Tuesday, 9 March 2010

ATC swap - is it time for a change?

Regular readers will know that we have been running the ATC swap in Craft Stamper for a number of years now. It continues to be a popular but we are wondering if it is time for a change to this long-running feature.

I'd be interested to gauge your opinions on the ATC swap and whether it should remain a permanent feature in the magazine:

-Do you like the ATC swap?
-Is it something in which you participate?
-Is it a reason to buy the magazine for you? Would not having it put you off buying?
-Would you like to see the feature retained or replaced?
-If we did replace the ATC swap, what do you think we should introduce instead?
-If we retain the ATC swap, what could we do to improve it to attract new entrants?

Thanks, as always, for your input.

Katy x

55 comments:

  1. Hi Katy Im an avid atc swapper and love the feature in the mag especially if I spot someone I know who has been published. I personally think its the postage costs that put people off entering sending a SAE for every atc you send in begins to become expensive especially in these cash strapped times! I host atc swaps regularly and only ask for one SAE per person. Its easy to ensure they get the right amount back as they (or I if they havent) write the number to go in the return envelope on the back of the envelope its self. this ensures all the participants get the right number back again when they are swapped about all for just one postage stamp. Drop me an email if you want more info at clarke624@btinternet.com Janet x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the ATC swap and I have taken part but it's not why I buy the magazine. Ilike the idea that there is a chance to be published in the magazine so if it were replaced I think it would be good to have another reader participation article. Perhaps a sketch or technique and then have readers versions sent (or e-mailed) in.
    ** Kate **

    ReplyDelete
  3. I dont personally join in the ATC swap and its something i ignore when reading (sorry if that sounds bad). I think it would be cool to shake things up a bit and have a new feature!
    love tasha xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with ClarkyJ ! I also run an atc swap and we only ask for one s.a.e, I stopped doing the craft stamper swap because of having to send so many saes. I know several people who do still do the swap and love it. If people don't like atcs there are still loads of other articles to look at !

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the ATC swap, but agree that one sae for each atc is a bit much, esp as its a large stamp. One sae should be introduced, which is what most others ask for. Please dont remove this feature. Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just skim past it. I have no interest at all in ATCs. Would like to see it replaced.

    I am more interested in learning techniques, particularly using a brayer to creats landscapes etc. So I would prefer something with techniques.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the ATC swap. I may not buy the magazine so often if the feature is replaced. If people dont like the ATC there is still plently for them to look at. If the ATCs get removed some readers may go with it. I intend to subscribe, but wont now incase it gets the axe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Personally I love the ATC swap. I just recently subscribed to the magazine - although not for that reason - and I find it very inspirational. Maybe you could combine the ATC with something simular like TAG swaps.

    I find the beauty of ATC's and tags is that they are small projects where you can i mplement many techniques... which is a pre for newcomers like me ~smile~

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just commented on the ATC's and forgot to add my name...

    Caroline
    http://craftmix.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also agree with Clarky J. There seems little point in bearing the cost of , say, 5 SAEs when they're all going to pop back through your letterbox on the same day! Much easier to write the 5 in the top corner of your envelope and get 5 ATCs back in return for the 5 you sent in. Simples!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Unfortunately having a single SAE for all the ATCs just would not be practical. We know from experience that people would forget to write the number of ATCs submitted on their envelopes which would make sorting and swapping an even bigger and more time consuming task than it already is.

    Any other suggestions are most welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi,
    I wouldn't participate in the ATC swap and it was not a deciding factor when I took out my subscription to Craft Stamper. I think it would be nice to see a change. Perhaps it could be replaced by a showcase of readers items made using the free cover stamps, focusing on one particular stamp per issue.
    Thank you for a great magazine.
    Clare

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry Katy but how 'from experience'? CS has always done 1 large sae per atc and frankly it has put me off entering when I am frequently in swaps with 10atcs in one large padded envelope. I used to contribute regularly but don't any more for that reason. on the plus side it is nice to now see different people's contributions. There was a spate before your time when the same people's names kept re-appearing.This is no longer the case. I personally love to see the atcs but do not buy the mag for that reason and wouldn't stop if it was no longer a feature. On that not I will add that the mag has just got better and better over recent months and I wait eagerly for each copy. I just wish it was now a weekly and not a monthly. Keep up the good work -it is great.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think it's nice to retain the ATCs in some way as they are such a popular feature of the stamping community. But there's also inchies, twinchies, tags... so maybe it could be a different type of swap each month?

