SITE NEWS: Football Outsiders Almanac 2020 Now Available!

Football Outsiders Almanac 2020
Football Outsiders Almanac 2020
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

We're happy to announce that the Football Outsiders Almanac 2020, Digital Edition is now available for download! This is the 16th annual version of the book that the Boston Globe called the "Bible for superfans and fantasy football leaguers." It's over 500 pages of cutting-edge statistical analysis, obsessive film study, and trademark humor. Full previews for all 32 NFL teams and the top 50 projected NCAA teams, plus over 500 player comments and new, upgraded KUBIAK fantasy football projection system. You can learn more in the Football Outsiders store.

The Print Edition of Football Outsiders Almanac 2020 is also now available on Amazon.com.

If you need more help with the Almanac or FO Plus, please visit the Football Outsiders Help Center. If you find errors and typos in FO Almanac 2020, you can report them in this thread.

Comments

58 comments, Last at 17 Sep 2020, 12:11am

#1 by CheeseHead // Jul 15, 2020 - 12:07pm

So, this month for the one time price of $34.99 I can get the FOA .pdf and KUBIAK, right?  It's not $34.99 per month, right? My shopping cart says it's a monthly subscription, which is confusing.  I understand it costs more for access to the DVOA database.

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#5 by theoutlawtorn // Jul 15, 2020 - 2:42pm

For $5 a month, I'll give Aaron Schatz the middle finger.   $35 for a pdf, LOL.

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#11 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 15, 2020 - 5:13pm

If you are only interested in access to Football Outsiders Almanac 2020, Digital Edition and KUBIAK we have created the FO+ Monthly option for fans like yourself. In addition to FOA 2020 and KUBIAK, you also get access to the other stats and tools bundled with an FO+ subscription. You can cancel your subscription at any time. At the end of your subscription, you will loose access to FO+, including KUBIAK updates. The Early Bird promo only applies to your first month. Learn more in the FO Store here.

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#14 by CheeseHead // Jul 15, 2020 - 5:52pm

So, in previous years I paid something like $20 for FOA and $20 for KUBIAK for the year and now you want $50 per MONTH?!?  No way...

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#17 by flyingdonut // Jul 16, 2020 - 12:15am

I ONLY want to by the Football Outsiders Almanac 2020. That is the only thing I want. I do not want KUBIAK, I do not want anything else. I just want to read the Football Outsiders Almanac, which I have done happily and enjoyed since 2009. I have purchased them all as PDFs and been very very pleased with the product, even as the price has slowly ticked up from $12 to $15 to $20. I understand that creativity is expensive, and the product - for something of its size - is just outstanding.

Now - if I understand it correctly, I MUST buy a $35 subscription that includes something I DO NOT WANT and I have to monitor my "subscription" - again, requiring something I DO NOT WANT - to buy the PDF version of the product that I do want? Am I correct here? There's no option to simply buy the Football Outsiders PDF?

 

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#19 by Theo // Jul 16, 2020 - 9:44am

I enjoyed the book for quite some years, but lost the available time to read it.

Now by schedule has changed back, so if I could pick up a copy from Amazon that'd be nice. My worry is the shipping, as it might be costly to ship it across the Pacific Pond.

I don't want to buy a pdf if that means I have to pay a subscription. 

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#35 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:31am

Hey. You are welcome to cancel your subscription at any time, so if you want you can just download this year's PDF and then cancel.

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#21 by Joseph // Jul 16, 2020 - 11:18am

Yep, same issue for me too. Judging by comments here, I'm not the only one who is unhappy with this.

My reasoning might be unique, though: I don't play fantasy football. Between two jobs, Sunday church commitments, and other interests, I just can't fit it in. I haven't even been able to finish all the NFL chapters in the Almanac before the regular season the last couple of years. (If I ever did play FF, it would be with the NFL fans in my church--at least that way everybody would be on a reasonably level playing field. We just couldn't get more than 3 guys to commit, even counting me.I won't play with random people, b/c I don't want to be that guy who is not as emotionally committed/invested as the rest of the group.)

