Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category

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New Magazine Launches: A February To Remember

March 2, 2015

While most of us have had a ‘Frozen’ February and had to ‘Sift’ through quite bit of snow and ice; new magazines have kept right up with Mother Nature’s upheavals. From Disney’s new children’s bi-monthly magazine, Frozen, to the epicurean delight of Sift; new titles offered a warm haven to escape to during a cold winter month that for most of us went beyond the mere chill of wintry winds and cold temperatures.

February 2015 saw 65 new titles hit newsstands, with 16 of those launches promising regular frequency. Specials were once again diversely niche, offering everything from March Madness to The Sound of Music. Cooking and eating healthy remained a strong voice in new magazines and also book-a-zines devoted to notable topics such as The Civil Rights Movement, Science & Entertainment.

So, I hope you enjoy the beautiful covers for February 2015 and are getting ready for spring renewal with warmer temperatures and sunshiny days and more new magazines to discover in the marvelous month of March!

To check and see each and everyone of the February magazine launches click here.

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Making Digital Permanent OffScreen: The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Founder/Editor Kai Barch. A Launch Story

February 26, 2015

“There were a number of reasons (he chose print) and one of the first was really quite selfish. I was doing web designs for clients and I got really tired of producing something that didn’t last very long; whenever you create a website or some other digital design, it lives as long as the next release cycle or the next version number.” Kai Brach

Issue 10 of Offscreen magazine.

Issue 10 of Offscreen magazine.

There is absolutely no doubt that we live in a digital age. From our laptops to our smartphones; being onscreen is a way of life for humans these days. But who are the people out there molding the web and building these virtual worlds that we all so embrace? Where are their stories; their tales of success and failure? Finally there’s a magazine that points to that place on the map; that continent called Cyber.

Offscreen is a print magazine all about people who use the internet and technology to be creative, solve problems, and build successful businesses. It’s an ink on paper that embraces digital – some might say integration at its best.

Kai Brach is a one man operation of Offscreen; he is the publisher, editor and art director for the publication. For ten years he was a web designer before he decided that he needed something more tangible than the virtual worlds of the internet to fulfill him. He needed to feel his work would last beyond mere pixels; he needed the collectability of print. He needed more than a software update; he needed the final version.

I spoke with Kai recently through Skype from his home in Melbourne, Australia. We talked about the life of a web-designer-turned-print-publisher; the fact that he taught himself InDesign and the basics of Magazines 101. Kai is an extremely ingenious and talented young man who knew what it would take to lift him to the next level of his creativity – from pixels to print – he found fulfillment in the printed word.

So sit back and enjoy this unique conversation with a man who learned for the first time what the phrase ‘final version’ truly means – a printed magazine – the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Kai Brach, Publisher & Editor, Offscreen…

But first the sound-bites:


On why a web designer would choose a printed product:
There were a number of reasons and one of the first was really quite selfish. I was doing web designs for clients and I got really tired of producing something that didn’t last very long; whenever you create a website or some other digital design, it lives as long as the next release cycle or the next version number.

On the launch of Offscreen:
It was a weird feeling because you send it off and a few weeks later this product, this magazine, comes back; especially for someone who hasn’t ever done anything in print before; it was a pretty amazing experience.

On his major stumbling block with the launch:
On the editorial side, and I still find this really challenging, working with 40 or 50 different contributors and getting them to give you what you want when you need it. That was and still is the biggest challenge of making any magazine; it’s working with the contributors.

On his most pleasant surprise:
The good thing was when I got the first issue in the mail, that was great, but what was even better was seeing other people get it in the mail and talk about it on Twitter and put the photos on Instagram, letting me know that opening the mail smelled amazing and that they had completely forgotten that print had these other multi-sensory experiences that they don’t get when they sit in front of a screen all day.

On whether he would ever work in the digital realms again:
Sure. I think everything has an expiration date and every project we do comes to an end at some point and I would never say I would not go back to digital.

On what keeps him up at night:
I think most of my worries that give me sleepless nights relate to contributors who are not getting back to me or are being late or telling me that they can’t do something at the last minute. Contributor worries definitely keep me up at night.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Kai Brach, Publisher & Editor, Offscreen…


Samir Husni: I was fascinated with your own personal digital background and the content of your magazine is all about the web and digital. Why did you choose print for your magazine?

Kai Brach, founder, editor and publisher Offscreen magazine.

Kai Brach, founder, editor and publisher Offscreen magazine.

Kai Brach: There were a number of reasons and one of the first was really quite selfish. I was doing web designs for clients and I got really tired of producing something that didn’t last very long; whenever you create a website or some other digital design, it lives as long as the next release cycle or the next version number. So you produce something and it’s online now and two weeks later it’s already changed or it’s gone and disappeared into the ether that is the internet.

This process was not fulfilling at all and I really wanted to produce something that lasted longer than the average website. I wanted to create something that I could put on my shelf and say, look, this is what I made, and it will last as long as I have it on my shelf.

That was one of the reasons that I decided I was going to stop doing client work and try my hand at something completely different. If it turned out OK – I knew that I would be proud of it.

The other reason was there’s so much stuff being produced online. I personally find myself either reading something on my Kindle, iPad or my iPhone, which I don’t have an iPad any longer, but when I read something on any of my mobile devices, I get probably 10 minutes of read time before I’m interrupted by an email or some other notification. Or I’ll try to scan over articles or longer reads, but I find myself never engaging with them properly. And I noticed that whenever I read a book or a magazine on my travels, when I’m on the train or on the plane, that’s when I actually enjoy reading. So, I thought that it would be nice to have the things that I care about, reading about the web and how people build companies and how people are creative with technology, to read about that in a format that I actually absorb properly and not just scan through or quickly run over because I have another 15 messages to answer.

And so print was becoming almost like this island where I could go and relax and discover the actual process of reading again. It was really nice and calming. And that was the other reason; I just wanted to create something that people would not find distracting and that they wouldn’t feel pressured to read on the go.

So those were the main reasons, I guess. And then, of course, it’s hard to charge money for digital content, where you can put it in a magazine and provide a nice product experience; you make it something people want to keep, a collectable item, it’s then easier to charge people for it. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that you make a lot of money with it, because in publishing, and I’m sure you can attest to this fact, it’s really hard to actually make a lot of money, especially when it comes to independent publishing.

Samir Husni: Tell me the story of the launch; were you in Germany or had you already moved to Australia when you came up with the idea? Briefly, recount for me the launch of Offscreen.

Kai Brach: I was already in Australia and working as a web designer, but then I decided to stop doing that and gave myself six months to figure out what I wanted to do. I started traveling for those six months. I went to Europe and the U.S. and a few other places and I actually met up with quite a few people that I knew from the web industry.

