We’re leaving Substack for our own independent platform
We’ve talked about it. Now we’re doing it. We’re making the leap.
Session/Law is now in process of migrating from Substack to a new, independent website, newsletter and e-commerce operation, which we have built using a combination of WordPress, MemberPress and Mailchimp.
If you’re reading this here, you are on it right now.
It’s basically the same Session/Law as before, just better. And with a different URL:
www.session-law.com. (Sadly, our beloved Session/Law slash mark (“/”) doesn’t work as part of a web address.) Your posts will be coming from a new email address, too ( [email protected]).
You might have some questions. Let’s see if we can answer them.
Why are you doing this?
We want a little more
freedom and flexibility to do new things. Special promotions. More multimedia content. Even simple interactive things like online quizzes. There also will be greater opportunity on the new platform to eventually expand our content.
The new Session/Law gives us
more control over form and function of both our email newsletter and our website. Premium readers of our long-form Session/Law Agenda, for example, will find a new table of contents and improved navigation so you’ll know what is in the post without having to wade through 4,500 words of copy.
Another reason: We want to provide
more subscriber options and special promotions. Those who purchase a new monthly subscription, for example, will get two weeks free before having to fully commit. We’re developing a corporate/institutional subscription plan. We’ve already added a feature that allows readers to buy gift subscriptions for friends and colleagues. Those are generally tax-deductible as business expenses.
We also get to keep a little more of the money that our customers pay to
support Session/Law. Substack has been taking a 10% cut of subscription fees—a fair enough arrangement given all the support they’ve given us. But we’ll be flying solo now.
What’s going to be different?
Quite a bit, actually.
As you can see, the
is a completely new experience from the Session/Law website Substack site, which we are now retiring. We’ve designed it ourselves and don’t mind saying it’s pretty nice. Substack has an elegant design, but we think the new Session/Law better reflects our personality.
The look and feel of
the newsletter posts will be different, too. We’re switching from Substack delivery to Mailchimp. That gives us more options to craft and target posts, to add navigation and decide whether to send stories out as full posts or excerpts.
Our free subscribers will, in general, get short excerpts by email from now on, rather than full stories. They’ll still get all the headlines and quick news summaries—more, in fact, than they’ve been getting lately. But they’ll need to jump over to the new Session/Law to read the full stories.
Paid subscribers will continue to get full stories delivered by email, including those available exclusively to them. They also will start getting news a little earlier in the day than our free subscribers. It pays to pay.
We plan also to send out nice, composite
end-of-the-week posts to all subscribers encapsulating recent coverage.
It will be a good way to catch up on something that you might have overlooked earlier in the week.They’ll probably look like something this:
One final immediate change: If you’re an
unregistered user, there will be a new monthly five-story limit on what you’ll see on Session/Law. But subscribing is always an option!
What will it cost?
With the relaunch,
subscription prices will rise for new readers. We’ve charged an introductory rate of $100 a year and $10 a month since we started in late May. We’ve said we plan to raise the price. Now is the time.Our new price, effective as soon as we complete the transition from Substack, is $165 a year and $15 a month.But don’t worry! If you’re an existing paid annual or monthly subscriber, you won’t immediately be affected by a price increase. Yearly subscribers will not be billed again until the end of their current term. We’ll keep current monthly subscribers at the same rate, as well, until the end of calendar year 2021.
What happens now?
Your paid subscription should port over here to the new Session/Law without any problems, changes or interruptions to service.But with any IT transition, there could be bugs. You may recall that we’ve already had one. If you experience any issues or inconveniences in billing or anything else, please contact us at
to let us know. We will fix the problem promptly.
We want to thank the folks who helped make this happen.The ever-patient, ever-kind and ever-diligent
did the Herculean back-office work to make sure the design is good and all the e-plumbing functions correctly. New graphical elements were added by our talented cartoonist friend, David LaFontaine . Kirk Anderson
Thanks to both of them for their invaluable efforts.
Thank you, as well, to our subscribers for being pioneers on this path with us. We’ve come a long way and hope to go a lot farther. But we think the vistas will only improve from here.We are very interested in knowing what you think of the new site, how it works, how much you like what’s there—and what you’d like to see. We’d love feedback about how we’re doing and how we could do it better.Once again, the address is
.Wish us luck.