Seven Questions and Answers with the 30 Most Notable Launches (4): Eldr and Everywhere

March 31, 2008

Today we present two more 7 questions and answers from our interviews with the editors and publishers of the 30 Most Notable Launches. The interviews will be published based on the alphabetical order of the names of the magazines. Today’s magazines are Eldr and Everywhere. To read a short profile about each of the aforementioned magazines just click on the magazine name. We have asked the editors or publishers to answer the same 7 questions. You can scroll down the blog to read the previous days questions and answers. What follows are today’s two notables:

Chad Lewis of Eldr magazine answered our questions:

1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

ELDR is challenging the traditional concept of what it means to age … that growing older is about being dependent, passive and sitting in a rocking chair. Today’s elders are adventurous, independent and defining aging on their own terms!

2. What was the biggest pleasant surprise?

We staked out a different point of view and have been very surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response from readers. We expected more dissent.

3. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?

Getting people to understand that the word “ELDER” co notates respect and wisdom. It is a good thing to be an ELDER.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?

Convincing advertisers that ELDR readers have the money, time and psychographics that they need to reach and be associated with moving forward. There are over 40 million people in the United States over 60; they have $1.3 trillion in annual spending power, and 13,000 more turn 60 every day.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.

This human being is wise, knowledgeable, and has lived a life full of challenging, yet wonderful experiences. The challenging issues of aging has not dampened his or her enthusiasm or desire to be engaged and active. This human being has experienced loss but still has a marvelous sense of humor.

6. The number of new magazines launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a magazine?

If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a topic that interests other people you can find readers for your magazine but this is not enough. You need a market that is attractive to advertisers. Then you need resources to connect the advertisers with the readers. And finally, it comes down to execution.

7. Finish this sentence: In 2011, your magazine will be …

The “LIFE” magazine for a whole new generation of aging boomers.

Paul Cloutier of Everywhere magazine answered our questions:

1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

Finding a way to bring the vitality of the web to the brilliance of print. By asking the people we want to hear from anyway, real people who have authentic experiences, we are seeing places that break free of the trends of all the other travel magazines, and we still get the incredible presentation and experience of a beautifully printed magazine.

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?

Proving that a huge group of passionate amateurs can actually provide photos and stories that are high enough quality to go into a magazine. We knew after starting JPG that we could get more great photos than we could ever use, but Everywhere is a little more complicated in-terms of how many more words there are. But amazingly it turns out we have way more words that we can use as well, and we think that is because we have focused on shorter form writing that we know people on the web can do well: comments, captions, blog posts, and things like that. It turns out these work really well for the kind of magazines we want to make, and it really resonates with our audience.

3. What was the most pleasant surprise?

We started Everywhere with the goal of making a magazine that inspires people to travel and we are surprised every day by the submissions that make us want to go out and travel. We really think it illustrates the promise of this idea that, as editors, we are constantly surprised and exposed to new things by thousands of people in our community.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?

Reinventing circulation growth. We are developing a new circulation model for a modern magazine, which means looking at the massive shifts in how people interact with media, and how communities organize to share the things they are interested in. Working with the existing distribution industry can be challenging when we are always looking for smarter ways to create sustainable growth for our circulation without falling into the trap of cut-rate subscriptions or over saturated newsstands. The community has a passionate connection to the magazine and we have found that they are more invested in helping grow the magazine than the distributors are.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.

Everywhere is that person who always has great stories at dinner parties about the great places of the world. He isn’t a snob about it and has a very inviting way of telling people about interesting experiences. For this person, travel is more than something you do once a year, travel is a way of life. It is something that they do everyday, in their own town, or across the world, they take every opportunity to enjoy the world and find new experiences.

6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?

A good magazine is a community – At their hearts, all magazines are basically artifacts of the interests of their readers. Good magazines embrace this and recognize that those readers aren’t just silent, passive consumers of content. Any magazine can benefit from the expertise of its readers. Which is not to say that all magazines need to be completely community created, but the opportunity is to find ways to break down some of the walls between editors and readers.

Don’t forget that there is an internet – Most magazines were launched before the web existed and most that have launched since then still tend to act like it doesn’t exist. Look at what your people are doing online before you launch a print magazine. What parts of their behavior and interest are being under-served by the web, is there something that print could do better? Good print magazines are going to be hybrids that let the web do what it is good at and let print do
what it is good at rather than treating them like competitors. Start the process asking how the web can make your magazine better.

Beware of “The Right Way to Do Things” – Magazines have been made the same basic way for a long time, and many of the problems that they are currently faced with are caused by resisting change, and not recognizing that parts of the model are broken. If your only reason for doing something is because that is the way things are done, then you should consider if things have changed since that rule was made. Some of the smartest people in publishing right now are people who have come from outside of the publishing world.

7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…

The magazine industry is in such incredible flux right now that any real prediction that far out is purely fantasy, however our goal is for Everywhere to continue it’s growth and become the best travel magazine for inspiring people to get up and go. We are thinking quite a lot about how important participatory advertising is to us as well as how the newsstand market is changing. We will continue to focus on how we can create a great environment for people to share the stories
and photos of the places they have been, and to give those people the power to make the magazine they want to read.

One comment

  1. It’s great to see you feature ELDR, which is a vital, refreshing magazine. I have the pleasure of co-publishing my blog about sex and aging on ELDR.com. I hope to see ELDR thrive!

    Joan Price

    Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006, http://www.joanprice.com/BetterThanExpected.htm )

    Join us — we’re talking about ageless sexuality at http://www.betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com

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