I was at the library and I couldn’t help noticing that they had downsized the magazine section yet again. Of course, my library, like millions across the country, offers digital versions of many magazines through services like Flipster and RB digital.
But a closer look showed that some magazines just aren’t available in a monthly version anymore. Dr.Oz’s The Good Life has become a book-a-zine and the librarian confided that she thought House and Garden might be going that route. Book a zines seem to come out less frequently, in the case of The Good Life, it will apparently be quarterly.
Much of the staff was let go.
Other magazines have become strictly digital. If I was a real fan of a magazine, I would still subscribe if they were only digital, but honestly, there aren’t that many I would say that about. I read digital magazines for whatever article interests me, but I don’t often read the whole darn thing. And I don’t read digital in the dentist’s office, or while I’m waiting for my car to get repaired. I read whatever they put on their magazine rack.
And I don’t really want to pay for one article, so I will read what the library provides on Flipster. And I don’t think I’m alone. So… I think digital magazines are not going to get the audience that print does.
All of which means there are a lot of writers and editors out there who have no longer got a job. I am and have been for the digital revolution. But it has changed our industry. Now to make it as a writer of non-fiction, I think it is easier to break in as a blog writer, but do you make the money you would have in print? Many of us who write fiction have gone with much smaller publishers than would have been possible before or we may have even self-published but the reality is that it is harder and harder to get attention in the digital world. So is the change good for writers? Or just good for those who know how to promote?