Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why you can't find your magazines

In mid-February, Anderson News, one of the four largest magazine distribution companies in the U.S., halted operations and has, since then, terminated about 2,500 employees.

Because of the way magazines are distributed, this means magazines that are available in one region may not be available in another. How soon will the remaining magazine distribution companies step up to fill in the holes left by the demise of Anderson News? Your guess is as good as anyone else's.

Because I feel grouchy today, here's tip for y'all: If you're going to write for magazines, you need to understand the business of magazine publishing. For example, writers constantly bitch about being the last paid by a magazine, but did you know that only a small fraction of the money you spend on a magazine at the store today even gets to the publisher...and it may be six months or more before the publisher receives that money? When a magazine distributor goes out of business, it can kill magazines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it *should* kill magazines. If they couldn't afford to pay the 7 cents a copy to get distributed they shouldn't be on sale at all.

Quite frankly, the reason Anderson News went under is because distributing the huge print runs of mediocre magazines (which never sold a tenth of the copies Anderson was forced to send out and bring back) is an expensive business. If the publishers can't afford the cost of distribution they should bow out.