Friday, August 17, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time, Newsweek, and Staying Employed, Circ

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time, Newsweek, and Staying Employed, Circ Time's Lead Over Newsweek Narrows
As I predicted in January . . . changing to Friday publication was a REALLY stupid idea, and the fall in circ does not even take into the full year's cycle of people who will choose NOT to renew over the next five months . . . I always liked Newsweek better, anyway!

The leading newsweekly sees a 17% drop in circulation during the six months ended June 30, after cutting its rate base in January.
(Submitted by a Dir of Manufacturing)

Re: How to Stay Employed in Today's Publishing Industry
Bob, I received my copy of Publishing Executive Magazine this past week and quickly turned to the last page (as I usually do) to read the article you wrote regarding the note I sent to you. It was fantastic!! It was a honest and telling account of the state of the state so to speak. It was also comforting to know that many have the same questions, fears and concerns. Thanks so much for addressing this very important industry concern. I'm quite certain that your article will resonate with many folks that are facing similar concerns and challenges. Thank again and keep up the great work!
(Submitted by a Production Person)

Re: How to Stay Employed in Today's Publishing Industry
Bob, I have been reading your e-mails everyday for the past year or so. This one struck me enough to write back. Perfect analysis of the shift and rift caused by the on going evolution within our industry. For me, the past 18 years have seen a number of job changes-all voluntary, with increased pay and value. This has been done by selling my service values each time. Now I am working on staying ahead of the curve via education. But the one difference I see currently with my employer is that I do feel a sense of loyalty with and between my colleagues and managers. Certainly this can change in a flash, but right now it is evident to know there are many good people in this industry managing through these times despite the often transparent lack of loyalty from employers to employees.
(Submitted by a Distributor)

Re: How to Stay Employed in Today's Publishing Industry

Isn't a shame that it has come to this. It's just not in publishing, but all area's of our mutual businesses. The days of having a good relationship is no longer the norm to keep business or a job. You must be on top of your game and know all aspects of every industry. The day of doing business over lunch, is no longer viable. You won't be seeing any brass names tags at the Steak houses in the city from our industry any more. And the average age of the people in this business is probably 45, you got a lot of people fearing for their future and asking "what next?" Where are the young people that drive innovation and new ideas, on the other side of this screen - techno power, baby! Cut a tree, save a job! The power of the printed word is still powerful, except now it's being produced in smaller installments and on flat panel monitors. Is there hope, absolutely, don't give up and continue to produce a good product the draws advertisers and readers! Don't crawl into a fox hole, stand on the mountain and face the new challenges with excitement and enthusiasm. Don't sell out just yet!
(Submitted by an Unknown)

Re: Do Print Buyers Lie?
I never lie - but boy do I often lose my patience with some of the sales reps that I am dealing with. They often just don't listen to what I am saying - and even with specs sent in writing - will misquote or omit certain information. If they cannot communicate clearly to their estimating and production departments at the plant - how wise would I be

on behalf of my clients to award such a printer a job. The printing companies' management need to monitor some of their reps and how they deal with the customers - they are always polling clients' about how well the customer service department reps are doing - the same should be done on a continuing basis for the reps. Now that being said, I have also worked with some of the best reps in the business - who will honestly walk
away from work that isn't suitable for their equipment - and will give a reco for a
competitor. Sort of like Macy's sending the business to Gimbels . . . now that's a real miracle!!
(Submitted by a Senior Publishing Consultant)

RE: Magazines: Unfulfilled Fulfillment?
In addition to the unreasonable slowness of a subscription starting up is the extremely annoying practice at Conde Nast of also sending the new subscriber the PREVIOUS issue of the publication (an issue that is no longer even on the newsstand) and using that issue as the start date of the subscription. That has happened to me twice with Vanity Fair, which usually arrives shrink-wrapped with promotions for other CN magazines. When they send the old issue, they just slap a subscription label on it and put it in the mail. It is obviously from the pile of extras in the mailroom.

It must work for them. They have done it for years. Personally, I always call them and make sure they extend my subscription by another issue. Many people must not bother.
(Submitted by an Editor)

RE: Magazines: Unfulfilled Fulfillment?
When you're lucky to get $10 for a 12 issue subscription that costs you $1 or more per issue to manufacture and ship, you've already lost before you tack on the exorbitant amount of postage and extra handling charges that would be required to get that first issue out in Amazonian fashion. Not to mention all the rules imposed on us by the likes of ABC and BPA and the challenges of meeting ratebase all the while balancing customer service and print budgets, etc. If it wasn't for his excellent spelling and decent grammar (certainly better than mine), I'd swear this guy was born yesterday.
Submitted by an Unknown)

RE: Magazines: Unfulfilled Fulfillment?
Bob, Being a prolific subscriber to magazines it has been my experiences that not only do you get an issue that you already have, but sometimes as many as 2 or 3 back issues. A simple phone call will get your subscription extended to cover the unwanted issues which of course represent a cost to the publisher as well as an annoyance factor to the subscriber.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: How to Stay Employed in Today's Publishing Industry
How serendipitous for me that this article came out now. It makes me feel more secure in the decision I made last month.

Come next Friday, I am leaving xxxx xxxx Media after 15 years with XXXX xxxx --my first job--and going out on my own.

I am taking advantage of the dominant philosophy in the publishing neighborhood I inhabit that skeleton staffs and lots of freelance contribution will carry the day. So instead of losing sleep over never-upbeat budget meetings and new brand extensions we've created without any additional staffers to maintain them, I started my own writing and consulting firm.

I negotiated with the boss to write an article each issue for XX XXX and also for sister pub xxx xxxx. . . .

I've had enough of being stretched just a bit thinner every six months--I am all stretched out. I decided that from now on, I am going to do only the type of work I like to do. And even though the result is a (hopefully temporary) cut in pay, I will enjoy waking up to walk across the hall to my office and do my assignments each day, for people who need me.
(Submitted by a Senior Editor)

Re: How to Stay Employed in Today's Publishing Industry

Wow. I've thought it often, but you said it. Dead on, as usual.
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Mgf and DST)

Re: Content really IS king
How many publishers in B to B magazine and book publishing have a content strategy? I'm not sure of the answer from my travels. I see B to B magazines and books still producing static products and their content is valuable.

There are some book publishers who totally embrace technology with a detailed content strategy, coupled with a DTD that gives them the XML for numerous uses and additional revenue. But there are few.

It's an interesting transitional time for publishers.
(Submitted by a Printer)

RE: When Mags Meet The Reaper
What makes the site so compelling is that it gets about the penny-ante crap
that cause most people to complain and really gets to the substantive issue
of what it takes to make a magazine a real business venture. It's hard to be
in an industry and not get angry when people needlessly flush enterprises.
(Submitted by a Writer)

RE: Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

I like this quotation. Artists can be so self absorbed, self important, and downright tedious that it is particularly refreshing when successful talented people deflate those pretensions. Zappa's comment reminds me of two great remarks made by Spencer Tracy. Once, when asked about performing on stage, he offered the classic bit of advice, "Memorize your lines, and don't bump into the furniture." Even better, he was once asked by a very earnest interviewer to expound on what it took to be an actor, and what made one into a great actor. To which the always down to earth Mr. Tracy replied, "You're an actor when you get paid to act, and Gable's the best because he gets paid the most."
(Submitted by a Printer)

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