It was during that time that I actually started to enjoy the stories that happened behind the scenes. We talked to a start-up guy who was very successful, but when you talk to him personally, you realize he went through a lot of failed attempts before he became successful and those stories that I was hearing from different people while I was traveling, encouraged me to somehow put them in a book or e-book or podcast, somewhere I could publish them.

So, I came back from my travels six months later and I decided at that point that I wanted to make a print magazine. I didn’t really know where to start, but I contacted some other magazines that I had sitting on my desk and asked them very simple questions about how to get started; what tools do you use; what production companies do you use; what printer do you use; just lots of questions.

Then I emailed a lot of printers in Germany and Australia, because I know German and the Germans know a thing or two about the printing press. (Laughs) I contacted various printers and asked them quotes based on very random numbers that I thought would make sense. I asked for a quote for 3,000 copies in the beginning and then I compared quotes and pretty much decided; OK, Germany is the only place where it makes financial sense to produce a magazine because in Australia it was extremely expensive. The cost of living is really high here.

From there, I decided to make a magazine based on the quote that I had. I had a quote based on 96 pages and I knew that was my limit. I put together a spreadsheet of people that I wanted to have in the first issue. Some of the people that I met during my travels were in the first issue, but also people that I knew through Twitter and Facebook were in there too.

Basically, I emailed a lot of people just asking them questions such as whether they would be interested in doing an interview with me and have that conversation printed in a magazine.

Of course, if you ask a web designer or some other digital person if they want to do an interview for an exclusive print magazine, you usually get some frowns and some weird looks, but once they saw the first issue, they really appreciated the magazine as well.

So, I pretty much taught myself just like when I did web design. Then, I jumped online and I actually did a course on a website called linda.com, which is an online tutorial where you pay $25 and you can watch videos of people using InDesign and preparing things for print and using color management; all those sorts of things. I taught myself how to use InDesign in a couple of weeks and of course, I used a lot of magazines that were sitting on my desk as a source of inspiration. I copied a bit here and there, but tried to be creative in other ways and after three months or so I did the PDF version of the first magazine and sent that to the printer in Germany and then I waited for four weeks or so and pretty much camped in front of my mailbox for the first issue to arrive.

It was a weird feeling because you send it off and a few weeks later this product, this magazine, comes back; especially for someone who hasn’t ever done anything in print before; it was a pretty amazing experience.

Samir Husni: What was the major stumbling block with this launch and how did you overcome it?

Kai  Brach, bringing virtual to reality.

Kai Brach, bringing virtual to reality.

Kai Brach: There’s the production side and then there’s the editorial side. The production side is, of course, figuring out how to avoid typographic issues, making the writing good, issues such as that. And that was a big challenge for me, because as a web designer I’m not used to creating something that has a final version. As a web designer, you produce something; you put it online and then you iterate and iterate and iterate until it’s as good as it can be. Coming to that final version was a big challenge for me on the production side.

On the editorial side, and I still find this really challenging, working with 40 or 50 different contributors and getting them to give you what you want when you need it. That was and still is the biggest challenge of making any magazine; it’s working with the contributors, especially if you’re trying to interview really busy people and get them to sit down and do a lengthy interview with you.

On top of that, keep in mind that I’m the only person behind Offscreen, so there’s no team. I do all the editorial, design, publishing and distribution myself. Every day I put on all these different hats and sometimes you get stuck in a certain area and it just doesn’t move forward.

So production was difficult because I was a web designer before I was a print magazine publisher and it was really hard to come to that final version and send it to the printer and be happy with it.

And the biggest challenge on creating the editorial side of it was dealing with so many different people at the same time and you have all these deadlines lined up.

Samir Husni: What was the most pleasant surprise?

Kai Brach: I think getting the magazine in the mail; the first issue, especially, was amazing. Unfortunately, other issues you get after that; you always see the things you can improve upon, instead of the things that you’ve done right. If you ask any publisher, he’ll always tell you that most of the time they always see things that are wrong with it, instead of the great things about it.

The good thing was when I got the first issue in the mail, that was great, but what was even better was seeing other people get it in the mail and talk about it on Twitter and put the photos on Instagram, letting me know that opening the mail smelled amazing and that they had completely forgotten that print had these other multi-sensory experiences that they don’t get when they sit in front of a screen all day.

Hearing the feedback from people with every single issue is what I live on and what I look forward to.

Samir Husni: Do you ever see yourself going back to web design and working within the digital sphere again?

Kai Brach: Sure. I think everything has an expiration date and every project we do comes to an end at some point and I would never say I would not go back to digital. At the same time, I’m still part of digital. I’m interviewing all these people and I also design and run my own website and I do a lot of social media activity. So, I’m still a part of digital and working within the digital industry as much as I am working in print.

But who knows what the future holds? Print is a great project and I really enjoy it, but I think every publication has a point in time where it either completely reinvents itself or it just stops. The makers or the publishers try their luck with something else.

Samir Husni: I hope you have a long life with Offscreen because the concept itself and the stories you’re telling, the people you’re profiling, is our world today. We live in a digital age, nobody can deny that. But very few people actually know those stories and I think you’re not only doing a great favor for the printed magazine industry, but also the digital world. You’re taking the fantasy out of digital and the virtual out of digital and bringing it to reality.

Kai Brach: I think there’s a lot of content that’s similar to what I do in the magazine that exists online. But for a lot of people when you put it into a magazine; first of all, it reaches a different category of readers. With magazines there is a category of readers that like to discover new things. When they go to shops or they see a magazine on a coffee table somewhere else, it’s a different type of reader that gets excited; you can’t really compare them with someone who subscribes to a certain blog or follows someone on Twitter.

But at the same time the content online is similar, there are a lot of interviews on podcasts and in e-books that everyone can listen to. Of course, my housemate who’s an architect probably wouldn’t listen to a two hour podcast about a digital product. So, for those people, they will discover that world through a magazine that they stumble upon. Would they stumble upon a podcast? Not really. (Laughs)

Samir Husni: Tell me a bit about your background. Are you originally from Germany, or did you grow up in Germany? And what’s the link between Germany and Australia?

Kai Brach: I’m German. I grew up there and lived there until 2002. I moved to Australia and settled here about six years ago. I was working as a web designer and I also did a lot of traveling and spent a few months in New York and went to other places around the world. I worked while I was on the go. I think that was one of the things that I was worried about when I started the magazine: would I be able to maintain that nomadic work pattern that I had, because I love being flexible and being able to go anywhere and work from my laptop. Luckily, I can still do that, but there are a few reasons I need to establish an address and be at home for, in terms of publishing. But 90% of it I can still do on the road, so I still travel.

Samir Husni: And you’re based in Melbourne now, right?