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#22 by ammek // Jul 16, 2020 - 11:31am

I'm with you. No interest in fantasy football or gambling. I love the almanac and I read through it slowly and thoroughly. But out of work during the pandemic and cannot justify paying that price. I will miss reading it and will miss being able to support the work of the people who produce it.

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#23 by Dr. Mooch // Jul 16, 2020 - 11:34am

This is sad for me.  I've been an FO reader for a long time, and I've bought the book every year for over a decade. I've been adding in the extra website access for years, and it's all over now. Subscription pricing at this level is a non-starter.

If I can buy a pdf copy of the book at a reasonable price, I suppose I'll opt for that and be sad about all the features I'm losing, but the store suggests even access to the book is limited to a 12-month subscription. 

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#24 by drobviousso // Jul 16, 2020 - 1:48pm

I'm in the same boat.

My interest in NFL football is dwindling by the year for various reasons, and I was on the fence about buying the PDF this year.  The price hike combined with it being a subscription has tipped me into the no-purchase camp.

As a customer, if you require me to fuck around with a subscription I don't want, it needs to come with a discount, not a premium, to the price.  Its anti-consumer, which is fine if it translates into a share of the benefits for the consumer.

I know how hard it is to write a publish a book, and I don't begrudge anyone charging for their product what they think they need to.  But I won't pay more than my utility for that product.

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#25 by almon // Jul 16, 2020 - 2:09pm

Pretty sure if you want the Almanac only (like I do), then it’s $35 one-time and it is not a monthly subscription.

still a bit rich, but if I eat only instant noodles for a week, I can make it work! What FO should do is bump it to $40 and include a 24-pack of instant noddles. A package to feed your stomach and your brain for a week

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#38 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:37am

Thank you for being a true fan, although I'm more of a "gigantic discount bag of rice" guy.

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#39 by almon // Jul 17, 2020 - 12:10pm

just bought!

hey everyone - think of this as supporting something you truly love like saving dolphins...but in this case, saving starving/aspiring sportswriters...

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#41 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 17, 2020 - 1:09pm

This year more resembles 400 oz of mayonnaise.

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#30 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 17, 2020 - 8:58am

In similar news, PFR is sending player index behind a paywall on a separate site (as is all the other -references sites; not even the gimped free option baseball-reference has). They want appleTV money per month for what was the main attraction of their site.

Not because they are losing money, mind you. But because the index isn't profitable enough (their own words).

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#42 by Richie // Jul 17, 2020 - 4:41pm

I visit PFR almost daily, and I didn't know this was happening!

 

Edit: I just looked at their site, and it is the PLAY index, not the PLAYER index that is going behind a paywall.  I would not consider the PLAY index to be their main attraction.

 

" But because the index isn't profitable enough (their own words)."

I didn't see those words.  I saw these words: "the Play Index tools are complicated to maintain and manage, and quite frankly are a money-loser for us at this time."

https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/2020/05/play-index-tools-are-moving-to-stathead-com/

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#50 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 19, 2020 - 8:01pm

You skipped over the site itself doing well. But we’re going to lose the core of the site because it doesn’t shit gold as efficiently as the standings.

The play index is the heart of the site. NFL.com has most of the rest.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/

play index

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#37 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:34am

We're sorry for the confusion here. This is exactly what the Almanac subscription is: a FO Almanac 2020 download, now available. We threw in PDF downloads of the complete Almanac archive and a couple of other fan favorite writings as an extra bonus for people who didn't purchase those books in the past.

With an active Almanac subscription, your access will automatically be upgraded to include the latest edition each year. Also, if you take advantage of the Early Bird special, the discount locks your price in year over year as well.

 

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#2 by Richie // Jul 15, 2020 - 1:19pm

I have a semi-related question:

 

Why do the new playoff odds hate the 49ers so much?  I hate the 49ers, too.  But I would think they would be much closer to a favorite in the NFC.

