Do great ideas become great magazines?

Dean Cook

by Dean Cook, April 10, 2016
Category: Blog,   Tags: business model, magazine ideas, produce a magazine, publish a magazine, set up a magazine,

Those aspired to start a magazine often make contact to take their idea to the next stage. The majority paint a very pretty picture but Dean Cook can’t find the easel it should be standing on.

Launching a magazine carries a high-risk failure rate, with nine out of 10 magazines failing by issue four. With over 20 years experience behind us, we are able to identify the patterns that cause magazines to fail and therefore offer each client a free phone consultation at the beginning of their journey to evaluate the true time and financial implications as well as any perceived difficulties.

Quite frequently we receive calls from those who have a desire to publish their own magazine but the focus is often on content and how the magazine is going to look, rather than how it will be properly financed or distributed. Although the content is important, it is also crucial to assess its viability.

Advertisers ultimately pay for a service which enables their message to reach an audience via a quality publication. The money they invest must be effective, therefore a true viability assessment is crucial. Without a route to market to share quality content with, there is no readership; without a quality readership, advertisers will not be interested; without advertisers, there is no money; and without money, a magazine cannot survive.

Here are our five top tips to help you build the basis of your business model before you call us:

  1. Has your route to market been identified? If not, how would you find your readers?
  2. How is your magazine to be distributed? Multi-point pickup, door-to-door, mailed direct to doors (subscription), bought in shops or distributed at events?
  3. Are the quantities of sufficient amounts to satisfy advertisers’ spend? What would their cost per reader be?
  4. Will your magazine contain unique and quality written content? If so, how would that to be supplied to you?
  5. How are the first several issues to be funded? Can you find ways to increase the longevity of the initial budget?

It would be very easy to take on new business without engaging in a viability assessment with our clients, but our aim is to build quality, long-term business relationships. We hate saying goodbye after four short months.

We would rather say; ‘Hang on, we can see a few issues here. We think you’re not quite ready to launch a magazine yet’ for any titles where viability is questionable, rather than to proceed knowing the magazine is likely to fail. In these circumstances, objective advice and guidance will always be given in the hope that ideas can be developed and brought to fruition at a later date.

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