Nancy Hayfield Birnes

This is some serious business writing.👽

Frequently Asked Questions, with Minions

A minion dressed up as a fire hydrant, with spinning red lights on his hat.


Welcome to the complete list of all possible questions that one might have regarding the current fate of UFO Magazine. Things are in an uproar and changing rapidly around here, so check back often for updates.

Updates will be marked in this bright yellow. Then, newer updates will be in a different pastel color, just the way the old timers used to insert changes to a script in different colored xeroxes. Those few pastel colors we had to choose: bubble-gum pink, putrid lime, and dumb blue if they ever had any left. Paper was fun back in the old days.

If you have anything to say about these FAQ points, please join any discussions via Discus, down below. Or ask a question of your own.

I don't have all the answers right now, but I do have some of the questions, and if you want to avoid the muss and the fuss of uncertainty, you can jump right to the Q and A by pressing this handy little button, several of which I've conveniently scattered all over the place.

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Minions closing a door behind themselves.

Ah, yes. Now that the alert problem-solving business types and any other enemies of fun have run off to gather up all their faqs, let's sit back, get comfy, and have a little chat. I am so filled with angst about these changes and so unsure about the path to take right now and I'm not even sure if this whole exercise is too soon or too late. In fact, I'm in a tricky position because I don't know very much at the moment and there are a few things I'm not taking about yet. Again, check here for updates.

Our license to continue publishing UFO Magazine has been revoked. However, we do dispute the basic reason for the revocation, so I don't know what will happen next. Will we win our dispute? Are there two sides to every story? I'll let you know as soon as I know.

Meanwhile, I beg your indulgence when it comes to using animated minions to help me along the rocky road to redemption. They make me happy. Happiness is fuel. I need lots of fuel.

Minions at a holiday bar, enjoying themselves.

I have to decide some big things in the next few days: scroll vs. swipe; UFO vs. New Name; subscriptions vs. single sales; oh what to do what to do what to do?

The first decisions have already been made, I'm happy to say. I've decided on the scroll, and this essay is a test run. After all, it's an old reading skill from our pyramid days that we probably still retain in our DNA, so once you get used to moving your text up and down with your finger, as slowly or as quickly as you must, reading will flow and the world will be a better place.

In addition, get ready for all kinds of helpful pictographs as you learn to scroll up and down a page in this new environment. Think of this FAQ, which I'm presenting in one very long scroll, as a chapter in a novel. Or an article in a hyperzine, if you get my drift.

This is the way we're going to be reading in the future, I think. A scroll, rather than a page, with lots of handy buttons and friendly minions to help you through your reading travels. Either way, I've been learning the technology that goes on behind the scenes, so that soon I will present to you a new, exciting, cohesive reading experience.

Details to follow. Follow me on Twitter for the very utmost in the latest news. It's gonna be great!

Minions looking in awe at something that is glowing.

  1. 1. Is UFO Magazine going away?
  2. 2. What will happen next?
  3. 3. What about past issues?
  4. 4. Can I still get a sample?
  5. 5. What's going to happen to the website?
  6. 6. What's going to happen to the blog?
  7. 7. What's going to happen to the forum?
  8. 8. Writers: Read this part.
  9. 9. Artists: Read this part.
  10. 10. Advertisers: Read this part.
  11. 11. Subscribers: Read this part.
  12. 12. Can I still report a sighting?
  13. 13. Can I make a donation to your cause?
1. Is UFO Magazine going away?
A minion in the audience, sad.

I don't know. If the current owner sells the name to someone, you might see it on the newsstands once again. We were told that the license was going to be put up for sale, but we don't know time frames, deal points, amount of money, or any names of potential buyers. If you hear something, let me know.

Since we're probably not going to be asked to join the new enterprise, the inside of the magazine would logically be totally different from the one you've been reading for the past ten years. Ten years! Will it be printed on glossy paper with lots of colors and lots of pages? I don't know. Will it still be in English? I don't know.

Will the magazine still cost $5.99? Place your bets.

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2. What will happen next?
A minion wondering what is meant by papoy.

This is an easy question to answer. If the only thing we're losing are the three letters on the front cover of the magazine, well, that's not too bad. If nothing else changes, isn't that basically just a cut-and-paste job? Find a new name, cut out the old one and insert the new one. Kapeesh?

And that, my friends, is just what we intend to do. We're going to change the name of the magazine to a brand new shiny fabulous New Name. You will love it, I am sure. Nothing will change but the name. The inside will be the same as it's been for the last ten years, only better.

