Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Making Magazines Can Help You Start the New Year Right - AT ZERO COST TO YOU!

As we move into yet another New Year I want to give you an opportunity to start it with "Piece of Mind". 

I'll make this simple:

If you have not checked the market for print, paper and distribution serves within the past year, it is critical that you do this now. Do not be content and assume that your current production plan and associated pricing is competitive and that you are doing things as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. This is especially true if your are not printing with a specialty magazine printer.

I will provide you with a complete, detailed and accurate market analysis for your publication(s) in the areas of print, paper and distribution at no cost to you.

What do I need from you? Approximately 15 minutes of your time initially to explain exactly what I do for you and how I accomplish it followed by 30-45 minutes to obtain the appropriate information to get it done.

I am a 30 year veteran of the magazine print/publishing industry and the services that I provide would normally cost publishers thousands of dollars via other service providers. My services are highly unique, effective, invaluable, ongoing and FREE! There are no catches! And my services are as invaluable to printers as they are to publishers.

Give me, at minimum, the 15 minutes to explain what I do and how I do it. I promise you it will be worth it!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Some Interesting Stats on Tablets and Magazines

According to an Online Publishers Association graph 10% of tablet owners pay for magazine content on the tablet. This 10% is higher than any other category listed including Newspapers, Entertainment, Sports, Weather, Shopping, Business and others.

Further, tablet ownership has increased from a reported 18% in May 2012 to 35% in October 2013. This means that ownership has doubled in approximately a year and a half.

So what does this mean?

You better get right with tablets and content delivery to this rapidly growing market segment! The earlier the better.

Two additional things:

1) There is no reason to believe that the growth in this market will not continue at minimum an equal pace. It may potentially even accelerate!

2) Those who own tablets actually use them! And not only do they use them, they seek out new ways to use it to make their lives more efficient.

I, even with a vested interest in ink-on-paper, believe that the days of the printed product are numbered. Maybe not 2-3 years but certainly 10-12. Again, this is my opinion. Why?

1) The market will eventually demand it
2) For publishers, cost effective and efficient delivery of product makes sense. If you can eliminate the large costs of traditional print, paper and distribution of a physical product and maintain ad and subscriber revenue, why would you want a physical magazine?

At least, for the time being, investigate how your business might benefit from this market.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Digital Content a Top Priority for Magazine Publishers?

I thought this article might be an interesting topic of discussion. 


I am curious as to what you think about this? From what I see personally, and contrary to the outlook of printers, publishers are making digital content a "high" priority although maybe not their "top" priority. 

I have also found that many small trade and special interest magazine publishers do not have a very good understanding of how to use the technologies available for digitizing content delivery. 

Please let me know where your business stands on this highly debated issue.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Paper - Fall 2013

By now I’m sure that everyone is well aware of the coming fall paper price increase. If not, you need to speak with your printer and reprimand them for not keep you informed! For those who may not be aware, groundwood papers, in general, are going up $3.00/CWT. I thought I would attempt to shed some light on the overall demand for paper and what is contributing to it – from my own personal research and perspective.

Like most any business industry these days, what contributes to pricing (which is typically tied to supply/demand) can be confusing.  With paper, it’s just doesn’t seem as simple as supply-and-demand equations anymore. As I said, mills have recently announced an upcoming fall paper price increase however, when you look at what appears to be a steadily declining demand for paper, it gives cause for wonder. So, again, while I am going to try and shed some light on the increase for you, keep in mind that I will not be able to provide solid, confirmable answers.

First lets look at the overall state of magazine and catalog print:

Ad Pages:

MPA recently reported that print advertising for second quarter 2013 has declined by 4.5% vs. the second quarter 2012, which puts total first half decline vs. 2012 at 4.9%.

Print Pages:

MPA has also reported that while print pages have decreased by -1%, iPad Ad Units have increased +24.5%.

