Monday, 20 June 2011

There's No Such Thing As Standing Still ...

Fellow writer and friend, Julie Phillips, has started a Facebook page on the theme of 'Bring Back Fiction to Women's Magazines'. This is as a direct result of the weekly Take a Break magazine dropping its Coffee Break fiction slot. (It is continuing to publish its Fiction Feast monthly magazine though.)

This is a shame, because I have sold a couple of fiction stories to the weekly magazine, and this paid more for the story in its Coffee Break fiction slot, than it does for stories it uses in its Fiction Feast publication!

If you'd like to join Julie's Bring Back Fiction to Women's Magazines campaign, then please visit: (you will need to login to Facebook to see this).

I mention this for two reasons - firstly, to publicise Julie's Facebook page. Secondly, this is a good example of demonstrating that magazines don't stand still. They change over time. They evolve. Every so often, a new editor will be brought in and they will revamp the magazine, give it a new style, drop some regular slots and bring in new columns and writers. Other magazines that have undergone such changes recently are MacUser magazine and Esquire.

Following on from last week's post, where I recommended that you actually scrutinise a physical copy of a magazine, this week's message is that once you've done this, that isn't the end of the matter. If it has been a while since you last looked at a particular title, then take a look at the latest copy. Not only may you spot a change in the contact details, but the magazine may have changed quite drastically too.

Occasionally, when magazines want to increase their circulation, or appeal to a slightly different audience, they will undergo a radical change. One such magazine is My Weekly. Six years ago, the average age of its readership was 62. In 2006, its owners, DC Thompson, spent £1 million revamping the magazine, targeting it at a younger readership, aged mid-40s and upwards. It ditched a lot of its 'comfy' features, such as nostalgia, and children's stories, and began offering articles on health, travel and, of course, celebrities!

So the message here this week is, magazines don't stand still and rest on their laurels. It's a tough market place out there for advertising. To get the advertising revenues in, a magazine has to attract a regular readership. Every now and then, it might change or update the magazine in an attempt to keep its existing readership, whilst trying to appeal to new readers too. If you haven't looked at a specific magazine for more than 12 months, it might be worth picking up the latest issue. You may be surprised by what you see.

Good luck.


  1. Very true, Simon!

    If the magazines aren't standing still, then writers shouldn't be either - got to stay on your toes. And thanks for mentioning my facebook page - comments about the lack of fiction slots are pinging their way into editor's in-boxes and dropping in their in-trays left right and centre!

    Julie xx

  2. Wooh hooh! I can finally leave comments on your blog, Simon!