Kai Brach: Yes, in Melbourne. I spend a bit of time every year in Berlin, maybe one or two months. There is a lot of activity, in terms of independent publishing in Europe at the moment. I attend a lot of conferences and it seems for independent publishing; Europe is the place to be at the moment.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Kai Brach: (Laughs) What doesn’t keep me up at night? Today I actually woke up at 4:00 a.m. Not because I was worried, but because I woke up for something and then I started thinking about my emails and how I had confirmed most of the interviewees for the next issue.

I think most of my worries that give me sleepless nights relate to contributors who are not getting back to me or are being late or telling me that they can’t do something at the last minute. Contributor worries definitely keep me up at night.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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A “Collective Quarterly” Show And Tell Travel + Design Magazine. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Editorial Director Seth Putnam. A Launch Story.

February 24, 2015

“When I deal with the internet, I don’t feel there’s a sense of accomplishment necessarily or permanence with it; it’s so fleeting. And I wonder if that’s something that my generation is responding to, in terms of something tangible. When I finish reading a book or a magazine; I can look at it and say, I finished that, rather than just moving on to the next click or page.” Seth Putnam

Issue Zero of The Collective Quarterly

Issue Zero of The Collective Quarterly

Bohemian destinations and creative accomplices who revel in the art of the uncommon, if that description seems unique and intriguing, then the magazine Collective Quarterly is calling to you.

Each issue of the magazine follows select craftspeople to an offbeat location, where they design uncommon objects while the cameras and writers capture their creative processes. It’s a journey deeply rooted in the heritages of the destinations that they visit. And they are the ‘Collective.’

Seth Putnam is the editorial director of Collective Quarterly and Jesse Lenz, an accomplished illustrator, is his business partner and creative director for the magazine. The two together have spawned an absolutely brilliant and well-done printed magazine that is both aesthetically pleasing and reader-satisfying with its rich and original content.

I recently spoke with Seth about the magazine. We touched on everything from the concept to the cover price, $25, and the fact that both he and his partner are digital natives who felt the need for a printed product to bring their audience a deeper and more meaningful engagement. The conversation was fascinatingly diverse and interesting.

I hope you enjoy this trip into a world where creativity in design and travel is the focal point for everything and the motivation behind two young men’s dream – the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Seth Putnam, Editorial Director for Collective Quarterly.

But first the sound-bites:

Seth Putnam, co-founder and editorial director, The Collective Quarterly magazine.

Seth Putnam, co-founder and editorial director, The Collective Quarterly magazine.

On the background of Collective Quarterly: It basically became a travel and design magazine where the travel portion is covered by each issue focusing on one location; one region. And then the design portion is covered by the fact that we bring with us a group of artists or craftspeople and we put together an experiential, inspiration trip for them, almost like an artist’s residency.

On why as digital natives, he and his partner decided they needed a printed magazine to connect with their audience:
Some parts of our business we approach with great research and thought, and then some we do simply out of a passion for something or a gut feeling. We decided to do print because, while yes, magazine subscriptions are falling and certain titles are closing, more titles are opening, particularly in independent, boutique niche genres’.

On the hefty cover price of the magazine – $25:
We landed on that price based on the cost to print a thousand copies of the issue 0 – we looked at it as an experiment. And it was very expensive.

On his opinion of why the digital natives of today are finding an endurable quality in the printed product:
When I deal with the internet, I don’t feel there’s a sense of accomplishment necessarily or permanence with it; it’s so fleeting. And I wonder if that’s something that my generation is responding to, in terms of something tangible.

On knowing who his target audience is:
Demographically, we haven’t run a lot of surveys or specific numbers, but I would say our audience skews younger, probably that 21 to 35 age-range, with a fairly even split of men and women, from the orders that I see coming in.

On how they came up with the name Collective Quarterly:
We were thinking of it as a place where, not only we could bring together really talented artists and craftspeople to go on these trips because each time the cast of characters is rotating, but also use our platform and voice as a medium for our readers to get involved as well. So, we had a sort of inclusive mindset and that’s why we ended up calling it the Collective Quarterly.

On how they decide on the destinations of each issue:
Usually it’s a collaborative decision between me and Jesse, the creative director, but we try and do a pretty good job of soliciting ideas at least from the other five or six people on our team or people that we’ve met on the ground in locations that we’ve visited.

On the biggest stumbling block he had to overcome:
Everything we have done so far has paid for itself and that’s been really exciting for us, but the challenge has been cash flow, for sure. Trying to make sure that when you’re working on two or three issues at a time, there’s enough money in the bank to pay your bills.

On his most pleasant moment:
The reason I got into journalism is because I have a very strong attachment to hearing other people’s stories. Oddly enough; that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s been really gratifying to see that we’re sort of living in a brave new world where if you’ve got a good idea and an internet connection, you can create your own platform for doing that kind of storytelling.

On advice he would give to students who are about to graduate and start their publishing careers:
If you have a story to tell, or if you want to tell someone else’s story, but there’s no obvious path to be able to do that through traditional media, then just do it; do it yourself.

On what keeps him up at night:
Just making sure that we’re doing good work and we’re treating people well, our sources and our team members, and that we’re doing a better job this time than last time.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Seth Putnam, Editorial Director, Collective Quarterly…

Samir Husni: Give me some background on Collective Quarterly.

The first issue of The Collective Quarterly.

The first issue of The Collective Quarterly.

Seth Putnam: We’ve been working in earnest on it since January. 2013. My business partner and I met through the social networking site Instagram. I was working as a magazine writer in Chicago and he’s an editorial illustrator who has created covers for everyone from The New York Times Magazine to GQ to Money, and I think he actually did the Planet Hillary cover for The New York Times Magazine last year and then also the 10th anniversary of September 11th for the cover of Newsweek as well, so he’s a very accomplished illustrator.

As we looked at each other’s work on the social media sites, we became intrigued and decided to set up a call. During that call he told me that he’d like to start a magazine, so I asked him what he wanted it to be about and he asked: how about the creative process? I said that’s a little bit abstract to do an entire magazine about; how are we going to focus that?

We landed on the idea of travel, because we’ve found personally that the trips that we take and the people that we meet in these unseen, often, off the beaten path hideaways are certainly extremely inspiring to us and our passion for stories.

It basically became a travel and design magazine where the travel portion is covered by each issue focusing on one location; one region. And then the design portion is covered by the fact that we bring with us a group of artists or craftspeople and we put together an experiential, inspiration trip for them, almost like an artist’s residency. And then they go home and make something in their discipline, based on their time there, the things that they saw, and the people that they met. We chronicle those experiences and their design processes in the completed product and it’s available through our website as well.

Those are the two hooks of the magazine.

Samir Husni: When did you graduate from the University of Missouri?

Seth Putnam: 2010 – so, five years ago.

