The newsstand is not the place to cut corners, both in terms of time and money. New magazines have a lot to prove to convince retailers they’re worth carrying, so careful preparation for a newsstand launch is highly recommended. Here are five mistakes to avoid, via Linda Ruth, co-founder of Publishers Single-Copy Sales Services.
1. Don’t Rush the Launch The majority of the time in the lead-up to a newsstand launch is eaten up by getting chain store authorizations. Skipping this step will likely cause your title to end up in the lowest-end retailers.
2. Don’t Launch More Than One Title It’s difficult for your distributor to present more than one title and hard to get authorization for all of them. Also, it’s unlikely that you’ll have all your titles chosen as a group to be included in the newsstand assortment.
3. Don’t Give Your Title an Obscure Name Your core readership may be able to identify and relate to an inside-baseball title, but a larger newsstand audience might not get it. And it’s possible the retailer won’t either. New-economy title Red Herring was often placed in the fishing section.
4. Don’t Blow the Bank on the First Issue The chances that you’ll make enough money off the first issue on the newsstand to support numbers two and three are slim. The launch curve starts low and builds, plan ahead.
5. Don’t Ignore Competitive Cover Prices Lower cover prices have created price resistance among consumers. The average single-copy price last year according to MPA was $4.40, but as many titles experiment with sub-$2.00 pricing, launching with a luxe pricetag might be a crippling turn-off for newsstand shoppers.