferior though. Compare one of the latest issues of Focus to one of the latest issues of B&W. There is much more detail in Focus than there is in B&W. Our paper is of higher grade and quality and is triple if not quadruple the price... as is the printing. Yet our subscription prices are less than B&W's are.

    Yes, I suppose we could ship out our magazines to a mailhouse and they could rush the subscriptions. But that costs a great deal of money for us to do and we would have to increase the cost of our subscriptions much higher.

    The solution to all of this is for us to be one issue ahead of newsstands. This is something we're working on, but it is a difficult and time consuming and relatively expensive process to come out with two issues at once.

    If you feel you'd rather receive a lower quality magazine with little content to offer just so you could receive it at a faster pace, please go ahead and do what Don did. You have triple the editorial content and triple the quality in Focus for the same price. It just takes longer and I ask for people to just be patient.
  66. This is a monthly? With those production and quality issues it might be better as a quarterly.
  67. No. It's bi-monthly.
  68. Sorry for being away for a while lads. I had an unplanned trip come up that took me away. But anyway? I?m back and guess what ? no surprise?no copy of Focus magazine despite Mr. Spivaks malignant assurances that it would soon come.

    The arrogance of Mr. Spivak has become quite amusing. He rants about him being tired with our complaints. Well the solution is simple my friend ? give us what we paid for and you would be surprised at how fast the complaints will stop.

    In Mr. Spivak?s post of April 18th, he writes A subscription to Focus Magazine does two things: It guarantees you a magazine, whereas if you go to a bookstore, you may see that they are completely sold out. Well Mr. Spivak the only thing a subscription to Focus Magazine seems to guarantee me is that I will die of old age long before I receive a single issue to what I have paid for and what you owe us.

    One thing I did on my trip was visit a friend of mine in Vancouver who manages one of the larger photography store in Vancouver. What did I see but a shiny copy of Focus magazine. I commented to my friend about the difficulties I and others was having getting our subscription honored. He told me (and no surprise) that a number of his customers who bought the magazine said the same thing. They too had purchased subscriptions in good faith and never received them. He then told me that he would seriously consider no longer stocking the magazine due to the complaints he was fielding from his customers. Well done I said, and I encourage you to stop. Thankfully I have a very ethical friend there who hates to see other?s get screwed.

    I also note Mr. Spivak?s ramblings on his most recent post where he again continues to tell us what a wonderful printing company he has engaged to print his magazine. Sorry Mr. Spivak but I will call you on that as well. You see I am in the business and work as an editor so I am able to call you when you with this tale of yours.

    One other comment Mr. Spivak. When you write Compare one of the latest issues of Focus to one of the latest issues of B&W. There is much more detail in Focus than there is in B&W. Our paper is of higher grade and quality and is triple if not quadruple the price... as is the printing. Yet our subscription prices are less than B&W's are. I am sure if we had copies of Focus Magazine to compare others against we would agree. Unfortunately you have to send us our copies first in order for us to validate your comments.

    I have received the information from the New York BBS and will complete it this weekend. Anyone who has not sent me their information yet please do so. In addition, if anyone here is a member of this site please post this letter to their site along with my email address asking them to contact me over their problems with Mr. Spivak.

    Remember one thing Mr. Spivak? all of this bad publicity is on the internet. I found this site by typing in ?focus magazine scam? on google as I suspect others have. I wonder really how many of the other 4,000 subscribers you claim to have are having the same difficulty with you as we are.
  69. It's better to get a magazine of a little lower quality in paper than not to get one at all.David,if you remember from way back,I told you I went with your mag because of the quality.But what is the good of quality if you can never get it delivered to you.I would've been quite happy to stay with your mag if you could've actually delivered them when you said you would.You've told me many times you've sent them when you actually haven't.This last one was supposed to have been sent to us almost 2 months ago.No sign of it yet.When you sent me my refund,you took the money for 2 mags that I received but you never mentioned the one that's supposed to be on the way.Actually,you're not even saying to anybody else that it's on the way.You claim that we're nothing but a bunch of complainers for wanting something we paid for and you refuse to send.You need a major attitude adjustment and hopefully the demise of your mag will do it.You don't deserve the business that people are giving you.You're way to arrogant for somebody that his livelyhood depends on others and hopefully you'll learn that before it's too late.

    Oh,another thing,just because you finally gave me my refund,don't think I'm finished with this.I'll let anybody that wants to know what kind of dealings I've had with you.In my dealings with you all I see is someone that's a terrible business person and an even worse person.
  70. David Spivak, Apr 25, 2008; 07:41 p.m.

    "No. It's bi-monthly."

    I paid for the buy two years get three years subscription offer.

    By my count Focus is not a bi-monthly magazine- at least over time.

    In 2006-As expected I received 6 issues numbered 5-10 every other month Jan-Dec.

    In 2007-I received three issues numbered 11,12,13 dated February, May and August. (There was a newsstand only issue #14 so that's quarterly publication for 2007.)

    In 2008-After two email inquiries I received #15 dated February 2008. I see that the Focus Magazine website is advertising issue #17 (June 08)so I'm now missing #16 which must have been dated April.

    With a 28 month old subscription I should now possess 14 Focus magazines. I have 10 and I think that I likely purchased the first issue at the bookstore.

    It is my opinion that the buy two get three year offer was made to drum up needed operating capital; and the problems Focus has had meeting it's subscription obligations are probably due to inadequate cash flow. It's a tough business and with this slumping economy and magazine subscriptions being a discretionary purchase...
  71. #16 is being sent out this week. It was barely even done being printed and shipped to newsstands 4-5 weeks ago. The Summer 2008 (#17) issue isn't anywhere near done and won't go to print until 2-3 weeks from now. Originally it was going to be a June issue, but this issue is delayed. Not because of finances, but because I'm trying to put together a comprehensive list of exhibitions taking place this summer in hundreds of galleries and museums worldwide for our Summer 2008 Exhibition Guide. This is not something you can find anywhere else. I've already received a guarantee from the printer that when this issue is printed, all subscriptions will go out the same week as our newsstand editions.

    Focus Magazine launched with 2500 copies overall. We will have, by the end of this year, a total overall circulation of 30,000. Focus Magazine is outselling B&W, Aperture, Eyemazing and Blindspot on newsstands worldwide. Our sell-through rate is consistently above 70%, while our competition staggers around barely able to reach the 30% range. Focus Magazine is not only healthy, but due to the overall demand of Focus, we are doing many more things than just running a magazine. We are receivng more and more advertisers and more money for ads each issue. We just launched, a month ago, a new book publishing company. We are launching a new online photography bookstore, plus re-launching our online exhibition guide. In 2009, we plan to launch an fine art photography art fair that would be the biggest photography art fair ever seen in New York City.

    We have been, as I have admitted, disorganized with subscriptions since starting at our new printer. I have apologized for this and have extended everyone's subscription by one year or six issues, whichever comes last.

    George, your subscription was originally good for 3 years OR 18 issues. Whichever came first. This has been stated on our website. With the subscription extension, your subscription is good for 4 years OR 24 issues. Again, whichever comes last.

    Inside of every single issue of Focus that you've received since issue #13, the reproduction has been second to none, the editorial content is triple that of our competition and is also much higher in quality. Our in-depth interviews allow our readers to see inside the mind, heart and soul of our subjects. Bruce Davidson, who is well into his 80s today feels that the interview done with him in our April 2008 issue is "the finest edited and printed magazine edition of his work to date." Try finding the quantity and quality of our editorial in those web press magazines you're going to subscribe to, Don. You won't.
  72. Any new updates about this topic? Has anyone been receiving the issues like they are suppose to be or has anyone been given their money back? Any tips on what to do for the next step if David doesn't send anything?
  73. Jeremy,David doesn't give a shyt about the subscribers of Focus Magazine.He already has stolen your money.Like I told you previously,don't believe the lies he'll tell you.I did get a refund but it was because of months of hounding him.He's doing nothing but suckering innocent people out of their money.He's one of the lowest forms of human.Swindler,swindler,swindler.All I can say is to keep after him and make his online presence uncomfortable.
  74. Jeremy, how did you like the magazine? Did it arrive ok?
  75. Wow,that's fast Jeremy.David promised the mag to you on March 16th,2 day air and he's asking you about it on May 19th.I guess he must have sent it to you after May 13th.Now,that's service for you.
  76. Yes David it arrived the next day BUT I'm still waiting on the issue you said I should be receiving this month.
  77. For what it's worth I haven't had any problems receiving subscriptions down here in Tampa.

    From what I read it seems to be an honest mistake here and there that Spivak tried to correct upon discovery. As the magazine grows he'll probably hire someone to deal with customer service-related issues. I have to believe that none of this is intentions because, as he alluded to, without his customers he doesn't have a magazine.

    Anyway, enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend gentlemen.
  78. All emails have gone unanswered.

    Still waiting for issue #16.

    Never received issue #14
  79. I continue to wait for the April 2008 issue; I've seen it on the magazine rack at Borders for weeks. My other photo magazines arrive promptly, including one from England.
  80. As of today I have not received any issues since I sent in my check in early February. I did receive my special issue but I have not received any of the bi monthlies. I understand issue #16 was mailed but so far I have not received it. I have emailed twice in the past month and NO RESPONSE. I tried one time to call them and whoever picked up the phone was very nasty and told me not to call them but to email them and then the guy hung up on me. VERY RUDE who ever he was. From all these letters it appears that it was probably Davud Spivak.

    Anyway, he took my money and I have no magazine and I cannot communicate with them - at least they dont answer the emails. And I cannot call since they yell at you and then hang up.

    This morning I tried to get on their web page and google keeps coming back saying it cannot find it. SO now I am wondering is Focus out of business?

    It is sad because it is a really fine art photo mag - the best I have seen but what good is it when you cannot get it.
  81. John, I think that you are lucky to have received the special issue. I subscribed in November 2007 and have still not received any magazine even though I still see them in my local newsagents but then again I suppose living in Australia means that the post is a bit slower although in reality it probably means that I've done my money like most other subscribers.
  82. Can anyone give me David Spivach's e-mail so I can contact him to cancel my subscription? We tried the e-mail on the website and got no reply. I still haven't received the issue that hit the shelves at Barnes and Noble on April 1, and I don't want to wait any longer for a magazine that seems to make customers its last priority.
  83. his email is
  84. well the email you supposed to use for questions regarding subs. is

    but that one I have written to twice now and after two weeks I have no response

    I too will cancel my subs and just take my chances at BN - it is sad that it is a fine mag and it appears this guy David is just making excuses for why his customer service in the pits - he says he is too busy - well then hire someone to do it for you - bottom line - poor customer service and NO magazine is just unacceptable

    John ( Johny ) Alives
  85. Ok I just got off the phone with David. Here's what he said as I understand it. The reason we have yet to receive the most recent issue (April) is due to him waiting for the summer issue to go to print. Now the goal from my understanding is to fix the problem of when the magazine is released. We as subscribers are suppose to receive 6 magazines a year. And this delay in us receiving the April issue is to fix the whole mess of when magazines are released. He knows some of us are mad. But he hopes from what he told me this will fix some of the problems he is having at this time with his magazine... He also told me he is going to be sending me the back issues I've not received since I subscribed to the magazine a year ago. I'll post if I get them or not.
  86. Also if you need to call him to hear yourself what his reasoning is email me and I'll give you the number to call him. I can't promise you'll get a hold of him but you can try.
  87. Well it would be nice if someone would respond to our emails - and from what you are saying does that mean now I wont get my latest issue ? - or is that being shipped with the summer issue? I dont want to miss one and I certainly dont want to go buy one and then get a second one later - the whole purpose for me to subscribe was NOT to miss an issue because my BN doesnt always have one.

    John (Johny) Alives
  88. I also want to mention that I had planned on putting a one page ad in a few issues for my photo business but now that I cannot get my magazines and get no repsonses to my emails, I will not spend that kind of money - what if I have a problem with the ad or I want to change something on the proof etc etc - how do I communicate with them - I cannot risk that kind of money - their loose and mine too since I think Focus is a good place for my art work BUT with my low budget I cannot take that chance.

    John Johny Alives
  89. This is how I understand it. Once the summer issue has gone to print the April will be sent out to everyone. That is how I understood what he said. Now as for him sending me the issues I never got. I only got one. I'm still missing the April issue and the issue that had the Jerry Uelsmann photo on the cover.
  90. David won't stay true to his word Jeremy.He's promised me a number of them and I never received them.The one he was supposed to have shipped to me March 8th never did arrive.That's almost 3 months.He was supposed to have all his shipping issues ironed out by then or so he said.He'll keep spinning lies to try and throw everybody off his back till he can create his newest lie.It's an ongoing cycle with David.
  91. I now have sent emails to four different email addresses at focus - no response to any of them

    I appreciate Jeremy's offer for the phone number but I am afraid to call him - the last time he yelled at me and hung up on me - I really dont need that crap from anyone. Lets face it, HE has the problem - I just want my magazine - I paid for it.
  92. I made a post here last night and now it's gone -- no idea why. Jeremy, the December '07 issue was newsstand only as I said above. John, I sent you an e-mail to call me. Everyone else: We are decreasing the amount of time left in between issues that subscribers receive per issue starting with the last issue. By the time everyone has received that issue, the next issue will be sent out. By the time everyone has received that issue -- the next one will be sent out after that. About 8 weeks in between issues starting with the last issue we published.
  93. I just got off the phone with David Spivak. He was very nice and took his time to explain that he is still experiencing problems with mailing to subscribers and that the April issue should be mailed for us all to receive sometimes at the latest in July followed by the summer issue not too long after - he expects that we all should have the the last issue and the summer issue all before end of July or early August. He further said that he is working to resolve the late mailings. I also understand that not to expect - even in the future - that we will get our magazines in the mail the same time as it hits the newsstand - it sounds like form his discussion that we will see places like BN having the issue long before we see it in the mail.
  94. Slight mis-understanding, John. I apologize, NYC can get very loud and sometimes it's difficult to have a conversation on the phone while walking around. As soon as the Summer issue goes to my printer's, I will mail out the last issue. That could be this week or next week. We will be mailing out the magazines at the same time our trucker comes to pick up the magazines and delivers it to the distributors for distribution on newsstands. I have no control over how long it takes for them to deliver the magazines, nor how long it takes to get the magazine on newsstands.

    For instance, if the Summer issue is picked up July 5 from the trucking company, that is the day they go out to subscribers. If it takes 3 weeks to arrive to you via USPS and two weeks to get the magazine on newsstands, then that will be an instance when it's on newsstands before it's in your mailbox. As soon as the magazines are off the press and bindery, we bag them and send them out.

    This is NOT an automated process like it is with most other magazines... we are not printed by a magazine printer -- we are printed by a sheetfed high-end photography-book printer. That is why there's a drastic difference in quality between Focus and other magazines. Sometimes in exchange for quality, you have to wait a little longer. But not as long as you have been waiting.
  95. I hope for all of the subscribers, that David will get a handle on his mailing problems. I am sure that the rest of you feel the same way about the quality of the magazine David is publishing. My opinion is that it is the finest photo art publication that I have come across in this country as well as overseas. I have a number of US, French and German art photo mags and Focus tops them all. I hope to some day even have some of my work published in Focus. So having said that, I really don't want to miss one single issue and I subscribed because I could not depend on my BN stores locally to stock enough copies for me to always find one. I love the magazine and that is way I am so frustrated. I have re- read each issue I have many times and each time I see something I missed or I get a new idea for my work. They never get old. I cannot wait to see the next issues. I just hope I will get to see them.
  96. Hello all. Thank you, once again, for your patience. The August 2008 issue has been uploaded to the printer, which means all subscriptions will go out this week. When the August issue has finished printing, we will mail this issue out as well. It should be finished in 3-4 weeks from now.

    However -- I will give all of you a beautiful PDF preview of this issue to tide you over.

    This link should be active within the next 15 minutes. So around 11:15 P.M. EST on Sunday, 6/15/08. Please, let me know what you think of this issue.
  98. Followup on my May 28, 2008 post above. David finally contacted me by email because of my post here and not from specifically answering any emails I had sent (which were never answered). He said he would send me issue #14 right away. Never arrived and all followup emails except one continue to be unanswered even when using the email address that he used to email me (so I know that it is a working email address).

