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  1.  (8720.21)
    While I'm sure there wouldn't be a huge market it for them in my area, they're not even getting the off hand impulse buy

    I think that highlights how expensive getting a magazine on a news stand is - you have to be very confident that your news stand sales (either direct sales, or subscription revenue gained on the back of a one-off sale) are going to pay for the money you need to spend to get your publication included on a news stand. That can happen if you have a mainstream/general interest magazine, but the possibilities of breaking even drop considerably the more niche your magazine is.

    For any long tail publication the internet is the only viable way to reach people, either for impulse purchases or to get subscriptions, especially so where the audience is geographically diverse.

    The exceptions are specialist "news stands" (e.g. comic shops, SF bookshops - as suggested by @mylightshinesapath) where a copy of a SF mag is going to be more likely to sell than Time magazine.
  2.  (8720.22)
    The guest post I wrote went up this morning.

    There is an untapped audience for SF magazines
  3.  (8720.23)
    As I was reading Total Film this morning I realised that there's got to be something wrong with the model Science Fiction magazines are using.
    The thought went like this - I can get up-to date movie news and reviews on the internet and lots of different places, though I obviously have my favourites. Those sites show me trailers and captured footage - what is it that the magazine gives me?
    The answer would seem to be more in depth interviews, detailed behind the scenes features, previews sections that lump many different things together in a way that flows, and features on films I might not know. The actual design of the magazine is what keeps me coming back to it as it's a lot easier to take in all this information from its pages than it is on a monitor.
    If a magazine publisher like Future Publisher were to put out short stories as half of a magazine like SFX or Sci-Fi Now, I think we'd see a huge uptake in the people reading them.
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2010 edited
    Murky Depths has been trying ever since its inception to acquire a distributor but without success. Deals have been offered but the costs have far outweighed the gain. Gardners isn't a true distributor so I don't include them and their cut means we make a loss on every issue they supply to shops. We'd steered clear of publishing reviews, concentrating on good prose and comic stories, but our readers wanted more so we have included very brief reviews which has received good feedback (not that we ever get much) although receiving Best Magazine/Periodical in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards seems to indicate we're doing something right. We're not everything that people have suggested sf mags should be but we're prepared to experiment with content.
    Our growth has been through stealth, having tables at as many conventions as possible (just the UK so far). Several successful authors who appreciate what we are trying to do have supported us with stories and cultivating relationships with these writers is crucial in going forward for us. Ask the likes of Mike Carey, Robert Rankin, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Stan Nicholls and Juliet E McKenna what they think of Murky Depths and you'll receive a positive response.
    As yet we don't pay professional rates, but Murky Depths is a quality product, and it's that quality rather than remuneration that contributors find appealing and readers are prepared to pay for.
    Our technical expertise has meant that only PDFs are available (not all the back issues as yet) and, with limited staff, redesigning Murky Depths for an app is unfortunately out of the question at the moment, although we realise how important it is to have branded apps.
    Our circulation figures don't put us in the league of even Interzone's plucked sales (by the way, we were up against Interzone in the awards) but we're slowly gaining new subscribers and our other publications are showing a profit, so Murky Depths will be around for a while yet - and in print.