You may think that a 1% decline is negligible? Given the optimism going into this year, I think it is quite disappointing.

This data would also indicate that advertisers are realizing a value in digital content  which, if this continues to grow, will place further sustained demands on paper mills to consolidate and adjust capacity to demand in order to profit.

Paper Demand:

Various sources sight a 4-6% overall decline in demand for coated groundwood paper based on both the recession and the increase in the channeling of advertising resources to online/digital. Uncoated paper demand, in the same timeframe, is reported to have decreased by almost 20%.

So with so much negative pressure on the paper industry, why are we staring at a price increase and, will it hold long term?
The paper industry has done a very good job adjusting capacity to demand over the past several years. The industry recognized that capacity was far outpacing demand and that this trend would continue. As a result the industry consolidated, shut down facilities, machines etc. However despite this success, the demand for paper continues to decline.  As a result, mills shut down machines until demand increases.  And don’t forget, following the fire at Verso’s Sartell, MN mill, it was determined that that mill would close completely and permanently.  This reduced industry capacity by approximately 180,000 TPY.

This particular paper price increase is simple, again in my opinion:

It is based on the traditional fall seasonal increase in demand by retail catalogs that correspondingly produces capacity stress on the mills.  This is a good thing for them.  And mills are a business and in a struggle for survival.  They have a right to make a profit just like any other business.

So what is the outlook? Will this price increase hold long term?

The answer to this is based on the unpredictability of capacity and whether, or not, one or two major mills will restart machines and thereby increasing capacity and, as importantly, when they restart should they choose to do so.

It’s a complicated issue that makes planning for the good of your publishing business extremely difficult.  I would recommend that you remain cautious and plan for this increase to hold into the first quarter of next year at least. 

I think it appears clear that online/digital advertising will continue to rapidly increase. As ad budgets are not likely to grow, this means that those dollars will be pulled from other advertising outlets, most likely print advertising.  If this is the case it will obviously decrease demand, and then we will have to see how the mills react to that. Business is challenging these days!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

July Paper Increase - Are You Aware and Prepared?

Just for anyone who has not yet been notified, prepare for $2.00 - $3.00/CWT increase, in July, on most commonly used magazine text and cover stocks - both coated and uncoated. Most printers have announced the increase so this may be old news. Just in case you have not yet heard, however, its absolutely something that you need to be prepared for.

Again, there are things that you can do to reduce the overall impact. Start by checking the market and your overall pricing. You can view the Paper Price Monitor on this website (see link on the right hand side of the page).

If you need cost-free help and assistance, please call or email me. I am happy to help and/or answer as many questions as you might have.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Postal Rate Hike for 2014? Be Prepared!

 Earlier this year the USPS Board of Governors asked USPS Management to evaluate any potential opportunities to achieve cost savings and/or additional revenues. The following is a statement from the USPS Board of Governors:

“The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs”.

What exactly does “Exigent” mean in this case:

Increases higher than the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

So what does this mean to magazine publishers?

A real potential for an increase of postal rates, starting in January 2014, in the area of 6-10%.

How can you prepare for this as well as expected paper market increases?

Look at your entire production and distribution process and find ways to save money. Make sure that you are producing your magazine(s) as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Make sure that you are not overpaying for print, paper and distribution services.

I can help you with this! And not only is my service free, it will undoubtedly save you money and improve your processes, quality, efficiency, etc.

Just contact me and I will explain how it works. 

The Tremendous Value of Making Magazines to Magazine Publishers

The Tremendous Value of 

Making Magazines
to Magazine Publishers

You Cannot Afford to Ignore Our Service


It’s 100% Cost Free to Publishers!!


Full Service, Complete, Professional Print Pricing & Contract Negotiation and Analysis – FREE!!!


