saving magazines

Will the Internet Kill Magazines?

I’ve been posting a lot about e-publishing lately, from what it’s like to work with an e-publisher to an in-depth interview with a new breed of literary agent that is focusing specifically on authors who publish with e-publishers. And last night while I was reading through my latest Architectural Digest I came across an interesting full page ad.

Evidently, the people who work in the magazine industry are fighting back. Magazine Publishers Unite & Unveil Industry-Wide Ad Campaign Promoting Strength of—and Consumer Commitment to—Magazines and you can read more about what they are doing by following this link. There are all kinds of ads out now promoting magazines. But the one I saw in Architectural Digest really caught my eye because of the title.

In bold print, it says: Will the Internet kill Magazines? Followed by this: Did instant coffee kill coffee?

If you think about it logically, they make a good point. I still subscribe to several magazines: Time, Architectural Digest, and People. I also have both regular coffee and instant coffee in my pantry. But the problem here isn’t about instant coffee killing regular coffee. It’s more about the automatic coffee machine killing the old fashioned coffee pot. I don’t own a coffee pot. I own three different coffee machines, though. None of my friends own coffee pots anymore and I doubt most would even know how to use them if they were asked to make coffee in an old fashioned coffee pot.

So the argument presented by the magazine industry is lame at best. And I’m speaking objectively here. I love magazines. I look forward to them. My fiction has been in many magazines, and one is being released in a German magazine this month. Magazines get me away from the Internet and all the noise on the Internet. And I’ll subscribe to Architectural Digest until I can’t anymore. But I don’t think I’m speaking for most people. This is why magazine ads have dropped off and magazines are folding. Even in my local area, where there used to be some nice little magazines promoting tourism, I’ve seen each edition grow thinner and thinner as they are released.

And this all ties in with the book publishing industry. With the advent of e-readers like the Kindle, publishers started losing readers because they weren’t keeping up with what people wanted and needed. And with the advent of the ipad, it doesn’t look as though anything is going to change. And it’s affecting all ages, not just younger people. My seventy-five year old mother only reads books on her ipad now. She took courses on how to use it, and she won’t go back to print books. For younger people in their twenties it doesn’t even occur to them to subscribe to a magazine.

Everything changes sooner or later. And I hope the magazine industry figures out a way to pull through. But I don’t think it’s going to work with the ads they are using right now. And I’m very sorry they weren’t thinking about all this five or six years ago when they should have been watching the Internet instead of laughing at it.