Samir Husni: You’re in your twenties?

Seth Putnam: Yes, I’m 26, as is my business partner.

Samir Husni: So, you’re a digital native; why print? When everyone is telling us that the future is digital and you even met your business partner via Instagram; why did you decide to go with print?

Seth Putnam: I guess we’re just young and foolish. (Laughs) Some parts of our business we approach with great research and thought, and then some we do simply out of a passion for something or a gut feeling. We decided to do print because, while yes, magazine subscriptions are falling and certain titles are closing, more titles are opening, particularly in independent, boutique niche genres’.

And much like we’re seeing people return to vinyl records, we’re seeing a love or an appreciation for tangible lifestyle, human interest coverage. So, sure newsweeklies and titles that rely on breaking events are probably suffering because of the immediacy of the internet, but I think that there’s definitely a market out there of people who are willing to put their dollars toward an experience or deeper stories that form another entertainment bucket for them.

But for us; it’s the beauty of being able to hold it; it’s the beauty of sending, as often as possible, reporters, writers and photographers places so that they can tell the stories in person; it’s a little hard to do sometimes, but it makes a better story. And I think the same is true for print versus consuming content on the web.

For the first few issues or the first couple of years, we focused entirely on print, whereas now we’re about to launch a journal on our website so that we can provide more daily stories for our readers, but print has definitely been the thing that we have thrown most of our energy into.

Samir Husni: I noticed that you have a hefty cover price for the print magazine.

Seth Putnam: (Laughs) That’s true. We landed on that price based on the cost to print a thousand copies of the issue 0 – we looked at it as an experiment. And it was very expensive.

What we’ve done is put out a second issue and we’re actually going for a third and we have negotiated a new deal with our printer that will hopefully allow us to get that cover price down in the $19 or $20 region, maybe not by the next issue, but in the not too distant future.

We’re finding that many of the magazines in our similar niche are charging in the $15 to $25 and sometimes up to $30 range, which is a luxury price point for sure. And we want to try and get that down as much as possible because we’ve seen that the magazines that are sticking around have come down somewhat from their original price point.

But again, when you’re printing a thousand copies, of course, we’re printing more than that now, but in the beginning we were doing a 1,000; the price per copy is exponentially higher than if you were printing 10,000 or 15,000 copies.

Samir Husni: I’m seeing more and more new magazines following your approach. The digital generation is finding some love for print or some enduring aspect of the printed product.

Jesse Lenz, co-founder and creative director, The Collective Quarterly

Jesse Lenz,
co-founder and creative director, The Collective Quarterly

Seth Putnam: Yes, I agree. When I deal with the internet, I don’t feel there’s a sense of accomplishment necessarily or permanence with it; it’s so fleeting. And I wonder if that’s something that my generation is responding to, in terms of something tangible. When I finish reading a book or a magazine; I can look at it and say, I finished that, rather than just moving on to the next click or page.

Samir Husni: And who do you view as your audience? Who bought that first issue and who’s buying the second? Do you have a sense of your target audience?

Seth Putnam: We’re beginning to get a better sense. I think the audience that adopts a magazine like Collective Quarterly in the beginning is definitely one that is sort of trend-focused; they care about travel and the story behind the destination and they might be the kind of people who shop at anthropology or urban outfitters, for example, which are some of the retailers we work with.

Demographically, we haven’t run a lot of surveys or specific numbers, but I would say our audience skews younger, probably that 21 to 35 age-range, with a fairly even split of men and women, from the orders that I see coming in.

But definitely people who have more than just one income and are able to purchase a magazine of that price point and also buy the products inside and maybe even take the trips that we’re recommending.

I suppose it’s an affluent audience, which raises some questions for us as far as how we want to make ourselves accessible to others as well.

Samir Husni: How did you come up with the name: the Collective Quarterly?

Seth Putnam: We put together a big Google document at the very beginning of our trip and the initial idea was much more focused on artists and makers than it currently is; I think we’ve achieved a little bit of balance there. We were thinking of it as a place where, not only we could bring together really talented artists and craftspeople to go on these trips because each time the cast of characters is rotating, but also use our platform and voice as a medium for our readers to get involved as well. So, we had a sort of inclusive mindset and that’s why we ended up calling it the Collective Quarterly. We toyed around with a lot of different names, but that one just seemed to fit.

Of course, since then we found out a lot of things are called collective. (Laughs) That raises some challenges for sure.

Samir Husni: (Laughs too) I noticed on the website that you refer to you and your team as ‘the Collective.’

Seth Putnam: Yes, definitely. That’s designed to create a sense of inclusion and to make it more about the group as a whole.

For example, there are certain titles out there, particularly in the independent niche genre, where they’re very much connected to a specific person, whether that’s Ben Ashby’s Folk magazine or Nathan Williams’ Kinfolk; they’re synonymous with one individual oftentimes. We wanted to start out at least by being a place where people could rise; the particular people that we find along the way and that we feature, and we’re hoping to be as active an organization as possible to help these people and give them success as well.

Samir Husni: The decisions to go to these places, whether it’s Texas or Montana or wherever you find those offbeat locations that the magazine focuses on; are they collectively decided on or are they just sudden ideas, someone saying, hey, why don’t we go to Texas?

Seth Putnam: Within our internal office structure, which is sort of a misnomer, because no one is in the same place; we have people in different cities: San Francisco, Phoenix and Chicago, also in West Virginia and Minneapolis; I don’t think any one of us is in the same city.

So, there is no office, so to speak, but within our decision-making structure there are definitely those who provide the drive and motivation and the pushing, and others who provide the steering, for sure. Usually it’s a collaborative decision between me and Jesse, the creative director, but we try and do a pretty good job of soliciting ideas at least from the other five or six people on our team or people that we’ve met on the ground in locations that we’ve visited. See what works with our schedules and our interests and then we go and scout those places to see if they have the kind of story quality that we’re looking for.

Samir Husni: When you graduated in 2010; did you ever think that you’d be doing what you’re doing now?

Seth Putnam: I had no idea. Usually people graduating from college aren’t sure about the next job they’re getting, much less what their long-term ambitions are. When the first issue came out I spoke through Skype to a class from the University of Missouri and I just did another one after the Montana issue came out and that first time I told them that I sure wished that I had taken magazine publishing because I didn’t have the first clue about making a magazine. There’s been a lot of trial and error, to be certain.

I spent the last four or five years freelancing and there’s a lot of isolation that comes with that when you’re working for yourself or rather, for 15 or 16 different editors or publications at a time, but you’re doing it from the comfort of your own home. So, I spent a long time as an individual rather than a manager or part of a team and I think that has been a really exciting challenge, and also transitioning from thinking that I’m not someone’s employee anymore, I’m a boss or an owner. That quick wired a definite mindset shift that I didn’t predict when I was in college.

Samir Husni: What has been the biggest stumbling block since launching Collective Quarterly and how were you able to overcome it?

Seth Putnam: When we all went to Texas, there were about eight or nine people on the trip, and everyone who was there paid their own way; we covered our own lodging costs and expenses, because as I said earlier, sometimes we make decisions without doing all the research that we could have. We started the magazine with no funding and we just paid our own way.

When we had gathered all of the content for stories and the photographs, and it became time to actually take it to print, we knew that we couldn’t foot that bill ourselves, so we considered whether or not we should do a Kickstarter. But we decided that if we were going to be a magazine that sells for that cover price, we wanted to establish ourselves less as needing help and more as something people would want to get in on early and be the first to get a copy.

We made a video and sort of styled it after a Kickstarter campaign and we ran that through our own website and we sold pre-orders rather than donations. And with what we earned in the first month or two, we were able to take it to print and the sales from that issue covered many of those expenses that we had paid out of our own pockets for the next one. So, it covered travel costs and lodging and some meals here and there.

Everything we have done so far has paid for itself and that’s been really exciting for us, but the challenge has been cash flow, for sure. Trying to make sure that when you’re working on two or three issues at a time, there’s enough money in the bank to pay your bills.

I think that’s one of the things that come along with not taking funding at the very beginning and obviously, there are tradeoffs. If you take funding then your investor owns part of your company and you lose a little control, but if you keep that control you may not have the liquidity to be able to do some of the things that you’d like to. We’re very much in that challenge mode right now and trying to figure it out; we’ve put out two issues now and we’re about to do a third; how do we stick around long enough to be able to keep this going for a while?

Samir Husni: What has been the most pleasant moment?

Seth Putnam: The reason I got into journalism is because I have a very strong attachment to hearing other people’s stories. I kept track of how many days I was on the road between this magazine and my other assignments last year, I was on the road for about 125 days, and most of the time was spent going to small hamlets around the country.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Georgia Rambler; he was an Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist a few years ago, but he would go to small towns in Georgia and find someone and then ask them who was the most unforgettable person they knew. Then he would go and write about that person.

It’s funny because I corresponded with him; his name is Charles Salter, after hearing him on This American Life a few years ago; actually, when I was working in Mississippi, and we corresponded a little bit and I asked him as a naïve 21-year-old: how do I get a job like yours? And he said there aren’t that many out there anymore because you would need to be on a newspaper staff for 15 or 20 years to gain the experience, credibility and cache which would allow your editor to say: OK, go do this column. And then you’d have to write a daily column in the newspaper and the bottom is falling out of newspapers and that’s just not possible anymore.

But oddly enough; that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s been really gratifying to see that we’re sort of living in a brave new world where if you’ve got a good idea and an internet connection, you can create your own platform for doing that kind of storytelling.

Samir Husni: What advice would you give to students now who are reaching the graduation stage?

Seth Putnam: That’s a great question. I don’t generally have one go-to piece of advice where I say: if you’re a young journalism student, you need to know this, but one of the things that I really loved about my education, and still see at the University of Missouri when I go back and talk to students there, is that there are no limits on what they think is possible. And I think that’s worth reminding ourselves and them about to. If you have a story to tell, or if you want to tell someone else’s story, but there’s no obvious path to be able to do that through traditional media, then just do it; do it yourself.

Start a website or start some sort of platform online that allows you to tell that story and realize that it’s highly possible that you may have to do it for free because as a young student no one may be willing to pay you to do that.

But I think it’s a really powerful truth that when there’s something a person feels compelled to do or a story that someone feels compelled to tell, that’s inside and just has to come out, doing it on your own and doing it well; eventually, somebody is going to find a way to pay you for it. It’s an exciting time because there have never been fewer barriers to those of us in the storytelling industry to be able to seek our own path.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Seth Putnam: Right now what’s been waking me up at 3:00 a.m. is the closing week of our Vermont issue. As I said; I’ve always worked as an individual and now I have a team of writers and colleagues and they’re depending on me to get things done, on time, and make sure all of the loose ends are neatly tied up, particularly when you’re about to send it to print. There are a lot of things that appear to be falling through the cracks and need your attention.

Just making sure that we’re doing good work and we’re treating people well, our sources and our team members, and that we’re doing a better job this time than last time.

It’s such a beautiful magazine and I am in such awe of our photographers and designers and the guys that are making sure it all happens. Another thing, from my standpoint, that sometimes keeps me up at night is trying to figure out how to elevate the quality of the writing, for sure, and to get people involved with us that are much better than we are, and can lift us to greater heights with the actual content.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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Crossing Over From The Virtual World Of Digital To The Real World of Print: My Wedding, The Magazine Debuts…

February 20, 2015

I guess the trend of websites and digital entities discovering print is continuing with full force. After Pineapple, Porter, Ponder, Unmapped, Atlas, Sneaker News, all recipes, delish, and many others, mywedding.com is the latest crossover to the real world of print from the virtual world of digital.

myweddingThe editors of My Wedding, The Magazine write in the first issue, “Welcome to the first print edition of mywedding. A year ago we were just beginning to dream about this day, much like many of you are dreaming about a certain day in your own near future. The past twelve months have led us through a world of growth and change as we’ve navigated new trends and fallen more deeply in love with the art of sharing love stories. All of our careful preparation and planning has brought us to this place: a brand new magazine devoted to authentic, original representations of love and the celebrations that accompany it.”

The premiere issue of My Wedding, The Magazine comes in at a hefty 228 pages and $12.99 cover price.

Welcome to the world of magazines mywedding.com and keep in mind “If it is not ink on paper, it is not a magazine.™”
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Picture 40

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Magazine Launches: “Magazine Power By The Numbers.” A Mr. Magazine™ Exclusive

February 11, 2015

I’ve always said that the vivacity and life’s blood of the magazine industry is in its new launches, as in ink on paper new launches. There is nothing, be it human or otherwise that can continue its species without new birth. And that certainly applies to ink on paper in every way.

The very essence of growth and sustainability is within the confines of creation itself. And Mr. Magazine’s™ Launch Monitor was born from that idea. It is the nursery window where proud parents and relatives or friends of the family can stand and admire the beauty and potential of each newborn ink on paper at their leisure.

monitor
For the year 2015, I’m adding a new feature to the Launch Monitor: yearly comparisons. From the Top 10 categories to the Average Cover Price – each month will have the numbers for 2015 and 2014 for you to parallel and consider. The numbers will speak for themselves and the information will be available along with the usual new magazine launches and their covers.

jan by category

I hope you enjoy this new feature and I hope it brings another detail of our fascinating world of magazines into a clearer focus and understanding, because it’s a given; we can’t know where we’re going until we know where we’ve been…

It goes without saying that I have each and every one of the magazines posted on the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor and remember my soon to be trademarked phrase “If It Is Not Ink On Paper, It Is Not A Magazine.”

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Yoga Digest Magazine: A Launch Story. The Lifestyle Of Yoga Comes To Life In Print – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Co-Founder Cody Groth.

February 2, 2015

“Honestly, I think people are out of their minds to get out of print. I still think that the majority of people are just so engaged with something that’s in-hand and they look forward to getting something in the mail or seeing it on a newsstand; it’s just more appealing to them and to me too honestly.” Cody Groth

Yoga Digest 1-1 In June 2014, an online community of yoga enthusiasts and practitioners was born – yogadigest.com. Within that realm of digital connection a yearning for a deeper engagement with the lifestyle of yoga was communicated and in November 2014, the print version became a reality: Yoga Digest magazine.

Jenn Bodnar is a yoga teacher/trainer and Cody Groth, a former college basketball player who had his aspirations and career cut short by a back injury, co-founded the online site and the magazine. Jenn had been following the yoga lifestyle for some time, while Cody experienced the restorative power of yoga when his involvement with the practice healed his back injury completely, without surgery. Even though every doctor he saw said he would eventually need surgery to find relief from the injury.

I spoke with Cody recently about the ink on paper addition to the website and why it was necessary for the fulfillment of their mission. From the engagement factor of print to the tangible quality of the paper itself; the 26-year-old digital native confessed his obsession with print and his belief in its power to engross today, even with a myriad of digital screens at people’s disposal.

The interview was vibrant with positivity, the power of the dream, and a never-ending hope for tomorrow, all brought about by the birth of a printed magazine, proving once again that reality complements virtual quite nicely.

I hope you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Cody Groth, Co-Founder, Yoga Digest magazine. I know I did.

First, the sound-bites:

On the decision to do a print magazine: We initially started as an online community just to build a foundation. Then after a couple of months and after reaching out to many contributors in the industry, we were getting feedback from people who would much rather be in print. There’s still something about being in print that’s appealing to people.

On the conception of the magazine:
It was a natural flow that stemmed from the feedback that we were getting. The online community was doing great, we were getting a lot of hits to the site, but again, we sat down and decided that if we wanted to reach the amount of people that we did; we had to be in print.

On the biggest stumbling block they had to overcome:
The biggest stumbling block for us is was our unfamiliarity with the publishing business. We had no backgrounds in the magazine industry at all.

On what the future of Yoga Digest looks like: It’s looking very promising. We’re getting a lot of interest from the financial world. So, we have a lot of connections in place.

On how they hope to compete with the more established yoga magazines for advertisements:
As for advertising, right now we’re just working with the small range of products that you see in the magazine: the yoga lifestyle products and we want to keep it that way. We don’t expect to compete with the bigger magazines when it comes to advertising.

On whether they were out of their minds to start a print magazine in a digital age:
Honestly, I think people are out of their minds to get out of print. I still think that the majority of people are just so engaged with something that’s in-hand and they look forward to getting something in the mail or seeing it on a newsstand; it’s just more appealing to them and to me too honestly.

On what they will be concentrating on over the next 12 months with the magazine:
We will be trying to increase our brand recognition over the next year to go along with our magazine. We have a lot of fun things in place to counter our brand that’s known as a magazine right now, but we hope to expand on that with different events and involvements.

On anything else he’d like to add:
The main thing that we really want to emphasize is how we separate ourselves from the bigger magazines. They have their own audience, their own niche that they appeal to, but we really are trying to appeal to the everyday person who maybe wants to start yoga but thinks they need to be able to touch their toes before they begin. That’s not the case at all.

On what keeps him up at night:
I would have to say Yoga Digest keeps me up at night because it keeps me so busy.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Cody Groth, Co-Founder, Yoga Digest…

Samir Husni: Take me through the journey of Yoga Digest. You started the website first and then you decided to do the print magazine. With the multitude of yoga magazines already out there; why did you decide to do a print magazine now? Tell me the story of Yoga Digest magazine.

cody groth Cody Groth: We initially started as an online community just to build a foundation. Then after a couple of months and after reaching out to many contributors in the industry, we were getting feedback from people who would much rather be in print. There’s still something about being in print that’s appealing to people. So, we sat down and we thought it through and in order for us to reach the amount of people that we wanted to reach for our mission, we decided to go into print as well.

From there, regarding the other magazines in the industry, we really wanted to separate ourselves by being an approachable resource, as opposed to what’s already out there, which is mainstream, Ph.D. yoga and kind of a naturalist, hippie-type yoga. We wanted to be the middleman between the everyday person and a resource that reaches all populations of yoga. Not everybody needs to wear high-end yoga gear or buy the most expensive mat in order to do yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle that contributes to overall health and wellbeing, not just an ego or materialistic-type of practice.

Samir Husni: You started on the web in June and then you launched your first print issue in November; what changed in that time frame, besides your contributors telling you that they wanted to be in print? Can you take me through the conception of the magazine through its status today?

Cody Groth: It was a natural flow that stemmed from the feedback that we were getting. The online community was doing great, we were getting a lot of hits to the site, but again, we sat down and decided that if we wanted to reach the amount of people that we did; we had to be in print.

The transition from online to print was just a steady flow. And it really did go very naturally in the direction that it did. We were accepted by the printer and the distribution company that we wanted. The other things sort of fell into place for us and are still going smoothly.

Samir Husni: What was the biggest stumbling block for you during this journey and how did you overcome it?

Cody Groth: The biggest stumbling block for us is was our unfamiliarity with the publishing business. We had no backgrounds in the magazine industry at all.

But everything just fell into place, from getting the right designer to set our style to getting accepted by the distributor. And we didn’t have anything to show other than a few mock-up articles and a website demographic. So, we were very surprised to be accepted by the distribution company that we did.

Samir Husni: Do you consider that the most pleasant moment in the launch of Yoga Digest?

Cody Groth: Yes, absolutely. The most difficult or something that almost stopped us was the funding. We had really hoped to raise some money to get it going, but we ended up having to self-fund it ourselves and it’s still 100% self-funded.

Samir Husni: You have two issues under your belt; what does the future look like for Yoga Digest now?

Cody Groth: It’s looking very promising. We’re getting a lot of interest from the financial world. So, we have a lot of connections in place.

Yoga Digest 2-2 Nothing is set yet, but there’s a good possibility that we’re going to be expanding our distribution to a broader audience, not just the targeted audience.

We have a lot of things in place, both with the magazine and a bunch of fun, external things that we’re getting involved with.

Samir Husni: Magazines have two major sources of revenue: circulation and advertising. With your circulation as it is now; how will you compete for advertisements with some of the more established yoga magazines out there?