    Issue #16 has not arrived as of today.

    I have given up and consider my subscription a complete loss.

    Perhaps more issues of my subscription will show up; God only knows if and when....

    Buyer beware.
  99. No suprises.David can't keep his word.
  100. Clearly Mr. Spivach, you read this blog, so one would be led to believe that you probably check and ignore your e-mail. My wife and I have tried no less than 5 times by phone and e-mail to contact you, initially wondering about the delay in our subscription, and now demanding a refund. We have had enough. We don't want any more excuses about printers, or how the mail is at fault for failing to deliver our magazine. We have not received a magazine since February, and that was a duplicate of the magazine we received in late December. WE WANT A REFUND! And We want a full refund, because I think the magazine you sent (twice) is not even enough compensation for the failure to deliver your product. We are reasonable, undemanding, "Minnesota Nice" people, but when we pay for something, we expect to receive it, or at least receive an explanation for why it is delayed. Had I not found this blog, I would be totally in the dark about the status of your magazine. You may consider yourself an artist, and you do indeed have a very appealing magazine, but even a great artist working on a commission knows he must DELIVER the work, or his skill means nothing. Please reply to my wife's e-mail and give us our money back, we dont' want to deal with you or this situation any more.
  101. I see this thread is still going. My question is when are we to receive the April issue?
  102. I see this thread is still going. My question is when am I to receive any issue since my subscription last December? Why isn't anyone taking legal action. I would be more than willing to be part of it. Living in Australia and so far away doesn't help matters. I'm so frustrated with all the lies. If I get a response regarding this 'no lies' statement then answer this.......... what has happened to all of the issues that I have not received. It doesn't take a genius to work out that newsagents have been getting these issues so whay not me or others? Has spivak lost the subscribers list of names and addresses and won't tell us? Mike.
  103. For me, it's been well over a year and nothing nada zilch zip zero in my mailbox. <br><br>

    I forwarded a copy of my Paypal payment to the big black hole in NYC and wasn't acknowledged. All the excuses
    about e-mail problems don't fly with me. Like, seriously, use Hotmail for christsake, if you're having that many
    problems. This isn't 1995. These types of tech issues don't exist any more. It's just bad customer service,
    plain and simple. Have someone on the other end with a computer plugging in canned responses - it can be a five
    year old - it's not that difficult or expensive. Really. It's not.
    <br> <br>
    And all the pass the buck excuses about the mail service...again, please spare us..this ain't the pony
    express...I received a MacBookPro from Shanghai in a day and a half (that's in a country called "China", btw), I
    think the USPS can get a mag out to an exotic, out of the way location like "Canada" quite easily - they just
    need to actually get their hands on it to be able to get it here. (All this time I thought Newfoundland was in
    the western hemisphere, but tonight I have read that it's actually in Europe. And that getting stuff to Europe
    takes an unusually long time. Fascinating. I heard they have mail delivery there, too, even though they don't
    speak American...and that planes fly there almost every day.)
    Now, OK, $60 isn't a big deal to me. I'm just sad not to receive a magazine that will put Jock Sturges on the
    David, you're obviously better at designing a magazine than at business. Hire someone to do it for you. I hear
    there are a lot of ex-Bear Stearns employees who need work in NYC. If the magazine is as successful as you say,
    just hire someone to run it for you. Stick to obsessing over the print process.
    <br> <br>
    As of 10:34 tonight, July 2nd, 2008. I don't give a flying f#ck. Keep my money. Buy yourself something pretty.
    Or a book that can teach you about customer service. (I bet Amazon can deliver via USPS in about three days...)
    Enjoy your July 4th. I know I could use a holiday.
    <br> <br>
  104. This may help:

    Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York
    (New York, NY)
    257 Park Avenue South
    New York, NY 10010-7384
    Phone: (212)533-6200
    Fax: (212)477-4912
    Has online ability to submit complaints


    FTC (Federal Trade Commission) consumer complaint process
  105. Since Spivak hasn't jumped in here for a while, can we assume he is out hand delivering our subscritions? Robert, I think you may have hit on something: I too think his computer crashed and he has lost all the subscriber's adresses. If I interpret this right, our April issues should be mailed out sometime this m onth, probably after the June issue hits the stands. Maybe I will get my June issue as a birthday present in September.

    I have written off my $56.00 as money down the pooper. I really don't expect to receive any more issues. Maybe he has pulled a Jeff Dunas on us, and gone out of business. I wonder if this is the same guy who used to run a trade magazine that was dedicated to corrective/fashion eyewear. hmm.
  106. Let me add my name to the disgruntled list of potential subscribers listed above. I ordered a subscription (buy 2 yrs,
    get one free - sound familiar?) in early Feb. Here is is late July, and multiple emails have not been answered. I tried
    getting my money back via PayPal but my appeal was "too late". Lesson learned.

    Any lawyer-photogs out there that can advise on what our options are?
  107. Hello all. I see a great number of you are upset - with good reason to be. I also see a lot of you have been extremely patient and are running out of patience.

    Let me just tell you all that I have made a deal with a company to handle my subscriptions from now on. It's been my mistake to try to do too many things at once and unfortunately, I've suffered the consequences, health wise of putting too much stress on myself.

    This outside company will be handling ALL subscription operations on Monday, July 21. Right now all of the subscription copies - April and August 2008 are located in Exton, PA with my printer. My distributor will be picking them up either Monday or Tuesday and preparing both issues for mailing this week. I feel confident that all foreign and domestic subscriptions for both the April 2008 and August 2008 issues should be sent out by Friday of this week. I've been working with this company for over 3 years and they have much better resources and manpower than I have. This is going to lighten the load for me quite a bit and allow, hopefully, for me to get Focus back on a regular schedule.

    As I said above many many times ago - everyone's subscription was extended one year if you subscribed before March 1, 2008.

    Once again, issue #14, the December 2007 issue was a newsstand only issue.

    Issue #15 was sent out to all subscribers months ago.

    I owe you all issues #16 and #17. 17 just came off the bindery last week and will be shipping to my distribution company along with 16 Monday or Tuesday.

    We're going to be using a new class of mail - that is less expensive and takes about the same amount of time to arrive at their destinations domestically. Foreign subscriptions will be freighted to a distribution center in Europe and mailed via postage there to all foreign subscribers, except Canada and Mexico. Those subscriptions will be mailed from the US facility via Int'l Priority Mail, I believe. I'm not 100% sure about that yet. In the meantime, I have setup an e-mail account that I and the distribution company will both have access to. This e-mail account has been setup specifically to deal with subscription problems. The E-Mail address is: I urge all of you who have problems with your subscription to send an e-mail to that account, unless you received the February 2008 issue in the mail. If you received the February 2008 issue - then you're on the list and will receive both issues as they arrive to you in the mail.

    If you have not received the February 2008 issue - please send us an e-mail with the following information:

    Your name, address, city, state/province, zip code, country (if not USA).

    If you paid via PayPal, please provide your PayPal receipt number. If you paid via check, please provide us with the check number and the date the check was cashed.

    Now the bad news. If you missed the February 2008 for whatever reason, I have less than 10 copies left. I am taking it off of the website as an orderable back issue as soon as I can get onto my server and access my individual pages. If the last issue you received was the Jock Sturges issue (August 2007) then I will extend your subscription by one year and one issue. We have an ample amount of copies of the August 2008 and April 2008 issues and will go to all subscribers before they go to anyone else.

    This is priority number one for me right now. I cannot ask any of you to understand the reasons why this has been delayed yet again, and I won't make any excuses. Excuses are irrelevant - what is the most important thing for all of you to know is that I have dedicated a great deal of time to this problem and it should be fixed by the end of this week. We don't want to do this the wrong way and dis-organized and if the distribution company tells me next week, then I'll tell all of you next week.

    As for the future, Focus Magazine is running strong. Our newsstand sales are crushing the competition - we have sell through rates in the high 60s and low 70s. We continue to dedicate an enormous amount of thought-provoking editorial to each issue and ensure that every single article is written and edited to the highest level. The printing and reproduction of Focus Magazine has improved yet again -- we just switched to a European sheet that allows a much higher level of detail to included in every reproduction. You'll see the difference when you look at the April issue and the August issue. Both magazines are wonderfully produced - and really, it's splitting hairs, but I want to provide absolutely no possibility of us being beaten by any other magazine on newsstands today in that department. Our sheetfed printer who uses a hybrid linescreen technology that gives us over a 300 linescreen reproduction, combined with the new paper, I hope will really gain us additional recognition. All subscriptions, from now on, will be handled with this company and they pride themselves on ensuring all subscribers are given royal treatment. Subscriptions may even arrive at your home before they arrive on newsstands as this is the same company that is responsible for 90% of our domestic newsstand distribution.

    I will update you all on this periodically this week. I thank each of you for your loyalty and patience. I repeat, this is PRIORITY #1 for me.
  108. How many more times will you tell us that you have a new company handling the subscriptions?Frankly,this is getting old.You keep blaming others for your f@#k up.Why don't you just give the people back their money that request it?Seems the right thing to do seeing that you keep screwing up.
  109. Wow. I could kick myself for not researching this, but who would think you would have to?! I saw a beautifully put-together magazine in Barnes& Noble in December 2007. I then gave a subscription to my father for Christmas. I sent in a subscription card(same deal as many of you have mentioned--buy two years, get one free) with a check the first week of January 2008 and it promptly cleared on January 30th(David Spivak apparently has no problems cashing checks).

    My father has never received a copy and I'm out 54.95. I emailed info@focusmag last week with no response and so I googled "focus magazine subsciption" to try to find a phone number(interestingly it is not ANYWHERE on the magazine website) and stumbled upon this thread. I cannot believe this conversation has been going on for 8 months! I do not have time for this! I do not have time to follow up every few months for the next 3 years to ensure my father gets his subscription! And from what I've read in this thread, that is exactly what is required. So, never mind. I want my money back!

    David, if you read this(which I assume is the case, since I see a response from you on the 19th) I REPEAT: SEND ME MY MONEY BACK. You have my email, and you have my phone number. CONTACT ME. I have no desire to trash you, or this magazine, but I will NOT tolerate you taking my money and not delivering the goods.

    Thanks to all of you who have posted, it has helped me understand that this is not a one time problem, but a systemic issue that does not show much promise of being rectified. Next Christmas, I'll just renew my Dad's subscription to Lenswork.
  110. So far have been waiting three months for first issue to arrive. Unfortunately nothing yet. For such a goodlooking
    magazine it is a shame that on the subscriptionpart of the business everything seems to fail. Tried to call them,
    asking when I could expect the first issue to arrive. Not very friendly man on the phone. Reluctant to answer any
    questions and the other line simply hang up on me. Now I know of the excellent customer service the US companies
    normaly provide. This does not seem to be one of them. I am a subscriber to several US magazine on various topics
    for over 20 years. I must say never had any problems so far. All (other) magazine are received in good order and
    quickly. Being a professional independent publisher myself I simpy do not understand why Focus Magazine has a
    problem handling subscriptions. It seems like I am out of the 60 euros (95 US$). Hope for the best in the near
    future....... (to be continued?)
  111. Excellent news: The wait is over.

    The contract with the subscription fulfillment center has been finalized and all magazines are being picked up as we speak. Due to the relatively large number of subscriptions that there are, the order will take a little longer (as I warned) to process. All domestic subscriptions for the April 2008 and August 2008 issues will be sent out by next week. All foreign subscriptions will be air shipped to a distribution center in Europe next week and sent out from there.
  112. David I've emailed you many times in the last two weeks and you've never responded to any of them. I know you read this so GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK! my Paypal email is [email removed] I'm sick of the BS.
    Admin edit: People, please do not post your email in threads. Six months from now you are just going to come complaining to me that you have gotten thousands of spam messages because of it. Then I'm going to have to spend time chasing the thread down and deleting your email.
  113. There is no BS, Jeremy. We've already sent you numerous copies of FOCUS, plus a charge to overnight you a copy
    of the magazine via UPS. We've spent over $70 on your $54.95 subscription.

    I will hope that you will be patient with the receipt of your magazines. As I said, I will update everyone on here as to
    the exact date of their mailing at the post office. You, along with everyone else, will receive the April 2008 issue and
    the August 2008 issue.

    I understand this is frustrating for you -- it is even more frustrating for me. But this problem has been resolved on my
    end and now we all just have to wait for everyone to do their jobs next week. There will not be any additional delays
    whatsoever. None.
  114. You've sent me 2 copies 2! 2 copies in one year might I add. Because YOU sent them over night due to them not being sent right the first time does not mean I should be charged for your poor ability to run your magazine. I'm giving you one more chance then I will expect my money back!
  115. BS,BS,BS.............................

    "I've been working with this company for over 3 years and they have much better resources and manpower than I have. This is going to lighten the load for me quite a bit and allow, hopefully, for me to get Focus back on a regular schedule."

    If this is the company you've been working with for the last 3 years then I guess nobody will ever get a mag again.You and they have a poor track record if that's the case.
  116. *sigh*

    Clarification: This is the first time I've worked with this company on subscriptions. Up until now, I've always had my printer handle subscriptions - they didn't have the manpower to do it but were doing me a favor. It finally got to the point where I needed to hire an outside company to do this for me - little did I realize that the company in charge of distribution of my magazine, also handles subscriptions. As I have mentioned, this was something that we've both JUST agreed to.

    As I have said numerous times in the past week, all domestic subscriptions will be mailed next week.
  117. And then it will be the week after that and then next month and then the month after that. Just give us our money back!
  118. The April 2008 issue has been mailed out via bound and printed matter domestically and airmail internationally. Unfortunately, postage regulations forbid mailing out two different issues of the same magazine at the same time within a 5 day period. So the August 2008 issue will be mailed out next week.

    So, if you subscribed prior to March 25, you will be receiving the April 2008 issue very soon. If you subscribed after March 25, you will be receiving the August 2008 issue soon... just not as soon as I'd like. The magazines are labeled and ready to go -- we just have to wait until next Friday August 8. I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, but if you'd like to view the August 2008 issue online, you can. Hopefully that will tide some of you over until the actual print copies arrive.

    Also on the good news front, whenever a new issue comes to my distributor, that issue will be sent out to subscribers a week to two weeks before it reaches newsstands.

    So all in all, this was something I knew that was going to take time to figure out, it's been going on, admittedly for 8 months now and your patience has allowed me to do what needed to be done. All subscribers who subscribed before March 25 are getting this year for free on their subscription as I have mentioned earlier.

    When the August 2008 issue is sent out to subscribers, I will let everyone here know. Should be by friday.
  119. Everything was mailed today for the August issue -- foreign and international. Thank you once again, everyone for all of your paitence.

    Now the test is to see how well it worked. All foreign copies of the April issue were sent int'l priority mail which takes 6-10 business days. So within the next week, most of the international subscribers should have their copies of the April issue.
  120. Just a quick update - I've begun to receive reports from subscribers on the East Coast that they've received their copies. Anyone here from the East Coast? Can anyone else confirm?
  121. I received the April issue #16 here in Western NY state and look forward to the August issue. How are others' doing with their subscriptions? I hope the mailing problems have been resolved. This is a well-done magazine.
  122. ALL international subscribers that were on the list received the April 2008 issue, including those who canceled their subscription. Interestingly enough, Don Marks has been silent, even though I know for a fact he's received his copy. I guess I was right about Don, his only purpose in this little thread was to be negative -- to complain just for the sake of complaining.

    Mr Sedwick, I appreciate your compliment. You should be receiving #17 this week if my math is right. Thanks to the help of this company I'm contracted with for the subscription services for Focus, ALL subscription issues have been resolved and we're hard at work on issue #18. That issue should go to print within 2-3 weeks from now and mail out in early October.
  123. Well,I guess you know it all David.Just for your info,I haven't received anything from you other than the Dec 07 and
    Feb 08 issues.You obviously have been wrong about me receiving anything else from you.I guess you're also wrong
    about me complaining just for the sake of complaining.David,how do you know for a fact I received the April issue?
    Did I sign for it?Did you send it to Europe again?

