Greg Martin

If I could comment on this from experience, I will only say this. I once had a meeting with a publisher close to me at the time and was in the company of another ex-editor and this publisher made a comment about the future of his magazine that struck me like a truck. HE said that he had discuss the magazine with friends of the magazine and that they had come to the conclusion that content is not what sells a magazine, that it is presentation that sold magazines.

I know that Tony knows exactly who I am talking about. That magazine is now gone. The two of us outside the magazine argued the point based on the early success of the magazine. But alas it was pointless the die had been cast and I am convince it was the wrong direct to take.? I believe that content is KING and presentation is important as well, but I would buy and have a nice collection of the early days of this magazine when the magazine was mostly B&W and the content prepared was very well supported by incredible historians and modelers... NO NEED TO NAME NAMES.

Is there room for a new magazine in our market place? I would say?YES, but I am not sure it needs to be on paper. There has been many fine paperback options introduced into the marketplace albeit it not necessarily on modeling, more devoted to historical aspects of our hobby.?Interestingly enough I was approached by an individual that said he and an other?was interested in doing a new modeling magazine... vaporware? Well...?

The?issue with all modeling articles, and we reviewed this when?developing TKM, the shelf-life of any subject is about two years and then it can be re-invented by another modeler with as much success as the original, providing the techniques are different and there is new data or a new subject?as a platform, i.e. a new model or a different era. The other issue for editor's is author burn-out happens about 5 years or there about.?

Tony's right deadlines for Editors are a bone crusher...?

Greg Martin??

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <>
Sent: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 5:02 pm

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
What's your professional opinion as a publisher Tony: Is a magazine
that carries more/only "articles of a serious nature" viable
financially? If you received commitments from the cognoscenti to
provide content, would you be willing to start such a magazine?
Wish I could comment intelligently on this, but I really know
nothing about magazines (except that I sure don't want to deal with
monthly or bi-monthly deadlines). I do think that if the content is
100% "freight car mafia" I had better plan on a smallish list of
subscribers. Whether there is a business model which could carry that,
I don't know. But if you talk to some of the folks responsible for
business models in hobby magazines, your eyes will cross and your
tongue will curl up. Either they know really, really a lot, or they
don't get it at all. I'm not sure which. Recent events may help with
that answer, but in fairness, times are changing--as they always are.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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