"If you're reading this, it's a safe bet you read magazines."
March 20, 2013 8:07 AM   Subscribe

The Art Of Making Magazines "By making what they call "not a how-to book, but… a how-to-think-about-it-book," they help us look at something we've probably been taking for granted: What is a magazine?"
posted by the man of twists and turns (7 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Both "what is" and "how to" are interesting questions recently, and the pundit consensus about the supposed "death of print" is getting harder and harder to sustain in the face of a Web-based little magazine boom. Some great Web periodicals (and right in Navasky's former Nation's political-journalism ballpark) are making the leap into print recently: Jacobin and NSFWCorp are both now print publications as well as websites. (And The New Inquiry's new magazine is distributed as a PDF; do we want to count that as "print" or not?)
posted by RogerB at 9:12 AM on March 20, 2013

There is no art to making magazines.
Trust me.
There is rudimentary ad placement, and words to fill the spaces.
posted by Mezentian at 9:13 AM on March 20, 2013

I want a piece on the art of reading magazines. In my youth, I adored magazines. As a middlebrow child, I could not wait for each new issue of TIME or Electronic Gaming Monthly or Popular Science. I would read every single sidebar and caption and info box, spending days on it. I dreamt of growing up to write for EGM, of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dan Hsu or Sushi-X. But alas, the internet has taken my attention span from me, alongside so many other things. I am incapable of reading magazines now. I want to be able to again.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:43 AM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

For another view of how to make a magazine (or, more specifically, how to get rich making magazines), check out Felix Dennis' cautionary tale, How to Get Rich. Very funny, if you aren't overly sentimental by nature.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2013

...the internet has taken my attention span from me, alongside so many other things. I am incapable of reading magazines now. I want to be able to again.

It's easy if you read your magazine somewhere you don't have internet. If you have a phone, put it in another room and try it away from computers.
posted by DU at 10:07 AM on March 20, 2013

I'm loving the "long-form" (as they are calling themselves) of Aeon Magazine, and it has the option of listening to articles, which is a nice thing that can be offered online with ease.

I find myself enjoying the writing more nowadays. In my youth magazines were bought for the glossy pictures of beautiful women and stylish clothing, but with so many blogs offering just that I don't see them as anything more than a welcome reprieve from the tabloid options in the doctor's waiting room.
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2013

Back when I sold magazines in my store, I realized that the art of the magazine business involves balancing the price of wood pulp against the price of ad space and inflating circulation numbers enough to make it profitable. 90% of them go in the recycle bin unread.
posted by klanawa at 11:08 AM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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