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#16 by herewegobrowni… // Jul 15, 2020 - 10:20pm

Super Bowl losing curse baked into the model?

I was on the "Rams have to still be a playoff team" camp last year, even as ESPN pundits were predicting 10-6 or 9-7 and out of the top 6...oops. 

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#27 by Jetspete // Jul 16, 2020 - 3:50pm

they regressed a little, but that was due to travel imo as much as anything else.  if you include the preseason they had trips to Oakland, hawaii, houston, charlotte, cleveland, seattle, and London via Atlanta all before the bye.  

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#3 by MarkV // Jul 15, 2020 - 1:28pm

I am frustrated at the new model. As someone who has bought every almanac, paying extra compared to previous years so I gain access to what I already own is not pleasant.

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#9 by Joseph // Jul 15, 2020 - 3:28pm

I have purchased all of them except one since 2007. Last year, I bought the digital b/c I have a quality tablet to read it on now. I already told them that last year was the last time. It's sad, b/c I look forward to it every year.

Of course, this year's Almanac may end up becoming a nice paperweight, as every passing day seems to bring less hope of any football this fall.

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#15 by almon // Jul 15, 2020 - 9:35pm

In reply to by Joseph

hey joseph, my purchase history says i bought e-copy every year since 2007 except for one year too! have you been stealing my copy?!?  : )

i love fo, and my first copy from barnes and noble got me a win in fantasy football -AND- made $1500 in super bowl futures with the seahawks...sigh, will prolly have to feed the kids white bread and water to pay $35 for this year's copy...

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#34 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:30am

We appreciate you being a longtime fan. We threw in PDF downloads of the complete Almanac archive as a little bonus for people buying this year's book. While you might not get to see the benefit, we hope there are others who would enjoy those reads.

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#4 by BigRichie // Jul 15, 2020 - 1:54pm

So am I the only one who didn't get his? My notifying email only included the Pats' section, and I don't see the 2020 version in my downloads. Sure looked like purchasing the (then) $49.99 yearly subscription included the digital almanac. So am I missing something? (other than a 2020 Almanac)

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#12 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 15, 2020 - 5:13pm

Looks like you might be looking in the wrong place. To access FO+, including the Football Outsiders Almanac, look for the FO Plus logo in the main navigation and select the Almanac from there.

Since your access is tied to your user account, you must logged in and have an active subscription. If not, you will only be able to see a sample chapter for New England.

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#7 by theoutlawtorn // Jul 15, 2020 - 2:47pm

I find it funny that FO always bitched about how expensive it was to print an actual book.  Now they have control of the process and they want to line their pockets with 2x as much money as the book publishers.  Pure Avarice.

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#8 by StefanPerrier // Jul 15, 2020 - 3:12pm

I got my receipt for purchasing my subscription for 2020, but there's no actual download when I go to my account? Or in my email?

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#13 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 15, 2020 - 5:14pm

Same response as to the fellow above. Looks like you might be looking in the wrong place. To access FO+, including the Football Outsiders Almanac, look for the FO Plus logo in the main navigation and select the Almanac from there.

Since your access is tied to your user account, you must logged in and have an active subscription. If not, you will only be able to see a sample chapter for New England.

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#10 by milo // Jul 15, 2020 - 3:39pm

Might want to fix that.

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#18 by galerus // Jul 16, 2020 - 12:29am

Is there any non-FO-staff writers? 'Cause I really enjoy only B. Knowles writing style now.

Tanier? (bet he is in)

Barnwell? (bet he is not)

Kacsmar? (bet he is not)

p.s. btw, pricing! $50 for PDF, or even $35 (with your generous sale) is waaaay way too much imo.

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#26 by Jetspete // Jul 16, 2020 - 2:39pm

yeah i've bought this thing about every year since 07.  not only does the price point seem a bit off, but the various packages offer virtually little consumer value  i mean it is still better than the clowns at baseball prospectus, but the offerings are disappointing to say the least

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#36 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:33am

Writers who are in the book but do not regularly write for FootballOutsiders.com include Mike Tanier (Bleacher Report), Thomas Bassinger (Tampa Bay Times), and Dan Pizzuta (Sharp Football Stats).

