Archive for May, 2010

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So What Do You Do? Mediabistro.com Asks and Mr. Magazine™ Answers

May 26, 2010

If print is dead, Samir Husni has been working in a mausoleum. Running a $30,000 annual tab for his magazine collection, the issues are overflowing from his three storage units and onto his office floor and couch at the University of Mississippi, where he educates the next wave of journalists and runs the Magazine Innovation Center.

The aforementioned is the lead to an interview Blake Gernstetter mediabistro.com’s associate editor conducted with me and is published today in the Interview section on mediabistro.com

Part of an ongoing weekly segment on mediabistro.com “So What Do You Do” the interview sheds some light on both the personal and professional life of media folks.

Click here to read the mediabistro.com interview with me, “So What Do You Do, Samir Husni, Mr. Magazine? Husni shares his take on monetizing digital content and the outlook for print publications.”

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“Be Different, Be Better.” Words of Wisdom From Legendary Magazine Publisher Roy Reiman

May 11, 2010

When Roy Reiman talks, I listen. The man who has launched 14 successful magazines is a wealth of information and ideas. I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Reiman in beautiful Greendale, WI and could not resist the temptation to video tape some of those words of wisdom.

A storyteller and instant idea generator, Roy Reiman has been described as the man who “was born with an endless curiosity about people. He observed, listened and learned… and launched magazines that captured the interest of so many readers that he didn’t need advertising for support.”

From the humble beginnings of Farm Wife News magazine to the great success of Taste of Home, the largest food magazine in the country, Mr. Reiman knew how to treat his customers as friends and his magazines as letters from friends to friends. He sold his magazines few years back, but his love to this business brought him back to the world of publishing with Our Iowa magazine which he started less than three years ago.

In the following three videos, Roy talks about what it takes to launch a new magazine in today’s market place, on whether you can or can’t launch a magazine today without advertising, the realities of the marketplace and his latest entry to the magazine world with Our Iowa magazine.

So, I asked Mr. Reiman, “What would you tell someone who comes to you and say, I want to start a magazine?” Click on the video below to hear his answer:

“Can people still launch a magazine without advertising and what does it take to do so?” I asked. Click on the video below to hear his answer.

“And what about his latest magazine venture, Our Iowa?” Mr. Reiman offers the behind the scenes in and outs of making Our Iowa magazine. Click on the video below to hear the details.

Now, you know, why when Roy Reiman talks, I listen. Keep in mind, if you are going to start a new magazines the four simple WOW words of Roy Reiman: “Be different, be better.”

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Digital maybe Goliath, but David is Out There (and that’s not Creative Nonfiction) with few other ink on paper magazines reminding us that PRINT IS NOT DEAD! Part 1

May 9, 2010

April has been a great month for new ink on paper magazines. Yes, I know, all the attention has been focused on the iPad and the future of digital publishing, so when 64 new magazines appeared on the newsstands for the first time last month no one took notice. Everyone was so busy counting how many iPads have been sold and how much should we charge for the magazine apps on the iPad. No one bothered to take note that the number of magazines launched in April of 2010 is 18 more magazines than that of April 2009. In addition to that 16 of those newly introduced titles have a frequency of 4 times or more. You can see each and every one of those magazines (and the first three months of 2010) here.

In the next few days I will be reporting on some of the new magazines being introduced on the marketplace, here and abroad. Here is part one with three magazines: DAVID, Out There and Creative Nonfiction.

DAVID: “For people whose understanding of history informs their contemporary identities,” writes Max and Joanne Friedland, the magazine publishers in the premier edition of David, the magazine. Aimed at the Las Vegas’ Jewish community, the Friedlands add, “in a city full of transplants, DAVID is our native son, born in this season of new beginnings, a testament to our creative will unbroken, and always inspired by what is possible.” The magazine editor in chief Martin Stein describes the mission of DAVID and its relation to Las Vegas as such. “This is Las Vegas, after all — the entertainment, dining and shopping capital of the world,” Stein writes. “With that in mind, we decided to create a bold, hip magazine that reflects our modern, Jewish reality,” he adds.

A hip, upbeat, necessary, sufficient and relevant magazine for the Las Vegas Jewish community with a lot of benefits for both Jews and Gentiles. A must if you live in Las Vegas, and a must if you plan to visit there.

Out There: The mission of this UK import is “to celebrate all aspects of homoculture, to scour the world to discover your talent, delight in your stories, to show just what a sexy, savvy, sweet and sour bunch we are.” Uwern Jong, the magazine publisher and Martin Perry, the creative/editorial director of Out There know that the launch issue of the magazine “isn’t a complete picture of the global gay experience, but there was only so much that we could fit into 200 pages. We are only what you make us, so if you like what you see, or think you know something we should be covering please let us know. We know you’re Out There.”

Out There could easily be dubbed the MONOCLE of the global gay culture. In fact, the size, design and type of paper Out There use is nothing but a reminder to me of Monocle. Whoever said imitation is the best form of flattery was never wrong. It is easy to say, Out There is one of the best new magazine launches I have seen out there.

Creative Nonfiction: Lee Gutkind, the creative non-fiction guru states it very well when he writes in the introduction to the first issue of the new magazine, “I believe there are many reasons for creative nonfiction’s popularity, beginning with the practical fact that people — readers — respond to stories, to narrative.” Started as journal in 1993, the publication evolved with this issue into a magazine. Why you may ask? Well, maybe the answer can be found in Gutkind’s remarks on the the status of society today. He writes, “Even as new technologies bring the world closer together, our lives are becoming increasingly isolated. Many of us don’t even know our neighbors’ names. Social media have replaced actual social life. And yet, we crave the intimacy that humans forge through storytelling, through sharing and comparing our experiences.”

And Mr. Gutkind is not telling you a fib. In this day and age of “isolated connectivity” people are hungrier than ever to hear a good story, to share a good story and to be part of a good story. In a world of celebrities and fiction, fantasy and virtual reality, the world needs some creative nonfiction. In fact it needs a lot!

To be continued…

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