US Stamps

Donna Houseman

45 years and counting: Linn’s and Scott embrace print, explore digital opportunities

September 22, 2017 09:00 AM

  • Print isn’t going away, but Linn’s and Scott embrace the fast-paced digital world with Linns.com, Scott eCatalogues, and social media sites.

Editor’s Insights — By Donna Houseman

In last week’s Editor’s Insights, I looked back on the early years of my career at Amos Media, the parent company of Linn’s. This week’s column continues the reminiscences.

In the mid-1990s, Linn’s advanced its efforts to become a major presence on the internet.

Linn’s introduced a much improved website on Linns.com, a search engine dedicated only to stamp sites (which was quickly upstaged by Google), and a searchable digital stamp marketplace named Zillions of Stamps, or ZOS as we nicknamed it.

Jim Kloetzel joined the Scott team in 1994. Under Jim’s editorship, Scott became a catalog with retail values for stamps in very fine condition.

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Scott introduced a new specialized catalog in 1994, the 1995 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940, which has become the most essential one-volume worldwide catalog available for the classic period. The 2018 edition will be published in early November.

The new millennium brought even more changes to Linn’s and Scott. Michael Schreiber took over the helm as editor of Linn’s in 2002, and Michael Laurence retired as editorial director of Linn’s and Scott in 2005.

The Scott catalogs introduced color for the first time in the 2005 edition of the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog and in the 2006 editions of the Scott Standard volumes. Today, just a handful of black-and-white images remain.

Linn’s became a full-color publication with the Nov. 19, 2007, issue.

In 2010, Scott Stamp Monthly, the oldest stamp publication in the United States, merged with Linn’s. The first issue of Linn’s monthly special edition, including the Scott Listing Update, was introduced in October 2010.

To this day, both Linn’s and Scott continue to advance their digital presence. Not only are the weekly and monthly Linn’s available in digital format, but we also offer subscribers access to a digital archive of past issues going back to 2008.

The Scott catalogs are available as eCatalogues, as well.

We continue to improve our online efforts to deliver the latest stamp news, top-notch original stamp features, and to reach out to new and potential collectors through Linns.com; social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and by taking every effort and opportunity to optimize Linn’s and Scott search results on Google and other search engines.

Company owner J. Oliver Amos (1909-1997) was right when he said the only constant at Amos is change, but the one constant that has never changed at Amos is the family’s desire to hire the very best writers and editors.

For 45 years, I have been privileged to work side by side with the finest, most dedicated, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic writers and editors in the stamp world.

What does the future hold for Amos? All I can tell you is we have plans for many improvements to the print Linn’s and the Scott catalogs. Print isn’t going away anytime soon, but we understand that we must keep up with the fast-paced digital world. Stay tuned.