    You know nothing David.
  124. I'm sorry David.I was wrong in my last post to you.Please forgive me.It was the August 07 and the Dec 07 issues.Feb didn't arrive.
  125. I expected nothing less from you, Don.
  126. A new Focus magazine is on the newstands....and still, no magazine in my mailbox since February. I have contacted the Better Business Bureau in NY in an attempt to get our money back since Mr. Spivak has completely ignored our previous phone calls and e-mails. Do you enjoy screwing people out of money? Either give us our money back, cooperate with the Better Business Bureau (and give us our money back!) or send us your &^@&^@^! magazine! Anything less is THEFT pure and simple. We payed for a product you are still not delivering. It doesn't matter how great the quality of your magazine is if we never get it.
  127. Hi Matt.

    Please read the posts here that I've made before you make stupid accusations. The April 2008 issue was sent out 8/2 and the August 2008 issue was sent 8/8 to all subscribers. If you live on the west coast, this just takes a while. It took a week and a half for a copy to reach Western NY state from Queens, NY - obviously the further West you live, the longer it will take.

    What I find interesting is that I don't have a "Matt Thompson" or even a Matthew Thompson on my subscribtion list, nor did I back in February or August of last year. After a bit of research I found that your wife did not subscribe under your last name, which caused confusion. Anyway, you're subscriber number 2563. I have no idea how long it takes a magazine to reach Fargo, ND but you are on the list and you've been sent the April and the August magazines. The 2008 Collector's Edition was mailed 3/6/08 from Exton, PA. According to your e-mail, you received it on 3/18/08. This post office was in a different zone, so I'd assume you should get your April 2008 issue this week - with the August issue arriving next week.

    And I haven't ignored your previous e-mails. I responded to one on March 18, at 1:28 AM, which was 30 minutes after you e-mailed me. That was the last e-mail I received from you.
  128. David,that's right.Expect nothing less than the truth from me.You keep saying I get these mags but nothing shows up in my mail.How are you so sure I received the April issue?You keep blowing smoke out of your ass David.
    Seems you want to keep slamming me for your screw-ups.Maybe you should blame yourself sometimes.
  129. Do you make a habbit of insulting your subscribers? I tried to be patient and polite for many months, and you have been short and rude, or not replied at all. My wife and I both tried e-mailing you in late May/early June when I requested your e-mail address from other people in this blog (see May 30). You never replied to those e-mails, and clearly, if you were reading the blog, you knew I was trying to reach you, and yet you never directly addressed me. If it pains you so much to have such stupid subscribers, why not just give my wife/me a refund and be done with our stupidity? Yes, I was in error that it was my name on the subscription, and I hadn't realized that my wife's maiden name was on the subscription, but you made no attempt to "research" the situation for nearly 6 months. I LOVED your magazine up until this debacle, and you made no effort to contact your subscribers to let them know that there were obscene delays in when they would get their magazine. Now I get angry every time I see it on the newsstand. If our magazines really are in the mail, fine, I won't post another message on this blog, and you'll never hear another word from me. I've grown tired of dealing with you and trading barbs on this stupid blog. We just want our magazines or our money back, not excuses. If I have not received magazines by the end of August, will you promise to give us a refund? Despite what you might think about Fargo, N.D. we do have running water, electricity, and a real live post office system. You are not mailing the magazine to the little house on the prairie.
  130. David indicated that the April 08 issue was sent on 8/2 and the August issue on 8/8. He expects it take a bit longer to get to the west coast..... I live in the midwest and have yet to receive an issue. I have never worked in the publishing or magazine business, but my sense is that prepaid subscriptions would be the life-blood of any magazine. You can't afford to get this wrong. My sense is that David realizes this by now, but I am not sure that his solution is working yet. Please fix it.
  131. Don, yes I am sure you received a copy of the April 2008 issue unless you either A: Sent it back or B: moved.

    Matthew: Absolutely no offense intended about Fargo, ND. All I said was "I have no idea how long it takes" and provided a past reference as to how long it took then.

    I know Brooks Jensen has, in recent months, given many photography forum members a lesson in magazine distribution. Now let me give you all a lesson in magazine subscription mailing.

    For the printing of the magazines, I am charged about $3.25 a copy, give or take .10 or so every issue. Then I am charged $1 per copy for all subscription mailing then I am charged the postage, which is around $1.50 a copy. For 6 issues a year, that's $34.50. The standard equation for subscription mailing on high quality art magazines is take the cost x 2. In order for me to cover all of my expenses AND make a profit, I would have to charge $69 for a one-year subscription.

    I currently charge, via the subscription card in the magazine, $39.95 for one year $59.95 for two years and you get the third year free. I'm barely making any money on the one year and I'm losing money on the two years. So much so that I had to increase the costs if people subscribed online because the fees PayPal take out of the money I receive.

    In order to make barely any kind of a profit whatsoever (83 cents profit per copy for a one year subscription) on the one year and to lessen the loss on two years, I have to spend the absolute least amount of money in postage possible. If my magazine weighed under 14 ounces, I could send the magazine first class. How much would that cost per issue? $2.46 per copy, which is almost a dollar more than I pay right now. Unfortunately, or fortunately, my magazine does not weight 13 oz. It weighs at least 18 oz. if not more. If I'm lucky enough to have an issue that weighs 15 oz or less, I can mail it "Standard Mail" and that would cost around $1 per copy. However, I haven't had a copy that's weighed less than 15 oz in a long time. So, then I'm left with bound and printed matter, which is what I used to mail out the April 2008 issue. I don't have a choice now - the issue is one pound 8 oz. and that is the absolute least expensive option I have to mail it. way I can mail it, without qualifying for Periodicals Class.

    Using this new company, they applied for the Periodicals Class postage for Focus Magazine. It takes about 6 months to get approved and the amount of paperwork you have to fill out to apply for it would make doing your taxes look easy. If I'm approved for Periodicals Class, it would knock down my postage per issue to .60 cents per copy. But in order to meet that, there's a number of hoops I have to jump through. Hopefully, I'll qualify for it and I can begin to make a little bit of profit on my one-year subscriptions. This, of course, is all domestic. International is a whole nuther breed of monster.

    Periodicals Class is something almost ALL magazinees use to do their mailing. It's inexpensive, but it takes a long time. I did not have this solution done until after the August 2008 issue was already on newsstands.

    The October 2008 issue will be mailed out weeks before it's distributed on newsstands. So, hopefully, by the time you get a copy, it should be just rolling out on newsstands.

    Hey, it took a week and a half for the April issue to reach me and I'm in New York City! It'll take longer for it to reach Los Angeles than it will Fargo, ND... I don't control any of this - this is the time the post office takes to distribute these magazines. If I could get overnight express for .60 cents an issue, I'd do it in a heart beat.

    This solution IS working because people ARE getting magazines. This is the solution. The only other thing I can offer is an extra $5 per copy ($30 a year) if they want their copies priority mailed to them.
  132. David,you don't know what you're talking about.A: I didn't send it back and B: I'm positive I didn't move.What's C in your book.You're wrong on A and B.You're definately wrong on me receiving the mag.Thats 3 strikes against you in your last post.
  133. I live in Fort Lauderdale and have yet to receive anything more than one issue (which I got two copies of, one in December and then later again in the beginning of the year). And this is after buying TWO subscriptions. The first was never acknowledged, and after repeated attempts with email and phone, I decided to subscribe again. That was before I found this forum. I've more or less given up any hope of ever receiving another magazine. It has been mildly amusing to watch all the back and forth here. People complain to David, and he either responds in an abusive manner, or comes up with yet another excuse why he should be relieved of any responsibility to actually deliver a magazine to his subscribers on time, or at all.

    I did receive one issue, so I assume that he has the records of my subscription. However, since I can never get any response to any inquiries, I can't be sure. I must be one of those people that help keep the subscription prices so low. I figure I've paid about $85 for one magazine, so he certainly made some money off me.

    Greg Hicks
  134. Well one year has passed and still not one copy of the eight issues of Focus Magazine published since then –
    despite all of the promises made by Mr. Spivak. All I have to show is wasted effort sending email which is
    unanswered and phone calls where I have been fed another line of BS by Mr. Spivak. My friend even said that he would
    have his lawyer contact me over the disparaging comments made by myself in this forum. Even that was BS
    because his lawyer never even phoned me to invite me to a lunch date.

    Well Mr. Spivak in 45 days here is what I am going to do; that is unless you clean up your act and carry through on
    the promises made to the subscribers in this forum and presumably countless others who haven’t found this forum
    yet. Either start refunding our money or send us the magazines.

    I have also filed a complaint with paypal over your practice of using them to collect and remit money to
    you under fraudulent terms

    The ball is in your court my friend.

  135. You gotta love the internet.

    You don't send out magazines, you get bitched at.

    You do send out magazines, you get bitched at.

    Dwight, do you have a lawyer? I suggest you get one.
  136. Let me further this conversation. If you're here to attack me, to try and spread false rumors about me or my company, you open yourself to liability and I can and will vigorously defend my name and my company. The internet is a cesspool of vermin who like to do nothing but attack people for no reason. Largeformatphotographyforum has them and has them.

    For the facts - everyone was sent out copies of their issues dependent upon when they subscribed. Dwight, your name was on both domestic lists for some reason and not on the foreign list. I'm going to find out if somehow they were confused about this and if they were, I will re-send you both copies via ups global priority mail. that takes 6-10 days to arrive. if you spread false information on this or any other forum, you will be like the other internet vermin who have tried and failed to hurt me. i take this VERY personally.

    Interestingly enough, after Michael Gordon received a phone call from my lawyer, he shut up.
  137. I don't think the bitching is about you sending out magazines. It appears to be about people not receiving their magazines.
  138. if you spread false information on this or any other forum,
    This is a key point in cases of libel. Unless the claims that magazines have not been received are false, there's nothing libelous (in the US) about those claims.
  139. Don Marks' claim is FALSE. I contacted my distributor, the one who handles my subscriptions, about his subscription today. They told me his name was on BOTH lists and he was sent BOTH issues. The first one was sent Global Priority Flat Rate, the second one was sent international media class. The first one takes 6-10 days to arrive. It's past 10 days. I've gotten several e-mails from other people, some in Canada, some in other countries, who have confirmed the receipt of their copies. How is it possible that someone on here who bitches 24/7 about my publication, whose magazine was sent to him, has not been received? It's not. He received the magazines and is lying about it. I already had a conversation with his post office in his postal code who recall the package being delivered last week. He's lying.
  140. Considering the number of times in the past that I haven't received magazines, have received them a month late, and have received them torn and tattered, I think you'll have a difficult time proving that someone who says they didn't get a magazine in the mail is, in fact, lying. In any case, your implied threat was directed at Dwight Magee, not Don Marks.
  141. Unless you have a different address then what's on your website, you're not on my list, Mike.

    The problem is then, Mike, anyone can lie and say they haven't gotten copies of the magazine when in fact, they have.
  142. I didn't mean to imply that I wasn't receiving magazines from a Focus magazine subscription (I'm not a subscriber). I was merely pointing out that sending a magazine is not equivalent to proof that the magazine has been received. If you're threatening to sue your customers for libel, you'll need to provide evidence that will stand up in court that they are lying. Your company's history of many customers, over a broad area and over a long time, not receiving their magazines will lend credibility to additional claims that magazines haven't been received. If you want to win a libel suit, the burden will be on you to prove that the complaining customer did, in fact, receive the magazines. Unless you're sending magazines through registered mail, that's going to be very difficult to prove.

    Before telling customers that they should get a lawyer, perhaps you should have a discussion with your own.
  143. "The problem is then,..., anyone can lie and say they haven't gotten copies of the magazine when in fact, they have."

    But why should they? Are they just trying to scam a (free) second copy out of you?
  144. Well my friend as I said the ball is in your court and you can bring on your lawyer. I look forward to the conversation (as if it would happen anyway) because I will explain to him or her the following true statements:

    1) You are in breach of contract. Fact - I responded to your offer of a pay for two get three year subscription. Earlier in this forum this is the first time you even admitted that my name was on you subscription list.

    2) I have not received a single copy of your magazine despite emails and four phone calls to your magazine – the second time I phoned I ended up talking to you and you completely refuted what I was told previously by one of your employees. You even went so far as to suggest that I was lying. I never received a call back from anyone at your magazine despite phoning two more times to attempt to rectify this situation.

    3) Pay attention David because this is where you can save the lawyers fees and start using that money to refund myself and others in this forum My claim is based on truth. What is your claim based on? I would suggest that reading the complaints of other members of this forum my claim is not alone and I suggest that there are other subscribers whom you have wronged, many who have probably not bothered to search the web to try and learn about the practices of your magazine.

    4) Money has been paid to you via paypal by myself and others. You have never honored that commitment and that is fraud pure and simple. Unfortunately you have used paypal as your collection mechanizm and presumably they have unwittingly become involved in your subscription scheme. On the face of it; by using paypal it appears that you have no intention of honoring payments collected through them on your behalf.

    5) On the website ( in 45 days it will simply state “ Before you consider buying a subscription to Focus Magazine please read what other subscribers have to say in these forums”. It will then link to this site and others mentioned. There will be no disparaging remarks made against you or your magazines on this webpage. The viewers can link to these forum sites and then make an informed decision whether to trust you with their money or not. There is nothing libelous about this. Libel is the spreading of untruthful information of the making of false claims – nothing I have said is false.

    So my friend bring on your lawyer or if you wish, this can go away – simply refund the money paid by myself and the other good people on this forum who entrusted you with their money. Given the poor track record of broken promises I don’t think there is a person here who has the stomach to trust you to deliver on your commitment of delivering future issues anymore. I suggest a year from now it would only be some other excuse and then we start all over again.

    Forty five days is plenty of time to accomplish this.

  145. As an Australian subscriber who has had no magazines since subscribing in late 2007 I have just received my first copy (April 2008). Thank you and I hope this is the new beginning!
    Mike Dingley
  146. David,I repeat.I didn't get a magazine from you.I stand by that.NOTHING was delivered to me from you.NOTHING.I have subscriptions to many magazines from both the US and the UK.You don't see me saying anything about them do you?You on the other hand keep making claims that you are sending issues to your subscribers but they don't get anything from you.

    Dwight,Robert Farnum and myself are from Canada.We can't get an issue from you at all.You keep blaming everybody but yourself for this.Robert,as of yesterday,didn't get anything from you.Dwight haven't received anything from you,and you keep telling me I received something from you but it's not true.Robert lives in Ontario,just next to you.Dwight and i live on the opposite ends of the country.If anyone should've received one it would be Robert but nadda.I guess we're all receiving them and lying about it.
  147. "I already had a conversation with his post office in his postal code who recall the package being delivered last week. He's lying."

    David,I'd also like to talk to them about this matter.Can you give me the number to the postal office you called?I'd like to get this straightened out asap.If I did get one,I'd like to know where it went.So,again,please give me the number.
  148. David, will you check your subscription list to see if I'm on it? I understand that mags get lost/stolen on occasion,
    and I understand that you've had distribution issues that you feel have been rectified. Sh@t happens. I'm a poster
    for Sh@t happens. Right now, as a first step, I just want to know if I'm on the list. Thanks.
  149. Robert, you live in Ontario, Canada and have a postal code of N2J 3P6. Is this correct? Are you telling me that you haven't received a copy, either? You're the 4th person from Canada to say so.... hmmm
  150. That's me, though my address just changed last week. Maybe the border guards are rabid lovers of fine art photography...but that's an entirely separate issue. I've heard of other magazines that have issues with cross border shipping - so much so that they have hired Canadian distributors. Can't recall which mags, but it was a while ago. <br>
    Thanks for checking. I'll keep my eyes open for April.
  151. I'm not sure how to even go about saying this.... it's good news and it's bad news. So let's get the bad news over with first.

