Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Maybe You'll Get that Next Issue, Maybe You Won't

The ever-snarky Magazine Death Pool reports today that Seed magazine has informed subscribers that the August issue hadn't mailed yet and they didn't know when it would be mailed. I'm not a subscriber, so I can't confirm that, but it doesn't sound good.

Seed always struck me as a magazine with good content that was totally undercut by an inexplicably bad design. Nonetheless, if the MDP report is true, I'd be sorry to see the death of a science magazine. Let's face it: Our world is not suffering from a surfeit of rational thought and actions.

But it does remind me of my brief sojourn at a small tech magazine half a dozen years ago. I basically relaunched the magazine under a new title and only stayed for a few issues before moving to a better job, but I never saw any of the issues on which I worked. That's right: We never got them back from the printer, because the publishing company was so far behind in its bills.

Presumably they eventually paid some of their bills, because the magazine limped along for another year or two before going to that great magazine rack in the sky. But I've never found a copy of any of those issues that I put together (and for which I wrote a lot of articles, pleaded with a lot of writers to write articles -- because we were so far behind in paying writers -- and edited a lot of articles).

Has any publisher ever missed mailing two or three issues of a magazine and then had a recovery that led to them publishing the title for another decade or so? I doubt it, and I really doubt it today, when advertising is scarce and investor or bank credit is difficult to get.

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