The Magazine Diaries

Screen-Shot-2014-06-05-at-08.32.23And how is the magazine industry treating you these days?

The Magazine Diaries is a project by Peter Houston of Flipping Pages to try to capture what it’s like working in an industry that’s in the middle of a huge disruption. The goal is to have 100 people each contributing 100 words with the entries being collated into a book sold for the benefit of MagAid, a charity promoting literacy.

The entries to date seem to split between “wow, it’s exciting” and “hell, it’s scary” – although the two emotions aren’t mutually exclusive of course.

I’ve just done my 100 words, where I take an eeyoreish view of the business; I’ve seen too many magazines close, too many people lose their jobs (including me of course) and too many companies struggling to survive to view the proliferation of small titles as anything other than a sideshow. (If I hear anyone else talking about a ‘golden age of publishing’ I won’t be responsible for my actions.)

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there are people producing fantastic quality magazines on subjects they love, for people who love those subjects, but the number of copies sold/readers acquired for all of these titles combined wouldn’t match the lost sales of just Readers Digest over the last five years.

Print, as a mass medium, is on its way out.

It won’t stop completely of course – you can still buy vinyl, let alone CDs – but the industry as I have known it for 25 years is moving closer to the exit. Something will replace it, and the process will be both exciting and scary.

If you think different – or even think the same – you should send your 100 words off to Peter.




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