    Going way back to when the April issue was printed - my printer, who expected to ship the international subscription copies via global priority, had labeled all of the international copies BEFORE the postage increase. When the subscription magazines were shipped to my distributor to mail out, they didn't see that the labels were incorrect and that they needed to print new labels and re-fill out new customs forms. So, they had to take an extra week to do that and all foreign subscriptions were sent out via global priority mail on 8/11/08. There were no existing labels on the August issue, so that issue never had a problem and that issue was sent out via global priority mail on 8/8 - but this was from a Manhattan post office, not a Long Island City one. So, everybody who lives internationally should be getting both the April and the August issues very soon. I would venture to say the April issue by the end of this week and the August issue by the end of next week.

    I am not aware of any "cross border shipping" problems, I've never had any problems with fedex or ups going to canada. But then again, this is the post office.
  152. So..................I guess the post office you spoke to about me receiving a magazine was wrong about me getting anything,seeing I'm listed as international.Please confirm this David.
  153. David I'm sure you know my name by now... I have yet to receive the issues many are talking about and I live in Ohio... You have my address and I know it's right due to the two issues you sent me after many weeks/ months of bothering you. So why have I yet to receive what you claim to have sent?
  154. Jeremy, I received an e-mail today from someone in Harrisburg, PA who told me he just got his copy today. Being mailed bound and printed matter takes much, much longer than first class mail. Bound and pritned matter used to be refered to 3rd class mail. If any of you, including you Jeremy want to call the person in charge of mailing the subscriptions and confirm that you are on the list, here is her number.


    Ask to speak with Maria Marzella. If the receptionist asks who you are, tell them you're just calling to confirm you're on the list.

    This is all she can do and all I can is confirm you're on the list. If you're on the list, you were sent magazines.
  155. Would you be able to answer my question David?
  156. An update...I just received my April issue today. It was packed in a USPS priority post envelope, complete with little green customs form, which may explain why it's taken this long. <br>Now I hope they can get my address change taken care of...I just sent an e-mail.
  157. Glad you got the magazine, Robert. Enjoy the reading... the bruce davidson interview is stellar. I received your
    subscription address change request and I changed it. Since the August issue was already mailed out, it won't take
    effect until the October issue.

    Let me know what you think of the issue...
  158. David,can you give me the number of the post office and the person you spoke with so I can get this issue taken care of?This is my third request for this info.

    Good to see Robert has received his magazine.Maybe you are getting thing straightened out.Now,I need that number.
  159. Hello from wet Florida ........ well David I just went to the mail box, in 25 mph wind driven rain due to the tropical storm FAY being right smack over us here near Cocoa Beach, and guess what, MY FOCUS APRIL ISSUE was in the mail box, in a thick plastic wrap, so it stayed nice and dry .,,,,YEPPYYYY ..... GREAT READING ON A STORMY DAY .... THANKS

  160. Thank ULine for their pollybags and the printing company for giving me their labor to pollybag those issues so inexpensively. Do enjoy the magazine... i miss florida weather and would do anything to get a hurricane up this way. the weather has been boring...except last week there was a tronado warning in mnahattan.
  161. Don - is your zip code N2J3P6, A2H1M4, or V5Z1K1? I have 3 Don Marks' in my foregin database, each with a different zip code I just discovered. I called the one beginning with N2J. Is that you?
  162. Area Code is A2H 1M4.
  163. Instead of going by postal code,you'd think you would use the actual address I gave you and also mentioned numerous times in this post.
  164. Why would I not be on the list? You would think after me bothering you as much as I have this past year, it should be no question of I am on the list or not. I should be with no doubt.
  165. N2J 3P6 was my postal code...
  166. Yeah Robert,I did a search on the other postal codes and I didn't think I lived in Waterloo,Ont.The other one is for a medical bldg in Vancouver.Didn't think I lived there either.
  167. David Spivak said:

    "Just a quick update - I've begun to receive reports from subscribers on the East Coast that they've received their
    copies. Anyone here from the East Coast? Can anyone else confirm?"

    Yes, Im in Tennessee, USA and received the April issue.

  168. Fort Lauderdale here. Nothing has appeared on my doorstep (nor my mailbox).

    Greg Hicks
  169. 33304, right Greg?
  170. Nothing here yet David.

    A2H 1M4
  171. Yep,,,that's my zip code, David.
  172. It will come. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. It will come. Everyone in Canada should have received their copies now. If you haven't, I need to know so I can contact the post office. They told me not to call back until Monday.
  173. I haven't received my mag and I live just a few states over from you...
  174. I didn't David.I don't know if you remember,but I'm in Canada.You told me you called the post office in my area and it was delivered to me.You told everybody here I was on the list.How about that?Didn't you call me a liar on your Aug 18th 11:31 pm post?
  175. Yeah, Don. With all of the evidence in front of me that I had, and talking directly to a post office that said they remember seeing that package and it was delivered and then seeing you say that it hasn't been received, led me to believe you were lying. I apologize.

    Moving on - I have one person here from Canada who hasn't received his magazine. Is there anyone else from Canada who hasn't? Dwight?

    Also, bound and printed matter is supposed to take up to 21 business days. So for all American subscribers, by August 29th, if you have not received your copy of the APRIL issue (clown on the cover) please let me know.

    Has anyone received the August issue, yet? Colored cover with a little girl crying?
  176. Nope and nope. I've received neither of them.
  177. I know nothing about running a magazine but I do know customer service. This is where you need to stop making excuses and start making refunds. Squabbling with you customers in a public forum isn't very professional. You need to find a way to move forward. If that means issuing refunds then do it. If it means personally mailing back issues to your customers then do that. Possibly a combination of the two would be in order. It sounds like you have bitten off more than you can chew and you need to hire some help (distribution/customer service). Running an entire magazine by yourself is a huge undertaking and not something that the average person could do with any degree of success.
  178. David, I took a look at your website and, aside from a few broken links, I am very impressed. You do an excellent job laying out your magazine. I have book marked your site and when you get your distribution problems solved I would consider subscribing.
  179. Hi John, welcome to the forum.

    I have hired a distribution and customer service team to take care of the subscriptions. They were mailed out. Apart from putting magazines in the mail, I can do nothing else. There are no excuses. You put something in the mail, you expect it to get there. Foreign subscriptions have just run out their elapsed time, so I have only one person out of close to 1000 foreign subscribers who is claiming he hasn't received his copy. Two months ago, I received close to 10 subscription complaints from foreign subscribers. Within the past week, I received one and that one was fulfilled.

    Domestic subscriptions take up to 21 business days. We still have an entire week. If people don't get their subscriptions domestically by the end of this week, I'll find out what the hold up is.

    The problem before was that I couldn't figure out how to get subscriptions to subscribers the way I needed to. I have solved that problem and everyone has been sent their foreign and domestic copies of the April and August issues. As you can see from the numerous recent posts on here, many subscribers have received their copies and are happy.

    I will repeat this once again - the subscription problems with Focus Magazine are over.
  180. My issue arrived on Sat, Aug 23 in Indianapolis. Thank you. Hopefully the recent string of successful deliveries listed in this 'conversation' marks the beginning of the end of the subscription problem. Great magazine!
  181. Michael Vernon, Dana Gomez, Patrick Cornack and Linda Kehew, if any of you are visiting this thread, your internationally shipped magazines have been returned to me - all for insufficent address. Please contact me via e-mail on how to get these copies.
  182. "My issue arrived on Sat, Aug 23 in Indianapolis. Thank you. Hopefully the recent string of successful deliveries listed in
    this 'conversation' marks the beginning of the end of the subscription problem. Great magazine!"

    Yeah it is a great magazine. That's what all the hub-bub was about. If it was crap nobody would care.
  183. Thank you Thomas for that wonderful comment. After the most disasterous first issue in the history of all magazines, to be working on issues 18 and 19 simultaneously and to be able to personally handle and fix the subscription problems and talk with all of you, is an honor. I get frustrated because, like all of you, I take this magazine very personally. I am as emotionally invested in this business, not only the magazine, but the book publishing company, the new online bookstore, the new online exhibition guide, the upcoming photography art fair, I take it all very seriously.
  184. Hi David,

    I have no problems nor a subscriber at present but have noticed this thread and read most of the posts. For you to personally handle this for this amount of time is amazing in todays world, you must be given credit for toughing it out as long as you have, it shows how passionate you are about what you do good for you.

    I must say that if you had your time again you may have organised your business distribution differently, but you have not caved in and are trying or have succeeded in righting any wrongs.
    Over the years I have had the displeasure of dealing with con men and I can personally say that you are NOT one of them, just my 2 cents worth!
  185. Hi David - hindsight is always 20/20. If I would've known about this printer in Exton, PA I would've avoided doing business with other printers and started the magazine with him. Unfortunately, or fortunately depends on your outlook on life, you don't get back to correct the mistakes you made - you can only learn from them and hopefully not repeat them. This mistake will not be made again.
  186. Well David.The April issue has finally arrived.I do have to say it's a fine magazine with a very nice quality to it.I always said it was a beautiful magazine.I really hope you have all the delivery issues taken care of as it's too nice of a magazine to eventually falter because of distribution problems.Thank you for the April issue.
  187. Don, if you would like to re-subscribe to the magazine after you receive the April issue, I would be happy to take you back.
  188. In follow up to my July 5, 2008 post, I have received word back from the Better Business Bureau of New York that all
    attempts to contact Focus Magazine by telephone and letter have been unsuccessful. They have told me that
    they are therefore downgrading Focus Magazine's rating to "unsatifactory".

    I eventually received issue #16, several months late, but have never received the issue #14 which Mr. Spivak
    personally promised to send me.

    Weird. Great magazine. Poorest business I have ever dealt with. An FTC complaint still remains a choice for those
    who wish to pursue it.
  189. I have just received the August Issue which was close on the heels of the April issue. I hope that mailing has now been rectified. Now I am a happier Australian subscriber.
    Mike Dingley
  190. Scott - I have no recolection of our conversation, however; if you'll read here issue #14 was a newsstand only issue. No subscribers received it and I would have never promised you that you would receive it. I have made all of my subscribers happy by giving them what they paid for and going out of my way and spending hours worth of my own personal time to talk to them and resolve their problems with them here.

    In the end, though, there are always going to be people who are unhappy. No matter what you try to do to resolve the problem, no matter how much time and effort you put into it, they think everything should be perfect in their perfect little world and nothing should ever go wrong. It's unfortunate. I must commend you, Scott, for being a perfect human being and being flawless. Surely that is the case if you cannot understand or even forgive me for the mistakes I made.

    In the words of a very famous person: "Judge not lest ye be judged."

    Oh and by the way, the BBB has never attempted to contact me via phone.
  191. Yep I still don't have them David. How shocking!
  192. O and just to let you know it normally takes a box from Freestyle photography that is located in CA to get to me in o about 3 to 4 days and I live in Ohio. For a magazine from you it takes, how longs it been now about a month almost maybe 3 weeks now and I still don't have them. David this is beyond annoying. Give me my money back!
  193. Sure, if you send it 1st class mail, it takes that long. The magazines were sent bound and printed matter and periodicals class. You were on the list, Jeremy. You'll get the magazines.
  194. Why are you just not giving me my money back David?
  195. Here is an update to my post here dated 4-28-08:

    A couple weeks ago I received the special issue of Focus. I don't recall the issue date ( I left it on a bus)
    but I do recall noticing that I was receiving it two or three months after the issue date and wondering if it was
    a returned unsold issue from a magazine store that was now being sent to me. I have now received two issues this
    year for a total of 11 issues over three years.

    Like another commenter above, I have given up hope that Focus will ever meet it's responsibility of providing me
    with magazines as promised.

    I read Mr Spivak's comments above and how he does go on. He alternates between being a reasonable guy, a jerk,
    and threatening to sue subscribers who complain. But this is a simple matter. Subscribers paid for magazines to
    be provided at a time promised by Focus. Focus set the terms of the agreement and has failed to perform.

    To any potential subscribers of Focus who have read this far and are still thinking of subscribing to Focus. Are
    you nuts?
  196. Jeremy, at this point I don't know what's going on with the issue to you. You're the only US subscriber, I know of, that hasn't received a copy.

    So, what I'm going to do, is send you copies of the April and August issues on Monday via UPS. I'm using a new e-mail program right now that doesn't incorporate old e-mails for some reason... I'm still trying to figure it out. So if you e-mail me your paypal e-mail address, i'll refund you the amount you paid. I apologize to you for this taking so long. I don't know what's going on, really. I've had people in LA tell me they've gotten their issues.

    So, hopefully this will make you happy and you have my sincere apologies.
  197. What's the matter with you Greg? 99% of everyone here has received their copies. I followed through with what I promised. I kept everyone up to date all the time and the problem has been, for the most part, solved. You're about to receive your third issue soon, which would make 3 issues out of 3 that have been printed this year. People who have reason to complain and have a valid concern receive as much attention from me as I can possibly give them. People who complain just for the sake of complaining and trying to disrupt my business and hurt my business after everything I've done to make the wrong's righted will indeed be yelled at, cursed at, and I will be as rude to you as I possibly can be. How would you like it if someone unfairly threatened your way of life?
  198. Hi David. Just to let you know that there is another US subscriber that has not received the recent issue. I know you have me on file,,you asked me to confirm my zip code in a previous message...

    Greg Hicks
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  199. Which recent issue? April or August? If you haven't received the April issue, I'll send it to you via UPS this week. If it's August (girl crying) then that's another story.
  200. Gee Mr Spivak, I don't have the "girl crying" issue or the new October issue shown on your website. Are you going to be rude to me now. What's the problem, a printer, a shipper, a new email program, loud street noise in NYC?
  201. David, the only thing I have ever gotten for my two(2) subscriptions is two copies of the same magazine, Issue #15, dated February 2008. The first one I got right before Christmas, which was sent to me overnight (I was amazed at the service!), and then again sometime around March or April of 2008. That is all I have received since my first subscription in July of 2007. I have copies of all the emails I sent you inquiring what I could expect, but never received a reply.

    Greg Hicks
    Fort Lauderdale
  202. Hi Greg. It seems like you don't have the April issue. I'll send you a copy asap this week. Monday or Tuesday the latest. Not sure why you didn't get it, but as I said, all magazines have these issues. With so many copies going out, one or two is bound to get lost.

    As for the August issue, that one was sent out later than the April issue one was. It takes a bit longer to arrive.

    Lastly, the December 2008 issue, the one shown on my website, hasn't even gone to print yet.
  203. By the way, George, if you'd actually read the website it says that that issue ships in October 2008, which is perfectly on time for a December issue.
  204. People who complain just for the sake of complaining and trying to disrupt my business and hurt my business after everything I've done to make the wrong's righted will indeed be yelled at, cursed at, and I will be as rude to you as I possibly can be.
    If you decide to do that here, expect to be banned from Moderators have already been extremely tolerant of your behavior in this thread (calling customers liars, insinuating you'll sue them for reporting they haven't received copies of their magazines), but that tolerance has its limits.
  205. Unbelievable. My threat to sue was not just based upon his lying, but whatever.
  206. In defense of David,he didn't say he'll sue for people reporting they didn't get their magazines.He said he'll sue for people trashing his and his magazine's reputation.2 totally different things.Even I understand that Mike.
  207. The Terms of Use make it quite clear that this is not the place to yell at, curse at, and be as rude as possible to people, no matter how much you don't like what they're saying. If David wants to sue his customers for libel, he has that right. If he want's to do the things that I highlighted in his quote, he will be in violation of the site's Terms of Use. He has no right to be abusive towards other members.
  208. Also true Mike.
  209. And they have no right to be abusive toward me or my company. There's also the legal issues of using trademarked names AND my personal name in a website that is being used to attack my magazine. Yeah, my lawyer loved that.

    I think this thread has lived itself out. The original purpose of it was to find out what the status is of focus magazine subscriptions. The subscriptions have been taken care of. Can we close this thread now? People have the e-mail address for subscription problems.
  210. This thread is real fodder for my Service Operations class and my Business Ethics class, both of which begin next week.

    Never put anything on the Web that you wouldn't want to appear as a headline in you rnewspaper. Welcome to the Web! All of this is out there forever now.

  211. I got my money back so thank you David and best of luck to the rest of you.
  212. I would like to keep in touch with this forum until the subscription problems are solved. I've received my
    April issue but continue to wait for the August issue, which Mr. Spivak wrote on August 17th that I would
    receive "this week"; I continue to wait. I hope the distribution problems are solved, however, I will ask for a refund if I
    don't receive the August issue.
  213. Thank you David. I look forward to receiving the missing magazines. I really do like the magazine. I'm the type that likes to sit down and leisurely look at beautiful images in a big comfortable chair. But, I need the magazine in my hands to do that.

    Can we also address the subscription that was paid for but never acknowledged? I would be more than happy to provide you with the Paypal transaction information. I just checked my account, and I can see it in my Paypal history.

    Greg Hicks
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  214. Greg and everyone else, if you need any help with your subscriptions, I would be more than happy to help you. Please send an e-mail to You have my word that not one subscriber will be without their issues that they have paid for with their hard earned money. Your support and patience is greatly appreciated.

    I am leaving this thread now and I certainly hope the moderators, since the problems have been solved, will decide to delete it.
  215. The August issue of Focus arrived today--I'm in Western NY; I hope this is the end of the subscription problems. How is it going for everyone else?
  216. I received the April issue on Friday, still waiting on the August issue, though. David did respond quickly to the e-mail he posted. So hopefully the subscription issues are improving.
  217. To David, et al:

    I received two copies of the August 2008 issue on Saturday August 6, so apparently I DO have two subscriptions. I
    have not received any of the back issues (I got two copies of the February 2008 issue, months apart, but nothing else
    until this past Saturday).

    I sent an email to David on Sept 2, 2008 to the address as he requested in an effort to get
    this straightened out, but have not received a reply. Has anyone else used this address, and did you get a reply?


    Greg Hicks
    Fort Lauderdale
  218. I also have now received the August issue. So I'm up to date, and will keep my fingers crossed that the next issue goes smoothly. I did use the e-mail address David posted, and he did reply to me almost immediately.
  219. That's odd. I could have sworn I posted a response.

    Greg, your subscription began with issue #15. So for a 18 issue subscription, you've received 3 copies so far. 4th copy going to the printers in about two-three weeks.
  220. Just a quick update - Issue #18 - the next Collector's Edition (you can see the cover on will be going to the printer's next week. I expect a 6 week turnaround time. So as soon as that issue is printed, the distributor will be picking it up and shipping it out to all subscribers before it arrives on newsstands.

    Once again, thank you all for your patience in dealing with this matter.
  221. It is now 30 days since my last post outlining my course of action over your inability to deliver magazines as agreed to when I purchased a subscription to Focus Magazine. Thirty days ago I requested a refund which so far has not happened either and I outlined what my next action would be. Admitely I have recieved the April issue (ironically after my post of Sept 18th) but have yet to see anything resembling an August issue.

    The ball is in your court David so again where do we go from here?

  222. got my August issue ( the one with the crying girl ) .... as always GREAT stuff.... read it three times already.. or I should say looked at it three times .... as always it gives me new ideas for my own work and hopefully will also improve my own work
  223. Hi David,
    I´m one, in a line, dissatisfied overseas subsriber. In august I paid for a two year subsrcibtion and I haven´t recived one single issue. I been in contact with you several times and you promised that have the problems solved, but nothing happens! The only regret I have is that I didn´t read this thread before i paid the magazine.
    I really can´t understand why you do it so hard for your self David. You have great magazine and this should be a good buissiness but you screw it up since you can´t get the administration to work correctly. This is soo sad.
    I really hope that you get your self together and solves the issues that you have so that we who paid for the subscribtions can get the magazins.
  224. And so it continues. Has anyone gotten a magazine since the August issue (the crying girl)? I haven't.
  225. Nothing is continuing, Jim. No issues have been printed since then. Our next issue is almost ready to be printed... should be next week. If you go to the website, it clearly shows you this. And if you wonder why no issues have been printed since then, I suggest you watch the news. The economy nearly collapsed last quarter. Now that things have, for the most part, stablized, advertisers are more secure. Once the issue is printed, the very same distributor that is in charge of shipping the magazine to newsstands ships it to subscribers.
  226. thankyou. only have one question. have you had a problem with advertisers whose openings have been missed because the dates do not coincide with your publishing schedule?
  227. Galleries make up a very important and large part of our business, unlike other magazines. There was a massive loss of confidence in our economy from a majority of our advertisers, galleries included. Many felt that the economy was about to collapse until around the time Obama was elected. Since around the beginning of December, things have somewhat stablized and we are in a much better position today.
    We worked patiently and dilligently with all of our advertisers and have sustained an excellent relationship with all of them.
    Jim, if you are not already signed up for our newsletter, then I ask you to please do so immediately. That would go for anyone who is a subscriber. We sent out two or three notifications during the Autumn to all of our newsletter subscribers regarding all of this. Even if you subscribe online, by law I am not allowed to send you a newsletter regarding Focus Magazine because it is legally viewed as SPAM unless you sign up, specifically, for the newsletter.
  228. David,
    As you may remember, I paid for a five-page spread in Focus a couple of years ago. I've really enjoyed the magazine and I appreciate what you've done to create something that fine. I've said so on a number of fora and I've defended your performace against a bunch of nay-sayers who complain and run you down, but wouldn't be able to do what you've done.
    BUT! I'm a snowbird. I spend winters in Florida and summers in my home state of Colorado. At no time during the years I've been a subscriber have I been able to get you to do a change of address when I move from one location to the other. I can understand the frustration people are having with Focus's inability to handle something as simple as a change of address. I sent you my last change of address in late October, but I have yet to receive a copy of Focus down here in Florida.
    I'm afraid I've about given up on Focus. I'm happy to see that the publishers of B&W are out with "Color." I guess between those two I'll be able to do without Focus. Since I can't get Focus most of the year I guess it doesn't really matter.
    Russ Lewis
  229. Russ! It's been a long time. I hope you're well. I'm sorry we haven't been able to straighten this out. Please call me on Monday, 718-360-4724. Let's see if we can't straighten this out.
    And, as far as COLOR or B&W is concerned, while they're both great publications and I do wish them all the best, I'm not really concerned with either of them.
  230. David,
    Just found out that the last issue was in August, so, it appears I haven't missed one yet. When I talked to you on the phone you recorded my Florida address, so I should get the March issue. I'm looking forward to it.
  231. I've never had a more unpleasant interaction over the telephone.
    My sister gave me a subscription to Focus for Christmas. The money was taken out of her account in December. Still no magazine. I got a call from my sister today and she was in tears after talking to David on the phone. She asked pretty simple questions ("when will the first issue arrive?") and was called "stupid" and yelled at. She asked to have her $ refunded. More yelling.
    David, I realize that economic times are tough and you're working on the magazine. But your lack of decency and horrendous customer service are totally unacceptable.
    You've just lost another customer.
  232. Yeah right...almost two years later and despite numerous requests, an ignorant reactions from Spivak himself and after receiving only one issue, he wants me to recommend this publication to a friend...hah.
    The only thing Spivak gets remotely right is his scam pleading statement "A Focus Magazine subscription is not time based".
    Sorry David I will continue to do what I can to educate the public to your scam.
    Good afternoon,
    Thank you once again for subscribing to Focus Magazine, the world's premier magazine for collectors of photography. This E-Mail is a notice that your subscription is up-to-date and the last issue that you should have received is issue #17, with Jill Greenberg's photo of a crying girl on the cover. It mailed out sometime last September to all subscribers. If you subscribed after September 2008 and you're receiving this e-mail, you are on our list and your subscription will begin with issue 18. A Focus Magazine subscription is not time based, it is issue-based. Meaning a one-year subscription gives you 4 issues even if, in this economy, it takes us a year and a half to print and mail 4 issues. We definitely don't believe that this will be the case, but just in case. If you'd like to know when you subscribed or receive any information about your subscription, please e-mail We'll get back to you within 2-3 business days.

    While your subscription is up to date, we'd like to offer you an opportunity:

    Between now and April 30, if a friend, family member or colleague of yours subscribes to Focus Magazine and lets us know that you referred them, you will receive an extension on your subscription by the number of years purchased by that subscriber.

    For instance, if your subscription expires in one year from now and a friend of yours who you referred subscribes for two years; your subscription will be extended for two additional years and will not expire until 2012.

    Additionally, many of you subscribed to Focus Magazine after issue #10. We still have many copies available of issues 4 and 6 - 9. Please visit our back issue section on here to see what back issues you're interested in. With the purchase of any back issue, we will extend your subscription by the number of all back issues you purchase. For example, if you purchase two back issues, we will extend your subscription by two issues.

    I want to thank you so much for your support to Focus Magazine and as we grow, we will look to the subscribers who supported us along the way and do everything in our power to make sure they receive the highest quality magazine for photography collectors on newsstands today.

    If you want to know specifics regarding your subscription, please feel free to e-mail me.

    In the meantime, click here for a free preview of the upcoming June 2009 issue that you can download via PDF. If you'd like to pre-order this issue, this issue will arrive to your door before newsstands receive it and you'll still receive your normal subscription copy via the post office a few weeks later.


    David S. Spivak
    Publisher Focus Magazine


    David S. Spivak
    Publisher Focus Magazine

  233. The above newsletter was sent to thousands of subscribers just the other day. I have been working diligintly to get the next issue out - and it will be out soon. If a subscriber provided me with an E-Mail address, they received that newsletter.
    If a subscriber has an issue with their subscription, they can take up with me via E-Mail. I will not respond to baseless, immature attacks on an internet forum.
  234. Well David,
    I have emailed you and you haven't had the courtesy of responding. I have phoned - talked to you personally only to get yelled at. Imature David, look in the mirror and reread the above notes. That should give you a clear indication of where the magazines problems are - You!
    You call this a baseless attack - hmmm well let's see two years into my subscription and I have only received one copy. If that is not fact based than you don't know what the word means.
    Imature. You are the one who needs to grow up, quit ripping people off with phony excusese and live up to your contracted obligations.
  235. Unfortunately, this website is awful with sending me my passwords thus the delay in response to your post.
    Dwight - I'm not really sure how to respond to you. Last year when I contracted with the new subscription service - I promised every single one of you that if you were on the subscription list, you'd get a copy of the April and August issues. And what happened? Everyone got a copy. If they didn't - I sure as heck don't know anything about it because no one told me. I provided everyone with a phone number and a contact person to call if they were on the list and did not receive their copy so replacement copies could be sent out to them to ensure they receive what they paid for.
    As I promised - there are no longer any issues with sending out subscriptions. Everyone who subscribes, gets their copies.
    Now, unfortunately, last Autumn I was unable to work on the magazine due to health reasons. The delay in printing was sent to every single one of my newsletter subscribers.
    This January, I was able to start focusing on the magazine again, but by that time several galleries had already closed, several photographers were barely able to make ends meet and others had their homes foreclosed upon. Advertising has been very difficult and we are almost at a place where we can finally put ink to paper. I've rejected previous offers to have Focus Magazine "bought out" because I would no longer retain full editorial and art control of the publication in either opportunity that was presented to me. Therefore; I've continued to run this magazine with my own personal money since day 1.
    I recently sent out three e-mail blasts to every single subscriber who provided me with an e-mail - notifiying them of the continuing delay and everything I said above. Additionally, the second and third e-mail blasts were sent to subscribers whose subscription is due and subscribers whose subscription is up-to-date. I have kept everyone who has paid their money to Focus Magazine for a subscription up-to-date on what's going on.
    I have a Facebook page, a Facebook Group and I'm on Twitter. Besides installing private security cameras so everyone can watch me as I work on the magazine 24/7, there is not much more I can do. A vast amount, over 90% of my subscribers are patient and realize how bad the economy is and are being extrmely supportive. The other 10% I'm doing whatever I can to make happy - answering their e-mails and ensuring they get their money's worth.
    Your comments are untrue and unhelpful Dwight. I have done EVERYTHING in my power to keep this magazine alive in this depressed economy. Magazines are facing two wars. War 1: The economy being in a near-depression. War 2: Print publications are becoming more and more scarece because of increased expenses and increased interest in online versions of their publication. Publications are, stupidly in my opinion, offering an online version of their publication where people can access their information for free. Who wants to pay for something you can get for free? To stay relevant in today's marketplace I need not remind any photographer is difficult enough. To stay relevant in a near-depression economy - ESPECIALLY when consumers who are interested in luxury goods are holding onto their money and galleries are dropping like flies - well that's nearly impossible.
    But Focus Magazine offers relevant, in-depth content along with extremely high quality printing that cannot be found in any other magazine in the world. Pages upon pages of expert columnists, collectors, curators all talking about the industry of photography and collecting it is very relevant to those involved in the industr and those looking to become involved in the industry. That is why Focus Magazine will survive this recession and why we will be around quite a long time. Additionally, we expanded to include book printing services, an online photography bookstore as well as a new online exhibition guide which will be up and running soon.
    So when you say I'm not doing enough for my subscribers - I laugh at you. My subscribers are my top priority and I'm doing everything I can for them. I can't remember when the last time I got a paycheck was nor can I remember my last day off. Running a niche magazine in a near-depression economy is a 24/7/365 job which I'm more than happy to do... I just want all of my subscribers to be happy as well which is why I sent out that e-mail to inform them of what was happening.
    Now I have to get back to working and I truly hope this post solves your questions.
  236. WOW so here it is July 1.... and NO MAGAZINE... and now David once again claims that the next issue is going to the printer next week... so what happened since January when he said the same thing... I AM NO LONGER BELIEVING .... I am now becoming convinced that this is a SCAM....
    Dwight I agree with you on this...
    It is really a shame because I really do like the magazine... problem of course is that if it doesnt get published then what good is it...
    oh and David did add me as a friend to Facebook and now he has removed me because he doesnt want anything said that doesnt fit his fantasy world of eating ice cream and other nonsense....... thanks for removing me since it was a waste of my time reading non relevant stuff about you ... I JUST WANT MY MAGAZINE THAT I PAID FOR 18 months ago... I dont want any more bull about IT IS GOING TO THE PRINTER......
  237. Supposedly I was supposed to get a refund back in December. Never happened. All of these silly delays and I am convinced that he will, at best, publish 1 issue per year. That means that his liabilities are stacking up faster than his assets or income. Not good. Yes, the economy has hurt many publishers, but this issue appears to have begun way before the economy went south. Maybe it is time for me to update my blog posting on my blog.
    What a hoax. He was atrociously rude to both me and a good friend of mine, and he somehow thinks it is ok to treat his customers like dirt. David should ingest some lithium to get a better grip on his personality traits.
  238. Time to do what I've done and write it off. A couple years ago I spent a bunch of money for a five page spread in Focus, and I still think it was a beautiful job. For a long time I've stood behind David, hoping he'd find a way to get Focus back on track, but I've finally given up. I still have some issues coming, though I've lost track of my subscription status, but I don't expect ever to see them. It's a shame. David's big problem is organization. I spend winters in Florida and summers in Colorado and I've yet to be able successfully to get a change of address. I think he did a great job on the magazine itself but he simply can't handle the business organization side of the operation.
    Russ Lewis
  239. You are correct Russ that it is a beautiful magazine but what good is that when he never publishes it. In fact, I will state that of all the photo art magazines that I have enjoyed both in the USA and in Europe, FOCUS is the BEST QUALITY AND BEST PHOTO ART MAGAZINE I EVER SEEN. It is just frustrating to pay for a subscription and then not get the magazine. Ironically I subscribed so I would not miss the few issues that my Barnes and Noble stocks - which interestingly my 2 Barnes and Noble stores management have told me that FOCUS was out of business. His inability to get the mag out isnt helping his business.
    I agree from all my correspondences and the emails here, I too concluded he knows ART but not BUSINESS.
    He did respond to my emails this morning and has put me back as a friend on Facebook and so I accepted and I will try not to be RUDE as he put it. He promised he would keep updating the progress on the magazine on Facebook. He got upset at me for being negative on his facebook wall but I told him that he was the one who decided to use Facebook as a communications vehicle for his business and needs not to be surprised that some of us would be very frank about our concerns about once again giving us hope that we soon will see another issue.
    The sad thing is that he has a great magazine that is worth every penny.... in fact I think he is not asking enough for the issues. He should ask double what he is getting because of the high quality of the paper and inks used. However having said that, it isnt worth anything if he doesnt get it out to us.
    I for one want to see Focus continued. So I hope and wish him all the best.
  240. Well, I hope I receive the new edition. Looks good.
  241. Focus is not the only magazine not sending issues to its paying customers, or communicating with them. I paid for a two year subscription to B&W Magazine. Unfortunately I did not receive some issues, others I did. Trying to communicate with B&W Magazine or the publisher Ross Periodicals did not get me any result. Also they ignore me, both by email as well as by postmail. It really is annoying.
    Anybody else having problems with B&W Magazine?
    Arwin Baan
  242. I do see it (BW) at Barnes & Noble all the time..... I will say that I will never ever subscribe to any of those speciality photo mags again... I will just take my chance of finding it at the newsstands..... so far I received TWO issues of FOCUS since DECEMBER of 2007..... I dont think I missed any ...just has not been published since AUGUST or so of 2008 - wow that makes it 12 months now.....
  243. Has the latest issue actually shipped yet? I haven't received a refund or an issue in a year.
  244. I've received, in the past six months, literally hundreds of e-mails from subscribers wanting to know where their issue, that they paid for with their hard-earned money, was. The truth is - we've had some very difficult financial problems due to the stock market crash last year, advertisers pulling out due to the uncertainty of the economy and so on. When I tried to obtain a loan for the business so that we could print this issue, the loan was rejected because we've never had to borrow money to meet our biggest expense: The printing of the magazine. Since our first issue, we've ALWAYS made a profit. That profit has always been re-invested in improving the magazine, increasing our circulation to meet more collectors and increasing the overall printing quality of every issue.

    A little over two years ago, Focus Magazine made the transition from web printing which was a bit like a mass-produced, assembly line magazine (I cite B&W as a perfect example of this) where the actual time spent on an issue is less important than doing everything possible to move this issue onto the printer and getting it off. That's the way, I believe, a large, commercial, web printer makes the most profit. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But overall print quality is not a reason why that is. Many of you can go back through older issues of Focus (2- 12) and look through those issues to find numerous reproduction problems. Pre-press took a day or two and then plates were made and we went to print and that was it. A week later, I had a finished copy. It was inexpensive, affordable and an extremely efficient way to get a finished product.

    In June, 2007 Focus Magazine began a relationship with Brilliant Graphics. To my "horror," pre-press took two weeks, minimum, and printing, folding and binding the magazine took an additional 2-3 weeks -- and that was rushing it. After my first experience with Brilliant Graphics -- I wanted to do everything in my power to run back to my old web printer! Where were my 1-week magazines? Where was the speed and efficiency?

    Then I received the first copy of Focus Magazine printed by Brilliant Graphics. I was in shock, really. The magazine was GORGEOUS. It was one of the most beautiful piece of printed work I had ever seen in my life. Something on par to the quality of LensWork of one of Lodima Press' books which just always made me relish the overall print quality. For years I had eaten a very good piece of steak at my favorite steak chain restaurant, where speed and efficiency is primary to overall quality and then someone had taken me a world renown steakhouse that people traveled to from all over the world just to eat a piece of steak. Upon first bite of this steak, or upon first view of this magazine, I was hooked. And so were my advertisers, readers on newsstands and subscribers. In the second half of 2007, Focus Magazine sold more subscribers than we had in entire two years we had been in business. We had obtained advertising from some of the highest level AIPAD galleries in the world. Our newsstand sell through rate was in the 70% range, meaning for every 10 copies of the magazine put in bookstores, 7 would sell. While the average sell-through rate for other magazines is in the 30-40% range and we had been averaging high 40s, low 50s.

    And we began doing very, very well for some time. We printed four more issues with Brilliant Graphics -- and then last July and August I was kept extremely busy working on Rabbi Sinclair's book. So, I finally had time to begin selling for the December 2008 issue of Focus Magazine around the first full week of September... and then the stock market nearly collapsed. And advertiser after advertiser either went out of business, lost their full time job and had to cancel, or was unsure if their doors were going to be open next week.

    I'm sure many of you will ask - "Why didn't you just use the money in your savings account to print the next issue of Focus and wait?" The answer is three-fold. A: To print, fold and bind a magazine is no small expense. By the time all of the expenses are factored, between my time, the time the editors spend on the magazine, the time spent laying out and designing the articles and ads, printing, folding, binding and postage we are in the six-figure range. And once one issue is printed and paid for, what about the next and after that one? Of course, we could cut expenses and run off to the next web-printer and have Focus Magazine printed as an assembly line product with very little care or concern given to its overall product and more care and concern over the time spent on press.

    And of course, even if we would approach a bank for a loan that would fund everything for a year, which would run very close into the 7-figure mark, then this magazine would be in debt of over $1 million with interest.

    Simply put: It wasn't smart business strategy. The right idea was to hold back, keep in touch with as many remaining advertisers as we had, work to get new ones, keep in touch with all of our subscribers, create a new central location where all of our subscribers can be kept up to the second on the latest news on the magazine (via our Facebook account and fan page) and then when the time was right, we would print.

    We have finally approached that time.

    Below are images taken from the first day of printing of Issue #18 of Focus Magazine. Every 16 pages is printed on a 25 x 38 sheet of paper. One side holds 8 pages and the other side holds 8 pages (16 page signature) and then the paper is folded, trimmed and bound. There are 12 of these 16-page signatures this issue, plus a cover. The magazine should be ready to ship to subscribers by early September.

    I thank all of my subscribers, for their patience. We have never given up and many of you have never given up on us.

    Follow us on Facebook for real-time updates on this issue and more.
  245. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    We get about ten magazine subscriptions in my house. Not one has tried to make any excuses for the financial situation that is currently afflicting most publications. Most try to arrange for other subscriptions when they fold. None I have seen tell people to go to Facebook to find out why they aren't getting their issues.
    I have to say that, although I haven't subscribed to the magazine, this thread convinced me a long time ago not to buy the magazine. I have to say that the response is absolutely pathetic, non-stop excuses and non-excuses.
  246. Not excuses, Jeff. They are reasons. Our society is so full of people like you, wanting everything here and now give it to me, give it to me, give it to me. We are not owned by a mega fortune 500 corporation like PDN or are non-profit and rely on donations like Aperture. Nor are we a magazine that will ever sacrifice quality just to get a magazine to our subscribers. I for one would rather wait and receive something of amazing quality then to receive something like 99% of all of the other magazines are out there. If you're happy with those magazines, so be it. It's a free country.
    And I directed people to our facebook page so they would receive real-time updates on the printing of the magazine signature by signature. We are about to send out the very same post I made on here to all of my subscribers via e-mail.
  247. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    If they weren't excuses but were valid reasons that people accepted, this thread would not have gone on for almost two years. I fully expect to see this thread still active in another six months.
  248. I do too! When the issue is printed and shipped, I expect to hear people discussing how beautiful the issue is and how it was worth the wait. I will also be discussing Issue #19 - which is shaping up to be an absolutely incredible issue.
  249. Well Jeff, you're certainly on the money with this one and very wise of you not to get sucked into Spivak's web of lies and deceit. Two years later since subscribing and I have received only one issue. By the way Spivak, two years ago there was no financial crisis just a litany of other excuses and blatant lies about your inability to deliver on a contractually agreed committment.
    Hmmm...maybe just maybe I will start a focus magazine scam site on facebook and then we can really see how many have been sucked in on this scheme.
  250. Do so Dwight and you will face a lawsuit.
  251. And Dwight, we've delivered every issue except #14, which was a newsstand only issue, to subscribers. #18 will be mailing later this month. If you wish to spread false information about Focus Magazine, you will suffer the consequences -- I promise you. There are too many people who have worked too hard for idiots like you to try and ruin it.
  252. Let me get this right Spivak..Two years ago I accepted your offer of a "buy 2 and get 3 year subscription to Focus magazine". In the past two years I have received only one single issue, been yelled at by you on phone and lied by you numerous times along with others (suggest you read each of the submitted articles by other contributors ahead of this article to refresh your memory), had repeated emails ignored by me and you call me a idiot for simply wanting you to live up to your contractual obligations Spivak....Bring on your lawyer and watch Facebook in the coming days. Defense is easy when it is the truth...even in America.
  253. Dwight - call this number today. Ask for Maria Marzella.
    Ask her if you are on either of the subscription lists (domestic or international) that she has.
    If you are, then we have sent you your subscription and you are lying.
    If you are not -- then I will refund you the full amount of your subscription less 1 copy.
    Either way -- this gets resolved today.
    Now then -- back to the magazine. More images from printing of this issue:
  254. Sorry Spivak but this is not going to happen I have given you the benefit of the doubt for far too long. You contact this individual and you confirm whether or not my address is on the subscription list. We have been through this road before. For you to even suggest that I could be lying is unacceptable... especially given your history of broken promises and sob stories listed in this forum alone. I had told you earlier that I wanted my money refunded you refused then now your saying well yes ...but minus the copy you recieved. To late I say Spivak and I will do what I can to bring awareness of this issue to the public forum.
  255. Issue #18 is pretty much done printing. One last sig to go on Tuesday. Headed to the bindery later in the week and we should be done early next week. From there, the distributor will pick it up and send out all subscription copies. Dependent upon the speed of the bindery and the distributor, all subscription copies should be mailed out by the 28th or the 4th at the very latest.
    If you received a copy of Issue #17 - you will receive a copy of Issue #18.
    We're looking at early December as a target date for the next issue's distribution.
  256. Yeah and if believe that let me talk to you about a prime investment opportunity available to you through my favourite uncle Bernie. Give it a break David, I for one have only received one issue in the last two years of my subscription!.
  257. For those who are interested, we have links to photos taken of some of the printed signatures. We will send everyone out a link to a digital edition (PDF) when it's ready.
    Here is the link to view all of the images taken of a few of the printed signatures.
  258. Russ Lewis -- I don't have a working e-mail address of yours on file. The e-mail address bounces back to me. I have two addresses of yours on file. One in FL, one in CO. Which is the correct one. Also Jeff Spirer, I do not have a record of you ever subscribing to Focus.
  259. David, I don't know why is bouncing. It's still good. Try Other valid ones are and
    My Florida address is good from October 25 to May 1. My Colorado address is good from May 1 to October 25.
    I'm looking forward to the new issue. I'm not sure what the status of my subscription is, though.
  260. Russ -- your subscription is good for another 10 issues. You've got a while.
  261. I would like to thank the subscribers who replied to our last update with overwhelming support for our decision to hold back on publishing until the economy recovered. The decision was not easy, but in the end, we knew it was the right one. Thank you, again.

    Issue #18 has finished printing and will be headed to our distributor for subscription mailing next week. We estimate that all copies should arrive at the post office to be shipped by the week of September 7.

    Because we are a magazine that contains advertising, we must ship Periodicals Class Postage. Although the post office estimates that Periodicals Class Postage takes 2-9 business days to arrive at its destination, I have seen and heard stories as to how it can take up to 8 weeks to arrive at its destination. I wish there was a different method of shipping with the post office that was as cost efficient as Periodicals Class, however; there isn't.

    So I came up with an idea recently that would allow you to not wait that long for your copy to arrive. We will ship you your subscription copy via FedEx Ground for only $7.50 payable by check or credit card. These magazines will be shipped from my printer who normally handles our comp list. The $7.50 covers my cost for shipping, handling and padded envelopes. The magazines should ship out the same week the other subscriber copies ship out, September 7 and should take up to 5 business days to arrive, instead of up to 8 weeks.

    If you choose this option, you will not receive an additional copy in the mail.

    If you are interested in this, simply e-mail us back for instructions on how to charge this to your credit card. If you are sending us a check, all checks must arrive by Friday, September 4. Please remember, our mailing address changed one year ago. Please see below for the new mailing address. If you are mailing us a check, please include on a separate sheet of paper, your name, the name the magazine was subscribed under (if different than your name), your shipping address (no PO BOX's), State, City, Zip Code and your E-Mail address. No E-Mail addresses will be shared with outside parties. This opportunity is only good for domestic subscribers who reside in the lower 48 states. When the magazines are ready to ship, we will e-mail you your FedEx tracking number so you can track the magazines as they arrive.

    If we receive enough demand for this opportunity, we will continue to do this throughout the future for subscribers who absolutely must have their copies now.

    As always, you are invited to follow us on Facebook for real-time updates on this issue and more.
  262. What ! Must be a hell of an issue. Two years later I am still waiting. For those who send David the $7.50...well Bernie Madoff would be proud of this scam.
  263. WOWOWOWOWOW. We wait this long and we get hit up for $7.50 for shipping. Classic. This is actually an enjoyable 'conversation'.
  264. Andy - did you actually read the whole thing or not? This is an option if you want your magazine right away. If you don't, you will receive it later. This is quite simple.
  265. 8 weeks for delivery after waiting all of this time, or $7.50 to get it right away. Interesting sales pitch, to say the least.
  266. Up to 8 weeks. As I said, the post office estimates that you'll receive it in 9 business days. If you read back through some of the postings on here last August when we sent out two consecutive issues, April 2008 and August 2008, the April 2008 issue arrived within 4 weeks and August issue arrived in 6 weeks for most people domestically. Internationally, we receive a huge discount that allows us to send all copies Airmail, so waiting isn't a problem.
    Please, calculate my costs for yourself. FedEx ground costs $6. 100 bubble mailers cost me $38 plus $8 shipping. I'm charged $35/hour to sort through the mail list and mail it out. In the end, I am making no profit off of this and dependent upon how many people want this, I could wind up losing money.
    People have waited so long for this, I want to give them the option to receive it as soon as possible. Again, it's not required. We will still mail you your copies via Periodicals Class as soon as they reach the distributor. After September 1, all are welcome to call the 718 number I entered above and verify you are on the subscription list and the week of September 7, you can verify if your subscription was sent out, yet.
  267. Let's just say that I had better be on the subscription list, and it won't require a call be me. You can check, because I won't.
  268. Zip code 77024?
  269. Yup. That's it!
  270. Andy - would you like to do the FedEx option? I'll overnight you a copy on Saturday and it'll arrive on Monday.
  271. I just cannot turn that down, David. Thank you.
  272. Just scimming through the premier issue of B&W's "COLOR" mag. Check page 133. Why, it looks like the cover of the new issue of "FOCUS"! Oh well, covers are secondary to content. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  273. You'll have to tell me, Jim, which one you like better when you get your copy.
  274. Andy / Jim hopefully you get a copy and if you do I would suggest that you are one of the lucky ones.
  275. Who knows, Dwight? You might lucky too!
  276. I wouldn't hold my breath much as I am sure you wish I would. Actions speak louder than words my friend which is what started this string back in December 2007 when Jim Meisenbach first raised the alarm bell that lead to the subsequent comments about your treatment towards your subscribers. If this site has made just one potential subscriber change their mind about investing their money in your magazine than it is worth it to continue the comments. To bad you didn't take advantage of my earlier offer for you to simply refund my money...I might have gone away then.
  277. Dwight - have you changed your e-mail address since you subscribed? Is it still a e-mail address?
  278. Dwight - you need to check your e-mail. If the USPS did not send you an e-mail earlier tonight, then I don't have your correct e-mail address - the same e-mail address you used when you subscribed back in August 2007.
    I sent you a notification earlier tonight that you will receive 1 of my 5 copies that I'm receiving tomorrow.
    It will ship tomorrow afternoon and arrive by the end of this week. I've also sent you an e-mail to the same e-mail address you used to subscribe. If you have changed your e-mail address - then I can forward you the tracking information to a new one.
    As you see, I am trying my best to make this right with you. As for your missing issues - as soon as I receive all of my copies of back issues later on this week -- I can discuss sending you your missing copies then.
  279. Magazines have arrived!
  280. Looking forward to receiving the new issue. BTW, Rabbi Sinclair spoke very highly of you in an article I read recently David.
  281. The magazines are due arrive to the distributor on Monday along with the subscription list. If you need to double check that you are on the list, please e-mail me immediately. Monday is the absolute cut off date. All magazines will be mailed out Tuesday or Wednesday, dependent upon the schedule and how many people can sort through close to this many subscribers.
  282. My copy just arrived late on Friday, and yes you can believe that this is an issue that is actually shipping to subscribers such as myself. I look forward to reading it over the next few days.
  283. Cannot wait to get my copy. I just got the latest issue of COLOR - the special edition - I was one of the winners of their first contest and got two full pages in the mentioned edition which just hit the newsstands - I must say that the quality of their printing leaves something to be desired. Comparing the first issues of COLOR to FOCUS, there is no comparison. FOCUS is slick, sharp, and of the highest quality I have ever seen in a magazine. COLOR needs to find a better printer or they wont be around for long. My photos are washed out and are too dark. No it is not the files I sent them because these same pictures have been published in other magazines and so it is not my photos but the way they got printed. The people at the COLOR magazine should check out FOCUS to find out what a good print should look like. So David, you got no competion as far as I can see. It is a shame because COLOR does publish a lot of good work and I do enjoy the magazine. I just wish they would improve their printing quality.
  284. Johny, I appreciate the compliment. FOCUS used to be printed with the same printer as COLOR until they decided to kick us to the curb because we wanted to publish Jock Sturges photos. The delay between Issue 12 and Issue 13 was due to this. We then found the current printer we're using and it's been a DREAM ever since. But, there are pros and cons of working with either printer. You work with COLOR's printer, you get a magazine printed FAST, like in 2-3 days. Prepress takes about a day or two and that's it. Upload your files on Monday get a magazine by Friday or Saturday. Of course, you suffer quality issues if you do that and while most magazines don't care about that, if you're a fine art photography magazine, it should be PRIORITY #1. But COLOR and B&W have subscribers and readers who don't care about the quality of the photographs. Or, like me in the beginning, they don't know any different. Prepress for Issue #18 took about 3-4 weeks, a bit longer than normal, but we HAD to ensure EVERY photograph was perfect. There were sometimes where we weren't sure of the tonal range of a photograph and could not print that signature (16 page segment) until we had found out if it was warm or neutral. The printing takes about 2-3 weeks and binding takes about a week. After that the magazines have to be shipped and sorted through at the distributor and THEN, THEN they are mailed to subscribers. The point from uploading photos and the magazine to the printer and getting the magazines mailed to subscribers can take up to two months. But, and I've tried to stress this as much as possible, in the end, the subscriber receives THE BEST magazine they've ever seen. I have absolutely no words to describe how proud I am of this issue. 400 line screen vs. 137 linescreen with COLOR, lots of duotones, a gloss laminated cover... I mean the magazine just looks gorgeous and everyone who is a subscriber, when they get their copies, will hopefully feel the same.
    This goes to the question - are you willing to wait for something a little bit longer that gives you much higher quality than anything else? I certainly hope many of you are, because when Issue #18 arrives in your mailbox, you will certainly enjoy it.
    Magazines arrive today for mailing. They should be mailed Thursday or Friday or Monday at the absolute latest.
  285. Totally agree with Johny. Not only do B&W and Color have a poor image quality. They also lack service as Focus does. I have tried subscriptions at all three magazines. Focus made a complete mess, never received one issue. B&W sends some and some not. Color I stopped immediately after not receiving any issues in the beginning, It is a shame that you publishers seem to make a mess of international orders. Being a pubisher myself I simply do not understand. You get an order, put it in a database, print labels and off you go. Nothing to it, so it seems.......
  286. Odd how my posts keep disappearing. Anyway, I already spoke to you about it through E-Mail this morning. We've attempted, once for the only issue you subscribed in time to receive to send you a magazine. If it did not successfully deliver, I was not notified.
    Speaking of unsuccessful deliveries, Dwight, the USPS tried THREE times today to deliver you your magazine.
  287. I have been out of town for the last two weeks and David was true to his recent word that a copy had been sent to me, and what a copy it is. Very nice indeed.The craftsmanship is there which truly does put Focus magazine in a class of it's own.
    Having said that David, we still have a ways to go. I have been a three year subscriber now for two years and have only received two David how do you propose to drop the sabers and solve this rather thorny issue between us?
  288. Dwight - I can't remember which two copies you're missing. Please remember Issue #14 was newsstand only. So if you received #15, #16 and #17, you're caught up. If you did not receive each of those copies, please let me know which ones you did not receive and I'll ship them out to you this week. Hopefully they'll take a little less time clearing customs as the one I just sent you did. Almost a week! The post office did not offer me "guaranteed" express to your address, but offered me just international express... I dunno... it's frustrating that one single copy of a magazine would just sit in customs for a week. I could've walked there and hand delivered it to you and it taken less time. Let me know which copies you don't have and I'll send them out -- but be prepared for a wait. Thankfully, the post office offers some kind of tracking system when you ship it online.
    Anyway, as for everyone else:
    The distributor is sending the magazines out in three batches this week: Batch 1 is for international, batch 2 and 3 are for domestic. Batch 1 was sent out today and 2 and 3 will be sent out Weds. and Thurs. So by Thursday afternoon, ALL subscriptions will have been sent out.
  289. Lets try this again shall we. For some reason the site is not letting me save this reply. David I have only received issues 16 & 18 which means I haven't received 15 and 17.
    David I do have to ask the bigger question though. When I purchased the buy two, get three year subscription two years ago I was under the impression that FOCUS magazine was published every month. This would mean a 36 issue subscription. Given the intermittent published frequency of the magazine how many issues should we expect to receive for a three year subscription.
  290. Dwight -- I cannot send you out 15. I don't have enough copies. I can send you a copy of 14, which I'm pretty sure you never received.
    We were trying to continue to print 6x a year in 2007, but it wasn't possible to the increased expense from the new printer. We've never published 12x a year, nor said we did. There isn't a market for it to be honest. I'd love to publiish weekly if I could -- but that's not possible.
    I've been given an offer from two distributors I'm considering that would make switching back to 6x a year more profitable for me -- but I have to make sure the advertising is there to support it. We're finding that out this issue.
    A subscription for FOCUS because of our infrequency isn't the time, it's the number of copies. So you subscribed with Issue #13, your first issue was supposed to be #15, your subscription would expire with #27.
  291. Wondering if I will receive my copy as I am a subscriber. Are there any more to be sent out?
  292. Ok so I just received my copy of the latest issue - WOW - turning each page is like taking another bite of a juicy Porterhouse steak - makes your mouth water. I have only looked at a few pages - over and over - I want to make the experience last so I am going sloooooow. The quality of the paper, the sharpness of each photo, the vivid colors as well as the monochrome tonality, are all superb. As I mentioned to David before, it has the look and feel of a $15 magazine. YOU David did it again. Ok, I have been impatient in the past, as many are, but only because I want to see good artwork of which there is very little out there on the newstand.

    I think David made the right choice by waiting instead of putting out an inferior product like most mass produced publications are. Too many times, corners are cut and compremises are made for the BUCK.... ART cannot be rushed. I would rather see only two issues per year, if they are of this quality, then see more issues that are of poorer quality.
    Now I will go back to enjoying a few more pages of my magazine .....
  293. David,
    Bravo! I just got my copy. It's a splendid production. You've restored my confidence in Focus. Keep up the good work.
    Best regards,
    Russ Lewis
  294. Yes I would agree with the others the more I read of the current issue the more I like it. I must say well done David. In terms of your offer, yes please send me issue 14 & 17.
    Thank you....Dwight
  295. Got mine yesterday. USPS tried to shred it, but didn't get past the envelope!
    Excellent reproductions, as usual.
    David, you asked me to compare "Lemon Eye" in your publication with the one in "Color". I did.
    Please try to maintain the high standards you have set for yourself. I am sure that it can be mind-boggeling in this economy. Also, an impressive amount of advertising, another daunting challenge.
    JIM M.
  296. I too finally got my Yellow issue. It's pretty. It should be: so far it's cost me $44. Now if I could just get David to send out the two back issues I paid $32 for, over 2 months ago... no response to emails; no response to phone calls... I'm 63... and know how fish smells. Something's serious wrong here...
  297. Followup: I got an email from PayPal, only a few hours after posting this, that my issues have been shipped. (Either this forum has some weight, or my threat in my last email to start talking to his advertisers did.) In any case: setting the public record straight here.
  298. Well, it's a month later, and the magazines have not yet arrived, despite supposedly being shipped 2-3 day Priority Mail.
    Honestly, I think this guy is running a scam.
  299. David,
    Five months later and I still haven' t received those two issues nor any others that have been published. Comments please.
  300. In October 2009 I subscribed to Focus Magazine for a two year subscription. It would have began with issue 18. I paid over the internet through PAY PAL, the money was taken out of my account. I have not received an issue yet. I have sent Mr Davis S Spivak countless emails and left messages on Facebook. I have even rang his cell phone and left him a message. He has ignored everything and we are now in February 2010.
    Completely UNACCEPTABLE.
  301. I want a full refund. I don't wanna know your excuses. You have been excusing yourself since 2006 cos it was a new mag, then it's financial difficulty, now your running it by yourself. I WANT MY MONEY BACK. You took it without hesitation but you didn't supply the goods.
  302. I'm a trusting person, or so I thought. I am a subscriber (with all the problems this has given me) and In a momentary lapse of reasoning I purchased 3 back issues (Via PayPal) of Focus mag, on 27th January. On 20th February I emailed them asking them when they will send them. No response. On 6th March I again emailed asking when they will send them. No response. If Spivak is the only person working on this magazine then he should get more staff to deal with these sorts of queries. If he does have staff then does he employ people who don't know how to reply to emails or does he train them in keeping quiet. Doesn't he realize that for customer service it would be better to have emails answered rather than people resorting to a forum where the whole world can see what an absolute...............oh I can't write what I want to say. So, Spivak if you don't have the back issues that I ordered then send me my money back!
  303. Two weeks ago I posted a note here about you not replying to my emails regarding back issues that I have paid for and my oh my still no response. But then what do we expect from this person? Well now I have waited long enough and will contact the American Consulate and/or Trade commission here in Australia to see if they can get a response.
  304. HI DAVID
  305. This thread is hysterical, actually. It is a thread on how not to operate a business. Should be taught in MBA school.
  306. Agreed, Andy! I keep an alert on this thread just for the cheap humor :)
  307. Wow
    Discussions on this theme goes since 2006)
    What has grown lazy to the best for this time?
  308. I can not understand one.
    Why it is so much not happy people and not who does not take measures?
    Here all is clear, that David s. Spivak the swindler is.
    That as it arrives, shows on one - he deceives people and all sense of it magazine, it is swindle
    It should be punished and it is necessary to transfer a material in police.
  309. I don't think we can call Spivak a scoundral. He has put out some very fine issues in the past. My guess is he has been hit by the economy. I would think that many of the galleries that placed ads in his magazine in the past, have had to restrict their budgets, in turn causing Spivak to curtail his operations somewhat. I am certainly not at all knowledgeable in this field, but I don't think subscriptions alone can sustain a publication.
    I am not defending the guy, just trying to keep this a civilized thread. It would certainly be heartening to those of us who have sent him our hard-earned dollars if he would jump back in here and let us know that he is still around, and trying to improve his operation in the slow-time.
  310. You want it, Jim, you've got it. I was just alerted to the continued existence of this thread yesterday. So, I hope I'm not overlooking anyone, but...
    Dwight and Michael have received E-Mails within the past 24 hours. They both know what the E-Mails were about and that I've tried taking care of their issues months ago. Mary, you subscribed too late to receive Issue #18. Your subscription begins with #19. Tracey, you were shipped your magazines months ago.
    Now, speaking of Issue #19. The editorial is completely laid out. If anyone would like a PDF of the editorial ONLY of Issue #19, please E-Mail me This will contain absolutely no advertisements.
    We are in negotiations with several companies right now for advertising and in negotiations with a new printer that would change the size of FOCUS Magazine to 9.25 x 12 inches starting with Issue #19 and would increase the print quality to 10 micron dots which is the equivalent of 900-1000 linescreen. I've compared several reproductions from my last issue printed with the printer we've used since Issue #13 and compared them to how they would have been printed had we used this new printer. The results were astounding and believe me, if you thought the reproductions in the last issue, wait til you see what we have in store for you.
    Once again, as I have mentioned for years, I do almost everything for FOCUS. I do the layout/design, I do the ad sales, I do the accounting, I run the business, I do the advertising/marketing... and I even find time to somehow have a somewhat normal social life. I have done this for over 5 years and 18 Issues. I have asked you all to subscribe to a magazine that, when you actually see the product is inferior to no other fine art photography publication on newsstands today.
    The only magazines that has comparable printing quality to FOCUS are Aperture and Blindspot. Aperture Magazine is funded by a nearly 60-year old foundation that includes a full book publishing company, art gallery and non-profit organization. Blindspot is almost double our subscription cost and has almost no readable editorial content whatsoever. Pretty to look at, but $45 for a 96 page magazine full of pictures delivered 3x a year. And from what I understand, the owners are multi-multi-millioniares and have been losing money on the magazine since day 1.
    Sure, we could be a B&W/Color and sacrifice the quality of the magazine in exchange for a printing bill 50% or 75% less than what we face. Sure, it would be acceptable and probably many of you read B&W/COLOR and enjoy Henry's publications. For me, it just doesn't make sense to put out a mediocre quality magazine when the photographers who spend hours, days, weeks, sometimes even MONTHS perfecting ONE photograph that's printed by a printer that only cares about how to maximize profit by getting the magazine on and off the press as quickly as humanly possible. When we were printed before by the same printer that B&W/COLO uses @133 linescreen, we received NUMEROUS complaints and very unhappy advertisers about the quality of the reproduction.
    Unfortunately, there is no in between. You cannot just have a printer print 60,000 copies for $25,000 @ 300-400 linescreen or stochastic dot screen. It just doesn't exist in America today. Maybe it exists in China or Hong Kong, but do we really need to be sending more business overseas instead of America?
    Now, many of you ask why don't we just get a loan? Getting a loan puts us into debt, which is not something I want to be in. And forbid we can't make a loan payment or somehow default on that loan, then the bank liquidates our assets and dissolves the company. This is how JPG Magazine folded. So then what about an investor? For an investor to put the kind of money that would take us to 6-8x per year, they would want control of the company and decision making authority. They would reduce our costs by finding another printer that doesn't cost so damn much and then the quality and the heart of Focus Magazine would be gone.
    The correct course of action has been and always will be to continue printing the magazine when we get the correct amount of money from advertisers. Believe me, I'm not holding out the printing of Issue #19 so I can by a new yacht and if I wanted to swindle people, asking for a $35 subscription really wouldn't get me that far. Everyone who has subscribed BEFORE August 2009 has received at least ONE issue to their subscription. Everyone who has subscribed AFTER August 2009, has not received the first issue of their subscription, yet and will receive it when Issue #19 is mailed to our subscribers.
    I'd love to be able to sit here and guarantee a specific date -- believe me, there is no one who would LOVE to see the next issue in my hands than me. I work, maybe 12-15 hours a day on this magazine and have only recently started taking Friday nights and Saturdays in observance of Shabbos off. The good news is that I am young and working a 60 hour week doesn't impact me the way it would if I were double my age. With the amount of time and effort I put into the magazine, I am bound to miss E-Mails/Phone calls. There are some days where I am too "focused" and I cannot take any calls or respond to E-Mails. I apologize for that, but hiring a subscription agency to be in charge of things like this would cause me to raise the prices of subscriptions substantially.
    I may not respond to your phone calls or e-mails when you want me to, but rest assured, if you paid for a subscription, you will get your magazines and your subscription will not expire until you have received the full amount of magazines for your subscription. I am here, working on this magazine all the time. I just took my first vacation in January and I don't plan on doing that ever again, so don't worry... I'm not going anywhere with your money other than trying to get the next issue, that you paid for, out.
    Now, I'm sure there are going to be some of you who, after reading about how hard I work to create the finest publication, are still not going to be happy. I'm sorry, but I am not in the business of instant gratification. We are not an assembly line magazine. I will not sacrifice quality for timeliness. You've paid for the best magazine money can buy and you're going to get it. All I ask of you is your patience.
  311. David, as a fellow business owner, here are a few suggestions going forward:
    1) don't promise something you cannot deliver. 4 issues per year is obviously never going to happen, and I have received 2 (I think) in more than 2 years of being a subscriber.
    2) promise people something like 4 issues without regards to delivery dates.
    3) compromise on quality some. This is a periodical, not a fine art book. You will lose business otherwise.
    4) Be nice. When upset customers contact you and they either have horrendous dealings with you or don't hear from you at all, this is not good customer service. My father always told me to 'kill people with kindness' when I was upset or thought that people did not have a case for being upset. Treating customers fairly and with generosity is the only thing to do in any business venture.
  312. All great ideas, Andy, except for the fact that there is no "some" when it comes to compromising quality. There is either web or sheetfed, nothing in between. Going back to web wouldn't be a slight compromise on quality, it would be a huge compromise on quality. The entire idea of FOCUS is to be the fine art book meets periodical. Our numbers on newsstands and subscriptions and advertising prior to the crash and with our last issue prove that quality is what an overwhelming majority of people are after. Maybe you're not, but most readers are.
  313. If you are promising 4 issues per annum, I suspect 100% of your readers and advertisers would be ok with the current printing quality. 1 issues per 15 or 18 months is pretty horrible at the last issues print quality, and now you are putting more effort, time and money into yet another digital press direction.
    I would update your current subscription text to read that you will receive 4 issues in 4 to 6 years, which is the current batting average.
  314. Actually, Andy, I'm saving money by going to this printer. The quality we've had since Issue #13 was fantastic. The biggest reason we are switching printers is to help us with the organization of our bulk list which sends thousands of copies to galleries, auction houses, art fairs, etc.
  315. Ah, saving money. That's always a good thing, especially if you are using the saved money to hire somebody to help you actually deliver what you have promised your customers: 4 issues per year. You should probably put that new employee in charge of customer service. :)
  316. To accuse Davida I think that prematurely. Really there is a weight of problems, especially last years connected with crisis. Also it is possible to give due, that focus it was not closed, and continues to exist. I am confident that all will settle into shape also problems such will not arise more.
    And as I think, it focus magazine it is necessary to prepare accurate strategy of development and to give attention for publishing house advancement for side-altars of America more. That focus it would be possible to see in bookshops of Europe and presence on world art fairs. It needs to be developed and carried out.
    So it is necessary Davida to understand and enter into its positions. It is assured, that all will be good further.
  317. I thought, that this Spivak has really got to a difficult situation and tries to solve in every way a problem with an exit issue 19 and to pay off under the obligations. But now I have really understood, that this person, simply swindler and all that it does it only tells to people of a fairy tale and is not going to carry out of the obligations.
    Personally at me, this swindler took $5.000 and promised to let out in December, 2009 the publication. But July, 2010 and not what positive reactions from its party.
    How it is possible to name it?
    I observe of its actions, and they look as primitive swindle.
    I hope, that all those people of whom this swindler has deceived, will simply not sit and wait when this mongrel that that there will let out. And will draw corresponding conclusions and will put a maximum of efforts, that this swindler any more would not have possibilities to deceive people.
  318. Michael Dingley - Australia
    As there hasn't been any responses posted since July you all might be thinking that everything must be OK at last? Well it isn't. I am still waiting for back issues that I paid for back in January this year and it is now September. I can understand that to produce issues from scratch can take longer than we are led to believe but back issues have already been printed! Come on now you would think that from payment to receipt should not take any longer than 2 weeks to get to me in Australia as all it takes is to get the 3 back issues that I have paid for, put them in an envelope put my address on it and send it. Maybe by posting this for the world to see might stimulate someone into sending me now what I have paid for.
  319. Remember me Spivak? Michael Dingley in Australia. I'm the person who purchased back issues of your magazine way back in January of this year 10 months ago. Still haven't received them yet. Yet back on August 10th you sent me an email "This is embarrassing. I'm going to head over to a FedEx today and get the back issues out to you the fastest way possible. I'm sorry about this - my head is on a million projects today". Well where are they. Is Spivak really your name? I looked up your name in my dictionary and guess what Spiv(a person who makes a living by underhand dealings or swindling)ak. Well that just about sums you up. Now before you start shouting and threatening me with a lawsuit or something have a little think about whether you have a conscience and that after 10 months of not supplying goods after they have been paid for you would agree with me that any judge would certainly see right through your scheme especially when I would show the judge all the past forum letters and my emails to you detailing your underhand dealings. 10 months is certainly enough time to supply the goods otherwise people would start thinking that you are committing fraud. Oh and another thing should you decide to call in your lawyers remember that it would be just simpler and cheaper to send me the back issues that I have paid for or send me my money back, I won't even charge you interest. It is a pity that I don't live in the U.S. as I would have started proceedings against you long before this.
  320. Been a while since I've been here. Haven't really had the time or patience to be on here. Wanted to update everyone on the status of what's going on:

    First and foremost, if you believe you are owed a back issue that you've bought through our website, please let me know immediately. FedEx recently made a very big mistake and I have a few hundred dollars worth of credit - so I can ship anything out asap for anyone this week. Michael Dingley, I just got back from the post office and your 3 copies are on their way as we speak.

    I recently hired a college intern to help get me organized and she's done a wonderful job. If you're on Facebook and you see Jennifer Lasont on there, send her a quick thank you!

    If you're concerned about your subscription - don't be! Everyone is caught up with their subscription. If you feel you're not, e-mail Jennifer at and she'll help you out as best as she can.

    The last issue we printed, #18, was a stunning success on newsstands with a sell through rate over 70%! Because of this Borders and Barnes & Noble have ordered more magazines with a potential promise of doubling their order within a year if we come out more consistently.

    Issue #19 is almost complete - I'm just trying to fill up the remaining spaces left in the issue so we can send it to print. I recently signed a contract with Dual Graphics, out of Brea, CA to handle all of Focus Magazine's printing and single copy fulfillment for Issue #19 and beyond - this includes handling of all subscriptions. So, I'm very excited about this, because our printing reproduction is yet again going to improve. Our 2011 Collector's Edition is the most important issue of Focus Magazine yet. Here's why: Published in this special 240-page edition of Focus Magazine is one of the largest and most important interviews ever conducted with Lillian Bassman that spans 15 pages, an in-depth interview with Howard Greenberg of the Howard Greenberg Gallery who gives his detailed analysis of the current state of the market for collecting photography that spans 11 pages, a fantastic interview with Mitch Dobrowner that hilights his storm photography that spans 9 pages, an interview with Alec Soth that spans 6 pages and an intriguing discussion with Brooklyn Art Museum curator Patrick Ansellem that spans 5 pages.
    Dual Graphics will introduce a new printing process to Focus via stochastic dot screen printing. What this means is that our previous issues printed at 300 line screen are a thing of the past and our new printing process of between 10 and 20 micron dots means we're comparable to between 800 and 900 line screen!
    In addition, we're working hard on increasing the functionality on our website. Starting in a few weeks, people will be able to order copies of the magazine without leaving the website or worrying about how good or bad PayPal or Google Checkout is - we're completely integrating everything so you never have to leave. And, for all back issue purchases, our shopping cart that's being custom designed for Focus, will automatically calculate postage & handling and will generate a shipping label for me, saving me a gigantic amount of time and stress. All I have to do is print the label out, post it on a shipping envelope and off it goes.
    We're hoping that Issue #19 will be out in time for the holidays. Right now, it's getting very close and we're not 100% finished - but I assure everyone that I'm working 12-16-18 hour days to get this next issue out and into your mailbox. And remember: Subscriptions are not time-based, they are issue-based. Meaning that if it takes us 2 years to fulfill a 1-year subscription, in which we guarantee 4 issues for, then we will make sure we fulfill all 4 issues of that subscription before you are due up for renewal.
    I'm hoping next year that with the improvement of the economy, we can come out with 4 issues. I am already working behind the scenes on something very, VERY big for Issue #20.
  321. Well David back in May you did commit to sending me two previous issues but they too have not been received and no for the third time I have not moved.
  322. I just picked up on something: The subscriptions are now based on # of issues, and not on a yearly basis. Apparently the only way of communicating this was in a very oblique online photo forum. Don't you think a formal communication with customers and advertisers should be in order? Sheesh.
    Don't spend your wheels on incremental improvement in printing technologies, but rather on content content content and getting issues out on a more timely basis.
  323. I have finally received the back issues that I purchased earlier in 2010 (see my posting Nov 06, 2010; and previous ones) and so everything is OK now. Thank you David.
  324. I know this is old, but for others that came upon this from a google search, go here to file a complain, and maybe get a trend noticed...
  325. Hey, Dave. Say it aint so! Several years have gone by since I started this thread, and here you come, hands outstretched, saying send me some money, and i'll send you issue 21. i'm sorry, but i must vent. we subscribers have been jacked around for years with promises and excuses, and you have the nerve to ask for money for a non-existant issue,(it appears) that MAY be sent if you get enough money..Sorry, pal. If it hits the newstand, i'll peruse it, and buy it, if it warrents 30 bucks. i am sure it will be a quality piece, if it materializes, but for that kind of bread, i want to see it first. Then, maybe.
    Jim M.
  326. Good evening to you, Jim! I hope Peoria, IL is treating you well!
    I don't know where you've been, but my subscribers are fat and happy right now. 3 issues in the past year and a 4th one on the way. Earlier this year we split Focus Magazine in two different magazines: One of portfolios and one of articles because the magazine was getting too thick!
    Issue #19 was our most successful issue ever - 20,000 people subscribed to Focus Magazine because of Issue #19.
    Issue #20 was immensely successful as well. In fact, I just tallied all of our numbers from Issues #18, #19 and #20 and we are the most downloaded fine art photography magazine on Zinio currently. Focus Magazine has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in 2011 and we just released Issue #21 yesterday to all 60,000 readers we have! This is our first NUDES issue ever and we're very excited about it!
    Facebook continues to grow as we just broke 7,000 followers on Facebook and I'm about to create a second account for myself because 5,000 is the biggest number of Facebook friends we can have.
    Photographers are finding new opportunities to exhibit their work and reach more collectors around the world than ever before! Business is booming here at Focus. We are re-investing money into the product and have a lot of things planned for 2012. I'm going to have to clone myself just to accomplish it all!
    There are many people, though, who have wished to see the magazine return to print. They remember the quality we had, they remember the fine paper and printing we had. I spared no expense when it came to the printing of the magazine and made sure every issue that had my name on it was of the highest quality. We are doing the same thing again - only better! So with that in mind, we are taking the digital version of Issue #21 (available on or the App Store through Apple and offering it in print to anyone who'd like to own a copy before the Holidays with even better quality than anything we've ever had before.
    Is it expensive to buy? Absolutely. I'm under no illusion that $29.95 for 144 pages of a magazine that used to cost $7.95 is expensive and a hell of a hike in the price. But with Borders going under, B&N for sale more than a year now with no buyer in sight and their stock price being cut in half (down below $10.75 today per share) the print magazine market isn't reliable.
    Now we could have gone the route of JPG and completely folded or we could have gone the route of some other fine art photography magazines and decreased the quality of the magazine in order to just spit out as many copies as we can possibly fill the shelves with. But I decided to innovate and to convert Focus to a digital magazine last year. And there were some grumblings from subscribers who were unhappy. I knew there would be. And we made sure we could do everything in our power to make them happy. Beyond that, 99% of our subscribers stayed happy and have loved what they get in their inbox when Zinio alerts them of a new issue available.
    We're taking Issue 21, which as I mentioned above is available to download and read RIGHT NOW and we're going to offer it in print. And if for some unforseen reason we cannot print the issue, I'll personally refund everyone's order. It's very easy to do with - who I partnered with to offer this special sale. I don't know if we'll be able to offer another print issue after this - I don't even know if the paper we're using will be available next year. I do know that when this issue gets printed and arrives in people's mailboxes, it'll the most gorgeous Focus Magazine they've ever seen and will make a wonderful holiday gift.
    I completely understand your frustration over the years Mr. Meisenbach. But we've worked out those issues long ago. I fully expect if you would purchase a copy and then not receive it while everyone else does, you would raise hell on here. So would I if I were you! I assure you - we will either have a print issue and everyone who purchases one will receive it, or if we don't have a print issue, everyone will receive a full refund.
    By the way, my App publisher tells me we'll be on the new Apple Newsstand next week! Very excited! It's a great time to be in the magazine business as long as you're willing to innovate.
  327. Oh I should mention that I've broken every single record that we ever had for the number of single copy pre-orders for any issue in one day. I've been putting magazines up for pre-order since Issue #4 and I've never sold this many copies before hand. Came close with our BEST OF issue (#15) but this far exceeds that by at least 30%. One thing is for certain, I'm going to make FedEx very happy this holiday season!
  328. am i to assume that my subscription has expired then after receiving a yellow eyes?
  329. No, sir, but I do not discuss people's individual subscriptions in public. Please e-mail me and I resolve any issue you're having with non-receipt of delivery.
  330. Hello - Issue #22 recently came out last week and was delivered to subscribers. If you have not received Issue #22 to your E-Mail address, please let me know immediately and I'll contact Zinio.
    If you're in LA this weekend, Focus Magazine has a booth at Photo LA where we're representing over a dozen emerging photographers.
    We're making one last call to subscribers and anyone else interested in purchasing a print edition of Focus Nudes. I'll have more information next week. As I mentioned to everyone who has already purchased a copy, I'm trying something slightly different and I think (hope) it just might work. I'll understand if those of you who have already paid for a print edition refuse to wait anymore. You can process your refund through and everything will be refunded, no questions asked. But I'm really trying my best to generate enough funds to sell this issue, so I hope those of you who've ordered the magazines will stick with me. If not, I completely understand. For those who do, you can look forward to printing that will be second to none. Definitely on par with the quality that Lenswork offers (If you're in LA, you can purchase Charles Starke's Footprints of Africa book and see the kind of quality that the printer offers with their stochastic dot screen printing).
    Going forward Focus will be split into three different titles: Focus Magazine, Focus Nudes and Focus Portfolios. The digital editions of Focus Nudes and Focus Portfolios will be larger than the print editions, while both the print and digital edition of Focus will offer 96 pages plus cover. I feel this scale back in page count while being more picky about the number and quality of advertising we accept going forward, (no more than 25% advertising) will lead to a more successful formula to return Focus to newsstands to our subscribers. All print subscribers of Focus Magazine (Anyone who subscribed prior to December 2010 and whose subscription has not expired) will receive a complimentary one-year digital subscription to Focus Nudes and Focus Portfolios and I have extended the subscription to Focus Magazine by one additional year for all of these subscribers as well.
  331. Hello everyone! Wanted to update you all! We have launched two new titles, Focus Exposures and Focus Folios! Both are being sold via our iTunes App for Focus Magazine and both will have their own apps later this year. Speaking of later this year, we have received a very good quote from a printer in China who will be providing us with incredible quality printing and paper. I would consider it superior to the quality we had from Issue 13 -18. So, many of you are going to ask: Are we going to skip over subscribers and just get magazines out to newsstands? The answer is: No. I finally believe we have everything we need to return to print full-time, that means 4 times per year. So, what we're going to do is send out an e-mail when the magazine has gone to print and make sure we have everyone's updated addresses. If you have moved since August 2009, or you did not receive Issue #18, we need to know so when we send out Issue 18, it arrives directly in your mailbox. The first issue we will resume printing with is Issue 25 - and it's a fantastic issue. So if you subscribed to our print edition and your subscription did not expire with Issue 18, then we will be resuming your subscription with Issue 25 as if you never received any copies at all, even though all subscribers received Issue 19 - 24 digitally via Zinio.

    If you have not signed up for our e-mail newsletter, please make sure you do so now! We will be sending out a lot of updates within the next few months and we want to make sure you stay in the know.

    Again, all print subscriptions will resume service normally. We base subscriptions off of the number of copies received, not the number of time-period. So if you had a 1 year subscription and Issue 18 was your first issue for your subscription, then your subscription will not expire until Issue 27. A two-year subscription won't expire until Issue 31.

    We are hard at work at getting Focus back to print and I appreciate everyone's patience as we bring Focus back to print, back to bookstores and back to your mailbox.

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