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Old 20 October 2009, 14:51   #21
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Before I start - I would quite happily buy a magazine of the type you suggest. However I think you need to do the sums on your business plan...

How many readers/subscribers do you really think you can get in your first few issues? I'm guessing significantly less that a thousand. Your channel for accessing these people is through this forum, other forums like it and other internet sites. The media distribution channels won't be interested until you can prove that you have demand for circulation. The relative obscurity of RI / SB&R in the shops suggests that demand is limited, and they have a following and track record.

Now the other part of the equation is to attract advertisers. Serious advertisers will only be interested if you can show that you have a significant circulation, and that the readers are the correct demographic for buying their product. Therein I suspect will lie your problem: you are talking about a magazine targeted at people who don't want to spend so much money on boats/kit... ...thats the opposite from an advertiser (possibly spending 1000s per issue) is wanting. Even a relatively small magazine ad would typically cost 100 per issue - thats a big ask for say a training school - especially since they already are reaching the target demographic via this site, and much of the readership will fall into the "already trained" camp. Likewise how many of the people you are writing for are likely to reengine this year or need a retube. You would to make a lot of additional sales to justify the costs.

In an ideal world the print and distribution costs are covered by the subscription / sales. In reality I suspect that rarely happens and without some sort of advertising you can't afford to produce a decent quality publication. Without a decent quality publication you can't attract readers and so cant get advertisers and so the spiral continues. To get it off the ground as a commercially viable venture you need a big chunk of cash to bank roll it - so that you get a high quality publication, which attracts readers and advertisers and the trend continues.

Now perhaps you are talking more about some sort of fanzine as you say where its a labour of love rather than supposed to be profitable. Don't underestimate the effort involved to produce that, and sustain interesting content on an ongoing basis. There are already 2 rib mags, half a dozen boat mags, an RYA members mag, a BIBOA mag etc, whats yours going to do to stand out? Without paying for content can you really hope to beat the professionals at their own game? So you will be even more specialist/niche - but thats where rib.net / hotribs etc come in - so why will people pay for a magazine that contains the same sort of content thats already available here (free) but presented in a printed package - and not a particularly well presented printed package at that? If only 100 people buy it, is it worth the effort?

Personally I think if RI / SB&R (or even PBO) don't do what you want why not fire an email off to the editor suggesting what you would like to see. Even better if you offer to write an article or two for them. I think you might find them surprisingly open to ideas... Equally if you have a "story" you would like to share here - I am sure JK would be happy to put it in the "Features" section.
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Old 20 October 2009, 15:03   #22
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PBO used to be a great magazine but has ended up with alot more brand new yachts and less boats in it. In my opion it has gone downhill in the ten or so years I've been reading it.
I recently got some 1960's and 70's PBO's and they're more what it should be like, more shoe string boating than expensive.

A RIB/SIB section wouldn't go amiss in PBO.
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Old 20 October 2009, 15:21   #23
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Polwart

is right, of course, but if I provided the buildings (rent-free) on Sark (where there is no tax, no VAT, no national contributions (so labour ought to be cheaper), very little bureaucracy and probably less censorship than in the UK, and if we ran it as a web mag (not a forum like rib.net, so no competition there, but a proper mag. but online), it might be more interesting. Yes, people get free info on here, but if we really test the boats (using pros, of course from a private beach) in the serious waters around Sark, and then do some non-biased write-ups about what boats could and could not (or better, should not) do, then there might be interest in a subscription. We could also make it a bi-lingual affair (English and Italian or Greek). Be interesting testing boats made for different climes.
Then you would need feature articles such as those in PBO. and all the rest.

Then.... Ah, forget it. Time to stop dreaming.
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Old 20 October 2009, 15:28   #24
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Rupert I like the dream

Yep Polwart is right but I still think there might be an option for a fanzine style magazine - having run a small business in a similar "small but passionate" field - nothing to do with RIB's though, when we advertised we specifically looked for fans of the industry to come and buy from us - the fanzines were often a very good route and of course forums.

As with Rupert though I do like to dream just seems a good idea

Jxx
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Old 20 October 2009, 17:03   #25
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That excludes you Mollers!

FYI, I have a small monthly column in Devon Life under a nom de plume. You're now in for a right slagging!
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Old 20 October 2009, 17:08   #26
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FYI, I have a small monthly column in Devon Life under a nom de plume.
Ah, but are you as good at "cut and Pasting" as Cookee is?
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Old 20 October 2009, 17:11   #27
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Ah, but are you as good at "cut and Pasting" as Cookee is?
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Old 21 October 2009, 05:15   #28
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Ah, but are you as good at "cut and Pasting" as Cookee is?
I may get my information from many different sources, but I think you'll find I do actually use my own words - happy to be proved wrong of course!
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 21 October 2009, 05:16   #29
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FYI, I have a small monthly column in Devon Life under a nom de plume. You're now in for a right slagging!
"Devon" life? Surely that's the wrong side of the border for you? Do tell - I'll make sure I read it then!
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 21 October 2009, 05:29   #30
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"Devon" life.... I'll make sure I read it then!
You'll enjoy it, there are ad's for such things as Stannah Stairlifts, mobilility aids and elasticated polyester slacks.
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