Print Magazines Going Digital – What That Means for Authors

More and more magazines are being discontinued. And we’re not just talking about those niche magazines you can only find online. Some of my favorites, including Simple Scrapbooking and Quick and Simple (do you see a theme there for my life’s ambitions? Simple. Ha!) are a couple of the five that I’ve faithfully read who have announced their demise in the last couple of months.

As the editor of my own magazine, HopeKeepers, I am deeply in debt from my last print job. With trouble getting advertisers to commit, plus print and postage increases, printing another is not a feasible idea or a wise one. We are going digital and I am planning to print digitally using Yudu.com.

And although it’s sad that April 20th will be LIFE magazine’s last print issue, it pleases me as an editor to see that readers will still be able to read LIFE online. [Time started publishing the magazine in 1936, but this isn't the first time it was shut down. It closed its doors in 1972, but came back in 1978, before shutting down again in 2000.]

Selfishly, if I ever had to say, “My magazine isn’t making it,” I am in very good company!

But what does this mean to you as authors:

As an editor who has read everything I can get my hands on about digital magazines here’s what I have to offer:

  1. Digital “clips” of your writing carry as much weight now as print clips. Even just 2 years ago this wasn’t so. Depending on where your clips appear (and even the comments about them below it) they can even be significantly more impressive.
  2. Magazines will no longer have the restraints be so defining of their publications when it comes to size, page count, etc. Use this to your advantage, and keep submit more queries than you have in the past, especially to lesser known magazines. Some of the more popular magazines like LIFE will still get just as many queries and submissions. Smaller magazines will be more likely to have their regular writers say, “See ya!” and go look for work at print publications. This opens up the door for you!
  3. Ask about ad prices. While it may have been inconceivalbe to have a full-page ad in a magazine just last year, now the price may be in your budget! Magazines still want advertisers. They make us look credible! Plus we want to bring our readers good resources and products.
  4. And lastly, according to Wow – “Women on Writing”:

Good news for the future [for freelance writers]. With magazines moving to online and advertising rates rising, in turn, writers should be better paid and have more opportunities. Reasonably, it should create more openings, since online content needs to stay fresh and be constantly updated in real time. It may not be as glamorous for die-hard print fans out there, but online clips will be easier to buzz.

So get out there and discover the possibilties and be one of the first to do so! Two great web sites to keep updated on what magazines are going from print to digital are Mr. Magazine and The Wooden Horse.

Keep me posted on your success!

Lisa

Connect with Magazines to Become an Expert

magazines

magazines Connect with Magazines to Become an Expert
Magazines can be an excellent way to get your name out there in the public eye and be seen as an expert. If you are a reader of a magazine, you may realize that you quickly jump over the credentials of many experts when you are reading. But when the expert’s web site is given, or book name, as in Mary Smith, founder of “www.greatsite.info” , if the reader is interested they will makeĀ a note of it. Plus, writers and editors of other magazines read and study the magazines. If you are being quotes as an expert, it’s assumed that the other magazine has done their homework and that you really are a useful source!

I subscribed to about 30 magazines, everything from Woman’s Day to Christian Retailing, US News to Arthritis Today. I splurge about once a month and buy a People Magazine. I recently found very useful information about a person’s chronic illness in People when no other magazine I’d read (or even the Today Show) had mentioned. Since I am in the illness field, this was information I definitely wanted!

It may sound like a fortune to subscribe to all these magazines but I use some great services like Best Deal Magazines and others. Just Google “discount magazine subscriptions” for all kinds of magazine subscriptions that are $4-$6 per subscription–Often the cost of just one issue at your store.

I stack them up and then I go through this like a whirlwind with a big pen and scissors. I am looking for a variety of information, such as

  • Articles on topics I write on. What magazines are covering my topic that I should contact with a different slant?
  • Where could I offer good sidebar information?
  • What editor would I contact to let him or her know that I can be called to comment on certain topics?
  • What articles could I query them for?

Since I also have my own magazine, HopeKeepers, I am also looking for

  • Possible advertisers. Who is advertising where?
  • Writers or experts I should make a note of for my own publication
  • What’s “hot” and what’s “not”
  • News I may have missed on different topics

Lastly, one of the best tips I can give is to get out your book. Go through it chapter by chapter, thinking like a magazine editor and recognize what areas could make good excerpts for a magazine, or what quotes could be pulled from it. What parts of it would make a good sidebar to an article the magazine may want one of their writers to do? Grab a stack of your books, one for each magazine you are targeting and go through it and put post it’s on the pages that would be a good fit. What different slants can you give it?

For my book Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend I can pick out all kinds of slants, such as

  • How to encourage a chronically ill mom. Dad.
  • How to encourage the kids in the family
  • What can your kids do to help a family?
  • How to encourage a chronically ill co-worker
  • How to help a friend for uner $10
  • How to help a friend in less than 20 minutes

And this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a great magazine resource, MrMagazine.com – check it out for lots of ideas!

 

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receives over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 Connect with Magazines to Become an Expert

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