$19.95 Value is FREE to all VIP Members and comes out before book goes to press!
You already know that the Phil Steele College Football Preview has three to four times the information of any other college football preview. You already know that we give the same amount of coverage to teams like Akron or Jacksonville State that we give to Alabama and Ohio State which is two full pages. You already know we spend seven months putting this magazine together each year. It is called the bible of college football for a reason and by the end of the year everyone’s magazine is dogged eared, torn up and marked up due to constant use.
A few years ago, I dipped my toe in the water of the digital magazine market. The results were underwhelming. The first company we used was decent and got the magazine up and readable, but it took a long time from the day it was printed until it was produced. We used them for a couple of years. They were decent. Another company came along with lots of promises. They improved the speed of getting it on the market the first year, but the digital version would go down from time to time. They had a lot of promises of how great they were and how they would have a first-class product. In the second year instead of being improved they had more problems. The third year they got even worse and then just basically took my money and went out business a month or two into the season and the digital version was a disaster. If you bought my digital version in those early years, I apologize for any problems you encountered.
I pride myself in producing a FIRST-CLASS magazine where you can trust the source on all 133 teams (yes there are 133 this year!) and trust the information that is on the pages. With basically 1,000,000 words and numbers in the magazine, even if we had just 1% typos or mistakes, there would be 10,000 typos. We have very few typos in the magazine so our accuracy in that department is closer to 99.9%. The magazine is the best on the market by far and I take great pride in spending all 365 days of the focusing on one sport, College Football. The experiences I had with the digital version were unacceptable. The problems with the digital version had me thinking of discontinuing that aspect of the magazine as it was less than first class.
In 2021 Learfield approached me with a partnership deal that included them producing the digital magazine. Now, Learfield is a FIRST-CLASS company that is very entwined in College Sports. They took over the digital magazine and delivered on every promise they made about the magazine. One of the Great features was that they could update the pages as changes happened. If a player was injured and out for the year or left the team, we were able to circle the player on the page, so you knew he was no longer available. If a player was added to the team via the transfer portal, we were able to add him! We did update the pages last year all the way up to the start of the season. The digital version worked great, worked all year long and was updated thru the start of September.
Today’s blog is all about the digital version. The digital version will clearly save you some wear and tear on this year’s magazine. I carry my magazine everywhere with me and I cannot do a radio or TV show without it at my fingertips. The digital version allows me to have it on my phone or even on my computer in my home office and not have to always have the hard copy on hand. If I have my phone on me, I have my magazine!
One great feature of the digital magazine is that is available about a few days after we send the magazine to the press. Last year we had major problems with a printer in Denver that we were forced to use due to the paper shortage. They took WEEKS to print the magazine. This year we offered a special VIP package thru the end of May. Part of that package was giving a free digital magazine with the VIP package. My VIP members were able to access the magazine via the digital version two weeks before it came off the press and about a month before it started to hit the bookstores. The beautiful thing about the VIP deal is that you not only get the physical magazine before everyone else but when you sign up for the VIP deal you get the digital magazine for FREE!
Now this is the 29th edition of the magazine and you know I am old school when it comes to how I want to access the information. I want it in magazine form and in my hands. Due to the feedback I get, I would say the majority of my readers feel the same way! My magazine is actually quicker than the internet in looking up information. I do realize that some of my younger readers ONLY use the digital version and rarely use printed material. I remember a couple of years ago that former Ohio State/Minnesota Viking RB Robert Smith who was a colleague of mine at ESPN told me he preferred the digital version over the hard copy. I would estimate there is a decent amount of the population that prefer digital.
The really interesting feature about the digital is that the Learfield digital version is updated DAILY thru the months of June, July and August and into September. Let me give you a couple of examples that are updated right now in this year’s digital version.
Last year Bill Clark who did an amazing job at UAB but had to step down over the summer due to back issues. This happened after the magazine went to the press
We not only changed the writeup to reflect that but were able to update the coaches box with records as well.
We not only circle the players that are gone but also change the writeup for the position if things change.
The digital version will allow you to keep the hard copy of the magazine in better shape during the year. It now keeps you up to date with all the latest changes and injuries that have happened since the magazine has gone to the press. If you get the digital magazine after May 31, the cost is $19.95 and you do not get the physical hard copy. If you sign up for the VIP deal then you not only get the hard copy 2-3 weeks before it hits Barnes and Nobles but you get the digital for FREE and you get some other great bonuses as well.