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#20 by Theo // Jul 16, 2020 - 9:48am

How much will the print edition cost?

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#33 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:29am

Print and digital editions are the same list price, regularly $49.99.

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#28 by whateverdude // Jul 16, 2020 - 5:02pm

Can you still download it as a PDF and access it in perpetuity (like you could the old way), or is it truly "subscription only access" where you have to be logged in to read it via some proprietary DRM solution?

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#29 by t.d. // Jul 16, 2020 - 11:09pm

waiting on this answer too; like several others above, I've bought every year save one since about 2007, and I appreciate y'alls work and am willing to go to $35, if once Ive paid for it Ive got it, but I dont play FF.  Alternately, it looks like the kindle version, in the past, has come out a month later, and Im wondering if thats expected to be the case again

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#31 by Theo // Jul 17, 2020 - 9:57am

This "once you buy our T-shirt, you have to get a monthly subscription to the detergent as well" style of doing business is putting a lot of people off, I think. 

I don't like that business model. At all. Maybe I'm old.

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#32 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 11:28am

Yes, you can download a PDF. Once you have the file saved to your computer/device, you do not need to be logged in or have Internet access in order to read it.

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#45 by flyingdonut // Jul 18, 2020 - 3:22pm

You are making me pay extra for something I do not want AND the "incentive" is the ability to now download something I already have and paid for. Why can't I just buy the PDF? I do not want the KUBIAK stuff and I do not want the fantasy football stuff. All I want to do is to give you $20 for an uploaded PDF of a document.

I want to give you my money. I really do - but you're making me but things I don't want. You're making me pay $35 for something that cost $20 in the past because I as the customer have no desire to purchase.

If you are saying I can ONLY buy the product with the things I do not want, do you not see the problem with that business model?

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#52 by armchair journ… // Jul 21, 2020 - 12:22pm

you can buy the pdf for 35 bucks, or buy the pdf and the first month of plus for 35 bucks. i did the former, you can too. its not that hard.

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#40 by Jetspete // Jul 17, 2020 - 12:10pm

AFter coming back to it, this really isnt that terrible.  Instead of thinking of it as a subscription, think of it as the pdf of the magazine and kubiak updateable through the day you buy +30.  sign up the right day that gets you through all your drafts.  i'm assuming kubiak is downloadable as it was in prior years.

The difference to prior years seems to be that you no longer have the ability to buy the Almanac alone at a reduced price point.  Is that sketchy to do to longtime readers who only buy the magazine? Probably.  but they gotta make their money somehow.  

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#56 by MPappadato // Aug 24, 2020 - 6:09pm

Kubiak seems to be downloadable but only in plain text list format. None of the dynamic parts of the previous spreadsheets exist.

8.1.2

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#43 by Aaron Schatz // Jul 17, 2020 - 5:38pm

An updated version is now available for download that fixes some errors in the Statistical Appendix section.

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#44 by andrew // Jul 18, 2020 - 2:26pm

If you do have a lot of free time and don't want to pay, in the past you've been able to get a copy by being a game charter.  Its an experience I learned a lot from an would do again if I had the time.  I don't recall what the timing of that was.

Of course the drawback of this was buying multiple hard copies for my family so I could show them my mention in the credits, so it ended up costing me more, but ymmv.

Assuming there are any games to chart, that is.

 (note - have not verified if they still do this)

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#46 by Vincent Verhei // Jul 18, 2020 - 4:09pm

No, we do not do this anymore. All charting is handled by Sports Info Solutions.

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#49 by andrew // Jul 19, 2020 - 10:23am

I completely understand the reasons for this, a more consistent and reliable source of data....   but I am nostalgic for the time I had doing that a couple years, felt like I was a part of the operation and contributing to the result.   Plus I always enjoyed the "game charters speak" feature when we got to write a couple things.  Ah, well...