    ReplyDelete
  15. The magazine is for everybody and whilst I have not interest in ATCs if it has a big following it is probably worth retaining.

    It sounds like a lot of additional work your end doing all the swaps - so perhaps those who like to see ATCs could just submit photos -without all the swapping.

    Just an idea.

    It is great that a magazine keeps right up to date with the latest techniques that appeal to a wide audience - rather than keep the same format - which could become 'stale' and lose sales.

    Rather you than me - it must be really hard to please to many

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am new to your magazine as well and don't mind the ATC swap article as there is some lovely atc's included but I never make atc's and wouldn't want to do a swap. Would like the chance to be published in the magazine so another reader participation article would be good where people can do what they want e.g. LOs, Cards, ATCs or something else.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I do not personally take part in the ATC swaps. It is a nice feature but i would not miss it if it was to be replaced. I would love to see the Idea Gallery extended or maybe some more altered art or scrapbooking/album projects using stamping techniques. Hugs Clare xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Going back to the number of sae's . If the swap was limited to two per person it would be easy enough just to put two atcs in each envelope wouldn't it ? I have a feeling that its already been decided to stop it !

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the ATC swap - it's not the reason I buy the magazine but I always try and enter. I would miss it if it wasn't there and I don't mind paying the postage. It is lovely receiving all my swaps in the post. Jacqueline.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm another avid ATC swapper and I'd hate to see the ATC swap go. I try to participate most months, and have always had such fabulous swaps in return. I agree about the postage costs, so if there were a way to cut that down it may attract more entries.

    It's a great way to get published in what is THE stamping magazine in the UK, and it's wonderful to see your name in print, and the names of other crafters you might know.

    I think you always reflect a wide range of stamping techniques and applications and I wonder where ATCs would feature if not for the swap. Cards and scrapbook pages regularly have their own features, it would be a shame to take the ATCs one away.

    Great magazine by the way, it's always a joy when it arrives on the doormat!

    Thanks, Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm another avid ATC swapper and I'd hate to see the ATC swap go. I try to participate most months, and have always had such fabulous swaps in return. I agree about the postage costs, so if there were a way to cut that down it may attract more entries.

    It's a great way to get published in what is THE stamping magazine in the UK, and it's wonderful to see your name in print, and the names of other crafters you might know.

    I think you always reflect a wide range of stamping techniques and applications and I wonder where ATCs would feature if not for the swap. Cards and scrapbook pages regularly have their own features, it would be a shame to take the ATCs one away.

    Great magazine by the way, it's always a joy when it arrives on the doormat!

    Thanks, Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think it is a nice idea to have a regular ATC swap but would also welcome the introduction of other size items such as tags or inchies.

    If the number of envelopes and postage is a problem for peeps why not just say it MUST be 2 ATCs (or whatever) and 1 envelope. Those who send a different number with an envelope will just get theirs back as they haven't followed the rules and those who don't send an envelope won't get anything as you state is the case now.

    It won't make me stop buying the magazine to lose it but I do enjoy the feature and join in whenever I can.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The CS magazine is, as far as I know the only craft magazine which has an ATC section, originally this was the reason why I subscribed to it. I have since of course become enlightened and educated in other areas of stamping with the wonderful articles. I agree the mag is getting better and better but I would not like to see an end to the publication of the reader's ATCs. If you limited the swaps to only one per person, wouldn't this be beneficial. I have as yet to get the courage to send one in, but I am building myself up to it, I hope I get the chance to yet be published in your mag. A gallery of all reader's work, as previously suggested with the monthly free stamp sounds a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Katy, I make ATCs and love this feature in your magazine so would be sad to see it go. I have had one of mine published and each month look to see if anyone I know has made it too. It's fun to see how different people interpret the theme and if you do swap you know you are getting a great swap back.
    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Katy
    I think if you did try the one SAE for up to 4 atcs and made it clear marking the envelope was the swappers responsibility then it would mostly happen - If it didnt and the swapper did not receive back what they expected it would be their responsibility not yours - I think you would be surprised at how much people value these little works of art and would want to make sure they got back the same number.
    If you enter a competition you expect to follow rules or be out of the game - really its just the same thing.
    I agree with Kjjc - The mag is fabulous and I too wait to get it then drool all over it until I have devoured every detail.
    I do like the idea of different swaps too incies and twinchies, tags etc but think after the novelty wore off the postage would be the same isuue again.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dont ditch the ATC articals PLEASE