Cody Groth: That’s a good question. Our current distribution is just over 10,000, that’s just in Wholesome Foods and Sprouts and what’s in the house markets and that’s with just one distribution company.

As for advertising, right now we’re just working with the small range of products that you see in the magazine: the yoga lifestyle products and we want to keep it that way. We don’t expect to compete with the bigger magazines when it comes to advertising.

Obviously, when we increase our circulation in the next couple of issues, we’ll have to hire an advertising team. But we want to make sure that our magazine is offering advertisement that is relevant to our reader. We don’t want to sell anything that isn’t relevant to our audience and our content within the magazine.

Samir Husni: Do you think that being a novice in the magazine business helped to make the transition from digital to print easier for you in an age when everyone says that print is dead or declining? Are you out of your mind to start a print magazine in today’s digital world?

Cody Groth: Honestly, I think people are out of their minds to get out of print. I still think that the majority of people are just so engaged with something that’s in-hand and they look forward to getting something in the mail or seeing it on a newsstand; it’s just more appealing to them and to me too honestly. I’d rather have something in-hand that I can take with me wherever I want to go as opposed to reading it on a screen.

Samir Husni: And if I may ask; how old are you, Cody?

Cody Groth: I’m 26.

Samir Husni: So, we can’t count you as a digital immigrant; you are a digital native.

Cody Groth: Right; I’m within the digital generation, but I’m still obsessed with print.

Samir Husni: Good to know. Tell me a little about the future of Yoga Digest; if I take a sneak peek into your business plan, what will I find you doing within the next 12 months?

Cody Groth: You’ll see a lot of brand recognition, not just in print; we’re trying to expand the Digest into festivals, retreats, and featured classes around the country, and also into the Quarterly partnership.

We will be trying to increase our brand recognition over the next year to go along with our magazine. We have a lot of fun things in place to counter our brand that’s known as a magazine right now, but we hope to expand on that with different events and involvements.

Samir Husni: Why did you opt to name the magazine Yoga Digest when you’re publishing a standard-sized magazine rather than a digest size?

Cody Groth: Yes, a lot of the digests and catalogues are smaller-sized, but we see “digest” as reading. Golf Digest also does a full-sized magazine, so that was helpful to us when we named the magazine. It let us know that we wouldn’t be completely out of the box by going with a full-sized magazine but calling it a digest.

When choosing our brand, the Digest, we were very surprised that it was available. If you look at all the major industries, any kind of niche digest is either well known within the industry that it’s in or it’s been around for 50 or 60 years.

But to have a growing industry like yoga have the brand “digest” available was very appealing to us.

Samir Husni: That was a surprise to me as well. With all the yoga magazines out there and none of them having the name Yoga Digest was amazing. But sometimes the obvious is the one thing people don’t think about.

Cody Groth: Yes, agreed.

Samir Husni: You have a partner and the two of you are publishing the magazine; did you both quit your day jobs?

Cody Groth: (Laughs) No, we do this as a…well, I was going to say hobby, but I guess it’s turning into a full-time gig. It started as a hobby; we both have a passion for yoga; we love doing and sharing it. Jenn Bodnar, my co-founder, is a yoga instructor and a yoga teacher/trainer, so she teaches people to become yoga teachers. She’s very knowledgeable in the industry and very well connected.

I’m just a product of how yoga feels. I was a college basketball player and I had a back injury that forced me to quit my college basketball career and every doctor I saw told me that I needed surgery. After doing some research myself and talking to quite a few people who had opted for yoga over surgery; I decided to start yoga. And even though it was a slow transition over the course of the last three years, yoga has completely healed my back. So, I’m very passionate about sharing that with people.

Samir Husni: Is there anything that you’d like to add?

Cody Groth: The main thing that we really want to emphasize is how we separate ourselves from the bigger magazines. They have their own audience, their own niche that they appeal to, but we really are trying to appeal to the everyday person who maybe wants to start yoga but thinks they need to be able to touch their toes before they begin. That’s not the case at all. Yoga is for everybody and everybody can do yoga.

I think it was Zig Ziglar who said: you don’t have to be great to start something; you have to start something to become great. So we’re trying to share our passion with everyone and separate ourselves into that audience.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Cody Groth: I do sleep very well, but I would have to say Yoga Digest keeps me up at night because it keeps me so busy.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane – No, It’s A Drone! The Skies & Newsstands Are Making Room For The Latest Buzz – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Tim Kidwell, Editor-In-Chief, Drone 360

January 22, 2015

“I am not one of those people who think print is dead; I think print has a place and a role in publishing.” Tim Kidwell

Drone360 cover They are an unknown quantity in so many ways, yet becoming more and more used each and every day. From law enforcement to agriculture, photographers to a fascinated public; drones are captivating common interests all across the country.

Drone 360 is a new launch from Kalmbach Publishing, the company that brings us the science-based magazine Discover and a host of hobbyist magazines. Drone 360 pays tribute to the compelling world of multirotor aircraft and attempts to assist in answering some of the tougher issues about the flying machines, such as how the FAA plans on regulating their commercial use. While the magazine is only scheduled for this premiere issue, Editor-in-Chief Tim Kidwell is hopeful the special interest ink on paper product does well and he’s given the green light to fly his drone again, many times. But for now, the first issue will land on the nation’s newsstands on March 24.

I reached out to Tim recently to talk about the engaging world of drones and we discussed the many facets of the aircraft. From the hobbyists whose enthusiasm comes from a different level of curiosity, to the commercial world that would love to uncover the vast array of possibilities drones offer; Tim talked with an enthusiasm of his own about the aircraft.

So, sit back, relax and enter a world of alternative flight as you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Tim Kidwell, Editor, Drone 360.

But first, the sound-bites:

On the genesis of Drone 360: I guess by now drones have become a part of everyday life. They’re affecting our culture and pushing technology. They’re becoming a part of our businesses as people try and figure out how they can use them for all sorts of commercial and scientific efforts. They’re everywhere.

On the concept behind the magazine:
Right now it’s a special interest publication that we’re putting out in conjunction with Discover. We really thought that it was the perfect time for us to get in there and talk about a lot of the issues.

On the intended audience of the magazine:
The people that this (magazine) will probably interest the most are men, aged 18 to 39; I think that’s probably where the sweet spot is. However, when we were putting the magazine together I told our team that while 18 to 39 year old men might be where the sweet spot is, I want this magazine to be easily read by anyone who is interested in tech and gear.

On the major stumbling block he faces in launching the magazine:
Our biggest challenge to me is just making sure that we get market penetration and eyes on the magazine. If we can get eyes on the magazine I think that it will go.