 

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#47 by rgodek // Jul 18, 2020 - 8:13pm

For the love of God, I don't understand why I am double billed for wanting a PDF if I buy the print version. Buying a print version should automatically include a digital version with it. I don't understand that at all

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#48 by Mountain Time … // Jul 18, 2020 - 11:43pm

If I thought there would be a 2020 season, I would suck it up and pay $35 for the book. I don't like the price hike, but whatever. I would get over it.

But the price hike, plus the likelihood that there's no NFL this year? Sorry guys.

You know, soccer is like a desert wasteland compared to the NFL when it comes to fan-facing advanced stats and analysis. There are several xG models that are fine, but there is a dearth of writers of anywhere near the quality that you see here at FO (Ted Knutson and Grace Robertson of Statsbomb and a handful of others excepted). Statsbomb is great but they are more focused on working with actual clubs than writing for fans. I'd love to see Aaron work his magic a second time and come up with a new and improved metric to rate club soccer teams! 

I've been steadily losing interest in American football for years, for a combination of different reasons. If it weren't for FO I probably would have given up on the game by now. I don't see myself turning my back on the game completely, but the less interested I feel about American football, the more interested I become about association football! It's been fun watching the British commentators slowly come around to the realization that Christian Pulisic is truly a world-class player. Go Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and Rapids!

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#51 by craigj1971 // Jul 20, 2020 - 12:42pm

Great to have another almanac to peruse.

Just saw this article on the NFL website: https://www.nfl.com/news/next-gen-stats-intro-to-expected-rushing-yards

I love the second to last paragraph: "This is only the beginning."  Golly, the NFL has discovered "new" fangled metric methods of analysing the game.  I'm sure someone should have a quiet word or two in their collective ears, those words (or, rather, acronyms) being "DVOA" and "DYAR"!

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#53 by tigair38 // Jul 21, 2020 - 2:54pm

After buying all but one from 2009 on and just reading the team previews (and time permitting not all of them), I was looking forward to this years edition... even if the season due to the pandemic might not look at all like you're previewing it.

For my purposes 20 was fine - 35 bucks for sure isn't. Never used Kubiak / fantasy stuff and for about 10 team previews it's way too much.

Sadly I wave goodbye.

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#54 by TADontAsk // Jul 21, 2020 - 3:31pm

I love the content, I've owned every print edition since 2006 (not a fan of reading pdf), and I even understand price hikes. But I have to admit, going from $28.95 last year to $49.99 this year is a big one, and one that for the first time has me leaning towards skipping the book this year.

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#55 by Dean from Oz // Aug 13, 2020 - 11:22am

Interesting reading the comments above.

Every year, without fail - from 26 July 2006 to 11 August 2019 - I buy the book and KUBIAK. $20, then $30, $31, $32, $36, then last year $60. (Hmm, might have bought extra last year)

So this year it seems like its $50, where I get the same for 30 days and then no more.

So the costs are on the rise....the offering is for less time than previous years.....and I still have to convert USD to the Australian Dollar.....this one's going to be far tougher decision. 

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#57 by rageon // Aug 30, 2020 - 4:08pm

Count me in among the people frustrated by the change in price and model. $50 for the print edition seems steep to me, and I hate the idea of a subscription. They can say over and over "you can just cancel," but the fact remains that subscription models are used in large part because of the high number of people who simply forget to do so or are made to jump through hoops to cancel.

I appreciate everything Aaron and his team has done, but this is disappointing. This will be the first time in as long as I can remember that I will not be buying either the price or PDF edition.

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#58 by Dean from Oz // Sep 17, 2020 - 12:11am

Case in point? Got too busy with work and life to cancel in time, got slugged again overnight. My fault - no question - but the cost now which was already up, is now double. 

Have now cancelled.

If priced similarly next year, sadly this will be the last year I buy the Almanac....after having one every year from inception.

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