    ReplyDelete
  27. i have been an atc'er on docrafts for 3 years but only recently got into stamping,i have taken out a sub with magazine,apart from fact its brilliant,part of reason was to get ideas from atc page,if i ever get good enough i hope to send some in

    ReplyDelete
  28. Please dont lose the ATC pages. Maybe the idea of publishing photos of ATCs could be an alternative to swapping though. I personally love to see the work of other ATC crafters, especially when it's often people I know as crafting friends. The ATC pages always offer instant inspiration in miniature. I'd really miss it. Angy x

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love looking at the ATC's other folk put in. I keep meaning too myself one of these days as soon as my technique improves. So please please don't stop the swap.

    WORDY from do Craft forum

    ReplyDelete
  30. Please keep the atc swaps in,i agree that some thing should be done about the SAE so you could swap more for a lower cost,one of the reasons that i do buy the Mag,Stamping Mags should cove all crafts where stamping is used,shan x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sarah Chapman14 March 2010 09:56

    I haven't taken part in the ATC swaps again because of individual envelopes/ cost. All other swaps I've done are large stamp both ways , large envelope requested if bulky ie A5. The ATC section is one of my favourite, lovely to see so many different takes and works on a theme. So many different technique which are great. I would like to see this feature retained.

    ReplyDelete
  32. As a subscriber to the magazine the ATC swap is always the first place i look, i enjoy seeing work being published by people i 'know' from forums i take part in. ATCing seems to take up a relatively small space in the magazine as a whole so can't see why it should be stopped. I think the postage issue is a major factor - it would certainly stop me from entering more than one ATC a month.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would be really disappointed to see the ATC section disappear, it is one of the main reasons I have a subscription. It is a fab mag in so many respects, however one of the first things I do is look at the ATC pages to check out these great little works of art from readers.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Each month I look forward to seeing all the beautiful ATC's...think it would be a big mistake on your part to "let them go..." I agree that some more "new" techniques would be a bonus for the mag (some articles are getting a tad old hat)....but don't see why ATC's should suffer or become a victim.
    x x x

    ReplyDelete
  35. I buy the magazine for technique based tutorials as i now do lots of mixed media work. Obviously I'd like to see much more of that. I've traded lots of atcs in the past few years and can see the appeal of the feature for some.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm afraid I haven't sent in an ATC recently, mainly because I've been busy with other things. BUT I would certainly miss them - it is one of the sections I turn to first when the magazine arrives! I would be sorry to see it go. I usually only send in one ATC for a swap, so it's not too expensive postage wise. And I have actually made one for the latest swap - posted it off today.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Please Please Please keep the atc's

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the ATC swap, I was published with my first entry and I walked round SINGING for days, I can't tell you how proud I was. However varity and basic grey are the spice of life how about card, moo and tag swaps as well as ATC?
    EE

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've never taken part in the CS ATC swap but I do swap ATCs in other groups. Perhaps instead of swaps there could be challenges which people could do & then send pics/scans in. Also I like seeing reader's work as well as DT work & it would be nice to send a stamp to a few willing readers & see what they came up with.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love looking at the ATC pages as they provide so many ideas. I would love to participate but being in NZ it makes it extremely hard to get the stamps required for the return envelopes. So I remain a looker!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love the ATC swap feature in the magazine and is a real plus for me buying it. I don't join in but I would if had a little more time! There's not a lot of ATC'S in the craft magazines so if this goes feel would be a shame for us that enjoy making them.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've just entered the ATC swap for the first time & I'm really hoping I got the rules right! I wouldn't stop my sub to CS if the swap ended, but I would miss it as a feature, as I love seeing what other crafters are up to. If it continues, I probably won't enter every month, but only because I can't always afford the postage.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Katy,I love making and swapping ATCs so I really hope you don't stop this feature in the magazine, especially as it does not use up a great deal of space. It is also great fun to see some of your efforts in print. I agree it would be helpful to be able to send just one SAE each month as with other swaps,but single ones wouldn't stop me entering.Just publishing the photos would be no good as the whole point of ATCs is for swapping. I really enjoy the magazine and look forward to it arriving every month. Jean

