A long lost publisher client recently contacted me. He’s in a different somewhat more lucrative end of the publishing business these days and he asked for assistance in compiling a list of magazine publishers in several different categories.
After I began the research I was at first intrigued to discover that there was no really solid comprehensive list of these types of titles. There were a lot of lists, but they were all very different. The upside of that discovery? Damn! We’re a really diverse industry!
Then I began visiting publisher web sites and looking for subscription information, advertising information, the corporate name, details on management and…
A quick short term project turned into a hard slog and plod through a wide variety of web site designs. Some sites made it immediately obvious that they were the publisher of a magazine. Others seemed to want to hide that fact. Are they embarrased that they have a print product in the 21st century?
But was fascinating about the whole project was how anti “mercantile” many of these sites were. Aren’t we in the business of selling information to readers as a service?
So I have to ask:
You want your potential paying reading customer to fill out a long form of personal information before you even tell him how much your going to charge him for a subscription?
Or even better, you’re going to hide the button to subscribe to the magazine at the very bottom of the page in teeny tiny little type?
Or your page is so full of flickering images and tabs that no one with the exception of a hard core gamer could figure out what exactly you provide as a service?
Or your page is so devoid of anything that the casual passer by would presume that you’re a long abandoned web site from the old AOL dial-up era?
Or should an advertiser decide that he wants to be in your magazine you’ll hide the advertising information button at the bottom of the page next to the teeny tiny little subscribe button?
Or, you don’t make your media kit readily available?
Or you do have a media kit, but it’s out of date?
Or it’s full of bunkum and hokum (OK, really obvious bunkum and hokum)?
Or you don’t have any sort of contact information. What? You don’t want to hear from your readers? Isn’t this the 21st century where all communication is is free flowing and on all the time?
So with all of that in mind, this Friday’s information dump and pie chart gives an approximate breakdown on where I found all of the information that I was looking for.
Because it’s Friday, and who doesn’t like pie?