The Plus Edition

Announcing a new edition of This is True: the Plus Edition, only available on Substack, a paid newsletter platform.

Update: In December 2023, True left Substack.

A Substack co-founder reached out to me to see if they could perhaps host the oldest entertainment newsletter on the Internet. I said I’d think about it. Today I went ahead and started setting up up something between this edition and Premium, aka True Plus.

Unfortunately, Substack requires publishers to set a minimum charge of $30/year (or $5/mo.), but they also allow for discounts! So I set it up with a nice discount when you pay annually. The amount of the discount may change from time to time but as long as you keep your subscription current on Substack, you stay on the price you start with. Even with their surcharge off the top to support the platform, it’s still worth the bit of extra work for me.

This gives you a way to help support True (and get some extras, including no outside ads) at a significantly lower price-point, and with a lower time investment than Premium …and a little less time than the free edition if you read the Honorary Unsubscribe.

One thing already there as an extra for new subscribers: a copy of True’s Special Issue #666. 🙂 Even if Plus is also not for you, no worries: you are always welcome to stay on the free distribution for as long as you wish.


Some Free Edition readers have wanted a way to support True without upgrading to Premium, often with the comment that the Free Edition is enough for them, and/or they cannot or choose not to afford the minimum upgrade cost.

Premium, to be clear, is a minimum of 10 stories (usually 12-13), no outside ads, discounts on books, early access (and often better prices) for physical products (e.g., Get Out of Hell Free specials), comes earlier in the week, and includes the full Honorary Unsubscribe, which isn’t in the free edition.

What, Exactly?

Plus starts with the free edition which, once ready, will be published ASAP on Substack — the free edition is queued up to come out each Friday at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), but I usually have it done and ready to go some hours earlier than that.

Other benefits of Plus include:

  • Flexible reading: read it with a web browser on Substack, and/or get it by email.
  • The issues remain in an archive which you can access on Substack during your term (starting with issue #1473).
  • Outside ads are removed (though the Premium edition upgrade pitch remains).
  • The full text of the Honorary Unsubscribe.
  • Paid-subscriber-only extras will be occasionally posted, such as one that’s already there: True’s infamous Issue #666.

Within minutes of the announcement of Plus in the Free Edition newsletter, I got this note from Carol in Wisconsin:

Just did a Substack sub! Perfect compromise for me as a widow on SS & small pension! I’ve been wanting to upgrade but with life getting harder…this was a wonderful way to help out. Thanks, Randy!

That is a big Why!

Update: In December 2023, True left Substack.

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This page is an example of my style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the minimum rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.


3 Comments on “The Plus Edition

  1. “…a lower time investment than Premium…” – what wonderful marketing-speak for “it has fewer articles than Premium”. 😀

    but seriously, i hope it does well!

    It is definitely a nod to the folks who say that they prefer the shorter edition since it’s less of a time commitment. Just trying to use the same concepts they’ve suggested so they know I’m listening. 🙂 -rc

    • I second Randy’s opinion, although I never told/wrote him that. Sometimes I would like to have a tad shorter Premium, but one can never foretell which story I might find interesting or not. So I will not go the “Plus” way. My wife (who, as me, is a non-native speaker with a very good command of English both for personal and private reasons, even if do not live in an English speaking country) says she would not have the patience of reading a full newsletter, let alone on a weekly basis. So Randy’s phrasing struck me as ‘very to the point’ and not just some “marketing blurb”.

      Frankly, I think reading TRUE is a good way for non-native English speakers to perfect their English! There are many subtleties in the writing. -rc

  2. For those of us who subscribe to This is True Premium (and may perhaps even include an extra donation), is there anything to be included in the Substack subscription that is not available in the Premium Edition?

    Other than the Zoom chats for the “Founder” level subscribers ($100/up), which recorded its first subscriber within 12 hours of announcing this, no. -rc


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