    ReplyDelete
  44. I live in Spain and subscribe to the magazine mainly so that I can swap ATCs. I would be really sad to see this feature go. I pay more postage than UK swappers but am happy to do so, as I love getting my swaps. I would not renew my subscription should the swap go, even though I enjoy most of the other articles in the magazine. It is the first page I go to, and through my swaps I have made many friends. Just sending in photos would be pointless as the whole idea of an ATC is to swap it with someone else. I would agree that the best way to minimize postage would be to limit everyone to two swaps which easily fit in a single envelope. Please do not axe this feature. I have so few outlets for my ATC in Spain, and I would really miss it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love seeing the ATC swaps printed for the huge variety of techniques and to see friends published. I was very disappointed that the reader gallery was pulled as its so nice to see friends artworks in there.

    If it was pulled then I hope that there would be something to replace it that is dedicated to readers, not just one or two but several like it is with the ATC's

    ReplyDelete
  46. Please don't stop the ATC swap! I have entered many of them, have had a few published, and have an amazing collection of ATCs from other reader-artists. I would be happy to alternate swapping ATCs with inchies, tags or similar small pieces of art, but feel that readers' larger pieces of artwork are already well catered for in the magazine.

    I'd like to also say how impressed I am with the direction the magazine has taken in recent months: a much wider variety of styles, and a quality of article which now approaches the wonderful magazines available from the USA. Yours is the only UK stamping magazine I now read.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I do enjoy seeing the Atc's. Please do not take Clare's advice and make yet another article about items made from the free stamps. Since we no longer recieve the stamps with our subscriptions in the USA it would be one more section of the magazine that irritates me instead of inspires me. Terri Anderson

    ReplyDelete
  48. Do you like the ATC swap? Not particularly, if anything I just glance over the ATC's!

    -Is it something in which you participate? No, never!

    -Is it a reason to buy the magazine for you? No, I love the rest of the magazing but as I said before I barely glance at the ATC page and that may be on the 3rd or 4th time I read through the magazine (yes I read it over and over again LOL)

    -Would not having it put you off buying? No!
    -Would you like to see the feature retained or replaced? I wouldn't miss it to be honest but would like it replacing with something else

    -If we did replace the ATC swap, what do you think we should introduce instead? A sketch/challenge using techniques from previous issues. Or non professional readers giving tips on techniques which could be used for new crafters.

    -If we retain the ATC swap, what could we do to improve it to attract new entrants? Beginners guide to ATC's, what exactly they are and maybe a little info/picture of who swapped with who!

    Thanks, love the rest of the magazine though!! Sorry to all those who love that section *blush*

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Katy
    I love the ATC swap, not only is it a way of seeing readers work in print, but I love and have treasured the swaps I have received from my entries. ATC's are usually quick to make and easy to post despite the cost of postage, if the feature continues I will be continuing to enter. There are many different formats of ATC now, perhaps varying the format and introducing a technique theme might be an idea as they are a great way to try out new techniques!
    Thanks for a great feature in a fantastic magazine.
    x Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have never made an ATC and have no intention of doing so but I like the photos of these because I find them enteresting and also inspirational. Craft Stamper is the only craft magazine I have subscribe too and I love it even though timewise I have the projects on hold. i have little time for the others which are now becoming useless, boring and repeatative ans so blatently about selling advertisers' products.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Please keep the swap - I love it and have gained several new crafty penfriends by writing to people whose ATCs I got through Craft Stamper. I don't think a stamp is too much to 'pay' for a lovely new ATC.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I fully intend to join in the ATC swap in the future. I'm new to the magazine and think it's an excellent feature.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love the ATC swap! Please stop making changes to the magazine! You're trying to fix what isn't broken! Seriously though, I want to subscribe but I'm holding off for a while to see what else changes first.... please leave the ATC swap alone, at least!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Please keep the atc section it is the first thing I turn to when I buy the mag,

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love a new chalenge but ATC is also OK. But let overseas people also send in their work, we loved your magazine ..I buy your magazine every month, an I love to do your swaps also.
    Jolande
    www.justjolande.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete