Friday, May 18, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On jobs, editors, Circ, $70 magazines

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On jobs, editors, Circ, $70 magazines

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: The $70 Magazine!
Bob, Because you understand the mechanics of printing you wanted to be impressed by what the medium can really accomplish in terms of beautiful printing using state-of-the-art reproduction processes on extraordinary paper. However, what is being sold is not beauty, but (you said it yourself) "style". Behind style is an idea that if expressed at all, even if not well, may find an audience. Of course, like beauty, style is certainly in the eye of the beholder -- a beholder who is obviously willing to pay through the nose for it. One thing for sure, there's no accounting for taste, as only the self-indulgent would pay $70 or more for a magazine, a sure reflection of the some of the imbalances rife in our economy and society.
(Submitted by a Printer)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: The $70 Magazine!
Interesting, but in a way not that different from specialized newsletters or magazines that cost multiple hundreds for a subscription. If you have what the right audience wants, you can charge a lot. In fact, I'm becoming more certain that the future of publishing isn't what the large companies do, but what individual writers and photographers will create. For example, I'm considering self publishing a book that a number of publishers have passed on. The audience - professional and aspiring writers - is one that would probably be willing to shell out a reasonable amount, it's an area where I have some expertise (a number have been paying me around $160 for six-week online courses), and I could keep all the profits myself. Given that publishers expect me to do the writing on tight deadlines for little and then, for books at least, do the majority of the marketing, I see less and less reason to bother with them.
(Submitted by a Seasoned Professional Writer)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: The $70 Magazine!
The first thing I did (a decade ago) when I acquired our flagship title from a failing publisher was to raise its cover price: from a (then-high) $5 to $6. (Of course, I also gradually increased the page count and quality of the book.) The old publisher tried to wriggle out of the sale, on the basis that "no one will pay $6 for a magazine" but nothing in our sale contract said I couldn't raise the cover price, so I won.

I now sell my titles at $7.50 (that flagship title), $5.95 and $6.00 and I am about to launch (spring 2008) a semi-annual book with a cover price of $10. All of this without color (except on the cover) or glossy, high-end production values. But we deliver value: real editorial. We restrain advertising to 25% of the total book, and depend on circ (primarily newsstand) for about 75% of revenue.

If readers like your work, they *will* pay good money for it. But you have to remember to put the reader, not the advertisers, first. Advertising is good money, and excess liquidity sloshing around Madison Avenue has made the American (world?) publishing business sloppy, greedy, and lazy. But when circ is king, the publisher is forced to treat readers like the gods that they truly are. Readers are why we are in this business.
(Submitted by a Multi-title Publisher)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: The $70 Magazine!
Bob: Thoroughly depressing; The next issue of aRUDE should be made up of silvery reflective Mylar pages, so that the reader can admire him-or-herself, then on the inside covers, write compliments inspired by the views just seen. That would be a perfect follow up to the Hilton issue. The age of Narcisism is indeed here, populated by people living vicarious lives, indifferent to the realities most of us swim in. There is a 'market correction' in our cultural future. p.s. If aRUDE does a mylar-paged issue, i want credit for the idea.
(Submitted by a Publisher)

RE: The World May be Flat - Dateline Delhi
Bo: What's the big deal about outsourcing all those tedious, difficult, and unpleasant tasks that, fifty years ago, were called "work"? We live in the most wonderful country in the world, and anyone who doesn't think so should just move. I mean, where else can you get such GREAT programs as American Idol? And, so MANY wonderful celebrity magazine's to choose from, every week! If you gave a quiz to American teens about Paris Hilton's latest antics, like, they'd score higher, like, than teens in ANY other country in, like, the entire world! Forget about algebra, physics, or chemistry. That stuff is HARD, and after all, that's why those Chindians are there, to do that work. I mean, Detroit's latest gigantic SUV's even have in car TV's so you can watch Idol and drive, at the SAME time! Nobody else has all these wonderful things....nobody! We've shipped all our investment money to Iraq, so we won't be doing any public works or infrastructure repairs for GENERATIONS, so who needs skilled labor, anyway? Don't Worry, Be Happy!
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Manufacturing)

RE: The World May be Flat - Dateline Delhi
This is an immature and whining take on reality. Standing on a hill? Oh, you mean you figured that you were safe, so it was ok to send other jobs overseas? It shows you how morose and self-piteous her thinking is when you realize that she writes, "I can't even complain, as U.S.- based Reuters' workers did when their jobs were outsourced, that the quality of journalism will suffer as a result," when these reporters will watch a video of a city council meeting and have no possibility of asking a question or knowing anything of the greater context of the meeting. . .
(Submitted by a Writer)

Re: All-out outsourcing
Insightful article. I suspect that it's only a matter of time before this begins to become even more prevalent in our industry. Editorial in some companies has been outsourced for some time now and prepress is already being outsourced to India with some prepress houses serving as the liaisons between the Publishing companies they serve and those responsible for the outsourced work in foreign lands. At the end of the day, it's all about the bottom line and if the same work can be done more cost effectively overseas then unfortunately that's all that seems to really matter these days.
(Submitted by a Group Production Manager)

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Marketers to Mags: Give Guarantees or We'll Walk
"hardeeharhar. I should be making a million bucks a year as a consultant for the industry.

Our policy has been to offer proof positive of our paid rate base (actual copies printed! USPS Periodical Statement of Ownership!) to any advertiser upon request. Our policy has been this way for over a decade, since we found out about the rampant insane chicanery and outright lies that competitors in our market were waving around in front of their marks.
(Submitted by a Publisher)

Re: How to Sink a Newspaper
We all just have to keep our heads until this internet thing blows over.
(Submitted by an Industry Supplier)

RE: Craigslist founder questions print future
The common question is, "If you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" The better question many times is, "If you're so rich, how come you're not smart?"
(Submitted by a Printer)

Article on GM Wants More Newspaper Advertorials
hey, didn't that pcworld editor get canned for not running favorable articles? an advertorial is where you bribe the sales staff with money and free content. a p.r. placement is where you bribe them with lunch. :)
(Submitted by an Industry Pundit)

Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Mr. Magazine, Time Inc, MPA, Editorial Integrity, and More
Bob, I sort of thought you had jumped into a deeper pool than most of us imagine, with your Copake Town Council win. But, I am glad you did it. It is as important to bring what you have to Copake as it is to share it with us, your readers, and admirers.

Yeah, I sort of miss your rants, too, but to me, Rants are not the centerpiece of your Blog; the Digest Presentation of industry information and news is. I can only wonder at the volumes of chaff you comb through to glean the newsworthy pieces you send our way. That you see fit to periodically add your own well- considered thoughts, is a major plus, and adds greatly to the VALUE of your Blog. That I take the time daily to read through what you have suggested is worthy news, is a sort of Consumer Loyalty that the Advertisers in our Publications only dream about.

So, keep up the good work. Bob, as best you can, and continue to become yourself, even if we might real fewer words from your own keyboard!
(Submitted by a Publisher)

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