Postal Rates Rise; Markets Change to Cope

US Postal Service rates went up over the weekend — a first-class stamp went from 39 to 41 cents, and in the change that most affects me, a one-pound media mail package went from $1.59 to $2.13. (For the unfamiliar, media mail means reduced rates for sending books, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, and the like. Online sellers and traders use this class a lot.)

TwoMorrows, the magazine publisher, like many companies, had to reset its website rates as a result. As previously reported, they’re also working on moving more readers, especially those overseas, to online editions.

It’s a vicious cycle: with the convenience of online bill paying, email, and electronic greetings, who needs the post office for much these days? So they have fewer customers, which means price raises, which means more customers look for alternatives.

What does this mean for comics? It’s another reason to go digital. Sampling an issue through the mail may cost $5 (cover price + shipping); sampling online at a store like eyemelt costs 69 cents.

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