I can't tell you the new name until I complete the logo and the design and the actual site. I'm working on it now and I will link it up here as soon as it's ready. Just know that it will contain the topics you care about, plus some new ones. I can't wait to unveil it! Papoy?

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3. What about past issues?
Three minions eyeing a banana.

We plan to keep on selling back issues as long as is up. At the same price they've always been. Issues #108 through #158 are currently for sale as a physical hard copy, plus postage. Those same issues can also be downloaded as PDFs.

While supplies last, here is a link to the goodies.

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4. Can I still get a sample?
Three minions maniacally clapping.

Sure. Only now, you might want to call it an artifact or an oddity of ephemeral nature, rather than a sample. These will be the last of their kind; extinct once the inventory is gone. Still the same low price of free, plus postage.

Get 'em while the getting is good: sort-of-freebies.

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5. What's going to happen to the website?
A minion smashing a jar of jelly in disgust.

Well, depending on whoever or whatever entity buys the right to use the letters UFO for a magazine title, the site will live forever or disappear in a puff of nothingness when the bill comes due in a few months. If it's suddenly not there, come back to this FAQ and we'll confab and wonder and worry about where to go next.

Meanwhile, I'm building a better site. It will be easier to maintain, more user-friendly for any size screen, and totally handwritten and original from the ground floor up. New name, new site, new wonders.

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6. What's going to happen to the blog?
A minion running bare-bottomed into the water.

Good news. There will soon be two blogs. I've been hosting the blog at Squarespace for several years, and I will continue to do so for its future incarnation sans the trés letters. Because of changes behind the scenes at Squarespace, I'm pretty sure there will have to be two blogs: the old one and the new one.

Here is the current link; I'll post the new one here soon: Current UFO Blog.

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7. What's going to happen to the forum?
Minions all fighting.

Again, good news. Once I redesign the letters and the logo, you won't notice a thing. We can continue to fight and fight without distractions, I hope.

If you haven't visited the forum in a while, it's probably worth a return trip. I know I stopped going there during the fight over the last time we had to defend our stupid three letters. How ironic is that?

Here is the current link, in case you want to make your presence known there: forum-currently-known-as-the official-UFO-Magazine-Forum.

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8. Writers: Read this part.
A minion dressed up as a maid, vacuuming.

This is one of my favorite minions, and if I could go all Susan Sontag on your brains for a moment, I will tell you why. First of all, how many writers would rather clean house than write?

That would be me. How many writers can actually make anything *but* writing just nothing but fun! Fun! Fun! Put on some music and dance with your machines!

That would be me. But always stay near the front of the house where the mailbox is, right? Keep an eye out for when the mailman is due, and just, you know ... water the flowers and mop the floor near the door.

All writers know about the mail, be it internet mail or paper delivery. That's where all the joy can be injected or totally sucked out of your day with a Yes! or a No no no on letterhead and signed by an authority.

That would be me. On either side of the door. As your editor, I have nurtured your careers and corrected your spelling and sent out various supportive emails. I've promoted you and even sometimes paid you -- either in money or in product or in access. And now, as we go forward, I will have a favor to ask of you.

When I get a little more adept at HTML5, I will have a nice handy form for you to just sign and send back to me. It won't be too long until I learn this skill. As soon as the form shows up -- right here -- in another day or so, please read it, send it back to me, and we should be good to go.

If you don't want to wait for a form to show up, just cut and paste this info into an email, make sure you sign it with your full and legal name, and send it to me:

I hereby give my permission to republish in the publication New New Hyperzine (name to be revealed soon) my article originally written for and published in UFO Magazine issue #(_____). As a condition of this permission, publisher agrees to cite UFO Magazine issue #(_____) as the original publication of this article.

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9. Artists: Read this part.
Minions xeroxing their butts.

Hello artists! Your work has always made me smile and has brightened up the pages of the magazine. Now that we're moving to a more digital landscape, I would like to be able to use your work again.

To that end, please read what I've written to the writers, above.

The same thing: as soon as I learn the HTML5 necessary for form-making, I hope you'll look at the form, check off the appropriate boxes and radio buttons and send it back.

Again, if you don't want to wait for a form to show up, just cut and paste this info into an email, make sure you sign it with your full and legal name, and send it to me:

I hereby give my permission to republish in the publication New New Hyperzine (name to be revealed soon) my artwork which was published in UFO Magazine issue #(_____). As a condition of this permission, publisher agrees to cite UFO Magazine issue #(_____) as the original publication of this article.

And keep on being artistic. And keep in touch.

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10. Advertisers: Read this part.
A minion becoming a glow from a squeeze.

