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Heads or Tails

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If you’re feeling a bit confused right now, not sure which way is up and worried that you may be losing your grip on reality. If you’ve found this column after reading Engine Builder’s High Performance Buyers Guide and things just look, well, strange – try this: turn the magazine over.   

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Now, does that make things better?

While we can’t do much to change how you may feel about what’s going on in the world, let me reassure you that yes, half of this month’s Engine Builder issue is printed upside down. Which section is upside down, of course, depends on where you start

As regular readers of our trade publication will no doubt recall, we have sent two versions of our Buyers Guide issues for the past 15 years. They were each a standalone issue of the magazine and included our nationally recognized columnists, instructive technical articles and informative market and engine builder profiles. Packaged in a clear poly envelope, they were, together, the industry’s only detailed listing of products and suppliers specifically for this industry.

Readers loved the issues and told us that they kept them by the phone all year long for those times they needed to contact a supplier. The problem they said was keeping both issues together.

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“You know how hard it is to keep one issue of Engine Builder on my desk?” one long time reader told me. “My guys are always stealing it and I’ll find it in the back shop, the breakroom or the bathroom.”

We heard you, and last year, we experimented with combining both issues into one and simply reversing them. Now, you get a single issue with twice the information. It’s a win/win.

The Post Office likes us because this makes it easier and cheaper  for them to deliver the magazine. Mother Nature likes us because we’re no longer including extra packaging. Our advertisers like us because they’re getting twice the coverage.

See, there’s a method to our madness.

As you use the Product and Supplier Directories throughout the next year, I hope you’ll also refer to the articles and columns for advice, suggestions and confirmation about things you’re doing in your own business. We consider what we produce each month an operational tool – we realize that you’re not always working on a vintage Datsun engine or a heavy-duty, over-the-road diesel or trying to get side-by-side UTV owners to visit your shop for engine upgrades. But what you may not be working on today, you might find coming through your door tomorrow.

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This is one of the reasons we try to offer such a wide range of editorial topics each month. We realize the generic “engine builder” label is a misnomer – what you do may be dramatically different from what the engine builder across town specializes in. Who knows? Both of your focuses may shift in the months ahead depending on your customers’ needs.

Over the next few weeks you may be receiving some survey forms from our in-house research experts. We’re in the process of gathering information to produce our very popular Labor Costing Studies as well as our exclusive Machine Shop Market Profile. If you get one of these forms, please don’t be alarmed – though it may seem to be impossible to make heads or tails of what we’re asking, there is, again, a method to our madness.

We recognize the broad spectrum of services you offer, which is why we ask such a wide range of questions. Yes, we ask for very specific and personal data about your operations, but don’t worry – your information is never used by itself. It is combined with all of the other respondent data, run through our special Research Computer and presented in a way to show the rich tapestry that is this industry.

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Of course, if you DO wish to be featured in our magazine, on our website or in our newsletters, we can arrange that as well. If you have a particularly interesting story to tell about your business operation or the engines you build, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Managing Editor Greg Jones ([email protected]). We’re always looking for people interested in writing for us, being interviewed for articles or just giving us their suggestions about how we can improve what we do every day.

Sometimes it only takes a change in perspective to see things in a whole new way. What’s upside-down to someone might make perfect sense in another context.

Help keep us heading in the right direction and we’ll continue to do our best to keep your copy of Engine Builder where you need it most.

By helping us, you help this entire industry – and ultimately, you help yourself. We all thank you.

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