As writers we are all very aware of what goes on in the publishing industry.
So no doubt you’ve seen or heard of the large and ubiquitous national ad campaign, announced in April by a joint venture between five giants of the publishing industry (Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation, Time Inc., and Wenner Media) titled “Magazines – The Power of Print“.
What? You haven’t spotted it? It’s in the May issues of over 100 major magazines spanning many different genres.
You are still reading magazines, aren’t you?
If you haven’t seen it, you’re not alone.
Earlier this month I was at the NATJA annual conference, and was surprised to hear from a number of writers I spoke with that they hadn’t seen it, many of whom told me they did not subscribe to magazines any longer – they get all their “news and information” online. A common refrain: why should they pay for what they can now get for free on the internet.
That stunned me.
We may all be aware of what is going on in publishing, but how often do we realize that we can participate in – and possibly even influence or effect – what happens in our industry?
If you haven’t seen the campaign, allow me to summarize with a quote:
We surf the Internet. We swim in Magazines. The Internet is exhilarating. Magazines are enveloping. The Internet grabs you. Magazines embrace you. The Internet is impulsive. Magazines are immersive. And both media are growing.
Yes, growing. The ad in one magazine goes on for several more paragraphs of positive industry trends, and other ads from the campaign feature similar inspirational messages.
Do you love your magazines? I do. I subscribe to dozens, mostly Travel (both those geared for travel consumers as well as travel industry professionals for a different perspective on related topics) and several for writers and editors (I literally get breathless with excitement when my issue of Writer’s Digest comes in each month).
I never leave my house without at least a couple of magazines tucked in my bag, for those you-never-know-when moments of spare time, to peruse an article or two. I am always dog-earing the corner of articles I want to re-read, or sometimes pulling them out to scan and email to someone else. Some magazines I keep in my own personal archive for future reference. And YES I even love the ads, and often find great new products to try out by paying attention to them.
So my point is this: If you love magazines – and if you want a future that includes the possibility of publishing your work in them – you should be supporting that medium.
Yes, both the Internet and magazines educate us, entertain us, inform us, and inspire us, but magazines are also what we – as writers – are proud to (or aspire to) see our own byline in.
Sure, subscribing saves you money over the newsstand/bookstore prices (a nice bonus), but it also allows publishers to set ad rates, which we all know is what keeps the magazines alive.
So the next time you’re browsing a magazine rack for something new to read, think about subscribing – you’ll get a whole year of immersion for barely more than the cost of a couple of issues at that newsstand.
The ad I quote above ends with these words: “….people aren’t giving up swimming, just because they also enjoy surfing.”
We are those people, and I love to swim.
Do you still read and subscribe to magazines? Which ones?
I have seen the ad campaign, AND I subscribe to a few trade-related publications. It is unfortunate that the idea of getting “free” stuff on the Internet is the cause of fewer outlets for writing and photography work with good paying fees. –Brent
.-= D. Brent Miller´s last blog post: Brent Miller on Side Stand Up =-.
Hi Brent – thanks for stopping by! I totally agree with you, and yet I remain hopeful for the future of print publishing.
To do what I can, at Christmas each year I give my three teen-aged step-kids several subscriptions each to magazines they enjoy – I think it’s critical to foster the experience, in younger generations, of the pleasure of reading a magazine that they can hold in their hands.
So much of the world is about supply and demand – as long as there is enough demand for them, magazines will survive.
the issue is not about getting free info. itsc about the fact that, at least in this part of the world (Philippines), most glossy magazines suck! The editors rehash old content, the womens magazines only focus on having and orgasm and getting a boyfriend, and even business magazines don;t give new insights. so why should i bother spending my hard earned money when i can find better quality stories over the internet????
and by the way, I used to work in the magazine. and after getting immersed in the shallowness of magazine culture, i’m more than happy to return to the newswires to work as a financial journalist.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion, Prime. I do know there are quite a few glossy mags out there that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, and I don’t know how they survive. It’s a shame that you have few good choices in the Philippines – I can only hope that someday that changes.
I love my magazines ~ I just can’t seem to get through them all before the next round arrives every month! One of my new favorites is AFAR … I can’t get enough!
.-= JoAnna´s last blog post: 10 Train Travel Tips =-.
LOL! I also love AFAR – and I have to laugh because I have the same problem – sometimes my stack of issues gets pretty tall before I have spare time for reading!
Great post, Trisha. I’ve been going through my favorite magazine back issues lately, realizing how much I LOVE getting a new one in the mail. An ezine, while inspiring, just can’t compare. Off to write my list of must-have subscriptions. :-)
.-= Krista´s last blog post: Bullets in Bosnia =-.
Thanks Krista! I’d love to hear back from you on your list :)
I love the quote at the end! You are so right. I love magazines. I wish that I had a home base that I could subscribe to them though. Magazines are out of control expensive. Some of them cost as much as a book. But I do still love them and of course would love to write for them:-)
.-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Cinque Terre’s Five Villages Hike =-.