- I work with true magazine-only printers who know
what they are doing 

- I prepare a complete, detailed RFP and work with printers to obtain pricing that is complete, accurate and in the appropriate format

- I present full bid packages to publishers in a
true apples-to-apple format

- I provide a complete summary of each printers strengths and weaknesses

- Ultimately, you make your own choice and work directly
with your 
chosen  printer

- I do not mark-up printer pricing! In fact, my negotiated numbers will typically be less than what publishers can
obtain by going printer direct. 

I Continue to Work for You Month-After-Month and
Year-After-Year – 

- I will stay involved issue-after-issue and year-after-year

- I will check the market every 12-18 months to insure that you are always getting the benefit of the best pricing that the market has to offer. The printers that I work with are aware that I do this and are prepared for it.  Never again find yourself overpaying for print or paper

- I work for my clients in any way that they require! 

- I will check accuracy of invoices each month, provide advice on production and distribution methods, provide advice and assist in dealing with disputes with your printer, etc.

Education – FREE!!!

I will keep you up-to-date on anything industry related that impacts the business of magazines and/or print as related to magazines! You can expect good, reliable and timely information along with advice as to what you can do to use it to the advantage of your business.

Publisher-Friendly Contract Terms – FREE!!!

Do you want a contract with terms that benefit you as much as they do the printer? I was a printer for 30 years. Still am! Wouldn’t you want a printer negotiating with a printer? 

This may sound too good to be true but I assure you that it is not!


The Details of Making Magazines


I started Making Magazines after serving trade and special interest magazine publishers, almost exclusively, for 30 years in the areas of print, paper and distribution.  I know print, I know special interest magazine publishing, I know magazine paper, and I know magazine distribution as well as anyone in the business!

What do you think it would cost to hire a full-time employee with this level of very specialized experience and knowledge to negotiate your print pricing and contract terms? How about a part time employee? Or even simply a contracted consultant? I can tell you that it would cost thousands and thousands of dollars. This is why most small publishers assign a full-time employee (and many times even part-time employees), who have other, very important responsibilities, to perform these tasks. Its just not a good use of your employees time. And typically this employee doesn’t have anywhere near the expertise required to do it properly.


So what are the options?

Many publishers hire consultants which cost thousands of dollars! And what do you get in exchange for this very large expenditure? Potentially very well negotiated pricing and contract terms. And that’s it! They help you one time and move on.  And the savings that you achieve may or may not justify the expense of the consultants services.  

The services that my company, Making Magazinesoffers includes  managing production plans and workflows, negotiating pricing and contracts with printers, paper and distribution, and educating my clients and the publishing marketplace.  AND IT’S ALL FREE!! ZERO STRINGS ATTACHED!! NOTHING HIDDEN!!  Actually its better than free because many times I am able to get you better pricing and contract terms than you could ever achieve on your own. How? Volume, experience and relationships with printers.

I know its sounds to good to be true but I am telling you that it’s fact and I have numerous references, both printers and publishers, to prove it.

I go even one step further:
I will provide you with my complete service package and offer you the opportunity to stay with your current printer if you choose to do so!  Its very rare, however if you find that your current printer, pricing and contract fit your needs best – stay with them! There is no obligation for you to change printers!

Actually this particular offer may not be free! If you choose to do this, and if you feel that I provided a valuable and/or I was responsible for saving you money and/or negotiating better terms, I will request permission to use you as a reference. Not required however! If that is too much to ask, Ill help you anyway.  And Ill continue to help you!
At least let me check the market for you

You will know where you stand even if it only confirms that you are getting the benefit of the best pricing in the market, or the best contract terms, or both!  Maybe it will provide some insight into a more efficient and cost effective production and distribution process.

Trust me it pays to go through this process – especially when it is being done by a 30 year expert  and it costs you nothing.

What is your investment?
Maybe an hour of your time at best! I cannot help you if I don’t know how you are doing things, what your goals are, where you’ve been and where you are looking to go.  
What do you have to do to get this process started?
Just call me, email me, text me or contact me by whatever means you choose!