I have neglected this aspect of our business in the past few months as we entered the rocky waters of mostly digital publishing. If you've got questions about frequency, sizes, costs, and audience size and outreach, believe me -- I want to answer these questions for you.

But first, you're going to have to ask yourself just how much those three letters -- the u and the f and the o -- really mean to you and to your bottom line.

You might want to wait a little bit until we get our NEW NEW project on its feet before you decide. Check back here and I'll lay it all out for you, soon.

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11. Subscribers: Read this part.
A minion opening a double umbrella.

This is the most heartbreaking part of all to write about because our big source of money has always come from subscriptions. Our subscribers have become friends, and we hate to lose even one. However, I have taken down all the subscription links at the old site and I will soon re-write the code.

Going in and changing code is a rather complicated affair, as you might imagine. And since this revocation of our license comes as a surprise, we're not sure what to do next.

My first thought is to ask you to come over to our NEW NEW place as soon as it's ready, where we will exchange every issue you have on your old subscription for two NEW NEW issues of our NEW NEW publication. Obviously, I'm using "NEW NEW" as a placeholder until I unveil our NEW NEW name, which actually has those same initials, oddly enough. It's a clue!

Again, if you don't want to wait for a form to show up, just cut and paste this info into an email, make sure you sign it with your full and legal name, your current mailing address (and let us know if it's an address-change), and the subscriber-email connected to your subscription, and send it to me:

I would like to convert my current UFO Magazine subscription into a double-the-issue subscription to our new digital magazine, which we're currently calling the New New Hyperzine until the Great Unveiling, in about a week.

I understand that you will be doubling the number of issues I still have on my current subscription. If it's a Canadian subscription, you will be adding two additional issues, and if it's an international subscription, you will be adding four additional issues.

Also, should I decide to pre-order any other issues, especially the debut issue (see #13), these new purchases will not count against my currently doubled subscription to the New New Hyperzine.

Just to be clear, I definitely understand that this is a primarily digital subscription, with only the occasional hard-copy product.

New content will not only remain consistent with your current magazine expectations; in most cases, it will far surpass them. You don't have to worry or wonder how many issues you have left on your subscription, by the way. As long as we have your name, we will amend our records. Just sit back and wait for announcements in your inbox as each issue is ready.

If, however, you are not happy with that arrangement and you would like to contact someone in authority about it, here is the address of our erstwhile licensor:

UFO Magazine, Inc.
5455 Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066

And, just as I said in the advertiser section, you may or may not want to wait and see what kind of deal you're offered, either from the original owner or from the new licensee.

For folks who have subscribed for delivery in a country beyond the USA, we will add even more new issues to your current subscription, depending on your location and the increased fee you paid for delivery. For Canadians, that means an extra two issues, at least, per subscription. For the rest of the world, it means an extra three issues.

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12. Can I still report a sighting?
A minion on a roof, with his toy.

Of course. The old site has a form you can fill in, so use that one for now. In a few more days, I'll have a new form in place right here (see #8, above).

Sightings will play a big part in our NEW NEW Magazine, so look for yours and look up at the sky whenever you get that feeling. You know the feeling.

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13. Can I make a donation to your cause?
A minion dressed up as a girl, on the phone.

For certain, it's going to be painful without the income from subscriptions for a while. I will re-instate them soon, but for now, because there are a lot of stops and starts and hesitations when creating a new magazine, I'm loathe to ask you for anything more than patience.

However, we all know that it's going to cost money to pay our writers, hire some editors and various other web- and idea-workers, and grow this New New company into something that eclipses our past efforts.

This time, I hope to do a better job. Since we will not take on any partners or investors, I won't be able to be fired! I've already created Shadow Lawn Press, Filament Books, Future Theater, UFO Hunters, and the UFO Magazine you've known for the last ten years. So, I know how to build stuff.

We will now go forward and try not to make the same old mistakes. Bill will continue to volunteer in the subscription and customer-relations department until we can hire his replacement. That's how Pat Uskert got started, remember, so it's a good job once we can again afford to pay you.

The issue that was almost ready -- the John Ford issue -- will now be the debut issue of our New New Hyperzine, and it should be ready in a little bit, depending on writers and artists signing their forms, as in #8 and #9, above. And any advertisers who could care less about old issues and want to hop aboard this issue, please make sure you read #10 and then email me and I'll make sure you're included.

And with that -- I must get back to work. I do love to work, and with your help and pre-orders, we will pull through this and introduce a whole new magazine entity to this happenin' scene.

A minion dressed up as a girl, on the phone.
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