On why print was the best format for the magazine’s message:
I am not one of those people who think print is dead; I think print has a place and a role in publishing. I believe there are ways to still get information out there on the internet, but I think the internet is very good at disseminating information but it’s all up to the reader when it comes to trying to cull down and decide what’s good and what’s bad.

On the most pleasant moment he had when putting the magazine together:
The coolest thing so far, I think, has been when we came up with the feature story list. We said the stories on that list were what we wanted to see happen. And what we started to see were these threads, these concerns and comments that were linking all of these stories together and it really made the entire magazine gel.

On what keeps him up at night:
If I had to pick one thing; I really love tech, but I worry about how tech is used. And that’s what keeps me up at night.

Screen shot 2015-01-21 at 7.14.47 PM And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Tim Kidwell, Editor, Drone 360…

Samir Husni: My first question to you is why did you decide to launch your magazine now? Do you believe drones are going to be a more integral part of our near future? Tell me about the genesis of Drone 360.

Tim Kidwell: I guess by now drones have become a part of everyday life. They’re affecting our culture and pushing technology. They’re becoming a part of our businesses as people try and figure out how they can use them for all sorts of commercial and scientific efforts. They’re everywhere.

And as far as whether it’s a fad or not, I don’t think that drones are a fad in the sense that I believe we’re going to see them used more frequently for law enforcement and in commercial endeavors. I think maybe we’ll see a drop off in their popularity as something that the hobbyist would use. What we’re seeing right now is, especially with quadcopters, they’re a lot easier to fly than fixed wing or traditional helicopters in RC circles. So, we’re seeing this surge of, “Wow, I too can fly something and it doesn’t take very much for me to get it into the air.”

We’re seeing a real fervor behind that, but I also think that will die back a little. I’m not saying it’s going to disappear, but I don’t think it’s going to remain as hot and as trendy for hobbyists as it is right now. Something else will come along and take that up. But for the foreseeable future, drones, multirotor aircraft, these sorts of things are here to stay.

Samir Husni: What is the vision behind Drone 360.

Tim Kidwell: Well, right now it’s a special interest publication that we’re putting out in conjunction with Discover. We really thought that it was the perfect time for us to get in there and talk about a lot of the issues, not only on the hobby side, because I think there is some space there for us to talk about beginning hobbyists and how they can get into multirotor aircraft and how they can fly safely, those sort of things.

But we also thought that, again, there is so much going on with the science end of tins and culturally with law enforcement that we really needed to get in there and touch on these different topics.

The other thing that really spurred us was the FAA was coming out with rules in 2015, so we thought this was the perfect time to get in there and start really talking about them and giving balanced coverage. You can get a lot of rhetoric on both sides, where they are extremely pro or extremely against, and I thought what we needed to do was come in and give a balanced approach and say there are some valid opinions on both sides and let’s explore both as we move along.

Samir Husni: Who is the intended audience; whom are you trying to reach with the printed magazine?

Tim Kidwell: If we’re going to be honest, the people that this will probably interest the most are men, aged 18 to 39; I think that’s probably where the sweet spot is. However, when we were putting the magazine together I told our team that while 18 to 39 year old men might be where the sweet spot is, I want this magazine to be easily read by anyone who is interested in tech and gear and RC, even casually, and who just want to find out what is going on with the drones. We wanted it to be open and accessible to everyone, but we do understand that our target audience is men, 18 to 39.

Samir Husni: Tim, what do you anticipate to be the major stumbling block when it comes to the launch of the magazine and how are you planning to overcome it?

Tim Kidwell: The major stumbling block is where magazine publishing and publishing in general is right now. It’s going to be penetration into the market and getting seen that will be our biggest challenge. I think the content and subject matter is great and I believe it’s pertinent and exciting. So, our biggest challenge to me is just making sure that we get market penetration and eyes on the magazine. If we can get eyes on the magazine I think that it will go.

Samir Husni: Do you think print is the best vehicle to reach that audience today?

Tim Kidwell: I am not one of those people who think print is dead; I think print has a place and a role in publishing. I believe there are ways to still get information out there on the internet, but I think the internet is very good at disseminating information but it’s all up to the reader when it comes to trying to cull down and decide what’s good and what’s bad, whereas I think a magazine like what we’re doing here, you have to be very judicious in putting together what stories we do. We only have so many pages; in this case, we have 92. We only have 92 pages, so we have to make sure those stories are as concise and as good as we can possibly do them. And a printed magazine is a great way to get that information out.

Samir Husni: As you were putting this magazine together; what was the most pleasant moment that you had? Or the “aha” moment as you were putting this first issue together.

Tim Kidwell: The coolest thing so far, I think, has been when we came up with the feature story list. We said the stories on that list were what we wanted to see happen. And then we began getting them assigned and as they started to come back in and we were reading through them, we started to notice common threads developing. And that was the neatest thing.

On one of the initial stories it was maybe just a reference or two to something like situational awareness. Then we see in another story that situational awareness come up again, but somebody else has a different take on it. And what we started to see were these threads, these concerns and comments that were linking all of these stories together and it really made the entire magazine gel.

Samir Husni: How often do you plan to publish Drone 360?

Tim Kidwell: We hope that there are going to be more of these. Like I said earlier, it’s a special-issue publication that we’re doing in conjunction with Discover. So, right now this is the one, this is our premiere; we hope we’ll get the green light to do more. But right now this is the only one that’s planned currently. We’ll see how well it does and if it does well, then we will consider what we can do next.

Samir Husni: Looking at the cover; this magazine is rooted in science; it’s rooted in Discover and it’s rooted in a company known in the field of special interest publications, connectivity to its audience and hobbyists in different realms of things.

Tim Kidwell: Yes, we’re pushing it in conjunction with Discover, so it’s going off of Discover’s bipad. However, we aren’t necessarily targeting just Discover’s audience. We’re looking at a broader mix of hobbyists and general interest, people who are interested in drones or people who are interested in the tech of drones or those interested in getting into the hobby of quadcopters or multirotor aircraft. So, we’re looking at a much broader audience than just the science end, which would be more of an interest for the Discover audience.

Samir Husni: Anything else you’d like to add about Drone 360? Is it going to be delivered via drone? (Laughs)

Tim Kidwell: (Laughs too) It will not be delivered via drone because we’re still waiting on the FAA decision on how to use them commercially. (Laughs) All I want to say is that we’ve been extremely excited about this project. We put it together and turned it around very fast and it’s been a great experience for all of us. Drones are here to stay and they are something that we’re going to have to live and cope with and figure out just where they fit in when it comes to our everyday life.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Tim Kidwell: What keeps me up at night? (Laughs) I have a lot of things that keep me up at night. I have a new baby on the way, so worrying about that keeps me up. (Laughs)

If I had to pick one thing; I really love tech, but I worry about how tech is used. And that’s what keeps me up at night.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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