posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 10:04 AM
sillinous (and everyone else, too): I still think that going for a magazine -- as opposed to, say, a line of books (think DK's eyewitness
series, time-life books, or some other "chain/franchise" of books) -- is not a good way to get this ATS-related business off the ground. Here's
a) (low-circulation) Magazines have a lower revenue rate than books once the books have been published, and a higher ongoing expense:
Unless you're talking about something to be priced like an academic journal, most magazines are sold at only a couple dollars an issue, tops; books,
on the other hand, sell for $15-20 on average, of which we could probably arrange with the publisher to keep a couple dollars or more per sale. So,
the per-unit revenues are about the same. But, a magazine's something that you need to keep working on issue after issue, and unless the magazine's
super-hi-quality and in-depth the back issues lose their value really fast, unlike books which usually keep selling for the same price for quite some
time. Moreover, the effort -- and thus cost -- of setting out to do the layout for a typical book and a typical magazine often works out to be about
the same, because magazines tend to be flashier and have more unique layout per page, so you're putting as much or more work in to do the magazine
instead of the book, and for less $$$ in return.
Don't get me wrong -- there is a certain amount of circulation (and associated advertising revenue) that reverses this equation and makes a magazine
more profitable than working on a book, but when you're just getting started a magazine's a lot more work for a lot less money.
b) the magazine market for conspiracy stuff's already pretty crowded -- standing out would be hard
If you're going to do UFO/AncientMysteries/SecretProjects kind of stuff, there's already UFO Magazine, Fortean Times, and a whole bunch of
pseudo-newagey magazines out there; I don't think any of them are that good, but you'd be competing with them and even if your magazine was better
I'm not sure how easy it would be to convince the broader marketplace that that was right.
If you're going to do more politics / agitate for change, then you're in even more trouble: at least in the US people don't like to read politics
that's too different from their current political views. Just look how it is here -- even when people basically agree that things ain't right, they
still tend to flamewar the "other side" -- the left if they're righties, and the right if they're lefties -- instead of banding together to focus
on the things we all agree to be messed up. If you're publishing a magazine of politics, you'll either wind up preaching to a pretty small choir and
alienating a lot of people, and that'll really cut into your subscription base.
Either way, you'll wind up with some serious competition and circulation issues almost right out the gate with a magazine; with books you get the
chance to be more objective, which should help the political issues to be less divisive, and you get the chance to fill a relatively untapped market
niche: the even-handed, serious investigation into a "fringe"-type topic. Most of the books out there on anything conspiratorial aren't very good
-- typically some mix of wild speculation, complete disinformation, or some profiteering, unquestioning repetition of facts gathered from earlier
books -- but even that kind of junk sells well; becoming the name to beat in that market wouldn't be that hard, and would bring in a lot of money if
it went well.
So, I definitely think that starting a magazine isn't the way to get this thing off the ground; I'd say starting a coop to fund authors to research
and write a branded series of books will have a better chance at becoming financially stable, at which point launching a magazine becomes much more
feasible. The coop part of that is partially to make sure the books meet the needs of their target audience -- us ATSers -- and mainly to make sure
that the initial funding problems are overcome (since everyone chipping in 20-30 dollars will go a long ways).
That being said, other fundraising ideas are always good: i think hats/tshirts etc., are all good ideas. I undertand that part of the goal here is to
change the political climate and that publishing some books in a year or so isn't gonna get any kind of immediate results; a shorter-term idea
that'd both be less expensive than magazines and useful to boot would be a targeted wiki, to sort of shore up and formalize ATS's collective