h a l f b a k e r y
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
As you know, magazines are published in a variety of formats and have a variety of content. Often, though, some aspect of a given magazine is fixed or limited. For example, there might be a restriction on the number of articles that will be published each issue (which could affect total number of pages
published each issue). Or, the number of pages might be fixed to suit special presses, and whatever combination of articles that fits in those pages gets published.
There is something of a dilemma that a publisher can experience in today's world of increasing population. On the plus side, more people means more potential customers. And more people means more authors writing articles, which allows the cream of the crop to be picked for each issue. On the minus side, it really does happen that more good articles might be received than can fit in an issue. What to do?
Note that technical journals have long had this problem, and the typical answer has been to put the articles in a queue, to wait however-long it takes, to get published.
Well, I think I have a better answer, and that is what this "Magazine of the Future" Idea is about. Basically, if so much good material is available, then suppose the publisher simply publishes more often....
Let's consider an ordinary monthly publishing schedule. Each issue is marked with the Month and the Year. Also, typically, the month that the latest issue hits the newsracks tends to be the month before the actual month indicated on the magazine. Well, just extend the practice!
Each time enough material is acquired to assemble an issue, send it to the presses right then and there. AND put the appropriate next month/date on it! So, suppose it is March and the April issues are arriving, as is normal. Most customers will get their copies within a week or two, say by the beginning of April. Well, let's suppose that the May issue is now ready, a week early. Send it out!
In six months or so, when it is October, the latest issue being published might have February-of-next-year's date on it. Kind of like a gift from the future. Except you still have to pay for it, of course. Your magazine subscription might run out sooner than you expected, but, hey! --you received all the issues you paid for!
||A few points:
The number of pages is in multiples of eight or
sixteen according to the signature size of the web
offset presses in use at that time. Also, using
more paper means you have to buy more paper.
Not all of the copies of your magazines will sell,
and there will be a return rate of unsolds.
||More people on the planet and more ICT access
tends to mean a dilution and erosion of
journalistic quality, rather than more real
||More articles are usually commissioned than can
fit into a single issue, but not all have the same
kind of currency that can sell a particular issue.
Sometimes at the last minute, one of the minor
articles becomes a lead story because of events
elsewhere in the world especially if it has a
good picture you can use on the cover. Other
stories are cut, dropped or held over this is
||If you bulked up the editorial and went to press
each time youve got enough to make an issue,
|| Your printing costs are going to rise, because
most mags book well in advance, typically by
finding lulls in the printers schedule, or
cancellations, to save money. If you want it
printed right now, youll be paying top rate.
Nobody does that on a serial publication, youd
lose money quicker that way.
|| Due to the unstructured production schedule,
the advertising department (who just fanny
around all month chatting and schmoozing, and
only realise they have to sell ads in the final few
days) will utterly fail to sell any ads at full rate-
card, and give them away in desparation just prior
to going to press. Oh wait, thats what happens
|| Due to the unstructured production schedule,
the production department would never be able
to plan the page layout, repro, subediting and
drinking with any degree of confidence. The
quality would suffer, as youd never know for sure
if youre still working on an article, or are about to
push it out through the door. The ad planning
chaos would have a knock-on effect on production
|| Readers get used to a particular periodicity and
a particular day or date that they expect the next
issue to be on the shelves. If its not there, for
some reason, they might take a closer look at your
competitors issue instead, and get to like that.
|| Subscription management would be chaos.
Thats all their money you have in your pocket, up
front, plus the interest! That relies on a
predictable delivery schedule to work.
|| And it's actually pretty useful to have great articles which you're not going to publish in your current issue, so you can give readers an incentive to buy the next issue.
||Advertising would be completely hopeless. I would expect next year's magazine to have next-year's products in it.
||Ads for next years products are already commonplace; we
call them vaporware.
||It used to be Popular Science.
||I cancelled them, what's the new one?
||//we call them vaporware//
||Vernon's ideas could be called hot air ware