Move Over, Seventeen?

Hi, I’m thinking of starting my own LDS magazine for the young women. In this recession, would it be feasible to start something like this on my own?

I’m not an authority on magazines but there are similarities between a small niche magazine and a small niche book publisher.

In my opinion, launching a new print magazine is going to be difficult, expensive and very risky for one person to try to do (unless you’re independently wealthy with lots of money to burn).

In any economic climate, a print magazine in a niche market is risky business. A magazine targeted at LDS teen girls is even more risky because you not only have to convince the girls that your magazine is cool enough for them to read and discuss with their friends, but you also have to convince their parents that you’re safe and aren’t promoting anything contrary to LDS standards.

Like launching a small publishing company, you’ll face issues of promotion and marketing (letting your potential readers/subscribers know you exist), distribution (getting the product to market), and advertising (it’s hard to sell ads for an untried magazine).

You’re also going to have to answer questions in the minds of the subscribers:

  1. Are you competing with the New Era?
  2. How is this different from the New Era?
  3. If I read the New Era, why do I need anything else?

I’d suggest you look into creating an e-zine, or website. You won’t make any money from subscriptions, but it’s less investment up front and if you can prove your traffic, it’ll be easier to get ads.

If the website is a success, then you might want to consider a print magazine.

Any readers out there that have experience with launching a magazine? I’d love it if you’d chime in.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

8 thoughts on “Move Over, Seventeen?”

  1. I hope you can swing it. I would read and I'm 36. Plus, I know my nine year old daughter would be all over that.

  2. I've never done anything with magazines, but I have to agree with your post. Either you'll be competing with The New Era (which would be hard), or if you're going to make it an LDS fashion magazine, most of the girls interested in fashion will be reading the non-LDS ones anyway.

  3. I actually had this same idea a few years ago, but I never did anything with it, mostly because of how intimidating the start-up process would be. I think there would definitely be a market for it. If the originator of this idea would let me know if they decide to go forward, I'd love to help! 🙂

  4. I would love to be involved with a project like this. I don't necessarily think it would be a competition with New Era. New Era has their niche, and this new idea would have to pick a niche that was unique enough to elicit readers. I would looooove to be involved with a e-zine or print magazine. So if the originator is reading this please let me know if you move forward. I do think an e-zine would be the most lucrative way to go, LDS Publisher has the right idea about gaining a readership first and then moving to print.

  5. The biggest hurdle will be marketing–how will you reach your audience? If you can't answer that question, don't print the magazine.

  6. What's the hook for the magazine? What is the focus, the editorial point of view, the psychographic profile of your potential readers?

    Also: I think the online advice is solid. But don't discount going the cheap route and creating a (printed) zine. Zines are coming back.

  7. I think there could be a market for this. Last I checked Seventeen it was pretty, uh, worldly. I'll bet there would be LDS girls out there interested in "girl stuff"–fashion, relationships, movies, etc. that they don't have to read with their eyes closed. Articles that feature modest fashions, articles about dating that take into account that the readers are planning for temple marriage and for the most part not wondering whether it's time to "go all the way"…Articles that don't necessarily quote GA's and scriptures for everything, but emphasize that you can have fun and be cool and still have high standards. I think it could work! But I agree that starting as an ezine would be much less risky.

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