If you’re in the magazine business, you’ve probably considered adding new issues to your main branded product. Maybe you’ve seen success with a certain advertiser category, like financial services or home improvement. Or, perhaps, you just want to create additional advertiser demand with annual issues in addition to your monthly or bimonthly publication.
Whatever your reason, we’re here to help you take the next step forward with your magazine business. We recently sat down with Todd Lemke, publisher and owner of Omaha Magazine, to learn how to add new issues to your magazine business.
Start With Sections Before Adding New Issues
Right now, Todd Lemke’s main branded product is Omaha Magazine. In addition, he now also produces a home magazine, a B2B magazine, a separate Best-Of issue (the wildly successful Best of Omaha), FACES of Omaha, and a variety of custom publishing products.
His advice if you’re wondering how to add new issues to your lineup? Start small. For example, Todd’s home magazine started as a 32-page section inside of Omaha Magazine. When he saw potential, he expanded it to a 48-page section with a cover and added it as a polybag insert with Omaha Magazine. Now, with its own identity, it had much more selling power with advertisers. It also sold more magazines—Omaha saw a 30 percent increase in sales with the separate home magazine packaged alongside their core product.
Adding New Issues Increases Sales Value
There’s another reason to love add-on publications: their staying power. While your core product may be a monthly or six-times per year, your more focused publications may serve as annual (or semi-annual) editions, which creates an easy sell due to:
- Fear of missing out. If an advertiser wants to get in on your home magazine, they have one or two chances per year.
- Staying power. An annual issue has a longer “coffee table” life than a more frequent periodical, which means that advertisers are sometimes willing to pay more for the same placement in an annual vs. a periodical.
Todd points to his annual "Best Of Omaha" issue as a great example of both of these factors. At 300+ pages, it’s a sight to behold that often sticks around homes and businesses for an entire year. As such, it’s something his advertisers wouldn’t dare miss—especially if they’re named in a Best-Of category!
How to Juggle Increased Magazine Production
It can seem difficult to add another publication to your magazine business. Yet, according to Todd, it all comes down to an organized production schedule. In his team’s case, they produce Omaha Magazine 8 times per year, and Best Of Omaha once per year. For products like his home magazine, production is actually similar to a section in his core product:
“Pull-out sections give advertisers longer exposure. For no additional money, we’re making [the section] an annual. For our ridealong annuals, it's the same rate as a periodical. And from the publisher, all it requires is a cover!”
In the end, he is able to slot in a few additional publications between his nine core products per year. This equates to spare time for lucrative projects like local custom publishing and event playbills.
Use Your Abilities As a Publisher
Standalone publications reach a targeted audience using your existing distribution channels. For advertisers, they’re a chance to attract attention with placements in more focused content. And for publishers, they’re easy to sell and easy to produce.
In conclusion, Todd’s advice here is similar to his advice on custom publishing: leverage your skills to produce a publication that ad agencies cannot. Word will travel fast, and the money will follow!