New Science Magazine Shakes Up Publishing Model
Nautilus breaks frequency and format rules.
Nautilus, a new science, philosophy and culture fusion publication that launched this week, is breaking all of the traditional publishing rules around content, distribution and sales.
‚ÄúEvery month we‚Äôll take a single science topic and explore it from multiple disciplines, both within and outside of the sciences,‚ÄĚ says John Steele, publisher of Nautilus. ‚ÄúOur first one is human uniqueness, so we‚Äôre exploring it from different scientific disciplines, as well as from the point of view of philosophy, psychology, sociology and theology.‚ÄĚ
In addition to exploring a single monthly topic through multiple disciplines, the new brand is exploring multiple content formats, including long-form essays, shorter articles, interviews, interactive data pieces and fiction stories‚ÄĒall with the idea of providing a variety of access points into that topic.
Steele says the magazine will be rolled out in print on a quarterly basis beginning in September with an initial run of 5,000. In the meantime, every month a new topic area will be introduced online, with a new topic ‚Äúchapter‚ÄĚ uploaded every Thursday‚ÄĒa chapter takes a deeper dive into the month‚Äôs topic, exploring it through the multidisciplinary eye of humanities.
With the launch, the full issue is available on the magazine‚Äôs website, Nautil.us, instead of being rolled out slowly every Thursday. The publisher is also working to expand the brand‚Äôs presence, making it available on as many channels as possible.
‚ÄúThe idea is to make it available everywhere‚ÄĒwe‚Äôre in the process of getting approved at the iTunes store, and we‚Äôll try to sell articles with Amazon Kindle Singles to try and spread the content as far and wide as we can,‚ÄĚ he says.
The business model for Nautilus is evolving. Right now, online content will be made available for free, and the publisher is working to bring in paid advertisers to the print magazine and website, and will be monetizing additional content that is available through both physical and digital newsstands. Nautilus was launched with financial support from a John Templeton Foundation grant, and some banner ads from educational institutions, like Santa Fe University, are already online.
The magazine currently has a staff of 12 and pulled from different corners of the industry‚ÄĒwhen Discover magazine announced it would move to Wisconsin from New York, for example, two displaced editors joined on with Nautilus, as did a journalist from Nature Nanotechnology.
‚ÄúIn traditional media, the Internet was always used as a marketing tool for the print product and we‚Äôre trying to reverse engineer that,‚ÄĚ adds Steele. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre primarily online because it gives us an opportunity to utilize all of the tools the Internet has to offer, but we do want to have print because it‚Äôs a great marketing tool‚ÄĒpeople love to have a print magazine.‚ÄĚ