The realities of the publishing business or how to become a media mogul

The regions were overwhelmed by a printing boom. And no wonder. After all, each time, looking through the next issue of a magazine or newspaper, one gets the impression that the number of advertising appeals is orders of magnitude higher than informational materials, and large advertisers are suffocating from the lack of advertising space and with great difficulty mastering the money allocated for advertising. Willy-nilly, an obsession arises to join the horde of media moguls, launching an advanced ambitious glossy super-mega project with a circulation of as much as … 2000 copies. What is there – all 5,000!

But enough irony, let’s get down to the facts.

Any successful project begins… no, not with an idea, as many thought, but with an assessment of one’s own financial capabilities. Since even the most ambitious idea will be doomed to failure without a reliable financial backing. But what it should be in absolute units – we will calculate.

To begin with, let’s define the key parameters of the future miracle magazine:

  • Circulation – 5000 copies
  • Stripes 48
  • Paper 130 g/m (cover of the same weight as the inside pages).
  • A4 format
  • Natural, full color

As we were informed in the Rostov printing house, the cost of printing this pinnacle of the epistolary genre will cost 136,000 rubles. Having considered all fixed costs, we come to the conclusion that it is more expedient to publish a magazine at least 2 times a month.

As a result, we need another full-time designer, (naturally with a workplace) an additional journalist on staff and an increase in the salary of a proofreader.

Estimated cost for the release of the magazine per month:

Magazine printing (2 issues)272 000
Chief Editor30,000
Journalists 4 pers.60 000
Head of Advertising Department10,000
Managers 5 people salary + interest5000
Driver (with own car)15,000
cleaning lady (incoming)2000
Office rent (60 sq. m.)30,000
Internet (tariff unlimited)5000
Consumables: paper, cartridge, CD, stationery3000
Expenses excluding %482 000

In total, the total costs, taking into account 6% taxes and at least 10% of the volume of the collected shaft, will increase for managers by about 100,000 rubles. and will amount to 580,000 rubles. per month.

In order to somewhat smooth out the stormy enthusiasm about such symbolic expenses, we recall the need for one-time investments when opening:

Computers 4 pcs.100,000
Printer, scanner, fax, telephones10,000
Office furniture60 000
ON150 000

Total starting investment + 320,000 rubles.

Divide the amount received by the number of advertising pages in two issues and get the minimum cost of the page, which will allow you to go to zero, subject to 100 sales of all advertising space.

Keeping in mind that our glossy masterpiece is an information publication, the volume of advertising space of which, by law, does not exceed 40%, we obtain the necessary advertising volume – 16 pages per issue (respectively, 32 pages per month).

In order not to earn anything but also not to go broke, which is important (!) We set a goal – to sell 16 pages per issue for 18,000 rubles.

What is 18,000 band in such a masterpiece – a penny! – and therefore boldly multiply the amount received by 2, at least it will be possible to give discounts to advertisers and insure against the unlikely event of a shortage of advertising.

Although some couple of weeks will pass and you will understand that the lack of advertising is not a nightmare, but a cruel reality. Advertisers are in no hurry to carry their money to new low-promotion publications. And the ads that they have are often placed there for free, in the hope of attracting a potential client and claiming a piece of the pie called the advertising budget in the future. So they claim from month to month for this ghost pie until the financial reserve calculated above dries up completely. There is no time for exorbitant markups per lane. To sell at cost – but to purchase advertising and for such a symbolic amount, there are not so many who want to.

Advertising managers, receiving numerous refusals, quickly lose their enthusiasm, and some do not even pay back their salaries by collecting advertising. Staff turnover, as it might seem, is also not special. More precisely, there is, but one-sided – from a magazine. The hard-won publisher is in no rush to hire students who don’t know how to work as much as they want to earn a salary, not really trying to collect advertising. Attempts to organize the work of advertising managers by introducing a system of penalties only hastens the exodus of employees from the once promising project.

The desire to save money pushes publishers to cut the cost of publishing a magazine. In what way – for sure, everyone guesses. However, this is the first step towards the complete collapse of the publication. This is why so many magazines and newspapers close before they open.

But this applies only to unscrupulous publishers. You, we are sure, are going to enter the media market in earnest and for a long time, and therefore we will dwell in more detail on the key success factor of any project – uniqueness. This is the concept that most even very respected publishers completely forget about, releasing unsuccessful clones and weak copies of Glamour, Kommersant or Ideas for Your Home. To avoid this, when considering the concept of the publication, start from your own interests, from what you are an expert in, trying to link everything with what is interesting to the future target audience. Don’t underestimate the reader. It is on him that the success of your enterprise depends, and not on the advertiser, as one might assume. If advertising collection is tactical survival (here and now), then winning a loyal reader should be your long-term strategy. Well, time and the balance sheet will show how successful the new project will be.

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